Art · Melting Pot

Sunday Somethings – Paper Testing

I went to my favorite local craft store yesterday primarily to enter a giveaway an email said they were having with entries accepted on the 28th and 29th. They didn’t have anything set up for it though and of course I couldn’t find the email again while in store to ask. Found it later. Oh well. I took the opportunity while there to browse and got a new outlining marker as well as a new marker pad. I have been reading online trying to find possible solutions to the issue I have had with my outline inks bleeding when I color in my drawings, and many people remarked that the brand marker pad I have – Canson – is “no good” and to be avoided. Figures, right? So I picked up a pad that came highly recommended for the kind of markers I have been using to color with – Bee Paper. I did a quick test on the first page yesterday. Gotta say, I’m not impressed. 

I tested with each of the four options I currently have for outlining – the black marker that came with my knockoff copics set of markers, a sharpie, a Farber Castell artist pen, and a fountain pen filled with an ink that, when used on normal paper for writing, is pretty damned awesome. I chose four of the lighter shades of markers to test with since they tend to show the bleeding outline ink much more easily. I just threw some quick little doodles down (yeah, I got lazy on the Canson one lol) and then gave the inks ample time to dry before I went in with color. 

Canson on left, Bee Paper on right

While this Bee Paper pad definitely DID make a difference in how much the outlines bled, it was still absolutely an issue. My beloved fountain pen fared the worst on both papers, and my preferred Farber Castell artist pen fared only slightly better. The Sharpie and Ohuhu black marker were pretty much equal on both papers, with the sharpie perhaps having a slight edge due most likely to the fine tip and thus thinner lines. 

The Canson marker pad I have been using wins, no question, when it comes to the inks bleeding through the paper onto the sheet below. The Bee Paper pad, oh so highly recommended in various forums my googling led me to, was supposed to work well with alcohol markers without colors bleeding through to the next sheet. As you can see, just from my quick test, the colors DID bleed through to the next sheet on this paper. Had I actually been coloring a full drawing and layering colors for shading, it may well have bled through to an additional sheet as, depending on what you are doing and the look you are after, sometimes layering the colors can be pretty heavy. I have never had colors bleed through to the next sheet with my Canson marker pad, even on my most heavily layered portions. 

Canson on left, Bee Paper on right

They are both very smooth papers though the Canson paper is a bit smoother. It is also worth noting the Canson paper is sheer and lightweight (only 18 lb) with a slight transparency (which makes it ideal if you need to trace something). The Bee Paper is significantly heavier (110 lb) and opaque like most typical sketch pads. 

They are both decent marker pads, though neither is totally perfect. Between them I prefer the Canson since I don’t have to worry about remembering to place a thin sheet of cardboard or a couple extra sheets of scrap paper under the sheet I am coloring to keep the colors from bleeding through onto the next sheet in the pad. The canson was also cheaper, $14* for 100 sheets while the Bee Paper pad was $11* for only 30.  * Prices I paid with a club member discount at the store I buy my art supplies from most often.

I have also read that the Farber Castell artist pens are not the best option for marker pads, and that using a different artist pen for outlining may solve (or at least improve) the issue of the outline ink bleeding upon adding color. So, I will have to continue googling to see what other pens are available/recommended and try to get some to try out to see if they will provide good results. In the mean time I am going to continue with how I have been doing things – pencil, color, and outline last. Does not always work great that way, but it is better than having the outlines bleeding all over the place ruining the coloring job.

Until next time. xoxo 

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