Copic markers. Many artists love them because they can create all sorts of unique effects and artwork. But many sketchbooks will either bleed through or wrinkle if you are using copic markers. Using the right kind of paper with copic markers is the only way to take advantage of their paint-like qualities and precision without issues. Copic marker paper needs to be thick enough to allow for multiple layers, and be able to soak exactly the right amount of ink for blending.
How Do You Test The Best Paper To Use With Copic Markers?
If you want to figure out which paper to use with copic markers yourself, the only and best way to do this is through testing. You want to consider how much the ink bleeds, but also how easy it is to blend after painting. If you want to use the colorless blender you’ll need to test for that as well, as not all sketchbooks for markers react the same way to it. So gather your test sheets and let’s test!
Draw Swatch Circles
You can always do a quick test by just making some lines on the paper using a Copic marker, but that won’t be an accurate comparison between types of papers.
Start by drawing several medium sized circles using either a Copic multi-liner (so it doesn’t affect the ink) or even a pen. Do not use a regular black marker or the test will be affected. This circles will allow you to evaluate each swatch on equal conditions with the others. You will use 3 or 4 circles per sheet to test.
First Circle: Solid Color
Color inside the first circle using even strokes (the same way you’d fill in an area with a solid color) and a thick layer of color. You should get a solid, saturated layer of color. Leave it to dry for 10 minutes and check for:
- Bleeding outside the lines
- Paper wrinkling
- Turn the page around: does the color show?
Second Circle: Blending
Color inside the circle using a copic pen, and use another one (either complementary for a dramatic blend or similar just to shift tonal intensity) to blend on the side of the circle. Evaluate how good the blending shows. After 10 minutes dry time, you should see a defined, controlled blending area. If the second marker bled too much outside the area you were actually trying to shadow that sketchbook may not be the best paper for copic markers.
Check how long the ink takes to dry as well. The idea is to find paper you can work with based on your skill level and painting style. If you are not sure, try another combination of markers on a different circle.
Third Circle: Erasing ink
If you never use the colorless blender then skip this one. Otherwise, fill in a circle with solid color, and then try to use the blender on it to lighten the ink. See whether it has any effect at all, minimal effect or actually erases the color.
Even after you have decided on a Copic marker paper, it is worth keeping a few pages on your sketchbook open to test different colors and effects. The very nature of this markers makes it difficult to guess exactly how they will look once applied to paper, and a swatch book is pretty helpful!
Check this video if you want to see testing in action.
Most Popular Paper To Use With Copic Markers
If you are just looking for some paper suitable for copic pens, the following are some good alternatives. Copic produces their own paper and sketchbooks, which are designed to work with Copic Markers and so do not bleed.
Copic Alcohol Marker Pad
- Thin, bleed-resistant layout paper
- 8.25" x 11.69", paper weight: 70 g/m2 (~20 lb)
- Fifty sheets
- Marker Pad for Copic Markers
This sketchbook for alcohol markers is bleed proof, smooth traditional paper in a neutral white tone. Won’t work with the colorless blender and you may need a bit of patience to get the hang of the blending. Apart from that is a solid sketchbook for markers at a very affordable price.
Copic Markers Sketch Book
- This sketchbook is perfect to keep all your sketches together
- Fifty 9x12 inch sheets of 70 pound marker paper
- Bleed resistant, spiral bound
Available in several sizes and colors, this wirebound sketchbook has 50 sheets of 70 pounds marker paper. It is bleed resistant. Unlike the Alcohol marker pad, this one is better for easy blending and the colorless blender works but it will need a lot of patience to actually remove all the ink. It has a slightly cool white tone and the paper feels thicker than the Alcohol marker pad above.
Crescent Cardboard Co RENDR No Show Thru Drawing Pad
- This package contains twenty-four 12x9 inch white 110 lb. Heavy weight sheets
- This revolutionary paper allows you to use 100% of the sketch book
- Made in united states
Slightly pricier, as you only get 24 sheets, but it’s so no-bleed and no-show that you can use both sides of each sheet giving you a total of 48 pages of useful coloring space. 110 pounds heavy weight sheets makes this one of the best sketchbooks for markers and other mixed media. Nothing bleeds through and there is no wrinkling at all. The ink, when heavily layered, can take a while to dry and makes blending larger surfaces a bit more difficult than with other marker papers, but the fact that is truly no-show-through totally makes up for this. Slightly textured and with a cool white tone.
Pro Art Watercolor Postcard 140 lb
- Pro Art Painting Pad Watercolor Postcard 4"x 6" 140lb 15pc Taped
- Pro Art Painting Pad Watercolor Postcard 4"x 6" 140lb 15pc Tape Bound- Professional grade watercolor paper with a strong rough surface sized to withstand repeated washes and scrubbings.
- The specially treated neutral pH sheet enhances the brilliance of your watercolors with the best possible archival characteristics.
- Exceptional wet strength, versatile for all types of watercolor techniques.
- Tape bound pad.
This is a set of 15 very thick, 140 pound postcard sized sheets. It is technically for watercolor work, but works great as a sketchbook for copic markers as well. It has a warm, reddish tone to it instead of the usual cooler tones. Works great for blending and with the colourless marker, but absorbs more ink than regular marker paper. If there is any buckling you can just place it under some heavy weight books to flatten it out again. Most definitely no-bleed and no-show, because the paper is very thick.
Copic Markers 8-1/2 by 11-Inch Blending Card by X-Press It
No products found.
This marker paper is perfect for marker blending and illustration work, with an ultra smooth bright white surface. It is really popular among manga and anime artists and works great with Copic markers and other alcohol based pens. It’s really thick paper so it takes a bit to dry in between layers, but in exchange you get to layer and layer and layer and the paper won’t pile or disintegrate. It is a bit textured so you can possibly get some spotting outside the lines, but it’s minor.
Bee Paper Bleedproof Marker Pad
- Acid-free design
- Natural white sheet
- Approved for use with Copic pens
- Ultra-smooth sheet
- For use with pen and ink and crowquill pens and technical pens or water-based and permanent markers
If you are looking for a cheap, practice sketchbook for Copic markers, Bee Paper has you sorted. It’s 110 pound paper, 30 sheets of bleed-proof goodness. It holds the ink without feeling like you are drawing on thick cardboard, and the white background is true to color. It blends like a dream, and the slight texture brights out details and colors in your drawings. That said, it doesn’t absorb too much ink so if you are drawing with very dark, very saturated Copic markers in multiple layers you should look for a more expensive paper.
There are many other sketchbooks for markers available in the marker, and once you are familiar with the kind of thickness and texture you like it’s just a matter of testing whether they are compatible with Copic or alcohol based markers.