Sunday 10 December 2017

Product Review Series | Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a Completed Card

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you're having a great day.

This past week on my Facebook page, I ran a poll to see what you were interested in for this week's review. Well the votes are in and 65% of voters wanted to see the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.

In April of last year, I did a post about these Zig markers and about the gauntlet I went through to get my hands on them. It didn't occur to me until just recently that I never actually did a review of them! Whoops!!

So here it is, as always this review will be long and full of pictures, so grab a coffee and enjoy! And don't forget there is a card at the end!!

My current storage system has them broken into three groups; neutrals, cools and warms. This isn't ideal, I'll be honest. I would love to find another way to store them but frankly I haven't gotten to it yet. I like the three mini mason jars as they just sit on my desk but when I come up with something new, I'll be sure to share it.

So a couple of things:

  • These are super vibrant. A little goes a long way - and that's good because they are pricey.
  • They blend super well. Don't feel like you need to buy the whole lot to get a good range of colour, any colours you may not have can very easily be created with a little practice.
  • Can be used with or without water (I'll have examples below)
  • They will reactivate after drying if new moisture is applied. Very handy for those times you may slip out of the lines.
  • They have an actual brush tip. It doesn't just look like a brush, it is a brush, so in a lot of ways it's like painting.
  • These come in open stock as well as packs of 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 and finally 80 (If you checked out my other post - linked above - you'll see why I got the 60 pack instead of the smaller one that I had originally wanted)

Here I just wanted to show you a close up of the brush tip. It is amazing. Like any other brush don't apply a lot of pressure - more pressure means a wider stroke and that's okay just be careful not to damage the tip.

There are about a million printable swatch cards online for these guys and that's fantastic. However my printer doesn't take watercolour paper, or Bristol paper or any paper that it doesn't like the look of depending on the day, so I made my own. This way I could keep them in basic colour groups, I could arrange them the way I wanted and I could omit any markers that I didn't actually own. 

Swatching is good for a couple of reasons (and I have a post coming up all about it), firstly it gives you a basic idea of what the marker feels like when you use it. How fast the pigment comes out and how much pressure to apply. It will also show you the true colour. I know they try and try to put the colour on the bottom of the marker or the pen but really they don't always match up - and that's frustrating to find out in the middle of a project.

There are two ways that I personally use the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.

The first is with Bristol Smooth paper. I use Strathmore 100lb Bristol Smooth - it's white but almost has a creamy colour to it. It's incredibly smooth and mostly useless for coloured pencil but it works like a dream with these markers.

In the picture above, I have stamped this floral image from Clearly Besotted with CTMH Archival ink. Using Archival ink is incredibly important as it is waterproof, and these are water-based markers, so you see where I'm going with this.

I work in small areas, adding the darkest colour where I want the deepest shadow to be, then add the lighter colour and blend the two together. The smooth surface of the Bristol paper keeps the marker from drying as quickly as it would on regular cardstock, allowing you to blend. Don't wait too long though as it will dry. 

I keep a paper towel handy to wipe clean my lighter colour. While the brush will pick up the darker colour it will not seep up into the brush nor will it ruin the tip so feel free to blend away.

For this second example I am still working on Bristol Smooth paper because I love the smooth texture, but this can be done on watercolour paper as well.

I prepped this piece with my powder tool and stamped the rose image from Clearly Besotted with VersaMark ink and heat embossed it with silver embossing powder.

For each petal I added a fine line of my blue and then pulled it out using the clear Wink of Stella glitter brush pen. You can also do this with water, but I wanted my flower to sparkle. I repeated this process with each petal, wiping off the glitter pen whenever it was picking up too much colour.

I did the exact same process with a green for the leaves and stem. I wanted to show this close up as it is also the completed card for today. There are only two markers used for the colouring of this entire flower. One blue and one green. 

Overall I'm incredibly happy with these markers. You can use them the way I have described above, or you can scribble them on a palette and pick them up with a brush. These have all the best things about watercolours and all the best things about markers - rolled into one!

For this completed card, I coloured the flower from Clearly Besotted as I described above, I then masked it off and lay down a stencil and spritzed a light blue mist through it. Because this is Bristol Smooth paper, the areas where the liquid pools in the corners of the stencil will be more intense than if it were pulled into the paper.

Once that was dry I heat embossed the greeting in the same silver.

I hope you enjoyed today's review and card. If you have any questions about this product or a suggestion for a future review, please drop me a line in the comments section below and let me know. If you haven't already, please follow me on the right side bar or over on Facebook, so you don't miss any future posts. 

*disclaimer: I am not sent products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting, that I use and that I have purchased. All reviews are based on my experience with them and are my opinions only. I am not given reward, incentive or payment to write a review.

This card is for:
Muse Challenge 

 Thank you for voting for this card!


  1. Oh my, the colours on that rose are absolutely gorgeous! Need to get my Zigs out again! Thanks so much for joining us at Muse this week!

    1. THank you. If you’re wondering, the flower is Persian Nlue and the leaves are Persian green :)

  2. Beautiful coloring and thanks for the tips!

  3. I do love my zigs, a great review Trina. And I love your rose in the blue/teal tones, it's such a lovely image isn't it. Thanks so much for playing along at Muse this week, Anita x


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