Monday, July 14, 2008

Alcohol Marker Papers

Tonite I'm in Milwaukee doing a free event, tomorrow I'm doing Copic Certification, then Chicago and CHA starting Wednesday. Whoo Hoo! This is a busy, crafty week. I may be a little short on posts this week since I'm so busy, but bear with me.

We've talked about the best matte cardstock and heavy papers for using with Copics, but what about all the other papers out there? Aren't there special marker papers made just for using with markers? Yes. There are many types, but these react very differently than the steps I stated earlier for testing good papers. These are probably not the best for papercrafters, but are good for professional designers, architects, car designers, etc.

Marker Papers are usually thin, very smooth, coated papers that have little or no bleed through when used with alcohol markers. What this means is that ink is floating on the surface, unlike matte cardstock where we want the ink to soak the whole paper and we use slow, even, saturating techniques. Marker papers use a lot less ink, and a few quick, smooth strokes will evenly color an area. If you start heavily layering colors onto marker paper it really has no-where to go, so it streaks and pools. It really looks bad, so with marker paper, less is more. It's kinda hard to see in the photo, but the colors show up different as well.

When working on a coated Marker Paper remember that your ink lines need to dry very throughly BEFORE you color over them. Since marker papers are coated the ink has less to soak into and will get picked up and smeared around much easier. See the bottom small green circle- it smeared. I also tried to fix the mistakes where it was colored out of the line and it just doesn't work as well.

The special effects I have shown with the colorless blender do NOT work the same on coated marker papers, in fact, many of them don't work at all, so be aware. See how subtle the bricks are on the marker paper compared to the other cardstock. The colors in the top circle don't want to blend as well either.

Marker papers also tend to be thin- thin enough to trace through, yet they prevent bleeding onto the page beneath. Designers love these papers because they can trace their artwork and still do a rendering while referring to their original sketch.

Some common types of coated marker papers are the Copic Alcohol Marker Pad, which was designed by the Germans for professional design, Bienfang Graphics 360, Pro Art Marker Paper (most fine-art paper companies make their own version of Marker Paper), and the Copic PM Pad which has a slightly rougher surface so you can use chalk pastels with your completed marker rendering (Pastel/Marker Pad). Here is a list of some of the different marker papers available.

Notes:
• Copic Sketchbooks are a cardstock, not a coated marker paper, therefore they will bleed.

• Manga Illustration Paper comes in two types, Natural White, which is a matte cardstock and Pure White, which is a bleedproof marker paper. Don't confuse the two!

Image: Hole punch I drew a few years ago on PM paper. Notice how streaky the shadow is- I couldn't blend it out like I usually do on cardstock or non-coated papers.

13 comments:

Anderson Arts Online said...

Thanks for clearing up the differences, I had been toying with the idea of trying a marker paper, but see now that I don't have the NEED to do so! WHEW, what time and money you saved me! THANKS!

Futuristically, I would love to see some hints on making a drawing of metal look well, LIKE METAL. As in your paper punch, it seems that 'metal' needs to go from light to dark rather quickly, but I would appreciate more tips on making metal look real.

Marianne, You are the BEST! THANKS!

Brenna said...

Your blog is fantastic!! Thanks for all the tips and tutorials.

Jeff said...

I just want to take the time to say thank you so very much for all the time and effort you are putting into this blog. It is so much work - and such a blessing to those of us not able to take classes etc. You are so thorough in your explanations and your examples/pictures are so very helpful.

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for all this information- how invaluable it is. Quick question if you will- you talk about having a sketchbook that we put our fav color combos in, and ex of what the colors look like. But doesn't the paper in this book have to be what we usually work with? What type of book do you use for this? It almost sounds like I would need to make my own. heidi
steinrn@yahoo.com

lightxdark said...

This is really great that you're offering tips online. Of course all the tips online are good, but this is like a whole mountain of gold instead of just spare change under the sofa. lol if that makes sense.
Excellent tips though. I'm wondering what kind of paper do you use? I might have missed it in your explanation. What kind of brand is it as well?

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meburnfire said...

What do you mean by the Natural White and the Pure white are different? Do you mean that the Natural White isn't a marker paper, but is instead a matte cardstock? Because on the Copic site, it looks like the same thing - they both say "Manga Illustration Paper Pure/Natural White A4"

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Karen Dong said...

Dear Marianne;

I've found that there is NO way to avoid streaking of black 'inking' markers when I use color markers on it, even when dried overnight. Do you have any tips for this or do you just use overlays of different sheets for outlines and colors? Thanks!

Karen.

Robert Marchand said...

Hello,
Thank you for your article.I also don't think you can avoid that type of problem with real paper marker such as Bienfang or other similar stock paper. This paper is perfect for a "skeched" illustration. You can also use other mediums such as color pencil, etc. I also used both sides of the paper to draw or to render when I used it many years ago. Your illustration is a real good example of rendering possible with that type of paper.

R. Marchand

Joana Solà said...

Hi Marianne,
I bought some Copic Original markers some months ago, but I have no idea how to blend them, and I think it's mainly because of the paper!
I'm using normal paper, the typical you can see at home, but I'm going to buy some nice paper, so I'd like to ask you for advise.
Which type of paper would you recommend to a beginner as me?
Thanks!

Michael LaForte said...

I recommend rendering into your pencil sketch and ink at the end, once your marker work has dried, usually just a few minutes.

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