A few months ago, a little birdie (probably on Instagram) told me that Chameleon Markers were releasing a new product. Not one to resist the allure of innovation, I had to check it out, and found myself doing the unbelievable- backing an Indiegogo campaign.
I was a little hesitant at first- Indiegogo campaigns have a habit of dematerializing. However, Chameleon is an established company, so I figured it would be bad for business for them to take my money and run, so I decided to take a chance.
Surprisingly, Chameleon kept me updated throughout the campaign, and soon I received notification that my order was being processed. I was allowed to choose the color families I wanted, and I opted for Warm, Nature Tones, Cool, and Floral.
Whoops. My hand slipped. I tend not to back Indiegogo's because their TOS is different from Kickstarter- there are campaigns where the founder can keep any funds raised, regardless of reaching goal. Kinda hard to fulfill a project if you didn't raise enough funds, right?
I've complained privately for a few years that there's nothing new under then sun when it comes to alcohol markers. I've tested dozens of alcohol markers here on the blog and over on the channel, and they tend to fall into two categories:
Copic Like- Refillable, replacable nibs
Prismacolor Like- Not refillable, disposable
The cheap ones tend to have a bullet nib+cheap chisel nib rough hewn from fiber, the nicer ones tend to have a bullet nib+nicer chisel nib (Prismacolor), or a brush nib (either fiber or foam rubber) with some variant of the bullet nib or chisel nib. Rinse and repeat this equation over dozens of markers, and you have one burnt out art supply reviewer.
Chameleon markers aren't new- I reviewed them in 2015 here on the blog. The Color Tops are new, and one of the biggest innovations I've seen in marker technology since Chameleons rolled onto the market. Chameleons were already pretty innovative- there's a blender right in the cap that allows you to do seamless blends from colorless blender to full saturated color. I found this a difficult technique to master, as it's the opposite of how I'm used to using alcohol markers, but I've seen younger artists use it to great effect. Recently Chameleon launched their Color Tops- which allow to seamless color to color transitions.
To me, this is a HUGE innovation. I'd found the original Chameleons a bit gimmicky, but Chameleon has found a way to really shake up how artists and crafters use alcohol markers. As I sunk money into not only the color tops, but the 30 additional color set, I swore that this time, I'd learn how to use these markers properly.
Markers have always been the most popular topic on this blog- the more I compare a marker to Copic markers, the better that post seems to do. And while I've moved the majority of my marker reviews over to YouTube (it's just easier to talk while I test, rather than keeping notes), I wanted to make sure my blog fans knew about my Chameleon revival. I plan on doing several posts on Chameleon markers and Color Tops, multiple videos, and even some backer exclusive content once I have these markers mastered.
Oh hey! These Chameleon Color Tops were purchased using funds raised through my Patreon! Enjoy my marker reviews? Become an artnerd over on Patreon for just $1 a month, and help fund future reviews and tutorials! Backers get goodies like early access videos, backer exclusive content, and even art assets and comics!
Chameleon Color Tops Unboxing
In this set:
- 30 Markers in this set
- Spare nibs for bullet, brush, and infusing chamber
- Helpful Tips Booklet
- Replaceable nibs
- Colors Also Sold Openstock
Chameleon Markers are available in:
- color families of 5
- set of 20
- additional set of 30
- Complete set of 52 (includes blender and detail pen)
Where to Buy:
Blick- $4.79 Openstock
Refills are sold through all three sites.
Skintones: NU0, NU00, NU2, NU4, BR1
Browns: BR3, BR4
Blues: BG1, BG3, BL2, BL4, BL7
Greens: GR1, GR2, GR4
Reds: RD2, RD3, RD5
Neutrals: NG4, CG5, CG9, WG3, WG7, BK4
Violets/Purples: BV2, V02
Pinks: PK2, PK4, PK5
Other Chameleon Products:
Color Tones Color Pencils
Chameleon Marker Tops
- 5 colors per color family
- 10 Families- Blue, Pastel, Cool, Earth, Gray, Skin, Floral, Warm, Nature, Primary
- Available in sets, does not seem available openstock yet
- Funded through Indiegogo and Kickstarter initially
- Each color family of tops comes in a plastic case
- Cases interlock
The Sets I Purchased
Cool-BL3, BV4, BG4, VO4, PR4
Floral- PK2, PK4, PK5, BV2, VO2
Warm- OR3, YO2, RD5, RD3, RD2
Earth- GR4, GR2, GR1, BR3, BR1
Where to Purchase:
Chameleon Marker and Chameleon Marker Top Overview and Demonstration
Photos from the Unboxing:
Color Tops and Additional Colors
I have to say this for Chameleon--any sets they offer come in reusable boxes. The 5 color sets come in plastic boxes, the 30 Additional Colors come in a beautiful, sturdy black cardboard box that even includes a shoulder strap. The box even folds into an easel! In that regard, Chameleon markers are beautifully designed.
Inside are two informational pamphlets, and a small cardboard box.
And inside the box are spare nibs for the bullet, brush, and infuser, and a small pair of specialized tweezers.
Top: Chameleon Tweezers
Bottom: Copic Tweezers
Top: Replacement brush nib
Bottom: Replacement nib for the Infusing Chamber
The exterior packaging (which is intended to be thrown away) includes all colors inside, including color families.
And the back details everything included in this box.
The cardboard box that contains these markers is very sturdily built.
Watch the below video for information on how to turn the Chameleon Color Tone Marker box into an easel.
Demonstrating the Chameleon Box
Individual color family cases come unmarked, so I hacked together a solution for that!
Labeling Your Color Tops
Looking for swatches? Keep an eye on this blog- those will be coming soon!