Koi Water Brushes test drive

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Ever since I knew that Zentangle.com was selling gray Koi Brush Markers to CZTs as an alternative to the gray Fabrico Markers, I knew I had to try that brand. They wouldn't have started carrying it if they weren't worth it! 

This is my first tile shaded (almost) entirely with Koi Brush Markers. 

It CERTAINLY was a different experience than shading with my beloved Copics! Zentangle only offers the light cool gray, so I got the 6 pack gray markers on amazon, with 3 cool gray markers and 3 warm gray markers:

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

These markers are far more delicate and smaller than the Copics, so I had to adjust a little and get used to the size difference. 

The ink is nowhere as smooth as the Copics, as you can see from this sample, especially when applied over regular paper. The Koi ink feels far more like Tombow's water soluble markers, but the brush is a little more delicate and easy to use. 

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

However, fun watercolor-style blending can be achieved with a water brush, especially if used over thick paper such as a Zentangle tile. Here is the line-art with some initial shading:

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

I used a regular water brush to do the shading. I also tested the Koi blender, but didn't like the results as much as with the plain water, using a simple water brush. (Get a full set at amazon here). 

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

As you can see in the final tile below, the final results are not as smooth, but there is a sort of painterly feel to it that makes these markers very fun to work with. If you get only one marker, then get the WARM GRAY (not the light or the dark warm gray), which has a very fun medium gray tone, and can be diluted and blended with the water brush. 

 Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Learn how to create unbelievable Zentangle® shading • enioken.com

Overall, I would say YES to these markers, and I will try them again in the near future. The main advantages are two: the brush point is very fine and can produce very delicate strokes for corners and crevices; and the ink can be diluted and blended with water. 

The tangles used in this picture were: Quintau (Eni Oken), Nipa (Zentangle), Flukes (Zentangle) and Windfarm (Margaret Bremner).

Final note: Most of my product recommendations have affiliate links which give me commission on sales, at no additional cost to you! Just a little way to offset the cost of all these art supplies.... 

-Eni

Copyright 2016 Eni Oken