Archer and Olive Acrylograph Review

I feel like I have been promising this review for well over a year now but here is my Archer and Olive Acrylograph Review. Normally I save this for the supply list but I want to be very clear from the start. I am an Affiliate for Archer and Olive but, if you knew me and have been following me for a while, that speaks to how much I love the products and the company. But moving on to the Acrylographs. I have spent quite a while using these pens, and working with these pens, that I feel like I can give a fair review. You can catch the video here, otherwise, let’s get into it!

Archer and Olive Acrylograph Review

First Impressions

Knowing that I meant to do this review, I took note of my first impressions of the pens. They were also somewhat temperamental which wasn’t easy to forget. But let’s get going.

  • I love the minimal look of them with the touch of colour. Very reminiscent of the Mildliners in more aesthetic bullet journal Instagram posts.
  • The first set of pens that they released weren’t labelled which was fine, I made and added my own.
  • Even the initial colour range was amazing and, of course, they’ve only gone on to add more colours, which is one of my favourite parts of these pens! The colour range is unmatched!
  • The 0.7mm tip is fantastic for writing, lettering, and adding small details to a layout.
  • They take a while to activate. You have to shake for quite a while before the ink combines.
Archer and Olive Acrylographs

Getting More Familiar with Archer and Olive Acrylographs

As time went on, and I started using them more, I would run into issues with some tips blotching on the page, or ink free flowing out the sides. Sometimes the ink just wouldn’t flow through the nib at all. While frustrating, I still wasn’t ready to give up on the pens. The colours are too amazing to just cut my loses. I started trying different things and troubleshooting different ideas and I have since come to LOVE these pens!

The most important thing to remember about the Archer and Olive Acrylographs is that they are paint pens, and paint pens need a bit more care and attention than the average water-based or alcohol ink marker. And I was definitely being lazy about taking care of my pens. But thanks to my laziness and procrastination, I am able to share what I have learned with you!

Archer and Olive Paint Pens

Troubleshooting your Archer and Olive Acrylographs

The pen ink is wateryShake the barrel of the pen more
The pen isn’t activatingAfter shaking the pen, and pushing the nib, down, shake the pen some more (with the lid on) and gently keep pushing the nib down.
Ink isn’t flowing properlyIf you haven’t used the pen in a while (and never cleaned it after your last use), there may just be dried ink in the tip. Wash the tip with warm water until water runs clear
Pen tip is getting stuck in the barrelYou may have damaged the plastic nib. Replace the nib and be more gentle when activating the pen. (I also found the portion of the pen nib in the barrel to weaken the more I used it. Replacing the nib solved this problem)
Too much ink is flowing out of the penTwo possible resolutions:
1. There is dried paint in the pen tip where the ink is collecting and then spilling over. Cleaning the nib should resolve this
2. There may be damage to the inner part of the nib. Replace the nib
The ink appears to be separating Shake the barrel of the pen more
No ink is flowingTwo possible resolutions:
1. The ink has dried higher up in the nib, clogging at the base of the barrel. Clean the tip and it should work
2. If you have used the pen a lot, you may be out of ink
Pen is scratching the pageTwo possible resolutions:
1. Push down on the nib again to get more paint flowing
2. The tip is made up of think plastic pieces that can get bent if pushing too hard. When bent, they can scratch the page. Replace the tip.
Gently pushing down isn’t activating the inkDon’t be afraid to push a little harder. Don’t slam it into the surface (out of frustration :D), just push more purposefully to activate the ink
Out of plastic nibsYou get 2 or 3 extra nibs per pack. If you are out completely, contact the Customer Delight Team to send out new ones.
Ink splatters when writingEase up the pressure on the pen when you’e writing or drawing. You may just be applying a little too much pressure to the pen

I will keep updating this list as I come across any issues, but it comes down to 3 basic actions: shake, clean, replace!

I would struggle through, accepting that the pens were difficult to work with, but that’s not the case at all. Treating your pens carefully and cleaning them regularly* should solve most problems.

*When I say clean them regularly, I mean if you’re done using them for an extended period of time. Using them day to day, you should be fine not cleaning them. But if you’re done working on a project and don’t intend on using them again for a while, just rinse the nib and safely store.

It's Okay to Struggle But Don't Give Up Quote Page

Acrylograph Best Practises

  • As mentioned above, clean when storing for an extended period of time
  • Store Acrylographs lying flat, not upright. Otherwise ink can clog in the barrel
  • Don’t smash the nibs into the table surface. This can result in damage to the nibs
  • When removing nibs, keep pen barrel upright so that ink doesn’t flow out
  • When shaking pens to activate, make sure the cap is on as ink might go flying everywhere
  • Wait for first layer of paint to dry before applying a second layer
  • Make sure cap is securely fastened so that ink doesn’t dry out
Coffee Latte Tracker Layout

Acrylographs: Pros and Cons

I feel it’s only fair to include a pros and cons list. In full transparency, I am so familiar with these pens now that I have found workarounds for many of the cons (see the troubleshooting and best practices lists). So here you go!


  • Colour variety
  • Ink goes a long way (lasts quite a while)
  • Ink is creamier than a lot of other paint pens
  • Extra nibs included in every set
  • They often go on sale so you can build your collection
  • SO opaque!
  • Great for layering
  • Thin nib allows detailed work
  • Easy to blend


  • They are a luxury priced item (but they do have sales which is how I was able to build my collection)
  • They are paint pens so they can be temperamenta

My personal top 3 reasons for getting these pens:

  • They are so opaque, you can write on top of anything! I use them on top of Distress Oxide inks frequently and the colours pop!
  • The colour variety is amazing and so fun
  • The creaminess of the ink makes my lettering and doodles look so smooth, making it look like it has been printed on a computer

Archer and Olive Acrylograph Review Wrap Up

I hope you found this blog post helpful. I get so much joy out of using these pens that I want to make sure to share why, and how, these pens work and how magical they truly are. When it comes to reviews, I like to stay fairly neutral, unless I really love (or dislike), a product. In this case, I love these pens so much. They have become a staple for me when setting up my bullet journal. Like most things (and if you read my posts you know this hurts me more to say it than you to hear it), but you need to practice and get familiar with these pens. It’s the best way to really appreciate what they can do.

If you do decide to grab these, and there isn’t a sale at the time, you can use my code NML10 for 10% off your purchase. If you are making me choose my favourite set to get, you are asking me to choose among my children. Just joking! In terms of most used colours, I would say I use the Tropical set the most. Overall favourite colour palette (to date), is the Bewitched collection. The jewel undertones but more muted are my jam!

If you own some Acrylographs, let me know down below which set is your favourite. If you are having issues, reach out and let me know. I may have come across it and can update this post with more information.

Talk soon!


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