Thursday, 31 May 2012

Kuretake Challenge 4: Red, White and Blue....with a bit of added BLING!

To celebrate the Queen's Jubilee we're going for a regal theme this month! So get creative with the colours of the Union Jack and add bit of Jubilee sparkle!

And this month we're opening up our challenge to all crafters!! We'd love to see ZIG pens used of course but it's not a requirement.

We're giving away a ZIG Memory System Starter Set and bundle of Basically Bare goodies to one lucky winner!

Good Luck!

Here's some inspiration from our Design Team...

using ZIG Waterbrush H20 & ZIG Fine & Chisel


using ZIG Clean Colour Real Brush

using ZIG Kurecolor alcohol markers, Wink of Stella and Scroll & Brush markers

using ZIG Writers  

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Spring Blooms Challenge - the winner!

We've used to pick our Spring Blooms Challenge winner!

And the winner is....

Well done Nikki, you've won £50 to spend in the Kuretake Shop!
Please email me to claim your prize.

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Design Team Tutorial: Queen Elizabeth II Warhol style by Jaine Drake

In the lead up to the Queens diamond jubilee celebrations I thought I'd share my Jubilee inspired journal pages and the process behind their backgrounds.

Firstly I was greatly inspired by this painting by Andy Warhol called "Queen Elizabeth II".  I wanted to recreate it in my journal in true Warhol style but putting my own slant on it.  

I created two different types of backgrounds, one in water colour and the other using alcohol inks. 

To make the background on the left, take a piece of glossy card stock and two colours of alcohol inks in red and violet, you'll also need a drinking straw.  Drop a small amount of ink onto the card and with the drinking straw, blow the ink about on the card. You need to work fairly quickly and in small areas as the ink dries very quickly. 

After a search on the internet for a suitable image of Queen Elizabeth, I downloaded it to my computer and changed it to black and white.  I re-sized the image and duplicated it 3 more times.  I did this in Photoshop but most photograph manipulating programs will do this. 
Print this out onto a sheet of ink jet printer acetate. Don't worry about the white parts of the image as anything white will just come out transparent. 

Use a Zig 2 Way Glue pen to add glue to the back of the image, add glue to the darker areas of the image but once this glue is dry it's totally transparent so you don't have to worry about seeing it through the transparency. 

To finish off I layered this onto a piece of black card and added some bunting taken from a CD of digital images by Sarah Hurley called Britannia. 

For the other page I used my ZIG Clean Color Real Brush pens but any of the ZIG water based pens will do the same thing.  

Scribble the colour onto an acrylic block or craft mat.  Spray with a little water and swipe a piece of white card through it. Do this as many times as you want until you get the depth of colour you like. 

Print out an image on a sheet of acetate as before.  This time I simply printed one large image.  Glue onto the background with the Zig glue and add some stamped crowns around the image.  I coloured these with my ZIG Wink of Stella pens but sadly it's not easy to capture the sparkle in a photo. A bit of stitching, some bling and more or Sarah Hurley's bunting finish the page. 

I hope you liked my little background tutorial and have a go for yourself. Whatever you do have a good Jubilee celebration. 


Friday, 4 May 2012

ZIG Cartoonist - Essential Tools for Drawing Manga: Sumi Ink and Accessories

This week we've been introducing the products from our new ZIG Cartoonist range. The final range we have to show you is the most authentically Japanese yet! Introducing our range of Japanese Sumi Inks, Brushes and Accessories - essential tools for drawing Manga.

Japanese Sumi Ink

Sumi Ink is an intense, smooth flowing, quick drying black ink – perfect for brush painting Manga and Comic artwork.

Kuretake started making Sumi Ink in Japan over 100 years ago, where it is still made today using traditional methods.

Japanese Brush pens

We also have a new Brush Pen, the No. 22, with refill cartridges that can be purchased separately.

Japanese Menso Brushes

Our Menso brushes are perfect for adding detail and outlining.

Japanese Pen Nibs and Holder

Dipping pens are used by most Manga artists in Japan.  Our new range of nibs allow for a variety of line thickness to be drawn.


4 different nibs available:
  • G-Pen
  • Saji- Pen
  • School-Pen
  • Maru-Pen

 ZIG Cartoonist White Ink

Our full range of ZIG Cartoonist is now in stock at the Kuretake Shop!

Interested in stocking ZIG Cartoonist in your store? Please contact our freindly sales team on +44 (0)1527 523799

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Introducing Kurecolor Fine & Brush Alcohol Markers for Manga... and a Twitter competition!

We're excited to introduce the newest addition to our Kurecolor range of alcohol markers - Kurecolor Fine & Brush!

Kurecolor Fine & Brush markers are double ended alcohol markers with a flexible brush tip on one end, and a fine tip on the other. 

Designed in Japan for Manga and Comic artists, these markers give a velvety smooth laydown of colour, amazing blending properties and are available in 135 colours plus a blender. 

RRP just £2.35 per pen!

Kurecolor Fine & Brush Blending Collections
Blending Collection sets of 12 -  Skintones, Hair & Muted and Sky & Ocean

Blending Collection sets of 5 , put together especially for crafters! Available exclusively at the Kuretake Shop.

    ZIG Cartoonist Kurecolor Fine & Brush set of 5 Denim Tones
  • Hair Tones
  • Greyscale
  • Sepia
  • Pink Tones
  • Denim
  • Ocean Tones

We sent master colourer Nikky Hall some Kurecolor Fine & Brush markers to try, she used them on the project below.  Take a look at her blog post to see what she thought of them!


We have 3 Kurecolor Fine & Brush Blending Collection sets of 5 to give away to 3 lucky Twitter followers!  Simply tweet us @Kuretake_ZIG telling us what your favourite ZIG pen is including the hashtag #ZIGCartoonist. We'll pick 3 lucky winners at random on Tuesday 8th May who will receive a Blending Collection each. Don't forget to follow us!

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

ZIG Cartoonist - our premier range of Japanese pens, inks, markers and accessories designed especially for Manga and Comic artists has arrived!


Our brand new ZIG Cartoonist range is now available!

ZIG Cartoonist is a new, premier range of authentic Japanese markers, liners, inks, and accessories specifically created for Manga and Comic Artists. 

This week we'll be introducing some of the new range to you! 


ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka pens are a range of pens designed for sketching and outlining. They are water- based pigment ink that is lightfast and smudge-proof.

Mangaka is available in a fineliner and a flexible fine tip.

Mangaka - Ultra smooth Fineliner

ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka fineliners are fine tip pens designed for outlining and sketching.  Great to use with alcohol markers!


Great for drawing; lettering; and journaling....

Mangaka Flexible

ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Flexible features a flexible tip that is great for all kinds of drawing and craft purposes.  The flexible brush tip allows you to create a range of thicknesses from just one pen.

The water-based pigment ink is light-fast and smudge proof

Available in Black or Sepia ink:

Available in Fine and Medium tips: 


Check out the full range at the Kuretake Shop!

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