Bible Journaling Basics: Supplies–Neocolors and Gelatos


If you are someone like me, paint still might be scary and overwhelming to try your hand at. But you still desperately want to add some color to your pages. Well, have no fear! I have a solution for you today!img_5399

Welcome to the colorful world of Neocolors and Gelatos! These pretties are similar in their usage and technique; different in their price! They are definitely different items so one doesn’t replace the other, but if you’re going to start with one, I absolutely recommend gelatos as your starting point.


Faber Castell, (I told you, they are my fave!), makes these and per their website, gelatos are “compact acid-free pigment sticks glide on creamy smooth for vibrant color and coverage.” Essentially, gelatos look like a tube of lipstick and have a similar consistency–just in all kinds of fun colors. There’s metallics, vibrants, neons, pastels, you name it! Hobby Lobby and Joann’s carry some, but my go to place is Michaels to pick these up!

These were one of the first supplies I started with in my Bible Journaling journey and I instantly fell in love with them because of their awesome versatility!

  • You can take the tube and “color” with it and leave it just like that. It may take a little to “set” but the color will be very vibrant.
  • You can “color” and then rub the pigment with your finger. This will give it a smudged look, but still leave the color vibrant.
  • You can “color” and then rub with a baby wipe or wet paper towel. This will give it a smudged and slightly watercolored effect.
  • You can also “color” on the baby wipe with the gelato and then rub the cloth on your page. This gives a similar effect but with a slightly lighter color.
  • You can “paint” with them! Take a wet brush, (either a paint brush or a water brush), and dab the gelato to get some pigment on the brush. Then paint your page. You will need to add pigment to your brush more than you would with normal paint. This technique allows you to blend colors easily and it gives the colors a watercolor effect.img_5395(This is one of the water brushes I use. I have a three pack that has three sizes. I love these brushes because I feel much more in control of the water. You put water in the barrel of the brush and then squeeze to push water through to the brush. Love them!)

See?! So versatile! I love these guys. Plus, no bleed through! I asked for so many different colors for Christmas that everyone thought I was crazy but I love them and use them all the time!

The other coloring option I have recently discovered are Neocolor ii water soluable crayons. The trick is to make sure you get “neocolor ii” because “i” is different! Dan got me this larger set for my birthday. They can definitely get pricey but they are beautiful.

These crayons work similarly to the gelatos but have a much more watercolor-y feel. I am still getting the hang of them but they are very rich and pretty.

  • You can color like crayons, plain and simple.
  • You can color and then smudge with a finger or cloth.

The best way to use these is with water, though.

  • You can color and then go over the pigment with a paint brush or water brush. The water will pull the pigment and make it look watercolored.
  • You can get pigment on your wet brush and then paint with it. This leaves a complete watercolor look, though the color isn’t as vibrant. However, you are able to layer the colors to up the vibrancy.

I’m definitely still learning with these but I do love the colors and they don’t leave a chalky feel on the page. They are really pretty and don’t bleed through either!

(Tip: One cool technique you can do with these crayons is this spatter paint look. Get your brush really wet and then get some pigment on the brush. Then tap the brush over your finger above the page. If your brush is wet enough, the pigment will spatter off onto the page! Tada!)

If you have either of these items, please share any other tips or techniques you use in your journaling. Adding color is such a fun way to brighten up the pages of our Bibles!

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