Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Illustration demo with Chameleon Marker Pens

I posted this video last week on my Facebook wishing all my Muslim friends Happy Hari Raya and many asked me what materials I used and how long I took to make it.

Actually the concept was thought of a week beforehand and the drawing took slightly more than an hour to complete. However learning how to use iMovie on my smartphone, selecting free music from YouTube music library and then figuring out how to transfer the music took like a whole day...

Illustration demo Chameleon Markers pen
I first used a Japanese disappearing ink pen to sketch on a shikishi board (Japanese art board that you can buy 3 for SG$2 at Daiso). Then I used a waterproof pigment ink 0.8 to do the outlines. You can use any brands, as long as it says waterproof.

Illustration demo Chameleon Markers pen
Next I use Chameleon markers (actually they call it pens) to colour the drawing. The set comes with a black ink pen but I found it too thin.

Illustration demo Chameleon Markers pen
Many wondered how I can get gradation from light to dark with one marker. You can do so by connecting the marker tip to the blender cap (though they called it a mixing chamber) to lighten the colour. In my previous YouTube video and review, a few trolls kept insisting that I used it the wrong way. So here I will emphasise that I had used it correctly: THE MIXING CHAMBER SHOULD BE AT THE TOP (as seen from their pamphlets). The brown marker that I had used in my first impression demo video was faulty. Chameleon sent me a replacement afterwards that works fine.

Illustrating with Chameleon Markers pen
This is the finished illustration. If you use a smooth marker paper, you will be able to get a better blend than working on shikishi paper with rough absorbent surface.

What I like about the markers:

  • Able to achieve gradation using one marker.
  • Do not need to spend money to purchase more colours and tones.

What I don't like about the markers:

  • Have to wait for the colour to blend.
  • Not sure how long the light tone will last.
  • Cannot colour large area with light even tone.

I would say if you illustrate for crafts (like greeting cards/ scrapbooking) or if your illustrations don't have much background to colour, you can totally consider buying the deluxe set with 22 colours and that is all you pay and can get gradation at the same time. However, if you want to work fast, prefer even tones and have large area of light tones to colour, I would still recommend COPIC.

You can buy the Chameleon pens in Singapore from:  http://www.overjoyed.com.sg/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=chameleon

For everywhere else, you can check their website:


  1. Hi I have some questions, First, are they smooth when using? Im a interior design student, i have to do a lot of rendering with markers, are they nice?

    1. I would not recommend these markers if you want to reproduce the exact colour tones. Also it is not good for mixing colours as you cannot control the tone overlapping with another marker. These markers are only good for illustrative purpose within small areas of coloring area.

      Also for interior design I would presume you use more chisel-type markers and not brush types and hence COPIC is better for your purpose. Hope that helps!



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