Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stamping papers and Inks

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.

Best (IMO)
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.


Peggy said...

Great info Marianne! I have only been using Copics for a few months. I started on Georgia Pacific becaause that is what I was using for all my stamped cards. I researched on SCS and GinaK had just came out with Pure Luxury. I ordered the 120lb since I like a thicker cardstock. What a difference! I love it! I am going to have to try the Neenah, just to round out my personal testing. For the ink, I use Memento. Not trying anything else on that one!!

Nicole said...

I am glad you refreshed the ink saga, here! My local scrapstore called ME to ask me what I use with my Copics! I rarely heat set my brilliance, but I am letting it dry for a really long time before I do color it. I usually stamp the image first, then make my card, (which of course takes ME forever!) and then I color in my image last. So, by then the brilliance is dry and fine for my copics!

Barbara said...

It's great to have this information all in one place. I'm fairly new to
Copics but I'm loving them so far. I'm currently using Memento ink and PTI Solar White card stock. I do have some problems with feathering (I guess that's what you'd call it) with some darker colors if I try to blend too close to the line, especially on small areas of color. I have some GP so I'm going to try that and see if there's a difference. Thanks for all you do, Marrianne! I'm hoping to get into the class in Durham whenever that is.

Kerrie's Crafting Corner said...

Goo luck with the move Marianne!

Thanks for your advice... I am a total newbie to Copics, I have the right ink but my problem is the cardstock.

I live in the UK and can't get access to any of the papers you mentioned so still trying to track down something. :(

So pleased I was recommended your blog... I just don't know where to start!

MaryAnn said...

Marianne, I am jumping the gun here, but could you mention at least one paper brand you recommend for fine art? I am so eager to work, but don't want to waste time (and ink) on what I have on hand.
Looking forward to your new blog location!

Alison said...

Great info Marianne! I too am new to copics and this really helps.
Good luck with the move.

Shell said...

Thank you SO much for this marvelous information and insight. I can't wait until you have it all up with pictures - and I'm looking forward to see your blog's new home. :) Thanks again for your hard work on these. It's great to hear it from our expert. :)

Anonymous said...

Your timing is perfect, was going to make up a little handy list, lol.
You're so right about having to test the different papers/cs. A lot of your suggestions or tips/explanations really start to make more sense as I'm getting better with the Copics. (for ex. 'pushing the ink', lol)

Also loved your last post, but like you, as much as I would love to leave comments every single time on every single blog, I'd never sleep, LOL.
PS: when are you going to put all of this into a printed book, lol....

debb said...

Thank you so much for this info! I love, love, love my copics and any info on papers and inks is so helpful. Good luck with the blog move! debb

Kelly Mahany said...

Thanks for the tips on the paper and inks that you recommend for use with our copics!

I just wanted to add that I have had great success with Georgia Pacific 110# paper that I picked up inexpensively at Sam's Club. It definitely doesn't bleed when I use it with images stamped with Amuse black ink, but like the other thick papers you mentioned, it doesn't always bleed through to the back without using a lot of ink.

It works for me though!

Kelly :-)

Elizabeth S. said...

Thank you for the information on what paper to use.

Casie said...

Like Kelly, I love to use Neenah Classic Crest #110 solar white. It's thicker and doesn't soak completely through, but I love how it feels. I have tried many of the different inks too. First was Palette Noir, just ok, then Adirondack Pitch black, again it was alright, Brilliance but hated to heat set. Once I used Memento I decided that is the only one to use anymore. Love it!! Work with any coloring medium!

Ann said...

So you're moving the ol' blog to the copic site? Will we still be able to receive the e-mail updates like now? I sure hope so because IMHO you have the best blog around! ;-) I've used Versafine Black for coloring and heatset it. I don't think it is THE best but it works for me.

Jeanne Streiff said...

Great info Miss Marianne!

Anonymous said...

I was using brillance, I stamp it one night then color it in the next. Recently though I have been using Palette Noir Black. No need to heat set, dries right away!

Unknown said...

I use the Palette inks religiously. They are inexpensive and don't need heat setting - although they can be heat set and used on fabrics too. Thanks for the great information.

Sherrie said...

Nicely done Marianne!

Carolyn King said...

Awesome tips! Great to see what you use and like. I love Gina K pure luxury with Copics too.

Thanks for all the valuable information you share!

Norine said...

thanks for all the great info as usual your so sweet to always share

Cher said...

WEll! How happy am I to have found YOU! WHOOHOO...I am such a newbie it is sad..I drool over other's work everyday...just ponder n think ponder n think...but I want to try copics...They are pricey lil buggers, eh? I wondered if you would suggest a handful of colors to start with...the sets are out of budget for me right now. TYVM for all the great info...already turned my 2 sis's to your site as well...u are a gem! Cher

Teresa said...

Thanks for the info Marianne! I have been using Neenah paper since trying some from Ellen Hutson's store...what a diffrence it makes for stamping and using the copic markers.

Cora said...

Thanks Marianne. I am new to this but I jumped right in with a BIG purchase of the markers. Teresa started me out with the Neenah cardstock. I have been stamping with Versafine on my Wasuaa 80lb cardstock until I have a nice image and then copying on my printer with the Neenah. The best of both worlds. An image that is nice because I used Versafine and a nice copy that doesn't bleed from printer ink. Works for me! Maybe I will meet you at the Asian festival this weekend.

Maria said...

Thanks for the tips Marianne. Paper and ink are so important on how well an image and colour holds. I've been using Memento ink for about 6 months now and won't use any other ink. For paper, I use Wausau and Neenah but I'm interested in trying GinaK. Hugs, Maria

Deborah said...

I'm confused. Why do we want the color to bleed to the back of the paper?

Deborah said...

I'm confused. Why do we want the color to bleed to the back?

Theresa Lee said...

Thanks for the info! I'm using Canson watercolor paper, not too bad, but I think I'm going to try what you recommended. I have also found with stamping, the only way I can assure myself that the ink won't bleed... after stamping, I use a clear embossing powder and heat emboss. Absolutely no worries when I do that :)

Sara (deipara) said...

Thanks for the info Marianne!

I've been using PTI Stampers Select cardstock and Palette Noir ink with my Copics. If there's been feathering or bleeding, I can't tell.

The upside to the Palette ink is that you don't have to heat set the stuff.

Mom22RedHeads said...

Marianne, your blog is great! I have a question on coloring in fabric. do you have to heat set it? I saw in on another blog, but when I did it, it faded when I washed it and ran too? I used Palette ink to stamp my image and that was ok only the ink from my ciao's ran

Lori aka Lo Lo said...

Thx for all the tips! For the Neenah cardstock do you use smooth or ultrasmooth? Have you ever tried Wausau? If so is that any good?