Recently, I received a 12 color set of Kuretake Zig Wink of Stella Glitter Marker from Jetpens. Thank you, Jetpens.
Before I go any further, I want to explain that Kuretake also has a Zig Wink of Stella Brush pen. While the ink is the same as far as I can tell, the pens themselves are quite different. I’m reviewing the marker pens. I like both, but if you order, you’ll want to be sure you are getting the pen you expect.
Colors in set: black, brown, gold, silver, clear, violet, dark pink, pink, yellow, light green, green, blue.
Point size: 0.8 mm
Tip Material: Felt (Note: listed as felt, but looks like plastic to me)
Tip Type: Bullet
Ink: water-based pigment ink, acid-free, archival, Glitter-Infused
Body Material: Plastic
Length: Capped 13.9 cm (5.4 in), Uncapped 12.0 cm (4.7 in), Posted 15.5 cm (6.1 in)
Other colors available: Dark Green, Orange, Red
Look and Feel
The Wink of Stella (don’t you just love that name?) set of 12 comes in a clamshell that opens out so all the pens are within easy reach. I find it a bit difficult to get the pens out, but that’s a common complaint I have about clamshell packaging. I usually take the pens out and put them in a jar or tin. The fold over makes the packaging thicker, but smaller in overall size, thus taking up less storage space.
The pen is made from plastic and is very light. I’ve been having problems with a sore wrist, but still found these pens caused no strain.
The tip is listed as felt, but looks and feels like plastic to me. Either way, the ink goes down evenly. No real pressure is needed for a good flow.
The cap has no clip, merely a ridge to help prevent the pen from rolling. I doubt that many people would carry these pens in their pocket, but some might want to clip them to a folder. Not an option, in this case.
These are glitter pens, and do leave some glitter residue. It is not bad–not nearly as bad as using regular glitter. Still, these would not be safe for cards made for Operation Write Home, or anything sent to a soldier on active duty, since glitter can show up on night vision goggles (this holds true for any glitter medium).
The thing I found most baffling about this set was the choice of colors. There are two pinks and two greens, but no red or orange. The pinks are different and the dark pink skates on the edge of being red. But it isn’t. The clear ink would be nice on some occasions, but I doubt I’ll use it often. I’d much rather have had red and orange. It’s an easy fix. At $2.00 a piece, I’ll just buy my red and orange next time I order. I would have bought the pink and the clear if the situation were reversed. Still, I found the choice of colors puzzling.
The ink flow from these markers is even with good coverage. There is no smearing if working on paper. However, I did find that it smeared on a gesso’d surface, which is fairly common with many pens. There is some show-through, and minute dots of bleed-through, so you might not want to use the back of thin paper.
The glitter is not ‘in your face’ shiny. In some lights, the colors merely look like marker color. The colors stay the same, no matter how the light hits, but suddenly you’ll have a page full of sparkle. It gives a feeling of movement, almost like headlights running across the page.
It’s hard to scan or photograph, of course. I also found that the yellow and light green can be difficult to scan or photograph.
The glitter effect is subdued enough that you could use these markers for writing without causing strain on the eyes.
There is some show-through, though it isn’t bad with writing. I couldn’t get my scanner to show it at all, and had to use the camera to pick it
Thicker paper-Strathmore Vellum Bristol Cardstock 100 lb.
All the marker colors stand on their own. The pigment is deep and works especially well on a surface such as this vellum. The glitter effect isn’t always apparent, depending on the light.
The colors are self-shading, in that the second or third layers of the same color are dark enough to add some depth. The ink dries quickly with no smearing. This means that you’ll get the usual ‘marker streaky look’ when covering large areas.
The 0.8 mm tip is small enough to allow detail, but larger areas can be covered with some speed. It’s a good compromise size giving you flexibility in the way you use the pens.
The pens do have a flaw that is common to glitter media. All the colors have the same intensity, and because of the way the light refracts there is little sense of value.
You’ll notice that the example below seems cluttered and difficult to follow. There is a fix for this. I could have improved this piece but wanted to show you the difference.
Thin Paper - Maruman Pocket Croquis Sketchbook 24 lb.
The Maruman paper isn’t vellum, but it’s a cotton paper similar in texture, so the main difference is in the weight.
The show-through is darker with the heavy saturation of color and the thinner paper. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the back, but many would.
You’ll see there is much more of a feeling of depth with this drawing. Partly, this is because I used heavier shading. The silver in this set is a warmish gray that tends to tone down the other colors without changing them too much.
I also kept the page simpler, but there is still lots of color change. The use of squirkling, that scribbling effect, adds texture, and I used it to blend colors together. By avoiding the use of solid color throughout, I changed the intensity of some of the colors and made it easier for eye to view. This technique also helped with the ‘marker streaky look’. There are always trade-offs with any coloring medium–fast drying causes streaks; slow drying causes smearing. You can choose your medium to avoid issues that really annoy you, but learning to use a medium for what it is gives you so much more variety!
I’m quite pleased with these glitter marker pens. They fit the hand nicely, and the ink flows easily without pressure.
The pigment is clear and deep enough you can use these pens alone, though, as with all glitter pens, you do need to take some care not to overwhelm with the glitz.
You could also use these pens with other inks. The clear glitter could be used with any pen to add just a touch of elegance.
Disclaimer: I received this product for the purposes of this review. I received no further compensation and all opinions are my own.