Today’s project shows off the Zig Clean Color Pens – with some tips for those who have been struggling with these new markers.

Supplies for this project are linked at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used at no cost to you.

Gumball Shaker Card

When I saw this stamp set, it just screamed out to be a shaker – with all those happy little smiley gumballs bouncing around in the shaker! For today’s watercolor paper, I used a student grade paper (I recommend Canson XL in the supply list rather than the Montval I used), and painted with a Silver Black Velvet brush.

Tips for Clean Color Pen coloring

I’ve been hearing lots of folks having a rough time with these pens once they arrived in the mail. (That’s why I recommended really just picking up a few first!) Here are a couple tips – more to come as I learn more, too.

Photo credit
  1. Clean Color Pens move faster than other brands of water based markers – with the slightest encouragement they love to move! Thus, be stingy with water if you want control.
  2. When adding water, be careful when coloring areas next to other wet areas. Most of these markers like to run! Anytime you add water, start with less than you think you need. You can always add more later.
  3. To lighten color, re-wet as needed and dab off with a rag or paper towel.
  4. When choosing colors to purchase, I would choose darker shades rather than lighter – you can always lighten by adding more water, but the pale colors will stay pale.
  5. Sometimes it’s tough to soften the line that certain colors create when you color on the paper. I’d mark those colors with some washi tape so you know which ones to save for techniques where you WANT that effect, or ones to try again another day with different paper. (More coming soon on a system I’ll be using to mark my pens. I’m going to use it a while before sharing it to be sure it works the way I want it to.)
  6. It IS possible to blend very different colors – but you may end up with baby poo where they meet. And if those colors really run, you can get poo across the entire image! Try picking analagous colors, those seem to blend the most easily. See the color chart at the right – Analagous colors are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.
  7. The paper you use may have a LOT to do with blending/not blending. Try others – the cheap stuff, the medium or expensive stuff. Try the same color combos and compare them–that’s the only way to figure this out. This is what happens when a new medium comes on the market, we need to test.  See THIS post for more info on watercolor papers.
colors used

If you have questions about specific colors in the Clean Color Pen line, leave them in comments. I’m finding I have trouble with different colors than some friends of mine, and I’m curious to know if there are some that are problems overall, and if some might just be my pens. Research! Agh! :0)

The colors used in this video are 025 Pink; 081 Light Violet; 024 Wine Red; 050 Yellow; 031 Cobalt Blue; 041 Light Green; 084 Deep Violet; 033 Persian Green; 027, Dark Pink.

Sandy Allnock - Gumball Shaker Card

Hope you liked my lil sweet candy gumball shaker card!


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