This week my office companion is at the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) wholesale show. It's been a while since I have gone to that show. I love going because it's like walking into a candy store for Art Supplies. Best of all, I can talk to real pros from each company, my counterparts, who work for the companies they love and use their products in their own artwork. It's not open to the public, but if any of you have gone to CHA and walked through the fine-art vendor area you get a small taste of NAMTA.
Anyways, I have had a lot of artists bug me about fine art papers that are good for working with Copic markers, so I want to do a few reviews as time goes on (for you fine artists, currently my favorite paper is the Copic Sketchbook paper, followed by the Borden & Riley Paris Bleedproof Paper for Pens or the Aquabee Manga Artist Pad).
Playing with Fine-Art Papers
A while ago, I picked up this pack of paper from the Strathmore booth. They have some fabulous people working with them, and I have always loved Strathmore papers for my art projects in college.
Anyways, I was cleaning a drawer and I found this assorted pack for Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) and figured I should begin experimenting with some of the papers.
Most of the papers in this pack are too absorbent to color on in the same way I suggest working your markers on thinner cardstock like the Neenah Classic Crest 80# or other popular stamping papers. However, you can still color on them, just be aware of feathering and sucking your marker dry if you try to soak the paper. You really can color on anything you want, but each paper type needs to be treated differently to get the best results for that unique surface (just like the coloring I did on vellum was totally different than the coloring I do on regular cardstock).
Personal coloring habits also change your preception of a paper, so don't take my word as the final say - you need to try it for yourself. There are 7 different papers to play with in this pack, so I'll try to give feedback as I play with them all.
Strathmore Acrylic - Heavyweight Linen-Finish paper for Acrylic Painting
The first paper that caught my eye was the Acrylic. This is 246 lb. paper with a nice linen-finish texture. It's meant for Acrylic painting, which is why it's so heavy and it is absorbent. It had such a nice weight and was so inviting to touch that I knew I had to use it.
On my final ATC the Acrylic is the base card stock. If I were to just draw on it and color with single smooth strokes or give it quick, even coloring it worked fine. Once you try to do more complex special effects or blending it doesn't keep your ink where you want it to go or it uses too much ink.
Knowing this, I ended up with a couple bottles of various ink that I dripped on and then layered stuff from there (the top illustration of the man is made on Neenah Classic Crest). BTW, when I dripped the ink on it bled through the back and looks pretty neat.
The ink was nice and vibrant (before I added lots of dark blues) and I love how the paper sucked up the ink and accented the texture of the paper. For mixed media this paper is great- nice and heavy so I could punch holes in it and string my twine through with ease.
Great for vibrant colors or mixed media, not good for detailed marker illustration with complex coloring. Love the texture, just be aware that if you are working with the tiny 0.03mm Multiliner be careful how much pressure you give the pen, as the texture is rough and uneven. You need a very light hand, but too light a hand will cause the pen to be uneven and too heavy a hand will damage the point. Otherwise, it doesn't have little fibers that will pull up, so in that sense it is a very clean surfaced paper. I think I would use this paper if I were doing colored-pencil over evenly colored marker areas, as the texture would really make the pencils pop!
Has anyone else tried this paper with your markers? Please leave your feedback!