Before my giant Dick Blick haul, I scoffed a set of two Faber-Castell Gelatos at my local craft store for 1.97– half price! I bought them on the recommendation of my mother, who has been using the metallic ones a lot in her mixed media projects lately.
Gelatos are available in around 30 colors, but obviously since I only have two, you’ll only see black and white (which Faber-Castell calls “Black Licorice” and “Coconut”). The purpose of this review is more to explain how they work.
Gelatos are very buttery; they twist up and apply just like Chapstick! They’re also very small; at about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch in diameter, they’re perfect for a travel kit and art on-the-go. Gelatos are watersoluble, but you can blend them easily without water by just using your finger– that’s how soft they are. When you do use water, they are easy to dissolve and create a nice watercolor effect.
The right side of each swatch has been blended with water.
Here is the coconut over the black licorice. They do layer quite well.
Applications in my art journal:
They dissolve SO well. I used them here on old sheet music. For such a porous paper, they didn’t require much water to blend out and create a wash.
Oh. Fair warning: Faber-Castell also makes “gel sticks” which are essentially the same product, but they come in a set of 12 basic colors and a set of 6 metallics. They are much cheaper than the Gelatos (get 12 gel sticks for around the same price as 4 Gelatos) because they’re marketed for children, but you should get the same results. Gelatos do have more colors available than the gel sticks and their sets of 4 are coordinated so they’re project-oriented. Choose whichever works in your budget. This video from thefrugalcrafter (a fellow Mainer!) is really helpful if you’re unsure of which product is the best for you and your art.