Yummy markers but are they worth the hype?

Hi friends! I have another marker review for you tonight. I was requested to try out the highly popular Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens by a viewer. As luck would have it Hallmark Scrapbook just got them in stock and asked if I wanted a set to play with, I love it when the crafty stars align! I am a bit of marker junkie so I always jump at the chance to try something new and with so many options available there is truly something for everyone. I am going to compare these markers to many of the popular brands. I forgot to try a tombow (one of my favorites) but I did after the fact and it blended about the same as a Whispers or LePlume marker. I left out Stampin Up! markers because I only own one and I bought it 10 years ago and while it still works it was pretty ragged…oh and it was red so it would not be a fair comparison as red is hard color to lift. SU! makes a fine marker though. Curious about these markers? Watch the video review!


As you can see I really liked these markers, but I think if you want to do any journaling or using the marker to ink up a stamp you will be better off with Spectrum Aquas because you get more for your money with them. I think the tips on the Kuretake pens will be longer lasting because they have real bristles instead of a felt tip brush end. I think they must have a marker pad on the inside because they do not leak, nor do you hear swishing of ink if you shake them. You can get a smoother blend by using a watercolor blending marker but I like the painterly look of the water-brush, to each her own. What do you think? Are you going to give these a try or stick with the watercolor markers you have. Let me know in the comments! Happy crafting!

PS I shipped all of my jewelry grab bags (sold out sorry) today and all USA orders should be received by Thursday! Thanks so much for your orders! Now I have room to make more jewelry, woohoo!

Grab bags sold out and shipping today! #thefrugalcrafterlindsayweirich

A photo posted by Lindsay Weirich (@lindsayweirich) on

25 Responses

  1. I would absolutely KILL to get my hands on these markers!!! I have become obsessed with watercoloring and this is the third or fourth review I have seen and am mesmerized!! If you know of anyone who wants to buy a kidney I will sell one for a set of these markers!! Just sayin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Are either the Zig or Spectrum markers refillable?


  3. I appreciate the review and comparison. It’s good to remind ourselves to choose a new product only when it adds value. Thanks for helping us use our crafting dollars wisely.


  4. I just invested in the Spectrum Aquas, so I’m going to pass on these. I have a few of the Distress markers, a set of the Marvy markers and am slowly building my collection of Copics.


  5. I think I’ll stick with my aqua markers, especially since I’m a lousy artist and only use then to color stamped images and coloring pages. You, in the other hand, are an artist and have a true appreciation for the brush tip.

    I also have problems with my distress markers. The bullet nip barely puts out any color. And when I apply color direct to paper I have a horrible time getting it to blend; I always see the line I drew in. Now that I have the aqua markers I rarely use my distress but occasionally scribble it onto a block and pick it up with a water brush. This helps fill in my color palette until I can get more spectrum noir aqua markers!

    Thanks for the review!


  6. Morning to you Lindsay! one of your biggest fans Love the tutorials very helpful my art has gotten so much better/also I made some of those bracelets and my family friends Love them too so cheers! it’s wet here was enjoying the warm weather!
    then typical uk wet again LOL drinking tea and just reading what’s new on your Blog. BTW the markers look awesome I use aqua markers got those at a bargain price of £2.50 amazon/uk is great prices
    for a set of 8 pretty good value!
    your the frugal crafter🙂 Grace from facebook


  7. Hi Lindsay,

    Thanks for trying out the Kuretake markers for us!

    I like the brush tip on these markers and will definitely put them on my birthday list. I already have the W&N watercolor markers but as they are so expensive I don’t want to carry them around with me outdoors. I’m also glad you mentioned the 24-set should be large enough, I tend to buy the largest set possible because it’s cheaper than adding extra colors later. I bet it would be possible to mix colors by letting the tips touch for a while similar to how you showed us on another video (Chameleon Color Tone Pens ) as I know you can clean watercolors off water-brushes well enough between different colors.

    I wonder if you ever tried out the Pentel Color Brush? They are kind of like a fountain pen with a synthetic brush and you can get them in all kinds of colors. I am not sure if the ink is water-soluble though, I think it isn’t and it might be useful if you want to add watercolors later without messing everything up. I also wonder if one could mix colors without messing up the brush tips, if the kind of ink makes a difference, I mean. I’d like to know what you think about them.


  8. I’ve had it with markers altogether! My Bic ones don’t blend well and some of the Spectrum Noir markers that I bought were dried out when I got them and the rest of them are now dried out. I’ve wasted enough money — going to paint with my Distress inks from now on.


    • I have Stampin up markers, the spectrum noir aquas and a few ,Tombow and Memento and Distress . haven’t tried them yet. appreciate this review. Don’t think I’ll add to my collection at this point. I keep swearing to use what I have and then something new comes along and I can’t resist. This is one I’ll resist for awhile.


    • I had that problem with my Spectrum Noir markers so I bought a container or Denatured Alcohol at the hardware store and used an eyedropper to add alcohol to my pens. You can pull out the chisel tip to do this and now they are better than new. That is why they changed the design from the square to the round, everyone was having this problem. If you have not tossed them out try that:)


  9. Hi Lindsay! Thanks for another very helpful review. The ZIG Clean Color Real Brush pens sound just perfect for me! I don’t have many markers and can think of so many wonderful ways to use them. I ordered the 24 set… and they will arrive tomorrow. Can’t wait! Perhaps you could do a watercolor video using these pens. It’s my dream to learn to paint the Spring flowers in my garden! ♡


  10. Hi Lindsay!
    Thanks for reviewing these- they really do look yummy!

    I have a set of Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens that look very similar. They have the same brilliant colors and nylon bristle brush tips, but the whole line is only 20 colors. I think they’re a little bit less expensive than the Kuretakes – mine came from JetPens…
    I really like blending my water based markers with a water brush. Some of the inks separate into different tones, making lively, textured washes. A little bit unpredictable – but that’s how I like my art🙂
    I would love a 60 color set of these, but since I have 20 of the
    Akashiya Sai pens already, plus some Tombows, I’ll save my pennies for now.


  11. I am loving the marker reviews! Thank you so much. Have you seen a new brand called Infinity? I would love to see a review of those if you are able.


    • I just loooked them up, what a bargain, maybe the bigbox stores have them, I’ll try to pick up a pack.


  12. What are your thoughts on watercolor papers? Specifically, weight, cold press vs hot press, brands ie.. Bienfang, Strathmore, Canon. Thanks for your input!


    • For stamping hot press is my fave, Bristol is good if you can’t find hotpress wc paper. Strathmore 400 series or Montville by Canson is good. I laos like th 50 and 75 sheet pads of Fabriano studeo, they are the best deal I have found for good paper!


  13. Howdy Lindsay, I watched this video and right afterwords, I went to Hallmark scrapbook and ordered the Zig 24 set. I have all the Spectrum noir sets. Pens, Aquas, watercolor pencils. I guess I am a color junkie my self.
    I am going on vacation in 8 days. I hope I will get the Zigs before I go. Oh, I also told them to thank you Lindsay! The beautiful Queen of frugal crafting for my order. 😇
    I live all the way across the United States from you. Seattle, Washington. Oh, BTW awile back you did a video on shaker cards. I had to buy the Umbrella! Seattle is known for rain. We wear shorts, socks and sandals here.
    l thought that might give ya’all a good chuckle. Thank you for all your very precious time. You are one remarkable lady. Have a great day ya’all.
    Patti Jo


  14. oh boy! I have a marker addiction and I’ve been eyeing these! Thanks so much for the review. Do you think there’s a way to refill these?


  15. Thank you for the share! That notebook – what is it?


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