Tuesday 6 January 2015

Review - Chameleon blending pens

Over Christmas I've been trying out some cool new colouring pens - Chameleon Color Tones blending pens. These pens are a refillable alcohol based marker system. They have a mixing chamber fitted into the pen itself which allows you to change the colour tone of the pen and produce blends of colour. Each pen also has two nibs, a firm bullet nib and a softer brush nib which allows you to paint with the pen.

Chameleon blending colouring pens review

There are twenty colours available in the range, with more colours planned for the future, and they are sold in packs of five. You can also purchase the pens individually. A pack of five pens is priced at £24.99, and I received a Pastel Tones Set to try. The pen colours in my set are Bisque, Cool Gray, Fawn, Bubble Gum and Warm Sunset.

To change the colour of the pens, you insert the nib into the mixing chamber so that it touches the colour changing nib. It's important to hold the pen vertically so that the toning medium can be absorbed by the nib, and I found that you need to hold it in place for around ten seconds. You can see the colouring nib lighten slightly in colour to help you judge when it is ready. When you start colouring with the pen, to begin with the colour will be very pale, and then it will gradually darken. The time it takes to darken will depend on how long the pen was in the mixing chamber.

Chameleon blending colouring pens review

You do need to practice with the pens a bit to get to know them and to learn how to achieve an even blend. Here are some of my first attempts using the Warm Sunset pen alongside some of my other felt tips. As you can see, some of my blends have worked better than others, but when I've got it right I think it looks fantastic.

Chameleon blending colouring pens review

I found that the brush nib worked much better and was easier to infuse with the toning medium, as well as being more pleasant to use. The technique involved is a lot like painting, as the ink is quite wet, and you can go back over areas that you have already coloured to rework them and improve the colour blend.

I found that the pastel coloured pens in this selection are very pale anyway, so the gradations in the colour were a bit too subtle. My favourite colour was the Warm Sunset as it was quite dark and the colour change effect was more pronounced, I think that the mixing effect would be even better with the darker coloured pens.

Chameleon blending colouring pens review

I made a little video while I did some colouring in with all the pens in this pack. I don't claim to be an expert and I know that I need a lot more practice to really improve the blending technique, but I think that the video gives a pretty good idea of the way that these pens work. 

If you use colouring pens in your art, for example to colour stamped images for card making (check that the ink you are using is compatible with alcohol based markers), or for creating original pieces of art, then I'd definitely recommend giving these pens a try.

By the way, the images that I've been colouring with the pens in the video and photos above are from my new 'grown up' colouring book Feel Good Colouring which has been keeping me busy over the last couple of weeks!

I received a pack of five Chameleon pens in exchange for this review. Amazon links are affiliate.


  1. These pens look great so thanks for this. I have recently discovered adult colouring through a friend and I am looking for different materials to use hence the reason I stumbled upon your review when searching Google.

    1. Thank you for your comment, they are really lovely pens!


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