I have compared 45 different papers for markers. I have not included 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 for the somewhat thicker marker paper (110-120 g/m2)
I started with some small samples to se color saturation and value, bleeding and feathering.
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.
I especially wanted to test the blending and layering abilities. With blending I mean that I work wheat in wheat, and with layering I let the ink dry before I put another layer on top.
Before I started my drawing I wrote down the name of the brand on 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 found that this only works if you compare two or three of them. When you compare many items (as I have done earlier; I compared 30 markers, and now I compare a lot of papers) 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 use the same subject (in this case, one girl stood model for all drawings). I also chose to use the same colors for the face and hair on every drawing.
Molotow Marker Pad 120 gsm
This paper is possible to get in a sketchbook (in three sizes), as well as in pads, also available in three different sizes. The different pads are A4 size in landscape or portrait format and an A3 landscape format.
The paper is quite dull and it feels rather cheap, like paper from a child book. It has visible lines, which you also can feel. The color of this paper is almost totally grey. The back and front seems to be the same, so it doesn’t matter which side you draw on.
With some difficulty I did find that you could use this paper with a good end result. But I felt like the paper was fighting me all the way. The ink didn't want to blend, so I worked in layers instead, which made a difference. There are no feathering or bleeding, which is a good thing.
All colors also look milky and light on this paper, and many becomes very grainy.
The black ink didn't want to stay on the paper. It was very odd. The black also gave a strange shine even though all other colors become very matt. I have used exactly the same markers on all my drawings, so I know that it was not the marker. Copic looks worse than any other marker I tried (I have not tried all my markers though). So if you are a Copic user, I would not recommend this paper.
The ink will bleed through to the next page. The downside of bleeding is however easy to overcome by putting a paper you don't value underneath.
Conclusion: It is possible to do something good on this paper, but it will fight you – therefore I would not recommend it.
|Color samples on Molotow marker paper|