Yesterday I talked about using watercolors with your Copics and how they wouldn't get messed up. I was working on regular Neenah cardstock. This is not a watercolor paper, so the fibers will pill if try to do regular watercolor techniques on it besides the basic coloring I showed.
If I'm using watercolors, I should use watercolor paper, right? On yesterday's paper I was starting to see the paper get destroyed. But Copics should not be used on watercolor paper, since the paper is so absorbent that it sucks the ink out of your markers and is hard to blend. This could be a problem, so what should I do?...
1. Just go for it
So what if it sucks your markers dry? A lot of Japanese artists will still use watercolor paper if most of the picture is going to be watercolored anyways. You're only using it for details and as long as you don't need complicated blends then it would be fine. Just remember that marker colored areas will be very vibrant and much darker than you expect compared to other papers. Unlike other cardstocks, don't try to soak the paper through, just work on the top layers of the paper. If you try to soak the paper you'll run into sucked dry markers and bad feathering.
The marker will feather quite a bit on this soft paper, so use a light hand. Work fast and you can still get the colors to blend, it's when they dry that it's harder to blend. For stampers, small areas are easier to blend, it's large areas that will be a pain, so save your large areas for watercoloring anyways. When done right, the two layers look pretty good together. You'll see the crispness of the marker details but the colors are vibrant and match the watercolored background.
On watercolor paper you will not be able to fix mistakes using the blender pens, and don't expect your other special effects to work as well either. Those need lots of juicy blender, and watercolor paper just won't allow it to be juicy enough.
2. Use a hybrid Paper
Look for other papers that are thick or slightly coated, then test them with both marker and watercolors since some papers will work better than others. Sorry I don't have an example of other papers.
For stampers, Stampin Up! Whisper white paper is a slightly coated paper intended for the SU! markers to blend better on. SU! Markers are water-based, and so are blended with water. Many people say they get good results when coloring on the SU! paper, so this might be an option.
3. "Blendercolor" with your Copics
On watercolor paper the problem is that when you touch the pen to the paper it sucks ink out and is really hard to blend. If you PAINT the ink on however, you're not drying out your marker. So how would you paint on marker ink, if it is inside your marker and it's not water-based?
I solved this problem by using a piece of plastic or a plastic painting palette. With just the darker marker colors, dab a few spots of color onto your plastic. Then, take a watercolor brush that can be filled with water and fill it with Copic blender solution (sorry I didn't get a picture of this brush). Use this blender brush to pick up the dabs of color and use that on your paper.
Now you can "paint" with Copics, the only difference is that your carrier is not water but blender solution. You can also try this method with a Sketch or Ciao blender dipped into a puddle of blender solution, but you have to work quick, because the blender wants to evaporate.
Or, you could also try pre-soaking the paper in blender solution or rubbing alcohol and working fast to add the colors while it's damp that way. I haven't done this on watercolor paper, but I have tried it with good success on fabrics.
So why would I use this roundabout method? The blender solution is much cheaper than running your marker dry trying to get a blend. I can fill a blender marker 70 times with one $13 bottle of blender refill. That's a much better price than even refilling any of the other colored markers. Plus, when you "paint" with this method it is REALLY hard to distinguish between marker and paint. On my finished piece, if you didn't know the tree was done with marker you couldn't tell the difference between it and the watercolored areas. Is it easy to do? The idea is easy, but it does take practice.
Images drawn onto Borden & Riley Cold Press Watercolor Paper with a 0.2 Multiliner SP.