Posted on

How to mix skintones with Zig Clean Color pens


Have you fallen prey to the Zig craze? These Zig Clean Color pens are unique – and I hope today’s project will help you see that you can do some amazing coloring with just a few colors!

Mixing skintones with Zig Clean Color pens

One of the troubles with all the other water-based markers, IMHO, has been that I haven’t found many do skintone colors particularly well. (Same for watercolors, without mixing your own.) And since I do love to color people, that’s a struggle!

So while playing with the 12 Zig Clean Color pens (I specifically used the set of 12 for this one, just so you know you don’t need the big sets even if you want them), I decided to play around with ethnic skintones, without using Zig’s flesh colors (the 12 set doesn’t come with any). You can use this technique to mix skintones out of your other water-based pens too. And just so you know, sets JUST arrived at Ellen Hutson, so you can either get a 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, or buy them one at a time – or a combo – it’s all up to you.

Check out the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube…and then come back and read more below.

While this video was made using the Zig pens, and the colors are much brighter – other watercolor pens on the market can do some similar color mixing, too; you’ll just need to do some experimenting to get the right mixes and right amounts of water. Note that this card is painted on Canson XL watercolor paper (fyi, extremely cost-effective), it’s not as white as the Ranger’s and that could make a difference color-wise, so adjust as needed.

And the masking fluid I used is THIS one with this applicator nib – but you can also use a version that comes in a bottle too.

Sandy Allnock Zig clean color pens

Upcoming note about these pens

I’m working on a hex chart for these, so hang tight if you’re trying to pick between colors and don’t know which reds, which yellows, etc. I know it’s a challenge to figure out which the heck colors you want. Hoping to get that posted in the next couple weeks!

I’m also going to be doing more videos with these over time – I know others are sharing things they are finding out about them too, but I’m looking at them from my crazy-artist perspective, so you’ll get a little different info from the likes of me. So far they aren’t replacing my love of pan watercolors, if you’re wondering. I’m really curious how long they’ll last, since they aren’t refillable…I’m going to sacrifice a pen soon and find out how many strokes it takes to get to the center of the lollypop – I’ll let you know when I know!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

I hope you’ll try this kind of color mixing with your Zig clean color pens or other watercolor markers – whatever brand you own!

20 thoughts on “How to mix skintones with Zig Clean Color pens

  1. I am looking forward to that hex chart for zig markers. Is it done yet? I couldn’t find it.

  2. Just.Absolutely.Amazing! Wow!

  3. Great video. That card is amazingly cute. Love the Zig clean markers!

  4. Fantastic video and card! You are absolutely fearless with color! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talent so generously.

  5. Great video with great information. Love the sneak peak of the adorable little owl, so cute.

  6. You are amazing. How you got a nice skin tone out of those colors is unbelievable.l

  7. Gosh dern…you just make it look so stinkin’ easy! I just got my set of 24 Zig brush markers, and love them. Just the idea that you can blend so much like Copics gives me so many ideas. Keep playing with the Zigs, Sandy, please. They are more affordable for us than the Copics. I do have some Copics and will be getting your chart soon so I can get more use out of them. I have a friend who got it and said it really made it easier. Thanks for keeping us going in this fun craft! Great that you are going to do a chart for the Zigs too!!!

    1. im really hoping we still call them affordable in 6 months—I’m really worried what will happen when they run out, because I’m not buying a replacement set… 🙁 I still love that once I buy a Copic, I can use it forever 🙂

  8. Hi Sandy that card and the little girl is just Fabulous. Your choice of coloring is just awesome great work.

  9. You never cease to amaze. Just love watching you work. Thanks so much for sharing, and oh my gosh! That owl!! How sweet is that little face?

  10. Love your videos on these pens!! I am drooling over them. They have such bright, happy colors! My heart goes pitter-patter just watching you ladies use them. Love ALL your videos and thank you!

  11. Oh, Sandy! Thank you SO much for sharing all of your experience with the Zig Clean Color pens! My set of 24 arrived yesterday, and I can’t wait to unwrap them. I truly appreciate your tips for coloring people with the Zig pens. I am not a Copic user, although I have watched all of your videos to learn about blending and shadows. With today’s tips, now I will be able to add some people stamps to my collection. Hope you will also share more flowers using the Zig pens!! It is my dream to watercolor the lovely flowers and herbs in my garden! Have a wonderful weekend, Sandy! You are the BEST! ♡

  12. Love your little owl! And too, too many of Stacey’s designs are just adorable!

  13. Adorable card. I think you single-handedly keep the craft business buzzing along. Can’t wait to try this technique on my own. In the meantime, I was wondering who’s border punch you used on the owl card. Thanks.

    1. That’s a Verrrrry old one from EK that I can’t bear to toss out—but I can’t find it for sale anywhere. God help me if it jams, lol…..

  14. Thanks for limiting your demo to the 12 color set. I am interested in these markers but I don’t believe the large sets would be a wise investment for me. It is nice to see how versatile 12 colors can be. With traditional watercolor, I have always worked with a very limited palette on purpose, since I think mixed colors are so much richer and more interesting than color straight from the tube. It is great to see that these markers will allow that same sort of mixing, especially with skin tones.

  15. So much cuteness! Great way to start my day. Thanks Sandy!

  16. I LOVE THOSE markers. They are SO vibrant. Your card is amazing Sandy! Great tips. (The owl card below is adorable too!)

  17. Amazing!

  18. So cute and bright. I like the sneak peek also. So CAS, but wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.