I get lots of questions all the time, and sometimes I feel a that a question is worth sharing because someone else might be encountering the same thing, especially in the hot, humid summertime. I am so glad I'm not in Chicago anymore for CHA, since I just don't know how to deal with the humidity, especially if it messes with my coloring.
Q. My stamping area is high humidity and I keep having problems with inks bleeding that other people say should work great. I'm using the right paper and ink combo, so what's wrong?
Q. Hey! that happens sometimes to me as well! I live in a humid area and I want to stamp and color but on some days the markers work better than others.
A. I didn't think humidity would be a problem with Copic markers since they are alcohol, not water based, until I experimented to help these people. So I took some cardstock and I dampened a stamped picture with water before coloring it, to the point that it was wet. My oh my! The Copics sure hated that. The lines bled, it wouldn't color evenly, and when I tried to color in small circles to evenly coat the paper it pilled up. Bleagh! Copic markers shouldn't make the paper pill!
It's hard to see, but on this example the top snail is normal. The middle snail is just damp (it was starting to act up). The bottom snail was really wet and really bad (dark areas are where the paper was pilling)
To solve the problem here's the trick- dry out your paper. Use a heat gun, use a dry clothes iron, but you need to get the water out of the paper or it just won't work. Maybe bake your paper- nothing that will scorch the paper, just heat it up so all moisture leaves the paper before you color it. Then store that paper in an air-tight package so it doesn't get wet again. After you've colored with Copic markers you can do what you want with the paper. Go dunk it in the river or something, since at that point the marker won't get messed up. A lot of artists use the marker for fine detail areas then do watercolor washes for the background- the water won't ruin your marker areas AFTER they've been colored.
During one of my classes I proved this point by pouring a glass of water over something I had colored with Copics. The colored area didn't change at all. Copic Multiliners aren't going to be messed up either when you watercolor over them.
Image: Vintage Garden Chair by Lockhart Stamps Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black Paper: Neenah Classic Crest Other: ground line and bushes drawn with 0.1 mm Multiliner, Watercolors on ground & background