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.
|X-press it blending card|
X-press it blending card 250 g/m2
This paper is specially selected for use with Copic markers. It is only availably in (for a European) strange size: 21,5x28 cm (8,5”x11”). It sells in loose sheets in packs of 25 or 125. I think the size is a bit small. The paper is acid free & archival.
The X-press it is a very smooth paper with a white that has a slight greyish tone.
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. This is true for X-press it also. I even think the colors become even lighter then on the other papers I have tried. Colors looks grainy and some colors also looks milky.
If you put down too many layers and work quick so that the ink is wheat the ink bleeds out. The ink can stay wheat a bit longer then on other thicker paper.
Feathering is a common problem. If you start the drawing with dark colors and then put lighter on top the dark colors will almost disappear. This can be a problem but it can also be useful if you learn to control it. If you look at the drawings below you can se how grainy the colors gets.
I think that this paper and the Holtz paper is extremely similar.
Bleeds through to the next page.
|quick drawing done with Copics on X-press it blending card.|
Conclusion: I know this paper is everyone’s favorite, but not so much for me.There are so many other papers that are better in my opinion.
|Color samples on X-press it blending card|