Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens -Intro and Tips

Hi friends, it gives me great pleasure to write a post on the amazing water-coloring Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens .
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  at Crafters Corner

These amazing watercolor brush tip pens from Japan are all the rage in the paper-crafting industry and are available in different sets to suit your budget. So you can pick up a set of 12 to experiment and see if you like it , buy individual colors or splurge and go all the way and buy the complete 80 set!
Here is a brief intro about these marker pens:
What are Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens ?
These are watercolor pens with tips in an actual brush format and the brush is of such high quality that you can get fine lines as well as broad brush strokes.
Why are they so popular in the paper-crafting industry?

  • They are one of the easiest ways to color stamped images
  • Fine tip allows you to color even small stamped images easily
  • Vibrant color palette
  • Easy to blend colors
  • You can create beautiful projects with just a few colors
  • Learning to use them is much much easier compared to copics
  • Amazing range of colors  with fabulous shades of grey and brown especially useful to color cute animals .
  • Very  high quality- these pens don't leak , brushes stay good  even with rough use and the pens as such last a long long time !
Materials required to effectively use Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
  • Paper : 
Watercoloring Papers
These pens work best on water color paper. If you are impatient and try them on normal card-stock the whole charm of these pens will evade you!I
  • Brushes
Though these watercolor brushpens can be used on their own to color , the charm of the pens can be best appreciated if you use water with them either using a normal brush or a water-brush .

Water brushes
The Koi waterbrush seems to be very popular with crafters but somehow I never could get it to work for me . I started enjoying water-coloring only after I got a water-brush from cosmic shimmer[ from creative expressions] and though many crafters use regular paintbrushes to add water I somehow have better control with the water-brush
So the important thing is don't give up if something doesn't work for you...keep trying to find out what clicks for you!
  •  Ink /water mixing surface
There are many ways to apply Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  to your image ....
Ink mixing palette
    • you can directly brush on the watercolor from the pen
    • you can smear ink from the pen onto a craft mat/ acrylic block or water color palette/or any plastic piece and use a brush to apply more controlled amount of ink onto your paper
    • you can touch tips of the pens to blend two colors and use one pen to color the image!
  • Paper towel
I just have to mention this as a tissue paper/ paper towel is indispensable while water-coloring with these pens.
Paper towel
You can use it to wipe your water-brush tips to remove a bit of ink or use it directly to lift pigment off your colored image while the paper is wet !
Using  Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
There are beautiful videos by experts in coloring on how to use Zigs in rather elaborate ways to achieve fabulous results.
I will share with you tips on how to use just the minimum of supplies[ meaning a limited palette], with the least effort and time to get lovely colored images!
Tip 1 : When you are starting with Zigs start with a large flower image...these are the easiest to color and get good results without a lot of effort!
Here I have used a Penny Black Cling Rubber Stamp called "Sweet Dahlia"
Watercoloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
Tip 2 : the tricky thing about water-coloring is controlling the flow of colors.Heat embossing your image in a vibrant gold or other striking color allows you to let your color pool in areas and work your way more easily!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens on heat embossed image
 Tip 3 : Start using just a single color  as you don't have to worry about perfectly blending colors!Here I used  "Pink" Zigs Brush pens and used the water brush to achieve the gradient shading of color.
Watercoloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
Tip 4 : Let the lines of the stamped image guide you in deciding where the color needs to be the darkest.Mind you I am no coloring expert and I don't have the patience to sit hours coloring but even I could create beautiful vibrant flowers in minutes!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
Tip 5 : White Embossed Images are more tricky to color as its difficult to see where the lines are! So once your confidence builds then plunge into coloring white embossed images but the vibrancy of zig colors looks so good against the white background that most mistakes are muted! The flower below was also colored using a single color!
Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens Tips
    Tip 6 : Is a mini step by step
    Heat emboss a flower stamp
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Apply a dark color to the base of the petals or other area where you want the color to be the darkest. Just apply a thin line of color.
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Dont let it dry but bring your water-brush into the are and go over the whole line first.
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
     Then pull the colors outwards to easily achieve a beautiful gradient shading of your flower petal! If you feel the colors are dark as you pull the brush...wipe the brush on the back of your hand [ a paper towel will remove more ink so I prefer the back of my hand!] and continue pulling ink outwards!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Tip 7
    Easily create background washes using different Zig colors. Either use the pens to blend into each other or use a brush pen to pull colors into each other. A background such as this with texturing is perfect to hone your skills in blending 2 or 3 colors as the blending need not be perfect to give gorgeous results!
    Water-coloring with Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
    Here I used Scarlet red [ yes it looks like orange] on the Dahlia and a blend of fluorescent yellow and green on the background .
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    Tip 8 : Watercoloring an image stamped in normal black ink [ use a waterproof ink such as Versafine] will be frustrating when you begin using watercolors for the first time as the colors may bleed and smudge into areas you didn't want it to !
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens Coloring Tutorial
    As you can see the accidental creation of a bit of "green" by the yellow and blue mixing in the center of my dahlia!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  Tutorial 
    So if coloring simple stamped images frustrate you switch to embossed images till you get better control over the brushes.

     I hope the tips I have shared for crafters starting with Zigs will be useful.
    Sharing a few more images to show just how amazing these brush pens are!

    Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens are simply amazing to color cute animals as there are beautiful shades of grey and brown and face colors to achieve the perfect shading!
    Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens 
      The hedgehog from Penny Black " critters in love" was so easy to color!
      Water-colored Penny Black Critters in Love

      Water colored Penny Black Critters in Love
      The cute little mice are also from the same stamp set and here you can see just how lovely the shades of brown and grey are.

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      I was able to achieve a lovely fur effect using stippling with several shades of grey colors!
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      The best thing about zig brush pens is that you can really layer on the colors if you are in the mood for some in depth coloring or just quickly whip up a batch using single color shades!! 
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      The 3 images of the little mice holding hands were all achieved using single color shades!  
      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  

      Penny Black Stamps water-colored with  Zig  Brush Pens  
      And finally here is love from a hedgie colored using many shades of grey and a single shade of red to achieve a 2 tone look to the cartload of hearts !!
      Water-colored Penny Black Stamp
      I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens  !!

      Supplies :  All available at Crafters Corner
      Stamping Supplies :  Versafine Black Ink. Stamps : Penny Black " critters in love",Penny Black Cling Rubber Stamp  "Sweet Dahlia"


      1. Wonderful water coloring. Especially like the look with heat embossing & the Penny Black critters. I use the Zig glue pen. I need to practice my coloring.
        "Sunshine HoneyBee"

        1. Hehe Melissa...I need to practice too to get better!!

      2. Thanks Doc, these are lovely.

      3. Ohhhhhh these are wonderful! LOVING the way you colored them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Thank you so much Julie...I am only an amateur!

      4. Thanks for showcasing these wonderful looking pen to us, the colouring is gorgeous.

        Sue xx

      5. Oh wow, all of your projects are absolutely amazing!! The colors are stunning!! I have wanted these pens for a while but I've put off buying them...you just convinced me!! Spectacular post, my friend, and thank you for the awesome tutorial!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

        A Mermaid's Crafts

        1. Lisa Thank you so much for dropping in and yes you should definitely buy the zigs...I had never enjoyed coloring stamped images till I got these!!

      6. wonderful coloring Sonia...love the in-depth review, tips and tricks !!awesome post as usual !!

        1. Thank you so much Suman...glad you dropped by

      7. I have seen these pens with my students but I have never used them myself. The flowers look super gorgeous

        1. They are super fun to use Divya!!

      8. Your experimenting for us is really worth it, loved seeing what you have created, FABULOUS samples.

      9. I may have to get my hands on some of these Sonia..lovely water colouring on your flowers and little animals..

        Luv CHRISSYxx

      10. Beautiful colouring.Love the card with the embossing and the flowers.


      11. lucky you!
        I want them long time.
        maybe one day...
        your coloring is amazing!

      12. Oh great, another craft supply for me to want...lol these do look like fun to work with and I like all your stamped images

      13. Oh no!! That's another thing I want now :D. Great explanation of how to use them and wonderful colouring too. Have already spent this months craft money and it's only the 7th :-O . I'll have to patiently wait until next month. Debra x

      14. Great post, thanks for sharing.

      15. Beautiful colouring Sonia, such an informative post.
        Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

      16. OMG your cardsand images are beautiful. I bought these pens last years and still have nt used tem. Thanks for inspiring me to get them out and for all the wonderful tips.
        Have a creative day.
        ♥ My Crafting Channel ♥
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      17. Those pens look really nice to use. Thanks for the demo. I especially like your idea of embossing your image first. hugs, Teresa

      18. Those flowers are gorgeous! Your coloring/painting is wonderful.

      19. What a most excellent tutorial, with wonderful closeup pictures showing each step. I love my zigs, but still struggle to do a nice watercolor. However, I've found I've done the best effort with the zigs, and it is much easier if you emboss the image. That helps to keep the ink 'in the lines'. I love the way you've achieved such wonderful shading just using a single marker. Enjoyed this post very much, and was pleased to see I have some of the same images you've used in your demo! Your skills are super with these markers..TFS

      20. These are so gorgeously colored Sonia! I loved each one of them! The coloring looks fab with zigs! :)
        Hugs xx

      21. Woww such a lovely posts with cute stamped and colored images .. Thanks for sharing the tips of using zig markers n brush pens ..:)

      22. Thank you for these wonderful tips. Beautiful coloring, Sonia. I love those mice. You have achieved beautiful fur texture.

      23. What a great tutorial- I have just received waterbrush pens- you have given me some brilliant ideas to use them- Thanks : ) I enjoy Copic coloring, but do enjoy watercoloring as well!


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