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What are Scribble Sticks by Dina Wakley?

What are Scribble Sticks? Inquiring minds want to know! Are they like a crayon or a colored pencil or a watercolor  or an oil pastel?  Will they work on dark colors?  Will they react to water? Will they bleed through paint?  This is what I set out to learn as I played around with Scribble Sticks in my art journal.

Watch What are Dina Wakley’s Scribble Sticks? on YouTube.

Can they work with stencils?  Yes indeed they can!  There is a trick to making sure words are lined up on the edge, start at the end and work backwards, as I did here with my Ransom Alphabet stencil.

The color reacts to water so a cup of plain water and brush easily turned what looked like colored pencil into vibrant watercolors, even on a regular art journal page.  No gesso involved.  The Scribble Sticks also could do a crisp lines and details.

What about over dark colors?  This clean up print from gel printing with my Wall of Words stencil was just the right scrap to test this out.  All the colors stood out on black, including white.  Something white that writes over paint…be still my heart.  But this paint was very matte, would these write on a glossier paint?


So I had to try that out on another gel printing scrap.  They wrote just as well on the slicker, more glossy paint.  But what about bleeding? A thick coat of white paint was added on top of some of the colors.  The pink bled through big time but the other colors not much.

All the white space on this art journal page couldn’t stay totally white.  A touch of scribble journaling finished it off.  Since Scribble Sticks don’t smear unless wet, my hand did not smear what I had written, which a great feature for art journalers!

Here’s what I learned from my play with Scribble Sticks:

  1. They write easily over paint.
  2. All the colors write over black, including white.
  3. They react quickly and completely with water to be a vibrant watercolor.
  4. They write like a colored pencil and won’t smear if you keep them dry.
  5. Some of the colors bleed through paint.
  6. They work nicely with stencils.

Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!

{ 14 comments… add one }

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  • Jean marmo March 27, 2017, 3:40 pm

    These look like so much fun. Thanks for the info.

  • Clemencia March 27, 2017, 7:45 pm

    Hi Carolyn, thank you so much for the video, I love it! I do have a question though and I hope is ok to ask this here, if you were to compare them with Gelatos, how different or similar are they? Thank you so much 🙂

    • Carolyn Dube March 28, 2017, 11:02 am

      Of course you can ask it here! I see them as totally different. Yes, they both react to water but how they feel in my hand and how I use them is what makes them so different for me. Gelatos are creamy and create different looks than the Scribble Sticks which are more firm, like a colored pencil (but they do so much more than a colored pencil). Hope this helps!

  • Boo Martin March 28, 2017, 8:10 am

    Love your New York shirt!! Thanks for the demo of Dina’s sticks.

  • Kathy Gledsdale March 28, 2017, 8:37 am

    Great review thank you and love your top!

  • Leslie Ackman March 28, 2017, 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the info!!!

  • Clemencia March 28, 2017, 8:19 pm

    What a cute project 🙂 and thank you so much for the giveaway, love your tutorials, always the best 🙂

  • stephanie March 29, 2017, 10:58 am

    Yum! Need to get some of these. Thanks

  • loeyp March 31, 2017, 1:15 pm

    Always a pleasure watching you play! Question: differences ‘tween scribble sticks & distress crayons? thanks

    • Carolyn Dube March 31, 2017, 2:04 pm

      Distress crayons are soft and creamy, where these are more like a fat colored pencil in feel. Hope that helps!

  • Janice Weiser April 3, 2017, 1:01 pm

    Well those look like a whole tin-full of fun! Thanks for the demo!

  • Glenda Reed November 25, 2017, 12:21 pm

    I love all the things you can do with these! I guess I must go shopping for more “toys”!

  • Cath October 20, 2019, 8:30 am

    Great stuff – I think I saw a video of yours on Youtube but I don’t watch many…seeing it in writing is MUCH better for those of us who learn this way 🙂 Nice, thorough testing…just what I needed. I’ve only played with mine twice, but wasn’t over impressed compared to Inktense sticks and pencils…I’ll try them again and try them on black.
    Thank you. I’ve signed up for your newsletter 🙂
    Cath x

  • Claudia Hurd April 20, 2021, 10:48 pm

    How do they differ from Gelatos?