I have compared 45 different papers for markers. I have not included any papers that are not specified for markers by the company that produce them. It is not uncommon that an art store will market a paper as a marker-paper but if you look at the brands homepage they are not label as a marker paper. But with that said, a lot of other kinds of paper can work very well with markers, for example watercolor paper (even though they will “eat” the ink in the marker a lot faster than any other paper). I also tried some Japanese sumi-e paper with good and interesting result. I might write more about that in the future. For now, this is a marker paper review.
The theory and method
I will start with a group of eight papers, the very thin paper for layout. I categorized the thin layout paper as being between 45 g/m2 and 65 g/m2.
Since it is layout paper and not drawing paper for final work, I will not test them to harshly on properties as blending capacity or layering capacity. It isn´t after all what the paper is meant to be.
I started with some small samples to se color saturation and value, bleeding and feathering to mention some of the things I look for. However, I am a firm believer in working the paper as you normally would, to be able to fully understand the potential the paper has, so I decided to do a drawing on every paper.
Before I started my drawing I wrote down the brand name of the paper. I then covered the name so I wouldn't se which paper I was working on. I wanted it to be a blind test.
I have earlier tried to do the exact same drawing but find that that is only working if you compare two or three items. When you compare many items (as I did; I compared 29 markers) the chances are huge that the first couples of drawings are a less good than the following (because you are learning) and the last ones are pretty bad because it get so monotonous that it is very difficult to do a good job. At least that is true for me. I therefore chose to draw every drawing different but in the same manner and the same subject (in this case, one girl stood model for all drawings). I also chose to use few colors so that the face would have the exact same colors. I did the skin on every paper before moving on to the hair since it where easier to compare the paper in that way. I let myself have the freedom to use different hair colors after that.
|Copic manga paper|
Copic Manga illustration paper
This is an acid free 65 g/m2 A4 sized paper that comes in 30-sheet packs. They are available in natural white (which are a 130 g/m2 paper) or pure white (which this is). On the backside there is an illustration that you can copy and color in.
The paper has a dull feeling to the touch. It has a slight yellow tint. The front side and the backside are the same, but they actually feel and react as a typically backside, both of them. The paper bleeds through on to the surface underneath almost immediately. This is however not a huge problem since it is easy to handle by putting a paper you don't value underneath.
|The backside with an illustration|
The colors (in comparison to the other brands) are uneven and very grainy. The ink will easily feather out. The colors look lighter in comparison to other brands, this can be good if you want a lighter color, but it can be difficult to get darker values. The ink resisted the paper a little bit. The paper did not take more then one layer before puddles of ink showed up.
Conclusion: I think this is a very poor paper.
|A drawing made on copic manga paper|
|Copic manga samples|