New Toy: Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pen SetI recently started noticing several of my favorite papercrafting bloggers mentioning some pens they were using that I had never heard of. I’ve subsequently learned these pens aren’t a new product, but they seem to just kind of seem to be the new shiny pretty little thing in the our corner of the pen world.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, it’s the Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens from the folks of Kuretake Zig. They the same people who bring us other awesome products like Wink of Stella glitter brush pens, Wink of Luna brush pens, the luscious Gansai Tambi watercolors, and let’s not forget the awesome 2-Way Glue pens which are an absolute staple product for me.

The Clean Color Real Brush pens come in an array of 80 colors. They are available in sets (12, 24, 36, 48, and 60) and as open stock. The MSRP is $3.50 per pen.

I was trying my best to hold out and not buy these, but once I watched this hibiscus video created by Sandy Allnock, I was done. As soon as I finished watching it, I went to straight Amazon and purchased the 36-piece set. I paid $59.42 which averages out to $1.66 per pen which is more than half off the MSRP per pen.

If you aren’t sure whether you will like them, I would suggest just buying a couple of open stock pens first to try them. If you do like them, you could then purchase a larger set which will save quite a bit of money in the long run. The best price I’ve seen anywhere online for the open stock pens is Carpe Diem Markers. They are selling them for $2.49 per pen which is a dollar less per pen than the MSRP. I’ve never ordered from them personally, but several people in the Stamping Enablers Facebook group have recommended them in the past.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Swatches

Once I received my pens, my first order of business was creating a swatch page with all of the colors. I created this using a page in my Strathmore Mixed Media notebook. If you want a better look at the colors, as always, click on the image to bring up a larger view. Since this particular notebook is intended for both wet and dry mediums, there was no bleed-through issue using these markers and the paper held up just fine when I applied a light watch using my Aquash water brush.

Sunflower Practice

After finishing the swatches, I decided to go ahead and try coloring an actual stamped image. I chose Sweet Sunflower from Stampendous and stamped it on another piece of my Mixed Media paper using Archival Black ink from Close to My Heart. I hit it with a quick blast of my heat tool to ensure it was completely dry before I started working with the markers and water.

Sunflower Card

Even though I initially intended to just have the sunflower be a practice image since it was my first time working with these new markers, I thought it turned out well enough that I made it into a card today. I trimmed the sunflower piece to 3 3/8″ x 5″ and used my Tea Dye Mini Distress Ink all around the image using a Mini Blending Tool. I then cut a piece of Sunshine cardstock from Simon Says Stamp to 3 5/8″ x 5 1/4″. Once again, I applied the Tea Dye Distress Ink all around the edges to soften the bright yellow color down to more of a mustard color. I ran the sunflower panel through my Xyron Creative Station to ensure it had plenty of adhesive since I had done watercolor on it and then adhered it to the yellow panel.

Sunflower Card Sentiment

It was then time to work on the sentiment. I used my MISTI stamping tool for this part. I selected the “hello you” sentiment from the Scripty Sayings stamp set from Lawn Fawn. Using my MISTI made it incredibly easy to ensure I had it lined up perfectly along the very edge of my card base which is some brown cardstock from Bazzill. I stamped it using some Versamark ink and then added some Perfect Pearls in the Perfect Gold color.

Sunflower Card Interior

Since I used such a dark card base, I needed to add a writing panel on the inside of the card. Given I had distressed all of the panels on the front of the card, having a plain white panel inside the card was going to look too stark. Instead, I did some more ink blending. For this panel, I used Antique Linen Distress Ink. It really helped pull the inside of the card in to match the rest of the card.

I guess the lesson I learned from this card is to never underestimate the power of a practice piece! When I started coloring this sunflower last night, I had no idea it would turn into a card that I would like so much! These colors are definitely outside of my norm, but I’m really happy with how it all came together.Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge BlogI’ve also decided to enter this card into the Monday Challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp blog. The theme for this week was to just use some SSS branded product in your card. Since I used the Sunshine cardstock for my yellow panel, this card is eligible for the challenge. I actually love how the colors of my card coordinate with the logo! It was completely unintentional, but kind of cool that it worked out that way. πŸ™‚

RetroSketch #165I’m also entering this card into the current Retro Sketch challenge. My Scripty Saying sentiment is acting at the scalloped element running vertically on the card per the sketch.

Until next time …



  1. donna says:

    You did such a great job with the markers! I will follow your blog hoping to see more magic with these markers. I bought the set of 24 but I am not artistic and need to learn from others.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Meihsia! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m interested in trying my hand at art journaling, so your blog will definitely be going into my Feedly!

  2. Patricia says:

    Hello Melissa! I found your blog trying to learn about these markers. You can’t buy them on my country, so I need to be sure they’re going to work for me because shipping custom taxes .
    I will use them for illustration, and I’d like to know is how they look on the paper? Like real watercolors or like colored ink (you know like china colored inks)? Because if they have a watercolor finish I’d rather keep working with my pan ones and save the cash for something new πŸ™‚
    Thanks again for the cool review.

    Regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PS: Sorry for my english!

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