REVIEW: Zebra Pen Mildliner Double-Ended Highlighter Pens

Huh? What? Highlighter pens? Aren’t those what you use to color selected text for later reference? Well, yes. You can use Zebra Pen Mildliner highlighters for that, but you can use them for so much more. They’re great for journaling, calligraphy and decorative art.

Zebra Pen Mildliner Creative Marker Set

Before we start, let me inform you that I am a Zebra Ambassador. That means I get free product from Zebra pen for my use and giveaways. Zebra pens is happy when I do a review, but did not ask for one. I like these Mildliners, and feel they might be of interest to many who wouldn’t otherwise know about them. I’ll do my best to show the pros and cons, and let you decide if they do interest you.

Zebra Pen Mildliner – Look and Feel

Closeup of Zebra Pen Mildliner Pens

These Mildliners have fiber tips. They come in two versions.  Both are double-ended with a fine bullet tip on one end, but the tips differ on the other end (more about that later)

Their ink is translucent, water-resistant ink (once dry), acid-free, archival, and AP certified non-toxic. It dries almost immediately.  There are 25 colors, grouped in sets of like color — Fluorescent, Cool & Refined, Warm, Refresh-Bright, and Friend.

Zebra Pen Mildliner Double-Ended Highlighter Chart

The colors are Mild Pink, Mild Orange, Mild Yellow, Mild Blue, Mild Blue Green, Mild Green, Mild Dark Blue, Mild Gray, Mild Violet, Mild Red, Mild Smoke Blue, Mild Vermillion, Mild Gold, Mild Magenta, Mild Brown, Mild Fuchsia, Mild Marigold, Mild Citrus Green, Mild Summer Green, Mild Lavender, Mild Lemon Yellow, Mild Apricot, Mild Coral Pink, Mild Cyan, Mild Dark Gray.

The fiber tips are self-cleaning.  That means if you use a light color over a darker one, you simply run the tip over paper until the darker color is gone.  Eventually, the lighter tips may stain, but the color will stay pure.

One of the things I don’t like about the labeling is that it is in Japanese.  I wish I could read it — that would be cool.  As it is, it isn’t easy to match colors with names, which is why I’m using a pre-printed color chart instead of making one of my own for this review.  However, I’ve never had a problem using the colors.  I just don’t know for sure what the official name is for the particular color I’m using.

Brown and gray might not be colors you normally think of for highlighters, but they add dark to the range.  Forget highlighters you just highlight with. You’ll be able to create art with these markers!

Nothing is perfect. Like all fiber tips, using these markers on textured paper such as cold press or rough watercolor paper, could cause the tips to fray. And like most highlighters, the ink will show or bleed through if the paper is thin.  This kind of marker works best with smooth, coated papers that are at least 140 lb.

The Differences

What’s the difference between the two versions of Mildliner?

The important difference is that one type has a broad chisel tip and the other has a flexible brush tip. Both have the same fine bullet tip at the opposing end.

The caps look different so it’s easy to tell which is which. The chisel tip has a solid cap while the brush tip cap is clear.

Zebra Pen Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter & Creative Tool

Specs:

  • Weight: .02 lbs
  • Size .01 x .02 x .05 in
  • Tips: bullet and chisel (aka fine and broad)

The chisel tip allows you to make broad lines and thick strokes.  The bullet tip allows you to create fine lines and is great for lettering.

Zebra Pen Mildliner Double Ended Brush Pen

Zebra Pen Mildliner Brush Pen Tip Example

Specs

  • Weight: 1 lbs
  • Size: 5.5 x .5 x .5 in
  • Tips: brush and chisel (aka superfine/fine and broad)

The flexible brush tip gives you lines from super-thin to broad and allows those sweeping curves so important to fancy calligraphy and decorative artwork.  You can draw varied width lines and go from barely there to wide flowing strokes.

Performance

These are the pens I grab when I want to draw something vibrant, translucent and most important – quick.

There’s no doubt that they are great for journaling, bullet journaling and decorative lettering.

But I love using these markers for artwork.  Often, when I’m not feeling terribly creative, I’ll create backgrounds, just layering the colors, creating shapes and stripes and letting the color flow.

Then later, I’ll use them to doodle or tangle on.

I will warn you that these markers can smear the ink in some pens, especially if it is not allowed to dry for long enough. Some pens won’t draw over the dried Mildliner colors. The moral to this is, always test first.

Zebra Pen Mildliner High Contrast color examples glow effect

The colors are so transparent, they often create a glow, especially when you use those darks in contrast to the lighter colors.

 Quick sunset/sunrises are another favorite of mine on non-creative days. The Mildliners are perfect for this, and I can whip out a sunset postcard in 10-15 minutes.

The ink dries rapidly so, like most markers, you get streaks when you overlap one line over another.  The streaks will disappear if you keep coloring over them.  Or you can make use of them for texture.

Zebra Pen Mildliner Painterly Drawing Example

These colors are excellent for abstracts, but those gray, brown and violet colors give you darks and that allows more realistic, stylized works.

Drawing Painting Example using Zebra Pen Mildliner

I mentioned earlier that the ink in these Zebra Pen Mildliners is water-resistant. Water-resistant is not waterproof.  So if you take a very damp brush, you can spread the ink just like watercolors.  I use a waterbrush, one of those brushes with water in the barrel, squeeze out some water onto a towel, and that seems to work just right.

Most of this painting was done using the pens as usual.  Afterwards, I softened the snow and parts of the trees with the damp brush.

I used masking fluid to keep areas white for the snow. The Mildliners work fine over masking fluid.

Overall

Zebra Pen Mildliner Highlighters certainly give you a wide range of colors for highlighting, bullet journaling and underlining.  They are also excellent for calligraphy, abstract art, and even more realistic drawings.

The ink is vibrant and translucent, water-resistant, acid-free, archival, AP certified non-toxic and dries quickly.

Tools

Disclaimer: I am a Zebra Ambassador I received no other considerations, though this post contains affiliate links which help support Doodlewash. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in Art Supply Reviews
18 Comments
  1. JA Wilson 10 months ago

    Always great new toys!

  2. Mugdha 10 months ago

    Hello Ms. Sandra,

    Thank you for a very detailed and super informative review as always! Some of the paintings you’ve shared look so amazing I couldn’t believe they had been done with pens meant for highlighters. Thanks so much! And wish you and your family a very Happy, Healthy, Safe and Miraculous 2021! I look forward to reading many more of your reviews in the coming year. 🙂

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 10 months ago

      Thank you so much, Mugdha! I look forward to, and always appreciate your kind comments!

  3. Laura Hale 10 months ago

    Thank you Sandra for your review. Very informative, we appreciate that as always.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 10 months ago

      Thanks a million, Laura. I appreciate your kind words!

  4. Mary Roff 10 months ago

    Nice review, Sandra! The midliners look like fun!!!

  5. Pat Boglio 10 months ago

    now I want to try them.

  6. Marisela Delgado 10 months ago

    Hola, Sandra! Wow, what beautiful pens! I do rubber stamping and I could totally use these to color my images! What gorgeous colors! How do we sign up for your giveaway?
    Happy New Year, Sandra! May you have a fabulous year!

    • Marisela Delgado 10 months ago

      Found it! Just signed up for your giveaway! 🎉🎉🎉

      • Author
        Sandra Strait 10 months ago

        Thank you for your comments and good luck with the giveaway!

  7. Zoie McIntyre 10 months ago

    Ah .. this is where I should have posted. Thank you so much for this post Sandra. As I said .. I have Christmas money to spend and I think some of it will be spent on some highlighters. 😉

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 10 months ago

      Thank you, Zoie! I can’t wait to see what you do with these pens!

  8. Krisztina Kaman 10 months ago

    I love these highlighters. They have such a beautiful colour. I need to get another set heat has the purple in it. 😂 I got a six colour set and absolutely love it for journaling. It took me a while to learn how to use it though. One, maximum two layer enough as these puppies eat the journal paper if I apply more layer.

    • Author
      Sandra Strait 10 months ago

      Thank you, Krisztina! You can layer more on some papers, but then have to be careful that you don’t damage the nibs. The colors are so beautiful that it’s well worth taking time to learn what work!

  9. Nellie Nellie 10 months ago

    Sandra, Happy Hope-filled New Year! What lovely and fun works plus a great article! I love my other Zebra pens, will check these out when I replace some others. 🤗

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