A few of you have been wanting me to try out different paper, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon a large sketchbook of Canon's marker paper for only 10$. How could I say 'no' at an opportunity like that? ;)
My history and experience with paper is pretty limited. Most of my projects are made using computer paper. Yes, computer paper. (I'm cheap. Shh, don't judge me!) I've also used a variety of Strathmore's papers--sketch, watercolor, mixed media, etc. And aside from various unmarked sketchbook papers, that's about it! This was a whole new experience for me!
I had never used any type of marker paper in the past, though I had heard good things about it. For the most part, I went in blind.
The paper was much thinner and more gentle than I thought it'd be. For some reason, I expected marker paper to be thicker, but it was very light! Very similar to computer paper, though less opaque. It lets through what's behind it much more than computer paper. Which was a tad distracting while I was coloring, since my black cutting mat showed through, changing what things looked like. I had to lift the paper up a few times to check my work.
I started out by having a spare sheet where I would test various products and mediums on, just to see what this paper could handle.
Graphite came first, and this area was where I was most surprised in. From artists I've seen using marker paper, they tend to trace over sketches made on other paper first, lining straight onto the marker paper. I guess this put the expectation in my head that this paper was not great for erasing on. But that didn't seem to be the case at all! It erased perfectly, in fact, I tested out pressing very hard with my pencil, and that erased amazingly well! (Definitely comparable to computer paper and Strathmore.)
I then went on to my Micron pen, black 03. This one was more troubling. It felt more gripped to the paper, a bit scratchy, it's difficult to describe. I'm not sure if it was the pen, the paper, or a bad mix, but it was annoying to use. It did smudge a bit if I immediately wiped my fingers over it, but otherwise it dried VERY fast!
Tombow was next, a water based marker, and the results were as expected. Water based markers tend to not be great with paper in general, as it sort of melts away the paper, tearing it apart if you rub it too much in one spot. A thicker paper meant for water would be better for those kinds of markers. (Crayola is another water based one, would've probably had similar results, though I didn't think to test it at the time, oops!)
Next was my alcohol based markers! I started with my new Artist's Loft N2, and here's where I saw why people like marker paper so much. I tested out going slow, using more ink, and going fast, using less ink. Regardless, it made for similar results, which was surprising. On computer paper and on Strathmore paper, having streaks is very easy to do. If you color too fast, you won't give the paper enough ink to obsorb. With this paper, however, that didn't seem to matter as much. I could certainly make streaks, but the quality of them was much higher. The ink pooled together and flattened out much more smoothly than on any other paper I've used before.
Lastly was the white gel pen. I used Sakura's here, and it worked just fine. Nothing to comment on here.
An important note: this paper has a fixed front and back. They visually appear identical. Aside from laying down markers to test, you might be able to feel a texture difference. The front, where you color, feels a bit more rough. The back side seems to be more smooth with a bit of a plastic feel to it.
My final test of this paper was a quick sketch drawing. I went with an OC of mine. My thoughts here reflect what I learned in my testing--graphite was great, pen was not great, markers went down nice and flat--BUT...
A caveat--they dry quick. Really quick. Way quicker than computer paper. It made it difficult when filling in her base layer of skin tone, since I didn't work at lightening speeds, areas didn't blend well together. Her skin has an uneven base where I have overlaid sections next to each other, as I filled it in. Rather disappointing, since it lays down so flat and smooth, but coloring in large areas can leave for darker spots where I wasn't fast enough. (On the plus side, since it dries so quickly, the bleed is very minimal, if any at all.)
It worked to my advantage on the fox, since I drew her more realistic there, the texture made for a nice touch on her fur. So if you're drawing realistically, it could work as in your favor. But if you're doing a more cartoonish style, or really need a solid even flat surface, work like the wind, my friend x'D
Another downside is this paper appears to create more of those speckled white spots that alcohol markers seem to do on paper. I've seen this on computer and Strathmore paper, but not to this extent. It's most visible in the darker areas. It's a tad annoying, since unlike the above issue, this one is just plain unavoidable. That's just how the paper works with these markers.
My last bit of note is the colors. Just be mindful of them, they appear slightly different on this paper versus computer paper. (The same is with Strathmore's paper, it's different there too.)
All in all though, this paper was worthwhile to test out, and I could see myself getting used to it over time. Every paper works differently, that's something to keep in mind when testing things out. Since I have plenty of it, I'm sure you'll see more from me with this paper in the future! :)
Hopefully you found this review helpful!
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