These Special Pens Let You Get a Huge Range of Color From a Single Marker Tip

If you're an aspiring illustrator looking to add some awesome new tools to your arsenal, you may want to invest in a set of Chameleon Color Tone Pens.

These Chameleon markers are special because of the mixing chamber included in each pen, which allows every colored pen to achieve various tones of the same color. With this technique, we were able to color in the adorable chameleon art below.

Chameleon Pens chameleon drawing

Each colored pen is double-sided, with a soft brush nib on one side and a bullet nib on the other. While the brush end is better for coloring bigger images, the bullet nib is good for details and drawing.

Chameleon pens soft brush nib

When you uncap the bullet nib side you'll notice that this end of the pen houses the mixing chamber full of the toning medium that will allow you to temporarily lighten the color of the pen.

Chameleon pens bullet nib

To actually achieve these multiple tones from the pen, you remove both caps and have your preferred nib gently touch the white nib inside the mixing chamber, holding the pen vertically with the toner medium on top. The longer you let it soak, the longer the gradient will last. Using this technique to create gradations, you can add depth, highlights and shading to your drawings.

Chameleon pens blending chamber

If you're still confused, check out this video to see how it's done.

If you use them on nice card stock or illustration board paper—rather than typical drawing or printer paper like we did—you'll get better results blending, but how you draw with these pens is really up to you. If you do use regular paper, be sure to layer because these pens will bleed through.

Here's a quick showing of the kind of color gradation you can get with the soft brush nib.

chameleon pen soft brush nib pink

And here's what we got using the toning chamber with the bullet nib.

chameleon pen bullet nib gradient blue

Our set of Chameleon Pens came complete with 52 markers—including a black detail pen with .4mm and .6mm tips as well as a double-sided colorless blender—plus accessories including extra nibs and tweezers for replacing them. At $225, it's certainly not an inexpensive set of markers, but if you've always dreamed of creating perfectly blended pieces of art with multiple tones, it might deserve a spot at the top of your birthday wish list.

Chameleon pens box open with pens

The set also comes with a lid, transforming it into a great carrying case. Unfortunately, this sets the markers in an upright position, which isn't recommended by the manufacturers because it can cause the ink in the pens to settle. The pens should be stored horizontally, so don't forget to set the case down after transporting it.

Chameleon pens box

Not everyone should buy a set of Chameleon Pens. If you're just a casual colorer, you'll probably want to pass on them, as the thick ink will bleed right through your favorite coloring books. If you're a more advanced artist but they don't fit within your budget (the five-pen sets start at $26.99), they're not a necessity. But if you've been saving up for a special set of supplies for your art toolkit, Chameleon Pens just might be a game-changer.


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