Craft Product Review: Color Gelatos by Faber-Castell


I really love how art supplies/products are migrating into the crafting community. Such is the case of a number of cool supplies by Faber Castell in their “Design-Memory-Crafts” line,  including Gelatos.

“Gelatos?” you ask. I know, me too. I had no clue- so I looked them up. Here’s how they are described on the website:

Gelatos: Creamy rich colors blend smoothly • Transform opaque Gelato colors into translucent tints with water • Great for adding color and sheen to chipboard • Mix & Match Color Gelatos in Red/Yellow, Green/Blue and Neutral color palettes. Color Gelatos are creamy sticks infused with brilliant color. The color glides easily onto papers and can then be dissolved with water to create watercolor effects or left to dry for vibrant bursts of color. Try stamping with the Color Gelatos or apply a field of color and use a stamp to remove the color. Color Gelatos work wonderfully on flocked papers and embellishments too. Color Gelatos are acid-free and odorless.

I opened the cap, and what I saw reminded me of chap stick:

There is no odor, and when I ran my finger across the Gelato, pigment glided off of the stick and onto my finger. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to see how it applied to paper.

It applies smoothly, but there is “skipping” on this smooth paper.

The word “glide” seems to be what comes to mind. The stick laid down a nice application of pure color- very vibrant and saturated. Much like a good lipstick! I started playing and layering.

With a little light rubbing, you can work the Gelato into the tooth of the paper.

The colors blended well straight from the stick. I added some water via waterbrush, just to see how the worked as watercolor paints.

So, I found that this is where it became apparent that there is more media (ie, “stick”) than pigment. The colors are rich, but when you add too much water it literally waters it down and it’s a little disappointing.

Now, before I get too far gone, it was time for a swatch test. I applied the green Gelato to my paper samples, then used the waterbrush to blend it out a little.

As you can see in the bottom of the swatch test, I also applied the Gelato right to a rubber stamp, and made an impression. Nice. Then I spritzed the stamp with water and took a second stamping (I didn’t apply more pigment.) Also nice! And the pigments showed up on darker substraits, too…so there is plenty of potential for dark backgrounds.

Now buckle up, crafty friends, because this is where I had some serious FUN. I went back to the first few scribbles in my journal, and layered and layered and layered….and then spritzed it with some water just to see how it blended.

Lots of dry scribbling.

Then I spritzed liberally with water.

Then I worked back into it while it was wet.

Oh, my! Did the colors POP! My page was a little juicy (ahem) so I pressed the previous page to it and lifted some of the color. Then I scribbled a bin on THAT page….and instead of spritzing with water, I used Tattered Angels Glimmer mist in “Sun Sisters.” (One of my favorite colors, by the way.) Now I had a page filled with color AND a bit of shimmer.

Printed that I lifted from the previous page, then misted with Glimmer Mist spray!

Omigosh, I love, love, love. I even tried wetting the paper and then rubbing the gelato over top…. it even moved some of the colors around…yeah, I could do this all day!

Here are just a few more experiments with Gelatos…

Gelatos on gloss paper- used the stamp to make an image on the upper left and also to remove color on the lower right.

So this is why I’m so glad that the art supply companies are taking crafters seriously- this is a wonderful product that certainly airs on the “artsy” side of crafting. But if you like mixed media, or are ready to spread your arty wings, then this is great “crossover” product for you!

Now, I do have one teensyweency bone to pick. Faber Castell is selling Gelatos in their “Mix and Match” line, and they are packaged in color families. So you can get a pack of red-yellow or green-blue, or metallics. I totally want to have the full spectrum of colors in one box, don’t you? These should be sold in full sets, the same way colored pencils are. Also, with the exception of the black/white, and metallic duos, these are sold in sets of 4 colors plus one paintbrush and one clear stamp. No acrylic block is included, which is silly to me- you can’t really use the stamp without a block.

Ranting aside, they retail for about $10 USD for the sets including the 3 Gelatos in a color family with brush & stamp, and the duos are a bargain for $4 USD for a set of two! Now really, these are great prices for the versatility of the product. You also get about 1.5 inches of “stick”- I measured- and you’ll have no waste- so that’s pretty good, too.

I’d have to say that my favorite way of playing with them is to use them a s a background, and then layer stamping and Glimmer Mists. They have earned a place on MY craft table. What do you think?

Here are some tutorials using Gelatos that you might enjoy:

Samples provided for review.

If you are thinking about purchasing Faber-Castell Products, I hope you’ll use my affiliate links:

About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    thanks again Jenny – have been waiting to find out more about these – saw pics of them at CHA and even though I’d read the blurb still had no idea what practical use they would have in crafting, but your review has been very helpful, will have to look out for them now

  2. says

    I’ve got a few colors and I mostly use them on rubber stamps. It was nice seeing how you used them. Thanks for the great review, it was very helpful.

  3. says

    By the way, I clucked your link & that product is gone. However, I did find sets of 12 on…. And YES, I ordered them!

  4. Robin says

    I have the metallic duo, but I haven’t used them much because (when you compare them to a chapstick like item) they look like they would be used up in no time. Especially if you like vibrant colour! How many pages say 8.5 x 11 or A4 size, could you cover before the product is gone?? Thanks much!

  5. says

    Robin- actually, they are firmer than chapstick and are water soluable- you really need the water to get them to blend. So they go further than you think, much like watercolor pans. Hope this answers your question! -Jenny

  6. Rebecca Patton says

    Well, I found these at my local scrap booking store and decided to try them. I just stared at them for awhile, then found this great info and broke open the package! They are go creamy and I agree they are backgrounds waiting to happen! I’m a stamper, so I will also stamp with them, but I love creating backgrounds and these are perfect! I also went online to a popular site/ catalog store and purchased the kids 12packs. And the metallic pack. They are very inexpensive there and I basically got lots more product for less money. Try these, you’ll feel artistic!

  7. says

    Just have a question…I am about to buy these Gelato’s but am curious if you know they are similar to Derwent art bars or Caran Dache Neocolours?Hope you can be of advise….
    creative greet Miranda

  8. says

    To be honest, I haven’t tried those other products. I can tell you, though, that Gelatos are very soft and “smooshy”- the consistancy of lipstick- and I’m guessing that the art bars are firmer, such as wax pastels usually are. The Gelatos are at a really reasonable price point, too. Maybe just get a few colors- like the metallics- and then see if you like them? Good luck, Jenny

  9. Kat says

    I saw these demonstrated on those tiny stretched canvases. Color laid down real solid, then brushed gently with water. Very nice!

  10. says


    New to this blog. Have you tried Gelatos on fabric other than canvas? I saw them for the first time in a Dick Blick store recently and wondered if they’d be good for silk painting. What I want to do is tint silk, cut it into narrow strips, and knit with the strips. It’s got to be cheaper than what they’re charging for a skein of sari silk these days.

    TIA, Robin

  11. G McDowell says

    If you want a box of several colors get the Faber Castell gel sticks. They are marketed for kids but I find they are the same. I got a box of 12 colors for 13.99!! I got my on ebay, but you can get the on amazon, dickblick and several other sites. Check it out, it was a total score :)

  12. Kathy Martin says

    I just got the Bali Gelatos. I haven’t used them yet, but will probably use them to make a canvas. I have some others that I used in an art journal.


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