Tag Archives: Testing Cardstock

Copic Markers – Testing cardstock

6 Jun

I promised I would share more about what I learnt from my Copic Certification Program, so I’m starting with my 1st major takeaway about paper and how to test which one works for you.

The basic understanding to know is how ink will move on paper.

  • It will bleed through (or saturate) almost all paper. The thicker the paper, the less bleed through you will get.
  • It will feather across the paper (feathering is when you color to line and the ink still moves beyond the line).

Bleed through is not an indication of how good the paper is, only how thick it is and how much ink you will need to use to get a good blend. On the other hand, you will want a paper that feathers minimally so you don’t spend hours carefully coloring an image to have it “ooze” outside the lines.

Here are the steps to test a paper:

1) On the paper you are testing, draw a circle with your Copic multiliner (or stamp one with your memento ink)

2) Pick a light and dark shade marker (I picked YR02 & YR 07)
3) Color your circle with the light shade (YR02 in my example) carefully to the line

  •  if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 4.

4) Flick on a darker shade (YR07 in my example) on half of the circle

  • if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 5.

5) Go back with lighter shade (YR02) and blend it, any feathering would be more pronounced with a darker color and with all the blending work you have done.

  • if your colors seep outside the line, test another paper; if not, move to step 6.

6) Let your work dry a little for a few minutes and touch the colored area with the chiselled tip of a colorless blender (0)

  • ideally, you should see a crisp lighten shape of your chiselled tip instead of a fuzzy blob of lighten shape where your colorless blender touched. A crisp line will allow you more control when using your colorless blender to create texture and correct mistake.

A paper that would be good to use will have met all testing steps, giving you most control over your coloring.

Here are the papers I tested:

I found that I like Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select and Copic X-Press It Blending card the best.

Papertrey Ink Stamper Select White  ($0.15/sheet) is the thickest of the lot I tested, it took more ink to evenly saturate my circle and blend my colors – the higher saturation point of the paper works for me because it gives me time to work. I like that the colors remained very vibrant and almost true to the original colors I picked out. The same can be said with the Copic X-press It blending card. The colorless blender also left a crisp shape.

Copic X-Press It Blending card ($0.36/sheet) is also a fairly thick paper – not as thick as Papertrey, but about the same thickness as the Gina K 120# and Cryogen 84# and 89# – but it has a very smooth finish that allows the ink to stay on the surface a lot longer so it blends the best of all. I tend to be a bit “heavy-handed” when laying down ink, so with the smooth finish, my coloring started pitting a little as well because there was so much ink on the surface of the paper, which I kinda like because it looked like my image has some unintentional texture.

Gina K Pure Luxury White (80# & 120#) ($0.19 & $0.28/sheet) also as a similar smooth finish as the Copic X-press It Blending Card which I love. But was a bit softer and more absorbent than the Copic X-express It Blending Card, hence the colors looked more saturated and there was more marginally more feathering. 80# feathered more and saturated faster than the 120# but blended better – it looked more natural. The colorless blender marker was not quite as crisp as the Papertrey and Copic X-press It.

Cryogen White Curious Metallics cardstock (84# & 89#) ($0.34/sheet) was the only one that is slightly off-white and has a shimmer to the paper. I love the shimmer – wonderful “texture” to my coloring but I did not like the off-white color – I lost some highlighting potential because it wasn’t bright white. It does blend well with minimal feathering. It is a fairly soft paper and colors absorbed pretty quickly into the paper and the end result of my coloring seem significantly darker and more intense (almost cartoony dark). 89# didn’t absorb quick as quickly as 84#.

Bazzill Smoothies Coconut Swirl ($.23/sheet) also feathered quite a bit for me. It started feathering just after I laid on my darker colors before I even started blending.

Neenah Classic Crest Solar White (80# & 120#) ($0.12/sheet) performed the worst for me because it is so soft and absorbent and it saturated and feather before I even finished coloring my circle. I’m a slow worker.

My bottom line is, you have to learn the properties of the paper you are using. Any paper can give you the results you want as long as you learn where the saturation point of that paper is. That means practicing and testing with different paper to find one that fits your style.