Chameleon Pens: Hit or miss? What do you think?

Hi friends! Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there. I am writing this post at the tender hour of 6:30am (apparently my dog did not get them memo that I wished to sleep in LOL!) I will be visiting my mom this afternoon, I can’t wait! My kids love to see their little cousin and we all just chill out at mom’s PLUS she has an enormous lilac bush in the back yard that is always full of flowers on mother’s day so she always sends me home with some. I adore lilacs, always have but could never get them to grow at my house. Every mason jar I own will be full of fragrant flowers tomorrow, yippee!

chameleon

So, I have been asked A LOT about the Chameleon Color Tones Pens since they came out at CHA 2014. I loved the concept but resisted buying any because I have hundreds of alcohol markers already so it seemed a bit foolish to buy more. On the other hand I know i have the means to try out more supplies than many crafters because I make my living in part by my videos and reviews help you guys decide if a product is right for you. Every product is not useful to every crafter.  Chameleon generously sent me a set of their pens to review. Here is a demo and first impressions. BTW I had a duplicate in my box and they have shipped me the missing pen, they are very nice people over there!

Video!

The full line of pens come in 22 colors plus a blender. My kit also had a black pen you could draw with and color over and not bleed. There are 22 reinkers and blender solutions that each come with a refill needle and reinking seems to be easy and neat.

I think these pens would be most useful to someone without many markers already or someone wanting a kit to take with them on trips or vacation. I like the limited palette but it is more work to get the exact colors (by layering and blending) and there is a learning curve just like with all markers. These are best for small images (in my experimentation) but larger blends can be achieved by practice but if you already have a large collection of markers I think you would turn to them first.

Often coloring with alcohol markers is slow going and the additional time waiting to charge the pen with blender might be frustrating for some. I did not mind it because I do coloring projects while watching TV or listing to a podcast. That is why I did not speed up the video, I wanted you to know how long it took to realistically color an area. If you want to pick up some of these pens for yourself you can at the Chameleon website and get free domestic US shipping with the coupon code: SASFS

Are these markers for you? Let me know what you think in the comments! Happy crafting!

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27 Responses

  1. Great video. I love these markers. I do the best coloring with them then with any other product, but, I am a novice. While it does take a bit of learning to get the color you want, I think they are easier to get great results. I also like you can color on your regular cardstock and dont need special paper like with copics or Spectrum Noir (which I also have). Also 22 pens to get all those great colors is wonderful.

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  2. Happy Mother’s Day to you! I too, fill mason jars full and even the bathroom gets graced with some! Don’t much like the idea for these pens but I’m sure the kids will like them. Enjoy your day. I look forward to your next video!

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  3. I ordered based on your review using my Amazon credit made them lots cheaper and free shipping yes thx Lindsay

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  4. I would love to have these pens but the budget won’t allow it. However, I do have many other markers. I have so many that I needed to order another storage unit. I love how your markers blend. I, also, love lilacs. They are my favorite flower. I cannot bring any in due to the fact my cat LOVES to eat plants. She will even try to devour fake ones. Oh, well. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mother.

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  5. I purchased 2 just to try and was not impressed. They are fussy and I like to have more control over my initial coloring. I see their usefulness for traveling but for everyday use I’ll stick with what I have.

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  6. LOVE the Chameleon pens! I use them for my smaller images and love that I can grab the box and bring them into the bedroom and color while I am watching television. They also go into my hospital bag when I have to be admitted so that I have something to do.
    They work fabulously once you get through the learning curve and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to be able to blend without using multiple markers.
    Overall they are a better value than Copics or Spectrum Noir markers for the beginner. I would rather spend $100 and find out I don’t like the product than spend $500 and not like it.
    LOVE lilacs but sunflowers are my go to flower! We plant a lilac bush regularly and they never seem to bloom for me. Not sure why but we have lots of flowerless lilac trees.
    Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy your chillaxin’!

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  7. Happy Mother’s Day ! I always look forward to your tutorials. Have a blessed day. With a loving heart, Camilia

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  8. Not for me. I am too antsy!

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  9. Hate to be the sole dissenter here. But these markers like the Stampin’ Up version have a too-high alcohol content and I am a big believer you cannot “cheat the hustle” in art or life. In other words, the blendability of Copic regular markers is far superior, more versatile and a better value for your art dollar. Learning to blend effectively standard Copics markers has a learning curve but is well worth the effort! It is in practice and not in the pen that you get better at Copic coloring.

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  10. Not for me.

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  11. Happy Mother’s Day! And I hope you are having a lot of fun today!

    The first video of yours I ever saw was the one showing you painting lilacs. I was impressed how easy it seemed to be to make it look like lilacs just by hinting at the shapes, avoiding trying to paint every single tiny blossom. I hope you will paint lilacs again this year!

    The markers seem to be handy if you are outdoors and the idea of charging the nibs with alcohol is interesting but I doubt I would have the patience to charge my marker every few seconds. I’m sure I would have enjoyed using them when I was a child though, watching the color gradually turning darker would have fascinated me in a mediative way!

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    • Sorry, of course I meant “meditative”
      I should really quit checking my spelling AFTER I send it off!

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  12. I’ve tried the same thing with my Promarkers. I’ve done a blog post on it: http://www.rainbowfingeredcrafter.WordPress.com and found it works quite well. I wondered if you could compare the real chameleon pens with the Promarkers and colorless blender method? Is there much difference?

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  13. Hi Lindsay 🙂
    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to you and your mother!!
    Thank you for your daily videos. You are one SUPER MOM!
    Take care.

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  14. I love my markers but then I don’t have any others as of yet. Fairly new so haven’t used them a lot yet. I don’t mind waiting to get the blend I want so they work for me.

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  15. Happy Mothers Day Lindsay and to all mothers out there.

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  16. I am collecting my alcohol markers a few at a time. I am using Shinhan markers right now. I wouldn’t have the patience to have to wait for the marker to go back to the lighter color so often. Thanks for a good review though.

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  17. I dont think they are for me .Too much time to wait. But I I liked the review. I had never heard of them before

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  18. I think these will be great for someone who is just starting out like me… I don’t have many markers, and I think this would make the collection much more versatile. Thanks for the review.

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  19. Thank you for the review.

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  20. Complete and total miss for me. I’ve seen a few demos on YouTube and I don’t like the variation or wait time that one gets by having to attach the blender. By the time I reached the color I wanted, (hopefully) it would seem as if the ink would definitely dry out that’s already on the paper. I’ll definitely stick with Copics.

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  21. Thanks so much for the demo — I had never heard of them. They’re interesting, but one of the few things you’ve tried I’m not inclined to buy. Would rather improve my Copic skills.

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  22. Hi! Great review. I am considering buying the set, as I only have Tombows….resisted the whole Copic etc. bit as I went off colouring! I have a few questions……the blending chamber appears to ‘live’ on the small nib end of the pen. Can you use it on this nib? Or does it somehow block itself off from this nib so no alcohol is wasted on that end, when you are not using it? (I hope I am making myself clear enough.)
    Does the blending pen pick up colour from the areas you use it over?
    When colouring, can you see the lines of each stroke? I couldn’t see them on the video, but then I thought it could just be my lousy eyes, LOL!
    Many thanks for your input; it has definitely clarified a lot for me.

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    • There is a cap between the blending chamber and the marker, they do not touch when scored. You can use it on either end. You will see lines at first but when the nib is used a bit it blends better (after about 30 seconds of coloring)

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  23. A price would be great pleasure and I live in the ACT Australia

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