Canson Illustration


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 thicker marker paper

I started with some small samples to se color saturation and value, bleeding and feathering. On thicker paper it is common to se colors becoming milky as well.

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.

Canson Illustration bought in San Diego

Canson illustration        250 g/m2

Canson is a France company that has produce paper since 1557.

This paper I available in A4 or A3 pad (21x29,7 cm and 29,7x42 cm). It is acid free.  

I have two different pads but I am convinced that it is the same paper. I get the impression that one is intended for the US market and the other one for the European market. Both are called “illustration” but are available in different sizes and have different design on the cover.

Canson Illustration
bought in Sweden
This is a different paper among the marker papers. It has a visible grain (which no other marker paper has). The surface feels a bit dull. the white has a slight yellow tone.

The front and the back on the paper feels different; the back is smoother then the front.  

On the samples I made the colors look very grainy, but the colors look great on the drawing.  It is if the paper doesn’t take one layer of ink well, but many makes the paper work wonders.

All thicker paper takes more ink than thinner paper, but this paper eats ink.  

On all of the thicker paper that I have tried, markers behave differently than on the thinner marker paper. Even if all markers change in value on all kinds of paper, the problem is more obvious on thicker paper. The value changes are more than just one degree. Vibrant colors usually stay true, but darker colors can loose a lot.  On Canson paper all colors stay more true to their original colors than on any other thicker paper I have tried. This property and the fact that the paper does not feathering or bleeding out makes it my favorite of all thicker paper.

Drawing made on Canson Illustration 

Conclusion: My absolute favorite among thick papers.

Color samples on Canson Illustration 

In the front: Strathmore marker paper, and in the back:
Canson Illustration paper

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