I have not been posting much because soon this blog will be moving to the Copic Website, and I don't want to give more work to myself in the switch. That being said, I have been waiting for too long to post this info. Once I move locations I will elaborate on each point, with photos AND I'll have a great blog candy (trust me, there is some FABULOUS blog candy to go with this info). Until then, this is for people who want to know the best cardstock and inks for stamping. I posted this on SCS, but I think everyone should have access to this info. For fine artists, your paper comparison and blog candy will be about a month after the stamping (this also will be some GREAT goodies, so be patient).
Cardstock for Stamping
For people who want the BEST results for stamping then coloring with Copic, these are the cardstocks that consistently keep popping up as being good:
Georgia Pacific (a little soft for my taste, but use less ink and it won't feather as much)
PaperTrey Ink (PTI) This is a thick paper. To get an image even looking on the front side takes more ink. Because it is thick paper it might not soak all the way through. This is OK, as long as the frontside looks even.
Gina K 80# Good, clean, very smooth bright paper. Takes less ink to evenly soak compared to heavier stock.
Gina K 120# Like the PTI, this is a thick paper. The marker colors very evenly, but like the PTI, it might not soak all the way through
Neenah Classic Crest 80# this is thinner than PTI or Gina K. Not as smooth as Gina K. 80 # but still very nice (my personal favorite since it's what we print on at work so I can steal it from the printer )
Copic Stamping Illustration Paper this is a new paper released at CHA. It is thin (like 50#) and slightly off-white. Takes very little ink to evenly color, then you layer it with your favorite cardstocks
Prism Simply Smooth this is VERY smooth. color may not evenly go through the back. Color shows up vibrant and smooth but blending is a little different than on other papers (you really have to try it to understand. People either swear by it or swear at it)
So, does this mean that there aren't other good papers? No. You need to test each of your papers and find which one works for you, which one matches your coloring style. Sometimes you have to slow down when coloring so you don't oversoak the paper. On Neenah or the new Copic paper it's easy to put too much marker down and then it feathers out beyond the line. with practice you learn how much or how little marker to use.
Can you use Copics on cheap paper? Yes, if it works for you then go for it. I've done some great work on cheap copier paper (not even color copier paper), I just need to be aware of how much the marker will bleed and feather, then compensate for it.
However, the shortlist of BAD papers includes: Watercolor, SU! (SU! is intended for blending water-based markers so Copics are tricky on this paper), and stampers should not get fine-art Marker paper (it's too thin for your use and you can't fix mistakes).
Inks for stamping
I must confess, I have not tried all of these, but these are some of the favorites out there. You need to test your own inks to see what works for you.
Memento, Tsukineko My favorite, and the favorite of many around here. No heatsetting, works great on most cardstocks, dries quickly.
Brilliance, Tsukineko Many people like this because the black is richer than the brilliance, however, it needs to be heatset. You can use this on fabric, heat-set it, then color it with your Copics and it works great.
AMuse No heatsetting, dries quickly, nice rich black
Memories Dye Ink This needs to REALLY be dry. stamp a few days in advance, heat set it a long time, whatever it takes, but some people love it.
Palette Noir Hybrid Ink I haven't used it much, but heat-set it is what I've heard
Ranger I personally have had some good results, while other times this feathered out and got a yellow halo around the line (even heatset), so I don't use it.
Staz On. Just don't use it. It will stain your marker tips and bleed.
SU! This is meant for water-based products and won't work
This being said, if you don't touch the stamped line then you will never have problems with any ink. Granted, it's much harder to blend without touching the stamped line and I'm sure you won't make mistakes, but to each his own.
You need to try these inks with your papers to find what works for you. Each paper/ink combo will react differently. When you find a combo that works for you, stick with it! It can be tricky switching paper types, particularly for newbies, and frustrating if you choose the wrong ones. For newbies, read what people are saying on this thread. Some combos will keep popping up (Like Gina K. and Memento, or PTI and Memento, or Heat-set brilliance and Neenah), so that's a good place to start for the least frustrating experience.
If you have any other inks or papers you like, please add to the comments here, so that when I do move to the new location I can make my comparisons more complete. The last time we did this survey we got these results.