Sketchbooks for alcohol markers: 10 Best Sketchbooks for Copic Markers Reviewed & Rated in 2021

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10 Best Sketchbooks for Copic Markers Reviewed & Rated in 2021

Every artist owns at least one sketchbook where they put their ideas on paper to study and develop them further. Other creative individuals use it as a visual diary to document their thoughts, day-to-day activities, and travels. From rough attempts to refined renditions, it provides an intimate look into their private thoughts and creative process.


At the same time, each artist has a preferred set of drawing instruments. In turn, this would require sketchbooks that work well with their weapon of choice. For blending markers like Copic and other brands, you will need sketchbooks that let you mix colors bleed-free.
For this review, I invite you to look into the different qualities you need to consider to help you find the best sketchbook for Copic markers.

Top 10 Sketchbook for Copic Markers Reviews

1. Copic Wire-Bound Sketchbook


There is no arguing that the makers of this wire-bound sketchbook know what they are talking about.

Made by the company that produced Copic markers, it is one of the top choices for art practitioners from different fields.
Although the sketchbook is intended for art markers, the uncoated premium bond paper has the right level of smoothness that gives me good control over the pencil. Even the fine-tipped pens glide effortlessly, letting me draw with enhanced precision. As for erasability, the paper retains its quality despite rubbing the eraser so many times.
Crafted for Copic markers, I can achieve the effects that I want as the nibs move with ease on the soft surface. Weighing just 157 gsm, so it lies in the medium-weight paper, which is thinner than a typical marker paper. Despite being thin, it holds the inks on top so well, even when I blend colors. Meanwhile, the slightly off-white tone plays a role in ensuring that the Copic inks retain their vibrant quality.
Containing 30 sheets, the sketchbook provides adequate drawing space for rough composition, general illustration, or visual journal. At size 5″ x 7″, I can draw patterns, portraits, calligraphy, cartoon characters, and other concepts without sacrificing the details. Thanks to the paper’s acid-free content, the artworks will not easily discolor or deteriorate as they age.

With heavy marker applications, the paper tends to let the inks bleed. Outweighed by all the positive qualities, nothing should hold you back from this minor issue. By putting a scrap paper underneath the drawing page, you can protect the other sheets from accidentally getting inked.

Pros

  • Smooth premium bond paper for quality blending
  • Surface allows better control of drawing instrument
  • Superb erasability
  • Medium-weight paper lets inks stay on top
  • Adequate drawing space
  • Prevents discoloration and fade-proof

Cons

  • Heavy ink causes bleeding

No doubt, this Copic sketchbook your alcohol-based art markers is a match made in heaven.

In every sheet, you get a slightly off-white tone and smooth surface that makes blending a breeze.

2. Ohuhu Marker Pads Art Sketchbook


Multipurpose yet affordable, diary-style sketchbooks for Copic markers boast plenty of high-quality drawing space. Will these stand a chance against the juicy Copic inks? Let’s go through the features to find out.
Categorized as a heavyweight paper, the 200 gsm lets the alcohol-based inks settle on top, allowing me to polish off my gradients. Whether I use Copics, fineliners, or a combination of both, the sheet makes inks stay in place so I can render crisp lines and color an area without smudging or feathering. Gentle to the nibs, it also prolongs the life of the delicate marker tips.

Besides alcohol-based markers, the sketchbook receives solvent-based inks, colored pencils, charcoals, pastels, and pen and ink favorably. Whatever medium you choose, the colors stand out against the white pages. Also, the acid-free quality protects the paper against weathering.
Consisting of 78 sheets, each paper has a double-sided texture that totals 156 pages of drawing space. Designed especially for traveling and field-art, the sketchbook’s size of 8.3” x 8.3” is portable to carry in most bags but big enough for many kinds of illustrations. Sporting perforated pages, I can tear a page to lay the artwork flat on the scan or keep all the pages in the book like a portfolio or a journal with the help of the elastic strap.

Even though the sheets are thick, heavy blending tends to cause paper ghosting at the back of the page. Also, the hardcover effectively prevents the paper from creasing, but I could not lay the sketchbook flat when I use the middle pages. Based on experience, these are minor inconveniences that can be remedied.

Pros

  • Reasonably-priced portable diary-style sketchbook
  • Promotes easy blending
  • Perforated page design for easy to tear pages
  • Great for dry mediums and art markers
  • Smooth surface for neat renditions
  • 100% acid-free content keeps papers in good condition

Cons

  • Heavy ink application causes paper ghosting
  • Hardcover makes it hard to keep the pages flat for drawing

Nothing beats an inexpensive sketchbook that lets you use it in many ways. A must-have for artists, you can make it your visual journal, portfolio, or simply a space for practice sketching.

3. Crescent Creative Products Sketchbook


Popular among creative communities, the Rendr is the product of a patented technology that claims to revolutionize drawing experience. If that sounds too good to be true, allow me to explain why this is arguably the best sketchbook for Copics.
Preening itself with superior bleed prevention, the sketchbook proves that alcohol-based inks are virtually invisible on the backside after heavy application. This remarkable asset doubles the drawing space from 78 sheets to 156 usable pages. It is most useful for a series of illustrations with a continuous flow to form a story or use entire spreads to lay out my ideas.

Weighing 180 GSM, this sketchbook for acrylic paint, Copic, and fineliners withstands juicy inks. The surface has an even texture that aids in controlling my strokes to accurately sketch the concepts I have in mind. Built to make artworks last, this sketchbook makes me want to save it for special illustrations because of its acid-free and lignin-free contents.
Artists who draw everywhere they go will love the square 8” x 8” sketchbook as it fits the bag. Its wire binding lets me flip over the cover and prop it flat on the table or my lap so I can render lines and blend properly. On the other hand, the hardcover makes sure that no paper is bent or dog-eared.

Taking all features into account, I find the pricing reasonable. The only catch is that the inks appear darker when I first apply them and it lightens once they settle. It is not a real hassle, but it may pose some learning curve if you are not aware of this as it might affect your blending.

Pros

  • Both sides of the paper are 100% usable
  • Even texture promotes good control of drawing instruments
  • Acid-free and lignin-free content preserves artwork
  • Strong paper that withstands varied mediums
  • Can be laid flat on the table

Cons

  • Poses learning curve in blending

Well-suited for visual journaling and portfolio-building, this sketchbook has all the features you need to preserve the best of your ideas. After all, your artworks are valuable and your artistic gift deserves a space where they are presented in the best way.

4. Bee Paper Company BEE-20001 Book


Brought to you by a well-established art supplies brand, the 50-sheet Creative Marker Book has won the hearts of most Copic users. Functionality and durability are its strongest suits but let’s deep dive into all the features that it has in store for you.

Advertised as a marker art journal, the sketchbook offers 180 gsm sheets that can effectively endure the juiciest markers. Similarly, the heavy-duty papers take in the inks of tech pens, crow quill pens, and water-based markers and capably prevent feathering. Indeed, this is advantageous for artists who want crisp lines and colors that stay within the shapes.
The Copic nibs and the sketchbook’s ultra-smooth surface get along really well, making blending a blast. Manipulating the marker inks to my liking has never been easier. Having said that, the white sheet helps in bringing out the colors’ vibrance while the acid-free quality prevents discoloration and deterioration.

Measuring 5-1/2″ x 8″ in width and height, the format is more suited for illustrations in portrait orientation but how you want to use it is up to you. Crafted with comfort in mind, the wire-bound ascertains that your drawing session will not be interrupted by a cover that flips back and forth while you work. Furthermore, the hardcover prevents the paper from damaging.

While the sheets are perforated, it is not easy to tear in my experience. I had to use a scissor to cut the page neatly. If you plan to use the sketchbook as a compilation of your artworks or visual journal, then you would not need the perforation anyway.

Pros

  • 50 Durable marker papers
  • Works with pens, alcohol-based or water-based markers
  • Smooth sheets for crisp lines and smooth blending
  • Format suited for portrait orientation
  • Acid-free sheets for long-lasting paper quality

Cons

  • Perforated pages are not easy-to-tear

Although this is said to be an art journal, you can use the marker paper sketchbook for your art classes, crafts, rough compositions, or final artworks. The 180 gsm smooth, acid-free sheets are definitely versatile, durable, and affordable.

5. Copic Marker 50 Sheets Copic Sketchbook


Inspiration comes at the most unexpected times, which is why it is a good creative practice to carry a small sketchbook to capture the idea before it slips your mind. That is what this compact 50-sheet Copic marker sketchbook is for.
Giving you professional-grade papers, you can use your Copic markers anytime, anywhere. Due to its pristine white pages, the colors of the alcohol-based inks maintain its vibrance. The smooth surface provides you with better control over your pens, pencils, and markers.
Nevertheless, the specialty of this art product is its portability. Perfect for drawing in the outdoors, holding this lightweight sketchbook with one hand while holding a marker with the other will not strain a muscle. Unlike hardcovers, its spiral binding lets you flip over the cover without pulling the pages along with it, which could be distracting when working.
Furthermore, the 4” x 6” paper size is substantial for thumbnail sketches so you can test and experiment with ideas before rendering the final art on large canvases or marker papers. For speed drawing, space forces you to simplify your illustration and finish it in record time. As a result, you have more time to draw and improve your art.

My only concern is that the inks seep through the page after blending multiple layers of colors. As I have said, this sketchbook is ideal for quick sketches rather than polished finished art. Alternatively, it can be used as an art journal.

Pros

  • Smooth surface for decent blending
  • The pristine white paper retains Copic markers’ color quality
  • Ideal size for thumbnail sketching and speed drawing
  • Lightweight sketchbook
  • Offers enough sheets for drawing

Cons

  • Multiple layers of inks cause bleeding

Documenting your big ideas by sketching them does not always have to be rendered roughly with a pencil or a pen. With this sketchbook, you can use your Copic markers to draw and add colors no matter where you are.

6. Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad


Sketchbooks for mixed-media are deemed “workhorses” for its durable 160 gsm sheets that could handle inks and paints, or a combination of both. One of the most budget-friendly, reliable products for such art projects is this 60-sheet mixed-media paper variant of the Canson XL Series.
Trials and errors are inherently part of a creative experiment. This marker pad‘s heavyweight paper provides a forgiving environment for your mistakes. Despite multiple erasures, the surface remains as soft and smooth as it originally was. Speaking of smooth surfaces, it is congenial for sensitive marker tips.
For Copic markers, the fine texture serves as a smooth canvas for blending, but it also works well with acrylics, watercolors, and most dry mediums. Without causing the liquids to puddle, the paper contains the inks to help you create crisp and clean renditions. Along with the white color of the paper, you get vibrant hues, shades, and tones that add depth to your drawings.
Besides the durability it provides you when you are sketching and inking, the acid-free quality keeps the paper from turning yellow or disintegrating. On top of that, the perforated sheets give you the option to compile your artwork in the book or work on a loose paper. Best of all, the mixed-media pad comes in different sizes for you to choose from.

Still and all, this sketchbook does not come without flaws. If you get too carried away with blending and applied way too much ink, the colors will bleed at some point. To be on the safe side, place a protective sheet underneath the page you are working on, or apply fewer layers if you can.

Pros

  • Works with markers, acrylics, watercolor, and dry mediums
  • Durable heavyweight paper
  • Excellent erasability
  • Smooth surface for beautiful blending
  • Acid-free content ensures long-lasting quality
  • Perforated sheets let you work on loose paper

Cons

  • Too much ink causes bleeding

Designed as an all-around sketchbook, its sheets will keep up whenever you feel like switching mediums. For the budget-conscious artists, the best part about this is that the price is just right!

7. Illo Sketchbook


For artists, one sketchbook is not enough. Their creative minds are constantly filled with thoughts to record and ideas to sketch even when they are commuting or waiting for food in the restaurant. This is why I recommend a handy pocket-sized 112-page Illo sketchbook.
At 180 gsm, the sheets bear the optimum thickness that suits pen and ink, pencils, markers, and light watercolor application. Apart from drawing crisp lines, the slick surface enables me to manipulate inks for stunning illustrations. I was amazed by how vivid the colors appeared on the sketchbook’s clean white paper when they finally settled.
In this day and age, sharing your work on social media is part of self-promotion. With this in mind, the 4.5” square sheet takes away the burden of having to awkwardly crop your illustrations just to fit the screen. Plus, an entire spread gives you a panoramic format with 9” on the long side, which is suitable for landscapes, street scenes, and what-have-you.
Built like a journal, the hardcover and elastic strap protects the sheets from bending and creasing. Unlike hard-backed products that tend to be unwieldy, the binding of this sketchbook can stay flat on the table when you open it. With a back pocket, you can keep clippings of illustration references, while the bookmark helps you find the page you want to work on.

Made of vegan-friendly materials, the sheets are not just kind towards living things but also towards your Copic markers’ tips. Generally speaking, bleeding happens seldom and minimally. Unfortunately, the papers are not acid-free so your artworks will slightly fade later on.

Pros

  • Applicable for pens and some water-based inks
  • Slick surface for nice blending and line drawing
  • The clean white paper shows vivid colors
  • Provides the option to draw on square and panoramic formats
  • Pocket-sized journal-style sketchbook
  • Made of vegan-friendly materials

Cons

  • Minimal bleeding
  • Not fade-proof

Satisfying your regular dose of creativity, this pocket-sized sketchbook has plenty of high-quality sheets for all your ideas and stories. Convenient and comfortable to use, it affords you a workable space for you to work even when you are traveling.

8. ARTEZA Sketch Book


Coming from a brand that produces top art supplies, this sketchbook is getting so much hype among creative communities for its useful features. You get a generous offering of three sketchbooks in a single purchase, each of which contains 100 sheets of premium paper for alcohol markers.
Another good news is that this sketchbook is not just for Arteza-made art supplies. Proven safe for Copic markers, one sheet weighs 100 gsm and is bleed-resistant. Although it is not as smooth as a bristol, the fine textured paper lets the marker nibs glide so you can blend effectively.
An invaluable companion for art students or wandering artists, the 5.5” x 8.” paper size provides a conducive space from rough compositions to finished art. Besides marker art, you can maximize the 3 sketchbooks by experimenting with other mediums such as pen and ink, pencils, and pastels. Due to the paper’s bright white tone and its acid-free quality, the colors of your artwork not only would look vivid but would also never fade.
If your creative experiments turn out to be something you are proud of, simply detach the page and find a suitable frame to display it. For such instances, the perforated pages make tearing super easy, giving you a clean-cut sheet. Adding comfort to your drawing session, the spiral binding ensures your sketchbook stays flat if you choose to work on it rather than on a loose sheet of paper.

Despite the thickness, the paper may cause some light bleeding. It is wise to put an extra sheet underneath to protect the other pages. If you still encounter more issues other than bleeding, just let the manufacturer know and they will be happy to send a replacement for free!

Pros

  • Includes 3 sketchbooks with 100 pages each
  • Can be used for art markers and dry mediums
  • The bright white tone keeps colors vivid
  • Acid-free content ensures artworks will not fade
  • Perforated sheets for easy, clean tearing
  • Free product replacement if you are not satisfied

Cons

  • Not completely bleed-proof

A great package deal for both beginners and pros, as one purchase gives you an abundance of paper to experiment and master your creative techniques. There are zero risks in trying this sketchbook out because you get a free replacement if you find any issues with the sketchbook.

9. Brite Crown Sketch Book


Getting better at using a variety of mediums and improving a composition requires a good deal of time, effort, and of course, hordes of paper to draw on. Using a 100-page ink sketchbook like Brite Crown’s, you get good quality drawing space for a broad range of mediums.
As an art product, its unique selling point lies in the paper’s durability. When penciling your outlines, you can let down your guard a little bit and refine your strokes without ruining the paper because of multiple erasures. So far, the 95 gsm sheets get on well with graphite pencils, charcoal, pastels, fine-tipped pens, and markers.
Though it is generally smooth, the paper has a fine-tooth that provides enhanced control over your drawing instruments. For Copic users, this is a guarantee that the delicate nibs will get along with this kind of surface. Coupled with the paper’s resilience, it endures marker inks so you can blend wonderfully.
In making sure that the colors of your artwork are bright as always, the manufacturer made the papers of this sketchbook acid-free. Since this is also suitable for kids, the double-coil spiral binding can hold the sheets together even when your child uses it roughly. Featuring perforated sheets, you can neatly remove the finished artwork and display it on the wall or give it as a gift.

Available in size 9” x 12”, the paper is large enough to sketch visible details yet portable enough to carry in a bag. Because this product is more of an all-purpose sketchbook than a marker pad, it is not guaranteed 100% as a bleedproof sketchbook, so you need to put scrap paper underneath or work on an individual sheet. On the bright side, it is offered at a budget-friendly price so I could not really ask for more.

Pros

  • Durable 95 gsm sheets for Copic markers
  • Multiple erasures do not affect the paper
  • Plenty of paper for practice and final artwork
  • Fine tooth for good blending
  • Acid-free quality preserves color brightness
  • Suitable for children and adults

Cons

  • Does not guarantee bleeding prevention

Sometimes, you do not need high-end art products when you are mastering your craft. By putting in the work, a modest sketchbook like this can work wonders.

10. Koh-I-Noor Sketchbook


Nowadays, artists share their body of work online to reach out to their audience. Since this involves scanning, it is advisable to use papers that work correctly on scanners, especially if your markers are your main medium. For that, let me introduce this wire-bound sketchbook with “Domelock” technology, commonly known as the “in-and-out” pages.
With these “in-and-out” pages, you can work on individual sheets and then put them together back into the book. There is no need to tear the paper because of the slits on one side of the page that enable you to attach and detach. This smart feature also lets you rearrange your artworks for a portfolio or seamless storytelling using a series of illustrations.
Aside from that, the detachable page makes digitizing a piece of art very convenient since you can lay the paper flat on the scanner. Helping you get the best digital version of your illustration, the bright white tone of the paper ensures that the true colors are kept. Along with the acid-free content, it brings out a nice vibrant contrast when you are inking with your Copic markers and retains the quality of your artwork.
Even though this art product is not expressly advertised for markers, it has the makings of a no bleed sketchbook because of its 270 gsm smooth bristol papers. Similar to a cardstock, the lustrous surface receives the continuous flow of ink and lets them stay on top of gorgeous blending. The sheet gets along well with the Copic nibs, but you can also use pencils, pen and ink, and other mediums.

Equipped with a hardcover, all the papers inside are protected against the elements and issues like creasing. Like the other products of the same caliber, this sketchbook is pretty pricey. It gives me the impression of something that I would not use for mere practice or rough idea-sketching.

Pros

  • Neatly detach and attach in-and-out pages
  • Acid-free sheets retain color quality
  • Good for scanning hand-drawn artwork
  • 270 gsm bristol prevents bleeding
  • Smooth surface for gorgeous blending

Overall, this art product strikes all the right chords as it helps artists create eye-catching illustrations that they can scan and upload without troubles. While it is not strictly a Copic sketch book, its smooth and thick bristol papers can deal with juicy inks.

What to Look for When Buying Papers for Copic Markers


In terms of criteria, the choice you make would hinge on the type of art project and how you want to use your art supplies. Artists who work in a studio may have different needs compared to those who frequently travel. Even then, the intention varies from each creative individual to another.
Some may want to use the sketchbook as a compilation of artworks, while others want to record their everyday life. Of course, mixed-media artists will most likely go for papers that let them use all their drawing instruments in their arsenal. Meanwhile, there are illustrators, calligraphers, and crafters who want to stick with Copic markers.
By knowing your priorities, it would be much easier to decide on what to look for. That said, you still need to take into consideration the following criteria to make sure that your Copic markers work to their fullest potential.
Bleed prevention
Bleeding is the bane of every artist who uses mediums like pens and markers. Not only does it stain their desks, but it also affects the other pages of a sketchbook and makes blending more difficult than it should be.
The thicker the sheet, the less likely it is to cause bleeding. For your reference, the papers that fall into this category include bristol, thick premium bond paper, marker paper, mixed-media paper, and hot-pressed watercolor paper.
Weight of paper
Bleeding prevention aside, the weight affects the behavior of the alcohol-based inks on paper. If the paper is too thick, coloring an area will burn more ink compared to thinner sheets. However, this should not be the only basis for buying a paper.
Many artists tend to use the heavier, thicker sheets for finished artworks. The thinner ones are useful for tracing because they tend to be semi-translucent, which comes in handy for calligraphy, designs, and other art projects. Both types of paper can be found in sketchbooks and art paper pads.
Paper texture
If you are looking for alternatives to Copic markers skbk 9×12 sketch book and similar products from the same brand, you can opt for mixed-media, bristol, and other variations of paper. Just remember that they have different textures that would affect the overall look of your artwork.
Generally, a smooth surface is appropriate for blending and it also keeps your marker nibs from fraying too quickly. If you want a bit of texture, a paper with a fine texture like a mixed-media sketchbook and a hot-pressed watercolor paper pad are your best options.
Sketchbook Size
We may not always realize this but the paper format sometimes dictates the way we draw and come up with ideas. For example, we tend to use landscape orientation to illustrate breathtaking vistas or architectural designs. Portrait orientation is frequently used for portraits, poster layouts, or panels of comics, while a square page forces you to think outside of the box.
Furthermore, the sketchbook’s size is an important deciding factor. A lightweight, pocket-sized sketchbook is easier to carry but its limited space challenges you to simplify your drawings. Meanwhile, an A5 or an A4 can be unwieldy to hold if you are in a place where you cannot find tables like parks but it gives you more space to draw on.
Build
Art supply companies have made a plethora of sketchbooks in different sizes, formats, binding, covers, and many other features, such as perforations and in-and-out pages. Now, it is up to us which one to choose.
A journal-style sketchbook lets you keep all your day-to-day illustrations together. Its hardcover binding and elastic strap secure all the pages but they give an impression that the contents are confidential. Meanwhile, the back pocket offers storage for references, notes, and other mementos.
On the other hand, a spiral-bound sketchbook efficiently serves the needs of students and professionals who need a space for their ideas, rough compositions, and final artworks. They can be laid flat on the table so you can work comfortably, while the perforated pages let you tear a sheet by pulling gently.

Conclusion

Growing as an artist entails a lot of time spent on mastering techniques, developing a distinct style, and experimenting with mediums. Luckily, we live in an exciting time where different kinds of sketchbooks have been invented, giving us more diversified options. Many of them compete in providing their patrons with the right paper for Copic markers.
However, having tons of choices makes it harder to pick the right sketchbook for our needs. Be that as it may, let me assure you that all the art products I reviewed above can be considered as the best sketchbook for Copic markers. In the end, it is really up to you how you will use their features to your advantage.

The Best Sketchbooks For Every Medium

Artists have a wealth of tools at their disposal to create magical art pieces, and it’s important to pair these tools with the right art surface for them to shine. One of our favorite surfaces is a sketchbook because of its portability and convenience. Sketchbooks come in all sorts of sizes, paper weights, bindings, and more. We’re here to help you pick out the best one that suits your needs, so keep reading to see some of our favorites.

Sketchbook Considerations

Choosing the right sketchbook depends on knowing how you’ll use it.

Medium

From top to bottom: drawing pen, alcohol-based marker, colored pencil, brush pen, pencil, watercolor palette

The tool an artist uses to draw or sketch with is called a medium. A medium can be dry (such as a graphite pencil or colored pencil) or wet (such as a brush pen, marker, drawing pen, or paint). Dry media do well on most papers, while wet media generally prefer stronger, heavier paper. Knowing the medium you will use will help determine the appropriate sketchbook for you.

Portability

Do you tote a sketchbook everywhere you go, or do you only sit down with it in your studio? Does your sketchbook need to fit in a pocket or a travel bag? The construction of a sketchbook’s binding and cover, as well as its size, are the key factors that decide portability. Look for more durable options like thread or wire bindings and chipboard covers instead of paper.

Level of Artistic Polish

Sketchbooks might be used for rough planning drawings (left) or for elaborate finished pieces (right).

Do you make every page a beautiful work of art, or do you need a space to sketch and doodle plans for pieces you’ll finish elsewhere? Both are perfectly reasonable ways to use a sketchbook, but it’s good to know in advance. Otherwise, you might pick up a fancy sketchbook and be too intimidated to “waste a page” or select a sketchbook with thin paper that can’t support your grand artistic ambitions.

Sketchbook Characteristics

Let’s break down the traits that make a sketchbook suited to different applications.

Size

Sketchbooks vary in size and number of pages. Small pocket sketchbooks are nice for carrying around, while larger sketchbooks give artists a bigger canvas for creativity. Sketchbooks with fewer pages are also easier to carry, but some artists prefer having as much paper as possible in their sketchbooks.

Binding and Cover

The durability of a sketchbook often depends on its binding and cover. Thread and glue bound sketchbooks are a popular option. The paper is sewn into sets of sheets called signatures, then attached to a cover. These sketchbooks are sturdier and can hold more pages, though some may need to be broken in to lay flat.

Other sketchbooks may have spiral or twin-ring bindings. Artists may prefer these bindings since they lay flat and don’t hinder the drawing process. If you like these binding styles but want to be able to tear pages out easily, look for sketchbooks that have perforated pages. Glue binding is the least durable binding style, most often used in pads of paper instead of sketchbooks, but it’s great for cleanly removing pages.

For artists who keep sketchbooks as part of a portfolio, a hard cover can extend the lifespan of a sketchbook. An elastic closure on your sketchbook also helps protect the artwork inside.

Paper Weight

Paper weight is an important consideration—it is often the difference between a wrinkled, crumpled mess or a polished piece. While some brands use pounds (lbs) to delineate paper weight, we prefer using grams per square meter (gsm) because imperial weight (lbs) is more difficult to define and may be inconsistent. The higher the number of gsm, the thicker and sturdier the paper.

Material and Finish

Textured (left) versus smooth (right) paper

Most sketchbooks use paper made of wood pulp, which is processed to produce smooth to rough textures. Some sketchbooks use specialty paper made of cotton—thick cotton paper is ideal for watercolors as it’s more durable, while thin cotton paper makes wonderful tracing paper.

There are a variety of terms that can be used to describe texture, including “hot press” or “plate” for smooth papers, and “cold press” or “toothy” for rough papers.

Smooth papers are ideal for drawings with sharp edges and fine details, though they aren’t best for dry media that need to catch in the grain to transfer color. Toothy papers produce textured drawings with vibrant colors, but may leave gaps in the drawing due to the rough surface.

To protect their drawings, artists should look for paper that is acid-free. Acid-free papers tend not to discolor or break down over time, allowing your art to keep its true colors. Paper color also differs across sketchbooks. The most common colors are white, off-white, and ivory. Some specialty sketchbooks may feature toned paper in shades of dark beige, tan, or gray.

Sketchbook Recommendations

Now that we’ve gone over our considerations, let’s take a look at our recommendations for various media, pocket sketchbooks, and more.

Using several different media can help create depth and dimension in an art piece. We carry a number of sketchbooks that are designed to take different media and can handle just about anything. Beginners can also benefit from using versatile sketchbooks as they figure out what kind of media or paper they prefer.

Stillman & Birn make a wide array of specialized papers for sketching, and the Zeta sketchbook is our favorite for all-purpose use. With its heavy weight and smooth finish, this sketchbook lends itself well to almost any media and the true white paper showcases colors faithfully. The sketchbook is available in four sizes, each with a sturdy cover and binding.

Dry media will work on most surfaces, but we recommend choosing a relatively smooth paper with some tooth. If the paper is too smooth, the pencil will streak or look washed out; if it is too rough, the pencil will skip. Graphite pencils work best on paper with a bit of texture, since the paper catches the graphite and separates it from the pencil lead. On the other hand, colored pencils generally draw better and have superior color payoff on smoother paper.

The Alpha sketchbook is a joy to use with graphite and colored pencils. The white paper has a mild tooth that catches just the right amount of pigment. It’s heavier than the average sketchbook for dry media, but this makes it versatile as you can use it with light washes of ink or watercolor. If you prefer ivory paper, the Gamma sketchbook has the same weight and tooth. If you want smoother paper for colored pencils, you can opt for the Epsilon sketchbook instead.

Inking tools include brush pens, drawing pens, and pointed pens with bottled inks. Bottled inks can also be diluted with water to create ink washes. To prevent bleeding, it’s best to avoid lightweight paper. Smooth paper allows an artist to create crisp, clean lines, but can also make the ink dry slowly. On the other hand, rough paper may produce sketchy and dry brush effects.

The Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pad is filled with smooth heavyweight paper. Its mixed media capabilities allow you to soak a page with an ink wash or layer watercolor over your lines. For strong black lines and spot fills, be sure to work with opaque ink.

The Mixed Media Pad is also available in black. Pair it with white ink for a completely different method of ink drawing.

Alcohol-based markers such as Copics are an artist favorite to draw and color with, but they need to be paired with the right paper in order to shine. Because of the markers’ chemical properties, there are some things to keep in mind. First, the ink is highly prone to bleedthrough, which can stain surfaces underneath and render the backside of a page unusable. Some bleedthrough is almost impossible to avoid. Second, the ink tends to spread, which is when the strokes seem to grow in size right after you make them on the paper. Beware of more absorbent papers such as watercolor paper as they can dry the markers out more quickly.

The smooth paper of a Strathmore 400 Series Marker Pad is great for alcohol ink. Strokes don’t spread, colors don’t streak, layers build easily, and blending is almost effortless. Heavy layering does cause bleedthrough, but it’s easily fixed by removing a sheet from the glue binding and working on a protected surface, or by keeping scrap paper between pages.

For a more portable option, pick up a Copic Wirebound Sketchbook. Although its pages are slightly thinner, lines don’t feather and colors stay vivid. Plus, its durable binding and small size make it easy to take on the go.

While many medium-weight sketchbooks can handle light washes of color, we’ve picked out heavyweight sketchbooks that can take water without pilling or much warping. We especially recommend finding a sketchbook with paper made of cotton as it can hold water better. Cold press finishes are nice for beginners as they provide good color absorption, while hot press finishes may be too smooth for beginners to work with. For more on watercolor techniques, see our guide here.

This heavyweight acid-free cold press paper is designed especially for use with watercolors. The textured surface takes color brilliantly but is smooth enough that you can blend and reactivate paints well. Available in three sizes, each sketchbook has a durable hard cover and sturdy twin ring binding to take along on your adventures.

If you would like to paint with your watercolors peacefully at home, Global Art Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper Easy-Blocks contain 100% cotton paper with glued binding on two edges to prevent the paper from buckling when wet. Since the binding is very secure, take care when removing your work from the block.

If you’re looking for a smaller watercolor sketchbook or one with a sewn binding, the Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook contains extra heavyweight paper that’s perfect for layering watercolors with no bleeding, streaking, or pilling. The Delta series contains the same paper in ivory.

Best Paper for Alcohol Markers

Alcohol markers are excellent for all kinds of art. They are particularly prized by illustrators, architectural designers, and calligraphy artists because they blend exceptionally well and can produce a wonderful flat edge.  

Most alcohol markers will be dual-tipped. You’ll have a large chisel tip on one end and a finer detail nib onto the other side. This allows you to do large swathes of color as well as finer more detailed rolls.

Alcohol markers have a lot of wonderful qualities. They are vibrant, strong, and in most cases permanent. However, the strength of the markers also brings some issues. 

The major problem you’ll run into is bleeding. It’s not as lethal as it sounds but it is a pain in the neck that can ruin your sketchpad. 

Bleeding occurs when the paper is not thick enough or absorbent enough to manage the ink that comes out of the pen. When ink bleeds through the paper it ruins the page below and also causes the paper to pile. 

Piling is when the paper is so wet it begins to crumble and pieces pull away from the page. It’s a bit like scratching your skin. The top layer flakes off and you end up with bits all over your drawing surface.  

Inevitably, poor quality paper will end up tearing if you use alcohol markers. It just can’t cope with the amount of ink and liquidity. 

Another reason to splash out on some decent paper is to make sure your colors are displaying correctly. Poor quality paper is often off-white which means that your colors will look different from what you’re expecting. 

To save you from these problems, we’ve gathered together 5 of the best sketch pads and papers on the market. We’ve also created a buyer’s guide to help you understand what you should look for when purchasing paper for your alcohol markers. 

Dye-ing to get started? Here’s our top pick:

Marker Pads Art Sketchbook, Ohuhu 8.9″×8.3″ Portable Square Size

  • Portable sketchpad.
  • Cardboard covers to give you a firm surface to draw on. 
  • 200gsm. 
  • Bleed proof. 
  • Page protector supplied.  
  • Perforated pages. 
  • Smooth grain. 

Buyer’s Guide

To help you understand what you’re looking for in a good quality paper, we’ve put together this guide. It’ll talk you through all the different considerations and decisions you’ll need to make when buying paper. 

Thickness

The first thing to get right is the thickness of the paper. In all honesty, paper isn’t really ideal for alcohol markers. 

The best surface for alcohol markers is cardstock. It is thick, sturdy, and unlikely to rip or tear even after several coats of ink. 

Before we take a look at what constitutes paper and cardstock, let’s first talk about gsm. 

Standing for grams per square meter, gsm is a measure of the thickness of paper or card stock. What it actually measures is the weight of the paper per square meter. 

400gsm paper is obviously much thicker than 50gsm. The extra thickness explains why it weighs so much more.  

Cardstock usually starts at 200gsm and can go up to around 400gsm. Cardstock closer to 200gsm will still be bendable but not floppy, it’s the kind of stuff used for magazine covers and high-quality flyers.

Cardstock with a gsm closer to 400 is more like business cards or invitations. It’s not very bendy. In fact, it’s liable to crack if you try to bend or fold it.

Now, while cardstock is preferable, it’s quite difficult to come across in sketchbook form. Usually, it is sold as a pack of loose cardstock or as individual sheets. 

Our recommendation is to buy as thick a sketchpad as possible for practice and keep the cardstock for final pieces. It’ll save you money and be easier to organize. 

When you’re looking for a practice sketchpad, try to go for something over 120gsm. Ideally, choose a pad that has anti-bleed paper as well. 

Size

The size of your paper really depends on the size of your project.  

If you’re looking for a sketch pad or sketchbook, you’ll find that standard sizes like A4, A5, and A6 are most common. You can get A3 sketchbooks but they tend to be more expensive. 

If you’re looking for packs of paper or cardstock, again, it’ll be a lot easier to find A4 or A5. A6 and A3 paper will be more difficult to find but not impossible. 

Larger, oversized pieces of paper and cardstock can usually be bought from an art supplier or craft store. You may need to place an order with them if they don’t carry it in the store. 

For smaller projects, like business card sized portraits, etc., you are better off cutting larger paper down to size. 

Sheets

As we’ve mentioned, you’ll have to decide whether you want a sketchbook or just a pack of paper. Either way, you’ll want to get the most for your money.

When you’re looking at books or packs of paper, divide the price between the number of sheets. This will give you the cost per sheet. 

The cost per sheet is a much better indication of the price than the overall total.

You might be tempted by a $5 sketchbook over a $20 sketchbook, however, if the $5 book has 50 sheets, you’re actually paying 10c a page. The $20 sketchbook has 150 pages and works out at 7.5c a page. 

Even though it’s more expensive, it’s actually better value to get the $20 book. It’ll last you longer too! 

One thing to be wary of is the sheets vs page situation. 

Sheets are counted as the physical bits of paper included in a book or pack. 

A page is one side of a sheet. Therefore a sheet has 2 pages. 

If a sketchbook or pack of paper is using the number of pages in the product description, you’ll want to half it. Especially if you’re working with alcohol markers. 

Most of the time you can’t use both pages. Either because of bleeding or because you’ve made pressure marks with your pen or pencil.  

Bonus Features

Some paper will be marketed as anti-bleed or bleed proof paper. These papers tend to have more chalk in the pulp and are therefore more absorbent. 

Now, sketch pads and packs of paper don’t tend to list their ‘ingredients’ so there’s no way to check if the bleed proof claims are legit or not without buying. We recommend you check the reviews to see how other people have gotten on with the paper. 

The other thing to look out for is acid-free paper. 

Acid-free paper is loved and revered by artists because it reduces the effects of aging. 

Normal paper contains acids that increase over time and cause the ink and paper to degrade. This is less than ideal when you’ve spent hours, days, even weeks, creating your masterpiece. 

Acid-free paper contains alkalines that neutralize the acids as they emerge, therefore protecting and prolonging the paper and ink.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Are alcohol markers permanent?

Alcohol markers are permanent in that they don’t rub off surfaces. that’s one of the best things about them actually. They don’t smudge as much as other kinds of markers. 

However, they are not truly permanent because they are photosensitive. This means that they react to and are damaged by light. 

Alcohol markers use dyes to create colors. Dyes are synthetic, they’re manufactured and are very much photosensitive. If exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lighting, they will fade over time. 

Pigments are natural substances suspended in water or other liquids to create colors. They are not photosensitive and will not fade. 

Pigment alcohol markers are available but they are more difficult to find and generally cost more. 

Does the paper grain matter?

Great question! Yes, it does.

Paper has a grain just like wood. The grain of the paper has more to do with the way the fibers are arranged during the manufacturing process. 

Sometimes you can see the grain on paper. This happens when the grain is dense or thick. It gives the paper a texture. 

Finer grains are less visible and give a much smoother finish. Often, with fine grain paper, you won’t be able to see or feel the grain without ripping the paper. 

The grain matters because thicker grains can cause feathering. This is when the ink spreads through the grain. 

A feathered edge won’t be straight. It will look a bit like a spill. It’s not necessarily terrible, but you will struggle to get neat straight lines. 

We’d recommend fine-grain paper unless you are particularly looking for a feathered edge. 

WonderStreet is not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this article. However, we sometimes receive a referral fee from online retailers when our readers buy on their website after clicking from our website to theirs. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases, which supports the operation of our blog and helps to keep all our content free for everyone. In any case, when we conduct our analysis, our intention and focus is to remain objective and unbiased at all times.

What’s your favourite Paper for Alcohol Markers? We’d love to hear from you… Please leave your comments below.

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Review: Artist’s Loft Hardcover Sketchbook

Artist’s Loft is brand of beginner and hobbyist artist products by Michaels, a huge US arts and crafts retailer.

I rarely have a reason to stop by Michaels, but I recently picked up this sketchbook because it looked like it could be a contender in my ongoing search for a Punctuate sketchbook replacement — and because it was shockingly cheap.

Artist’s Loft hardcover sketchbook. Stickers here by Alekivz, Houndsaint, Kelly Latham, JustaSuta, channelSQUARE!, and others.

Sketchbook details:

  • Hardcover
  • 8.5″ x 11″ (21.5 cm x 27.9 cm)
  • 75 lb / 110 gsm textured paper
  • 110 sheets (220 pages)
  • Acid free
  • $6.99 MSRP

220 pages in a 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover sketchbook for $7 is stellar. Though it’s without some increasingly common features like perforated pages and a ribbon bookmark, the Artist’s Loft sketchbook has more pages and is cheaper than the Punctuate. Wild!

But to be honest, even at this price, I was a little hesitant to buy the sketchbook because my big hang-up is paper quality, and feeling the pages in-store didn’t impress me. They felt thin and limp. I expected to be disappointed in the same way I was with the Peter Pauper Press sketchbook.

Pencil sketch in Artist’s Loft sketchbook. There’s another pencil sketch on the reverse side of this page, which you can sort of see.

I was pleasantly surprised though!

The pages are lightly textured, but don’t have enough tooth to be distracting. It’s still a fairly smooth sketching experience using my preferred 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

Despite feeling thin, mark indentation through the paper isn’t much of a problem. Pencil sketches mostly aren’t perceptible on the reverse side of the page unless you’re really digging in with that mechanical pencil, like the reverse side of above, and even then, the indentation is light and you’d only notice if you’re looking for it.

Regular inking (Tombow Fudenosuke used here) is noticeable on the reverse side of the page, but not to the extent that it’s distracting to draw over.

If you’re mildly heavy-handed like me, inking with felt tip brush pens will leave a similarly light indentation.

Wetter, bristle-tip brush pens and water-based markers leave a sort of shadow on the reverse side of the page and can warp the page if you layer ink — but using these tools on both sides of a page doesn’t present any problems. Once something is drawn on the back, the ghosting and minor indentations from the stuff on the other side aren’t noticeable anymore.

These are the two sides of the same page! You can sort of tell there’s stuff on the other side, but only just. Left: Pentel pocket brush with default black ink and grey fountain pen ink (Pilot Iroshizuku Kirisame). Right: Tombow Fudenosuke and Tombow Dual Brush.

Fountain pen inks will cause warping, especially if you’re laying it down with a thick brush like I am, but once dry, using the reverse side of those pages is also fine. This definitely isn’t a wet media sketchbook though, so I didn’t bother trying actual watercolor, which would probably disintegrate the page after a few washes.

Alcohol-based markers will bleed through the back of the page and onto the next page, especially if you’re using darker colors, so I’d recommend using a buffer sheet when coloring, but this is par for the course for alcohol markers.

Tombow Fudenosuke (red lines) and Copic marker. Alcohol-based markers, of course, bleed through, but regular ink lines do not.

I did miss having a ribbon bookmark, particularly because this sketchbook has so many pages. A bookmark that isn’t attached to the sketchbook just doesn’t work as well. Rigid ones pop out easily, and a ribbon that isn’t attached is just a cat toy hazard. (The attached ones are also cat toys, but at least I don’t have to worry about a cat swallowing the whole damn thing. ಠ_ಠ)

But other than that, the lack of other features from my other recent sketchbooks, like perforated pages and lay-flat binding, was a total non-issue.

I almost never remove pages from sketchbooks and while lay-flat binding is always awesome to have, the truth is I don’t even think to take advantage of it very often. Which is good, honestly. The alternative, overthinking the possibility of drawing cool double-page spread illustrations, is a hindrance — it makes the sketchbook feel too precious, and that’s never any good.

No lay-flat binding means you can’t draw in the page gutters, but whatever. The gap is artsy too, amirite. This was inked with Tombow Fudenosuke and shaded with a Pentel pocket brush filled with fountain pen ink, hence the warping. The reverse side of the left page has some regular inking and the reverse of the right has that and more fountain pen ink — but if I didn’t tell you, could you tell?

The Artist’s Loft sketchbook doesn’t feel cheap though, despite the price.

The hardcover has a nice, tactile, canvas texture, though it does wear away a bit if  you use paint pens on it like I do to denote the usage period and number on the spine. The binding has held up extremely well against being held open for long periods of time, having things stacked on it while open, and being knocked off tables by cats.

It feels as durable and sturdy as hardcover sketchbooks should.

Artist’s Loft sketchbook binding.

I’m really happy with the Artist’s Loft sketchbook.

It’s a sturdy hardcover at my preferred size. The price per page value of this sketchbook is incredible. The paper isn’t as flimsy as it feels, and I’ve had no issues working on both sides of pages using my regular arsenal of tools. Pretty much the only thing I’d change about it is adding a ribbon bookmark, but there’s really not much to complain about.

It doesn’t feel as luxurious as the Punctuate, but this is definitely the best potential replacement I’ve found so far. Of course it’d be another cheap, chain store brand sketchbook that does it. Well, I hope Michaels doesn’t take this one to pasture any time soon.

Soooo many pages! Also, there is cat hair on everything I own.

About the author

Kiri is a Seattle-based artist, writer, and (brush) pen enthusiast with over 12 years of convention vending experience and a lot of opinions.

18 Best Paper For Alcohol Markers Reviewed in 2021 (MUST READ!)

Don’t you hate it when you are using markers for coloring or making art, and the wet ink soaks through the paper and bleeds out the back onto the next sheet or causes drag with the marker?

Or how about when the paper fibers start to deteriorate with every stroke of your marker?   We have rated 18 brands and our top choice for the best paper for alcohol markers is the RendR Cresent No Show Through Pads and Sketchbooks.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at and review some of the best papers for alcohol markers. We are confident that by the time you finish reading this guide, you will get the perfect product to help you fully unleash your creative freedom with alcohol markers.

If you are short on time, here’s my quiclist list of the top picks for the best paper for alcohol markers:

  1. Rendr Crescent No Show Thru Pads and Sketchbooks << Our Number One Recommendation
  2. Crafter’s Companion Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock   <<Best Cardstock 
  3. Bianyo BN-5801 Bleed Proof Marker Paper Pad
  4. Strathmore 497-6 400 Series Marker Pad
  5. Neenah Cardstock Stack
Oh, the possibilities of a blank sheet of paper!

My reviews and recommendations for the best paper to use for alcohol markers

1. RendR Crescent No Show Thu Paper Pads and Sketchbooks <<Our Number One Recommendation

Also available in rolls for those who really use a lot of paper  or want a custom size!  A versatile multi-media paper that won’t bleed through.  Create on both sides of the page — even solvent-based markers and acrylic washes won’t bleed through to the other side. All RendR paper is acid-free, lignin-free and 110 lb (180 gsm) weight.  We love the four options available: Wire bound sketchbook, Rolls for custom sizes, Hardbound sketchbooks and Pads of individual sheets.

  • Use both sides of the paper
  • Solvent marker and acrylic paint won’t bleed through
  • Heavy weight paper
  • 110 lb paper
  • Acid free
  • Highly rated by users

Rating: 100%

>>Check Price<<

>>Also, Check Price At Dick Blick<<

2.  Crafter’s Companion Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock   <<Best results on cardstock

If you are looking for some of the best cardstock for use with alcohol markers, the Crafter’s Companion Spectrum Noir consists of the most premium quality cardstock you can find. The sketch pad has some of the best papers for alcohol markers and is ideal for stamping and paper crafting as well.

  • 160 gsm thickness/80 lb weight
  • Ultra smooth surface
  • Resistant to bleeding

Rating: 97%

>>Check Price<<

3.  Bianyo BN-5801 Bleed Proof Marker Paper Pad

The Bianyo Bleed Proof marker Paper Pad consists of some of the best paper for alcohol markers. The sheets do not bleed, have an excellent quality of construction, and a good thickness that gives you plenty of freedom.

  • Decent thickness
  • 70 gm weight
  • Ultra smooth surface texture
  • Works well with all types of markers

Rating: 93%

>>Check Price<<

4. Strathmore 497-6 400 Series Marker Pad

Another product on our list of the best paper for alcohol markers made by Strathmore, the 400 Series marker pad has a higher thickness compared to the 300 Series, and it is more durable and better quality paper fibers.

The pad contains 24 sheets that allow markers to glide on the surface easily. Designed and manufactured in the US, it is a premium quality pad for your artwork.

  • Smooth surface
  • Made in the US
  • 50.5 weight paper
  • Acid-free sheets
  • Made in USA

Rating: 93%

>>Check Price<<

5. Neenah Cardstock Stack

The Neenah Cardstock Stack contains some of the best papers for crafters. The cardstock stack was not originally designed for use with alcohol markers but it does the job well based on customer reviews.  If you need individual sheets for greeting cards and crafts, this might be a good option for you.

The sheets are quite thick, it brings out the richness of the colors of your markers, and it is acid-free for a long-lasting finish.

  • Acid-free paper construction
  • 110 lb heavy weight paper
  • Very good in inkjet and laser printers as well
  • Ultra smooth surface
  • Thick and bleed proof sheets

Rating: 92%

 

>>Check Price<<

6.  Canson XL Series Marker Paper

Arguably one of the ideal beginner-level mix marker pads, the XL Series Marker Paper is an excellent contender for the best paper for alcohol markers.

You can erase and re-erase on the sheets and get good blendability with most alcohol markers.

  • Convenient pad design
  • 18 lb/70gm
  • Excellent size for drawing handling
  • Semi-translucent
  • Can allow erasing easily
  • Highly rated by users

Rating: 90%

>>Check Price<<

>>Also, Check Price At Dick Blick<<

7.  Boxun Bleed Proof Marker Paper Pad

Boxun’s marker paper pad is among the best papers for alcohol markers due to its bleed proof sheets with a decent size for various artworks. The natural white color of the sheets and acid-free construction means your images have a bright color and they won’t fade for a long time. Good for tracing, especially with a lightbox.

  • Neutral pH sheets
  • Comes with a 90-day money-back warranty
  • 90 gr paper
  • Great price
  • Semi-translucent paper
  • Coated on the back of each sheet to help prevent bleed-through

Rating: 89%

>>Check Price<< 

8.  Copic Marker Express Blending Card Pack

Sheets directly made by a brand that makes some of the best alcohol markers in the market, the Copic marker Express Blending Card Pack consists of top-quality paper designed for use with Copic brand alcohol markers. While the sheet works perfectly with Copic alcohol markers, you can use it with markers of any brand. It is among the thickest sheets with a thickness rating of 250 gsm. We are ranking it lower because of the very high price.

  • Silky smooth surface
  • High thickness
  • Laser and inkjet printer compatible
  • 250 gsm weight
  • Durable sheets

Rating: 85%

 

>>Check Price<<

9. Art-N-Fly Marker Paper Sketchpad

Art-N-Fly is among the most popular brands when it comes to art supplies and it always impresses with its excellent line of products. The marker Paper Sketchpad is a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing you with high-quality products.  The coating on the back prevents bleed through to the next sheet, but the alcohol inks do soak through.

The rich surface brings out the best of the pigments in your alcohol markers. The sheets are not too thick and not too thin, so you can get plenty of versatile use out of it for various art projects.

  • Superb blending capacity
  • Improves richness of color
  • Coated on the back prevents bleedthrough
  • 56 lb weight paper
  • Translucent paper good for tracing as well
  • Ideal size for various art projects

Rating:  82%

>>Check Price<<

10.  Bee Paper Artist Marker Paper Pad

This product is on our list of the best papers for alcohol markers because of its popularity among aficionados. It does not cost too much, features bleed proof sheets, has a super smooth surface, and has ideal sized sheets.

More popular in England and Europe than in the USA, this paper is a customer favorite

  • Ultra-smooth texture
  • 110 lb weight
  • Ink soaks in for less than perfect blending with some colors with many layers
  • Decent sized sheets
  • High-quality design

Rating: 80%

>>Check Price<<

11.  Bee Paper Company Creative Marker Book

Another product on our list of the best paper for alcohol markers by Bee Paper Company, the Creative marker Book is among the highest-quality products we reviewed. Each of the 50 sheets have excellent construction quality.

Durable, resilient, and reliable, this is an exceptional choice for many artists who want to work with alcohol markers. The only reason they are not higher up the list is due to the relative cost per sheet.

  • High thickness and weight ratings
  • Durable sheets
  • 110 lb
  • Mixed reviews by users
  • Micro-perforated for easy removal
  • Versatile papers

Rating: 80%

>>Check Price<<

12. Bienfang Mixed Media Pad

  • The fine-textured surface accepts wet media well
  • Erases easily
  • Mixes well
  • Available in several sizes
  • 13.5 lb weight paper
  • Translucent paper
  • Not perforated for easy removal

Rating: 78%

>>Check Price<<

13. Fabriano Layout Marker Pad

The bleed proof paper in Fabriano Layout marker Pads is recommended for use with all types of markers, including alcohol markers. Ideal for sketching, technical drawing, graphic drawings, and calligraphy, can also be used for light tracing, although it is not as translucent as traditional tracing paper.

  • Sheets are glue-bound for easy removal from the pad
  • 40 lb, 75 gsm weight
  • Lightweight paper can be used for tracing as well
  • Available in multiple sizes

Rating 78%

>>Check Price<<

14. Winsor & Newton Bleed Proof Marker Paper Pad

Winsor & Newton is a premium brand when it comes to anything related to making art. The brand’s bleed proof marker paper pad is an obvious entry on the list of the best paper for alcohol markers due to its excellent quality.  However, it is a thin paper and will wrinkle easily and be vulnerable to tearing.

  • Highly reliable sheets
  • Thin paper
  • 20 lb weight paper
  • Acid free
  • Users report no bleed through
  • Extremely smooth surface

Rating: 76%

>>Check Price <<

15. Chartpak Ad Marker Pad

This paper has a specific coating providing clean crisp edges for alcohol and solvent markers.

  • Has an innovative, patent-pending InkBlock panel which is inserted underneath the working sheet to prevent any marking or indentation to the sheet below
  • Made in USA
  • 175 gsm weight paper
  • Very smooth surface
  • Expensive

Rating 75%   (we’re rating it lower because it is a new paper with not enough reviews from users for us to rate confidently – if you use this, please let us know what you think!)

>>Check Price<<

>>Also, Check Price at Dick Blick<<

16. Borden & Riley #125 Marker Sketch Pads

100% bleed proof yet translucent enough for overlays and tracing.  Best applications are for architectural rendering and drafting, not cardmaking or stamping.

  • Highly rated by users
  • Professional quality
  • 45 lb weight
  • Translucent for overlays and tracing

Rating: 72%

>>Check Price<<

17.  Copic Marker Pure White Manga Sheet Stack

The acid-free illustration paper stack is one of the best papers for alcohol markers.  The comic paper is good for various types of illustration work, architecture drawings, comic books, and manga drawings. The paper does not make a mess by letting the ink bleed and it is a good option to consider.  We’re ranking it lower because the paper is almost tissue thin, which makes it vulnerable to wrinkling and tearing.

  • Smooth sheets
  • Thin but highly bleed resistant
  • 60 gr paper
  • Useful for comic illustration

Rating: 70%

>>Check Price<<

18.  Transotype Bleed Proof Alcohol Marker Pad

Artists who love making manga and comic style drawings love using thin sheets that do not bleed at all. That is what you get when you buy the Transotype Bleed Proof Alcohol marker Pad. This pack of 50 sheets resists bleeding and it is highly durable. You can blend several colors without worrying about weakening the sheet.

The sheet size is ideal for various types of artwork and for practice. It does not have the highest weight rating or thickness, but it has a durable construction that makes it an excellent alcohol marker paper.

  • Thin sheets crumble easily
  • Coated on the back so no bleedthrough
  • Highly resistant against bleeding
  • 70 gr/ 20 lb weight

Rating: 72%

 

>>Check Price<<

Buying Guide for the Choosing Best Paper For Your Alcohol Marker Art

To pick out the best paper for alcohol markers, you need to study the qualities of each product, and determine its usefulness for you. To better understand how useful the product can be for your artistic endeavors, there are certain qualities you need to consider closely for all your options.

The right combination of features offered to you by the best paper for alcohol markers and your preferences, you can choose the perfect product. Here are several factors you need to consider when you are looking to make the right purchase decision:

Weight of the Paper

Among the first thing you notice when you are selecting paper for alcohol markers is the weight measurement. It is labeled with every pack of paper, sketchbook, or sketch pad you see. This weight rating ranges from 20 pounds to 120 pounds.  The tricky thing is that one would think that the heavier the paper, the more alcohol marker ink it could absorb without bleedthrough. However, how the paper is treated during manufacturing and what the fiber content is makes a huge difference.  Paper manufactured specifically for markers will generally perform the best.

Stick to sheets with at least 90 pounds of weight. Anything below that can work well too, but the paper becomes vulnerable to wrinkling and tearing.  Of course, if you plan to do a lot of tracing, then you will be happier with a thinner sheet.   If you like a thicker sheet, you’ll be amazed at what a good tracing lightbox can do!

Thickness of the Sheets

Sheet thickness is another crucial factor that affects the overall quality you can expect from the paper. Since you are working with alcohol markers, you want something that will not bleed through, weaken because of the ink, and makes the work with alcohol markers easy to handle.

The thickness can go from measurements of 35 gsm up to 400 gsm. The slimmest sheets are 35-55 gsm. That is the same thickness as a sheet of newspaper.

The medium thickness sheets range within 80-120 gsm. This is slightly thicker than any typical printer paper. The paper with this thickness can be ideal as the best paper for alcohol markers because it will not allow too much ink to bleed through.

If you want zero bleeding, we would recommend sheets over 120 gsm thickness as the best paper for alcohol markers. These are thick enough to handle alcohol ink without posing any issues.

When you get to 200 gsm, the sheet is quite thick. It is akin to business cards and flyers. They can handle ink even better but they often come with grainy surfaces that are too rough for the markers to slide properly. You need to find that sweet spot between thick and thin sheets.

Texture of Papers

Speaking of rough and smooth surfaces, a critical factor to find the best paper for alcohol markers is the texture. The texture of the paper does not necessarily reflect on the overall quality of the sheets you are considering. However, when you are in search of the best paper for alcohol markers, it can be one of the ultimate factors.

Generally, we would recommend sticking to the smoothest textured sheets you can find. But that may not be ideal for all artists. Sheets with a slightly rougher texture can add a unique personality to the work you create. Some artists may have use for slightly rough surfaces.

Just remember that the smoother the surface, the less ink it can absorb and the shinier it will be. The rougher the sheet, the more matte the finish will be, but it will likely absorb more ink. Sheet texture can have a lot to do with the overall result so choose the paper based on how you plan to use the alcohol marker.

Sheet Size

The size of the sheet you work with is an obvious aspect that you should consider. The best paper for alcohol markers can be available in a wide range of sizes. What you choose should accurately reflect on the size of the works you want to create and your budget.

Ideally, you should get sheets that are larger than what you may want to use. This way, you can cut off the excess sheet. It is better to have more surface area to work on than what you need rather than having too limited a space to create your work plus it’s great to have that extra bit to sample colors before you commit to the artwork area itself.Alcohol brush markers are so versatile and fun to create with!

Types of Alcohol Marker Paper

When you are looking for the best paper for alcohol markers, you should know that there are several types of it available in the market. This can change the primary purpose of how you use the paper and determine what will work better for your needs.

Sketchbooks and Sketch Pads

Sketchbooks and pads typically come with soft sheets of paper that are relatively thin. These are ideal for quick practice and developing skills instead of making whole art projects. Beginners might find that they are perfect to help them get started.

Cardstock

Cardstock is arguably the thickest option you can find. Cardstock form sheets work with almost any kind of medium from various types of paint to alcohol ink. Due to its thickness, the sheet can be slightly challenging to handle and use.  One benefit of using cardstock is that the paper will be sturdy enough not to buckle or fold.

Marker Paper

The very name of the sheet suggests that it is ideally designed for use with markers. This can be one of the best papers for alcohol markers since they are thick enough to keep the ink from bleeding through. The sheets are also thin enough to make them more straightforward to handle.

Comic Paper

Then there is comic paper or manga paper. This type of sheet is slightly thicker than your average marker sheet but thinner than cardstock. This might not be the best for many people to use with alcohol markers because it is not easy to handle. However, the sheet delivers excellent results in terms of the finish and the lack of bleeding and ink absorption.

 

Making the Best Use of Alcohol Markers on Alcohol Marker Paper

Even when you get the best paper for alcohol markers, you still need to use them correctly to get the best results from them. This is why we’ve added this section to give you a few tips to help you make the most of your alcohol marker paper.

Pro Tips:

  • Use the sheet on a flat and smooth surface. Using the alcohol marker on sheets placed on a smooth and flat surface like glass, flattened wood, metal, ceramic, and other such surfaces can help you get the best out of the sheet and the marker.
  • Try to make sure that the surface is dry, free of dust, and any other particles. If the surface underneath is uneven or has particles, it can affect the strokes you make on the paper and deteriorate the overall quality of your art projects.  It’s tempting to snack while creating, but one little crumb can create a mess on your paper or create an unsightly bump when you color.
  • Always try out your alcohol marker on a rough sheet before you start using it on the sheet for your project. This can help you avoid using a tip that might be too moist for the sheet.
  • Try placing regular sheets under the sheet you are working on. Placing another few sheets below can help increase the overall smoothness of the work surface and absorb any ink in case the ink bleeds through.
  • If you plan on blending different colors, try to stick to less than three or four different streaks per color. This will reduce the overall ink you are using and prevent you from weakening the integrity of the sheet by the time you begin blending the different colors.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are several brands and types of papers for alcohol markers that you can consider.

Choosing the best paper for alcohol markers ultimately becomes a matter of purchasing a few brands and sampling out the sheets to see what your personal favorite will be.  There can be great variation on the same sheet of paper by using several different brands of markers on it!

One brand will bleed through, another brand will not.  What is completely surprising is that price doesn’t guarantee no-bleed through – not the price of the paper, and not the price of the marker.  It is quite variable!

Between the list of the best paper for alcohol markers and the guide, we are sure there is plenty of information to help you make the ideal purchase decision. We would, however, recommend trying out several of these papers.

The more practice you get with various types of sheets, the better your overall skills will become and the firmer conclusion you will come to concerning your ultimate favorite paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

After going through the reviews of each product and the buying guide, you might have a few questions to help you pick out the best paper for alcohol markers. These are some of the most commonly asked questions about alcohol marker paper that might help you.

How long can a sketch pad for alcohol markers last?

The duration of a sketchbook or sketch pad can last depends on two factors:

  • How much you use the sketchbook/pad
  • How many sheets there are

If you make a single sketch every day and your sketch pad has 30 sheets, your sketch pad will last a month.

Can I use alcohol markers on typical printing paper?

There is no rule that says you cannot use alcohol markers on printer paper. The only thing is that you might not get the best results from it.

If the quality of the paper is not suitable for the alcohol paper, you might see the ink bleed through, the sheet weakens, feathering of color, poor blending or a poor richness of color.

Using paper designed for alcohol paper helps you get the best results.

Can you erase the strokes from an alcohol marker on your sheet?

Depending on the type of sheet you are using and the size of the stroke, there is a chance that you can partially erase it from the sheet. The paper has to have a smooth surface and it should not be too delicate.

You can use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove some of the mark by gently rubbing the area with a clear isopropyl alcohol-dipped swab.

Most markers are quite staining, however, and will not erase no matter how much alcohol you soak it with.

Can you recommend a set of good alcohol markers that won’t break the bank?

Yes! I wrote an informative article on Copic Marker Alternatives that will help you choose a great set as well as an article explaining the many differences between all the genres of markers.

Walmart Art Supply Review: uCreate Sketchbook

Sketching is the foundation for many artists.  Reference sketching helps artists strengthen existing skills, hone new skills, and create believable original images.  Every artist has their favorite paper for sketching, from reams of copier paper to expensive handmade sketchbooks, and sometimes it takes a while to find the sketchbook that works for you and the way you like to sketch.

When I was in high school, I filled several Bienfang sketchbooks from Walmart.  They were cheap, only a five minute drive from my mom’s house, and the held up to being hauled everywhere I went.  These days, I prefer top spiral bound Blick sketchbooks in the 9″x12″ size, but if I can’t get those (and I often can’t, as there isn’t a Blick within fair driving distance) I like Strathmore’s sketchbooks with the same dimensions.  I’m not into fancy sketchbooks and I like my spirals mostly out of the way, and for artists who are still trying to grow as much as possible, I highly recommend cheap sketchbooks as a way to get those pages down.  Unlike with fancy, expensive sketchbooks, there’s very little ‘stagefright’ when it comes to the blank pages of cheap sketchbooks- if you screw up, that’s fine, rip it out if you like.

When I decided to do the Walmart Art Supply Challenge, I knew I had to buy at least one sketchbook to review, since sketchbooks are so important to illustrators and artists.  While I had a few options at Walmart, I decided to go for a size I didn’t currently own- a 9″x6″ sketchbook by uCreate, a brand I’d never tried before.  Your Walmart may have a different selection than the Luling Walmart, but Walmart.com has a variety of sketchbooks, to give you an idea of what to look for.  This 9″x12″ sketchbook by uCreate is the closest thing the website has to the 9″x6″ sketchbook I bought.

If you’re online and you’re looking for a sketchbook, below are Amazon links to a few good ones that I recommend.  They’re affiliate links, so your purchase benefits me and this blog, and is much appreciated.

uCreate Sketchbook Basic Stats

  • “Premium” Drawing Paper
  • 70lb
  • Acid and Lignin free
  • 75 sheets
  • Side Spiral Bound
  • Plastic cover and back, no chipboard
  • Perforated pages
  • Only seems to be available in black at the Luling Walmart.

My usual sketchbooks are Strathmore Sketch and Blick Studio Sketch.  The Blick Studio Sketch is 60lb, but that paper feels much heavier than the uCreate Sketch paper and has more tooth to it.  In the waterbased marker tests, the markers did not bleed through the uCreate Sketchbook’s paper, although trying to blend the markers did cause pilling on the paper. 

Interior of uCreate sketchbook.  The sketchook is double spiraled, and the wire is covered with plastic.

uCreate sketchbook with CraZart waterbased marker swatches.

The paper doesn’t really have as much tooth as my other sketchbooks I usually buy- Strathmore yellow cover Sketch, and Blick’s Sketch, which may affect your experience if you like to use color pencils or non photo blue lead to sketch with.

Field Test 1:  Ink over Bluelines





The size of this sketchbook makes it annoying for me to sketch in, as my hand is always falling off the side of the page.  This isn’t really a problem with the sketchbook, as I was the one who selected it for its size, just something to take into consideration if you’re used to to larger sketchbooks.

Ink tends to blob out, difficult to pull fine lines with my Kuretake Fudegokochi over non photo blue.  The pad is too small for me to easily pull lines in ink.  Edge of paper and spiral cause sketching problems- my hand is always falling off the page.  More a size issue than a product issue in that regard.

Field Test 2:  Plain Graphite



If you like to sketch with graphite, the paper in UCreate sketchbooks is fine.

Field Test 3: Mitsuo Aida Ink over Graphite





The Mitsuo Aida handles fine in this sketchbook, is less prone to blobbing than the Kuretake over bluelines, no noticeable issues.

Erasing on the UCreate Sketchbook






The paper isn’t especially prone to tearing or shearing while you erase, so moderate caution is all that’s necessary.  I’d inked the image weeks ago, so there was no smearing and no noticable ghosting of the ink.  Graphite erased cleanly.  No complaints about erasing.

Field Test 4: Copic

Toning







Note:  A blank page was left between illustrations to compensate for bleeding.

For the toning exercise, I uesd BV23, and tried not to layer it too much, as I wanted to see how just a single gray tone would look.  This light application of alcohol based marker only caused minimal bleeding.

For the more serious Copic application, I assumed there would be a lot more bleeding, as there would be more ink applied to the paper.  The paper absorbs Copic ink quickly, and stays wet, which is great for smooth blending.  When paper gets too wet, it does want to buckle a bit. If you want sharp delineations (for cast shadows, for example), you need to let the paper fully dry, which takes awhile despite these being alcohol based markers.  It’s not a particularly big deal, nor does it ruin this sketchbook for me, it’s just something to be aware of.  This isn’t Copic paper, watercolor paper, Bristol board, or even cardstock, it’s fairly thin sketchbook paper, so the fact that it can take Copic markers decently well impresses me.  Once the paper has dried, there’s no buckling.

For those of you who are curious, I used a wide R20 to lay down a Copic wash, saturated Kara’s skin with EOOO to reduce further streaking, did skintone layering with E00, E11, E51, and E32, applied blush with E93, colored Kara’s tongue with E04, and applied freckles with E13.  The whites of Kara’s eyes were shaded with B000.

In order to get the reflection in the hair that I want, I made sure to let each layer fully dry before applying another color, because I didn’t want soft blends in the hair.  For Kara’s hair, I applied a base saturation color in E97, and layered E08, then E09, and finally E79.

I’ve created an Amazon Affiliates Widget to link all of the Copic markers I’ve used for this test.  If you’re interested in helping support this blog, please consider browsing those selections.

Full Copic 

Test Head





I put down a quick wash of color with a custom Copic Wide.  A few years ago, I did a tutorial on filling your own custom Copic Wides using Copic refills, as the Wide library is pretty limited.  You can find the supplies you need on Amazon, and shopping through my affiliate links helps financially support this blog.Amazon.com Widgets





Amazon.com Widgets
Colors Used In This Illustration:

Skin:
E000
E00
E51
E11
E93
E34
E15

Hair:
E97
E09
E79
E49

You can get those colors below for your own collection below!

Amazon.com Widgets
Full Illustration



Since this image is going to have a lot of red in it, I decided to apply a wash of a light green.
And used the Colorless Blender to try and soften some of the edges.
I darked the areas nearest Kara (where she migh cast a shadow) using the pointed tip of my Copic Wide.  You can also use the Original, Sketch, or Ciao in the same color.


Applying blush with E93.



Applying shadow with a very light BV, probably BV000.


Going back and forth between skintones and shadows until the balance is right.
First set of freckles were put in with Orientale.
Second set were put in with Suntan.
And the last set, just a few dots, were put in with Hazelenut.
Darkening a few shadows now that the ink has had a chance to dry.  Working wet into wet with markers leads to a more blended application, working wet into dry leads to a harder line where you’ve applied the last layer.  Useful for cast shadows.








Applying shadow to the pincushion.
Years ago, I reviewed Shin Han Twin Touch Brush markers, and later I revisited the review comparing Shin Han Twin Touch, MEXPY and Copic.  I liked Shin Han Twin Touch enough that I augmented my Copic collection with Shin Han colors that aren’t available in the Copic color family, and I still use them to this day.














Verdict:

Although Copics and other alcohol based markers do bleed through to the next page, this isn’t any worse than with other sketchbooks I’ve used alcohol based markers in.  If you want to prevent bleed-through, consider inserting a piece of cardstock under the page you’re coloring.

Field Test 5: Watercolor

Note:  Two pages were left blank to compensate for the use of water in a sketchbook not intended for watercolor.

Preparing my sketchbook for watercolor.

This is NOT watercolor paper, but I thought it’d be interesting to see how well this sketchbook can handle repeated water applications.  I’ll try to have a ginger hand while applying water, but I do expect the paper to buckle a fair bit.  For those of you interested in using your sketchbook as a mixed media art journal, I hope to find some techniques that will help make less absorbent papers more suitable for watercolor techniques.


Ok, even applying a wash is bad news.  The water is immediately absorbed, which results in streaking, and can’t be picked up with a paper towel.  I’m going to modify my methods- add a piece of Viva paper towel to absorb the excess water, and maybe try a looser watercolor.  I’ve wanted to start doing looser, more gestural watercolors, but I tend to only do those in Moleskin watercolor sketchbooks on trips.  I seriously doubted this sketchbook would become a catchall solution, but I may find a quicker way to paint while making accommodations for this paper.  It’s important to let your paper dry sufficiently- thin paper like this tends to feel wet longer, because there is less paper to absorb the water, so patience is a virtue when using the wrong paper for watercolor doodles.







I decided to put in some white highlights, since the original watercolor wash had such a strong influence on all of the other colors I put down.

The paper takes so long to dry, I’m going to try putting it in the window to give it a chance to dry out while I go take a walk.  This is definitely not a good sketchbook for watercolor field work.

Really can’t do watercolor layers on this paper, it all ends up the same shade.  I remember my early watercolor attempts as a teenager were on sketchbook paper simiilar to this, and I was always disappointed with the results.  At the time, I’d assumed it was all me, but now that I’m revisiting this, I think sketchbook paper is just not suited for watercolor at all.  My advice to those of you learning to watercolor would be skip attempts at doing so in your regular sketchbook, and invest in a small pad of watercolor paper.  It will be able to handle the water better than regular sketchbook paper, which is usually made for dry media.  If you’re looking for an all around sketchbook, a Multi Media pad, which is designed for dry media, ink, and some watercolor washes, might be a good solution.

The Verdict:

This paper is really really not intended for watercolor, as even basic layering doesn’t really yield much change in tone.  The paper absorbs the water so quickly that even super wet washes that are applied fast end up streaky and impossible to blend out, and you can’t use a piece of paper towel to absorb excess color the way you could with regular watercolor paper.  Even though I used clips to hold my paper in place, I still found that there was significant buckling, despite me trying to work as dry as possible to compensate for the fact this paper is not watercolor paper.  This isn’t surprising, as this is just sketchbook paper, not watercolor paper.  If you’re looking for a one size fits all sketchbook that can handle Copics, Watercolor, pen and ink, and sketches, Multimedia sketchbooks might be a better way to go.  Here’s an Amazon Affiliates search for Strathmore Multimedia paper.  I use their cheaper Multimedia paper for alcohol based marker tests, but I’ve heard great things about their Visual Journals.  I believe I have one floating around my studio that still needs reviewing.

Field Test 6: Faux Inkwash

First introduced in the Precise V5 review, part of the Walmart Art Supply series on this blog.



Just like with the watercolor test, the faux inkwash is disappointing, especially considering I can easily do this technique in other sketchbooks.  For some reason, the ink doesn’t want to really disperse on the UCreate paper, which means these inkwashes are pretty lackluster in terms of tonal quality.

Field Test 6: Waterbased Marker- Crayola Supertips and Crayola Multicultural Colors



I reviewed the Crayola Supertips as part of the Walmart Art Supply Review, and the Multicultural Colors as an addendum to that.   You can get your own at your local Walmart, or through my Amazon Affiliates links below.

I’ve had poor experiences using waterbased markers on sketchbook paper and marker paper in the recent reviewing past, so I didn’t have high expectations for the uCreate sketchbook’s paper strength.



When using waterbased markers on sketchbook paper, it’s often best to just render the shadows of what you’re coloring, rather than rendering the whole and relying on layering to help define form.

Although I’ve kept my layers to a minimum, there’s still some bleedthrough of waterbased markers on uCreate paper, although not as much as with alcohol based markers.

When applied judiciously, waterbased markers do ok on the UCreate paper- just don’t expect too many layers or any blending.  I did layer the browns in Kara’s eyes and hair, but I waited a significant amount of time between the two layers to allow the first layer to dry.

The Final Verdict

This is a fine sketchbook with a sturdy plastic cover  that will withstand your travels.  The back is also plastic, not chipboard, so it isn’t as rigid as many of us have grown accustomed to, but the coated double wire spirals shouldn’t catch on things in your bag.  The spirals are looped over in the back, so as long as where the spirals meet stays at that last page, you shouldn’t have an issue with stray loops catching on things and unravelling, but this is something to be aware of.  If Walmart is your main place for art and craft supplies, you could do worse than this sketchbook, although I do not recommend it over my longterm favorite, Blick’s top bound spiral Sketch books.  Unfortunately, the size I like is only found in-store, so I can’t recommend that if you’re looking for an easily available sketchbook.

Best Paper For Copic Markers

Did you ever ruin a drawing because your marker suddenly started bleeding or feathering?

If the answer is yes, then welcome to the club. I know the awful feeling.

You might think that there is something wrong with your markers. But actually the problem is in the paper.

Both bleeding and feathering is the result of using paper that is too thin.

If you are using the right paper for Copics or alcohol markers you can apply several layers without having to worry about any of this.

I have carefully selected the most popular 5 options and reviewed which is the best paper for Copic markers.

I also included what you need to know before buying marker paper and answer some of the most frequent questions.

Note: even though I focus on Copic markers, the recommended papers in this article also work great for other alcohol-based markers.

250 GSM | 125 Sheets | 8.5″ x 11″

My favorite paper.

Thicker than most other options.

Can absorb a lot of ink without bleeding.

157 GSM | 32 Sheets | 9″ x 12″

Copic markers blend very well on this paper.

The size is a little awkward and it’s quite expensive.

Bee Paper Bleedproof Marker Pad

180 GSM | 30 Sheets | 11″ x 14″

Can handle a fair bit of ink.

Works great with most colors but saturated colors can lead to problems.

Best Copic Marker Paper

1. X-Press It Blending Card

This blending card by X-Press is my favorite paper to use with Copic markers.

It is made by a Japanese paper brand and works well with any alcohol-based markers. Although this paper is a little on the pricey side, it will really bring your colors to life. So it’s worth the paying a little extra for.

Weighing 250 GSM, it’s the thickest paper on my list and it works great if you have coloring style that involves lots of blending and several layers.

I personally don’t have all the Copic markers that I would like to have. So to get the colors that I want, I have to blend quite a lot. That means you need pretty thick paper. Fortunately, with this thick card stock I never had to worry about bleeding through the page.

With every consecutive layer of ink you can see a darkening of the color, which makes it great for shading as well.

The paper is very smooth, so the tip of your Copic marker will slide over the surface with little to no friction. The colors also look very vibrant on this paper and blending is also a breeze.

Moreover, since the paper is very close to a true white, it’s very easy to scan and import any drawing into your computer. So you won’t have to use editing software to color balance your scanned image.

The only downside is that thick paper such as this blending card can absorb more ink than thinner paper. As a result, your Copic marker might run dry earlier.

Best Copic marker paper for: anyone that uses a lot of ink while blending or likes to work with many layers of ink.

2. Copic Sketchbook

If you are looking for good paper to use with Copic markers, why not go straight to the source?

That’s right!

This sketchbook designed and made by Copic themselves. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect in every single way.

On the one hand, the surface of the paper is very smooth and is nice to work with.

This sketchbook is also great for blending and the colors like very vibrant.

However, this Copic sketchbook is quite expensive considering the size and thickness of this paper.

Moreover, since so many Copic marker beginners will lean towards the Copic sketchbook when they first start out, it can be pretty difficult to actually buy one because they are always sold out.

Best Copic marker paper for: anyone looking for a high quality sketchbook for their Copic markers and doesn’t apply too much ink on the page.

3. Bee Paper Bleedproof Marker pad

This bleedproof marker pad works great for Copic markers and other alcohol markers.

The paper is quite thick and performs similar to cardstock.

It can handle a fair amount of ink but at the same time it doesn’t suck your Copic markers dry like some thicker papers do.

This paper has a very smooth grain and you feel next to no friction between the paper and the Copic markers.

As long as you are using bright and/or unsaturated colors this paper works great and blending is easy as well.

However, when you use more saturated colors the paper can get blotchy and muddy with just a few layers.

So this marker paper works best if you mainly use light colors or if you only use a few layers.

This marker pad is available in the sizes 8.5″ x 11″, 11″ x 14″, and 11″ x 17″.

Best Copic marker paper for: Artist working with light and unsaturated colors or artists that keep the number of layers to a minimum.

4. Strathmore Marker Pad

If you are new to using alcohol markers like Copics then the Strathmore marker pad is a good option for.

This paper has a super smooth surface. More so than any of the other recommended types of paper on this list.

As a result the Copic ink will stay on the surface a little longer before it’s completely absorbed.

This means you have more time to blend and push the ink around.

So if you are a beginner or like to take your time, then this paper might be a good choice.

Since it’s 190 GSM, you can apply several layers of ink without having to worry about feathering. But if you push it too much there might be a little bleeding.

A clear downside is that most marker pads by Strathmore (including this one) only includes 24 sheets of paper.

So you will probably have to buy new paper on a regular basis, even if you only use your Copic markers once or twice a week.

Best Copic marker paper for: beginners that want to practice with their Copic markers or artists that like to work slowly.

5. Canson Pro Layout Marker Pad

The paper in this Canson marker pad is only 70 GSM and is hardly heavier than regular printer paper.

You shouldn’t expect this paper to be able to handle too much ink. Maybe you can pull off 2 or 3 layers before you start to see some bleeding.

As such, I wouldn’t recommend using this Canson marker pad for serious pieces of art.

However, this paper is quite cheap and is great if you are looking to jot down some quick sketches when inspiration strikes.

Moreover, this paper is thin enough to be translucent, which makes it easy to transfer sketches.

The paper does absorb the ink a little slower than average. Which gives you some extra time to blend but can also lead to accidental smudging.

Best Copic marker paper for: artists on a small budget and people that want to make quick sketches.

Do you need special paper for Copic markers?

You can use Copic markers on lots of types of paper. But you can’t use Copic markers on any type of paper. You definitely need to pay some attention to which paper you are using with your Copic markers or any other alcohol-based markers.

If you are having a difficult time getting the results you want with your markers, you are probably using the wrong markers. Let’s look at some of the benefits of using good Copic paper.

First of all, the most common complaint that new Copic marker users have is that the ink bleeds through the page or start feathering. Not only does this mess up the drawing you were working on, it also ruins the sheet of paper underneath.

Most paper for markers are thicker and/or have a bleedproof coating. This makes it possible to work with multiple layers of marker ink. However, no matter which paper you are working with, there is always a limit to how much ink the paper can handle.

With the right paper, you will be able to color 3~5 layers of ink without any problems.

Secondly, the nibs of Copic markers are very soft, and you will get the best results with paper that has a smooth surface with a fine grain. If you are using paper with a rough texture, you might find it difficult to draw straight lines with your markers.

However, keep in mind that very smooth paper also takes longer to absorb the ink. This can give beginners some extra time to blend colors, but it can slow down the workflow or more experienced users.

Finally, using the right paper will make your drawings last a lot longer. If the paper is thick enough it will prevent your paper from curling when wet. Moreover, the paper needs to be acid-free to make sure that the paper doesn’t deteriorate or discolor over time. And good marker paper will also prevent any blotching even when you are working with several layers.

What paper is best for alcohol markers?

Despite their similar appearance, not all paper is the same. Different types of paper can perform quite differently with alcohol markers. This difference is especially noticeable when applying multiple layers of ink.

The most important thing to look at is the paper weight, also known as the paper thickness.

The weight indicated in terms of grams per square meter (GSM). Heavier paper can normally absorb more ink than lighter paper, so the chance of bleeding and feather is smaller.

You normally want to look at paper that is at least 100 GSM when working with Copic markers or other alcohol-based markers. (For reference, standard printer paper weighs around 80 GSM.)

However, working on heavy paper also has one important downside. Since thick paper absorbs ink more quickly you will have to refill your markers more frequently.

Additionally, the roughness and texture can vary a lot from paper to paper. Smooth paper is more comfortable to work on. You will experience minimal friction and the marker ink is absorbed relatively slow. This give you plenty of time to blend colors.

Rough paper can absorb ink faster. This lets you work faster since you don’t have to wait for the ink to dry for very long. But it also gives you less time to blend or fix small mistakes.

Normally, I would recommend beginners to go with smooth marker paper. But if you are particularly font of the way rough textured paper looks, there is no harm in trying it out.

What type of paper is best for alcohol based markers?

Cardstock is a type of paper that works great with alcohol based markers. Cardstock is thicker than most other types of paper, which makes it more resistant to bleeding and feathering. It is also more sturdy and durable than thinner papers. However, cardstock is one of the more expensive types of paper.

There are many alternatives out there if you are looking for a cheaper type of paper to practice with.

Moreover, each artist has their own preference. I personally like cardstock because it can handle a lot of ink. But I know lots of people that prefer using other types of paper. So let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Is mixed media paper good for alcohol markers?

Mixed media paper is not good for alcohol markers. Mixed media paper absorbs the marker ink very fast, which causes extreme feathering and makes blending very challenging. Moreover, since you will have to use a lot of ink on mixed media paper you are likely to experience some blotching.

So working on mixed media paper feel pretty similar to using Copic markers on watercolor paper. I would recommend staying away from both and following one of the suggestions mentioned above.

Is Bristol paper good for alcohol markers?

Bristol paper is a good option when using alcohol markers. You can normally find Bristol paper that is heavy enough to handle several layers of ink and it’s relatively cheap to other paper types. The ink stays close to the surface, which makes blending easier.

Is watercolor paper good for alcohol markers?

Watercolor paper is not a good option for alcohol markers. Watercolor paper can absorb a lot of ink and does so very quickly. As a result, blending will be difficult and your markers will quickly run out of ink. Moreover, most watercolor papers have a rough texture which can wear down the nib of your markers.

You will also experience lots of feathering with this type of paper, which makes drawing small details next to impossible. For more details, read my post on drawing on watercolor paper with Copic markers.

Is printer paper good for alcohol markers?

Printer paper is a bad option for alcohol markers. Since printer paper is very thin and doesn’t contain any special surface layer, your alcohol markers will quickly bleed through the page. Additionally, printer paper might start to wrinkle after just a single layer of ink.

In my experience, it’s pretty much impossible to get good results with printer paper. So stay away from this option as far as possible

Is sketch paper good for alcohol markers?

Normally sketch paper is not good for alcohol markers. Most paper that is used for sketching with pencils is too thin and can’t handle ink very well. However, nowadays you can also find marker sketchpads that has a small coating on the paper to prevent bleeding.

So whenever you are buying sketch paper or a sketchbook for your markers, make sure that it contains marker paper and not regular sketch paper.

Do Copic markers bleed through paper?

Copic markers can bleed through paper. This happens particularly fast if you are using your Copic markers on very thin paper, such as printer paper. To prevent your Copic markers from bleeding, you can use thicker paper that is at least 100 GSM or more.

On normal marker paper you should be able to draw at least 3 layers before you notice any bleeding. The thicker the paper, the more layers you will be able to pull off. But keep in mind that even the thickest paper has a limit on how much ink it can absorb

Tips for using Copic paper

Now that you have the right paper for your Copic markers, let’s take a look at some basic tips that can help you make the most out of your markers and paper.

  • Reference sheet: when you buy a new set of Copic markers make a reference sheet of all the blended colors. This way you know exactly which colors you will get when blending and you know which colors do and don’t blend well.
  • Scrap paper: bleeding can happen when you expect it the least. Place a piece of scrap paper underneath the sheet of paper you are working on just in case.
  • Front & Back: marker paper often has a frontside and backside. The bleedproof coating is normally only coated on the front. So make sure you are working on the right side of the paper.
  • Different type of paper: consider buying different types of paper for your Copic markers. I personally like to have both high-quality paper and cheaper sketching paper at hand.
  • Refill: don’t wait until your markers completely run out of ink. For smooth blending you will need plenty of liquid so don’t wait until your markers run dry.
  • Colorless blender: don’t overuse the colorless blender. If you constantly use the colorless blender for blending or correcting mistakes you will quickly ruin your paper.

Conclusion

For me personally, the X-press It blending card is the best paper for Copic markers since it can handle a very large amount of ink and I rarely notice bleeding.

For quick sketches with your Copic markers I recommend using the Canson marker pad. It isn’t completely bleedproof but it works well enough as a cheap alternative.

However, depending on your personal art style and preferences, you might want to try one of the other papers as well.

If you didn’t buy your Copics yet, you might also want to read our article on the best Copic markers to start with. Or if you already have them, you might want to check our article on easy things to draw with Copic markers or Copic marker tutorials.

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HOW TO CHOOSE AN ALBUM FOR MARKERS

It is in vain to think that markers are needed only to highlight text, while modern artists are already drawing real masterpieces with them. Markers for artists are not fluorescent orange, green, yellow or pink, but an extensive palette of various shades, from aggressively saturated to pastel. No less important than the palette of colors is paper, which must have special properties that hardly any other paper can replace.Marker consumption on special paper is much less. We will tell you about several of its options at once.

Let’s go directly to manufacturers who care about the quality of their paper. Folia (Germany) Album ZeichenBlock for 50 sheets (80 g / m2, A4) – universal paper option; suitable for both amateurs and professionals. 100% cellulose with a density of 80 g / m2, natural white color and smooth texture. The working side of the sheet does not distort the color of the markers, the ink dries quickly on it and does not spill.The reverse side, impregnated with a special composition, does not allow leakage. Albums for markers from Folia are sold in two formats – A3 and A4 (50 sheets each).

Not so long ago, paper from the English manufacturer Winsor & Newton appeared on our market. Album Bleedproof Marker Gummed Paper has unique properties, does not allow the marker pigment to be absorbed quickly, it remains on the surface of the sheet, hence the bright, saturated colors.The surface of the paper prevents ink from bleeding, ensuring precise lines. Both series have a weight of 75 g / m2 and a natural white color. Albums in A3 and A4 formats, 22.9 cm * 30.5 cm and 27.9 cm * 35.6 cm each contain 50 sheets.

A French manufacturer with over 400 years of experience has released an album for drawing with markers called Marker Layout . It contains 70 sheets of 70 g / m2 extra white, translucent, smooth paper. A special impregnation creates a water-resistant barrier and prevents leakage, the absence of acids in the composition guarantees excellent preservation.Album Marker Layout is suitable not only for all types of markers, but also for markers, liners, pens. Choose from A3 or A4 formats and get creative!

The gluing XL Marker is also in demand among artists. Series XL from Canson is the maximum number of sheets at a bargain price, an excellent option for students and hobbyists. Paper in XL Marker is the same as in the Marker Layout album, but in a larger quantity – 100 sheets instead of 70.

The album Canson Illustration was developed specifically for illustration and manga, for markers, pens, ink … It was tested by professional illustrators. The 250g / m2 extra-white smooth paper will not disappoint you, and the distinctive comic cover will delight the eye.

For those who prefer watercolor markers to alcohol or pigment markers, special albums are also created. An excellent example of this is ZeichenBlock or Dessin JA (24 cm * 32 cm, 120 g / m2, 50 sheets).


Whichever type of markers and work you prefer, it is easy to find the right paper for you: different sizes, weights, manufacturers – the assortment is wide and allows you to make a choice.

TOUCH MARK album for sketching

TOUCH MARK album for sketching | TACH markers + markers + colored pencils. Diaries, notebooks, albums

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5 Fast purchase with delivery time up to 5 days.In such purchases, there is no need to wait until the order is confirmed. You place an order and pay for it right away.

Sketchbook 30 sheets / size 230x170mm Ideal for TOUCH MARK

12 sheets block cage Ballpoint pen MagicWrite “Fox”, node 0.5mm blue ink Drawing album A4, 40 sheets on paper clip “Leopard”, cover coated cardboard, offset block Beginner Touch mark alcohol markers set consists of 24 of the most popular vibrant colors and their …

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Anna, thank you for your feedback. TOUCH MARK Albums have a SMOOTH surface in that they differ from regular album sheets. A regular sheet has a layer of fluff that can clog and ruin the marker nib.

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Markers for illustrators

Markers are widely used in professional activities by illustrators and designers. In our store you will find markers from brands such as Marvy Uchida, Letraset and Chartpak. Markers have different tip shapes.They also differ in the ink base (alcohol, water or solvent).

This is a Japanese brush-tipped permanent marker.

The name of the Le Plume 3000 series of markers translates as “pen”. The writing surface of this marker is a soft, flexible brush for fine or sweeping strokes, for mixing colors, or for painting a field of paper in an even tone.

Le Plume 3000 marker palette – 144 colors – most popular among illustrators and manga and comics artists.

Markers are alcohol based, making them ideal for quick sketching, visualization in design and dynamic sketching.

Colors can be mixed. Blender allows you to change the color saturation in the drawing.

Although the Le Plume series markers do not have a refueling system, the traditional quality of the Japanese company Uchida allows you to count on long-term use of markers without losing color.

Buy Marvy Le Plume 3000 in our store



Marker with three nibs for drawing lines of varying thickness.Tria markers offer plenty of room for creativity and are popular with amateurs and professionals alike.
Improved ink in three hundred different shades stays wet longer for better blending.
An important feature of Tria is the complete set of additional, replaceable cartridges, which you can replace the main ones when they are used up. Tria can also be refilled with special ink.
Alcohol based ink. Three nibs in one marker: fine nib, brush nib and wide nib for painting large surfaces.Modular marker design, replaceable parts. Optional ink cartridge
The Tria marker can be used on a variety of surfaces: glass, fabric, metal, plastic.

Buy Letraset Tria in our store



ProMarker ink is alcohol based, which means it has an incredible range of tones and can be used on a wide variety of materials, not just paper.ProMarker can be used to paint on glass, ceramics, wood, metal, plastic.
The widest range of colors: from bed shades to the brightest. Translucent paints can be overlaid and mixed to create new shades.
Quality ProMarker ink and nibs for consistent color with no visible streaks.
The ProMarker uses two nibs: a thin nib and a wide nib. The first is necessary for drawing details, and the second for painting. The wide nib can also be used to create strokes of varying thickness.

Buy Letraset ProMarker in our store


These markers use water-based pigment inks. And this is their main advantage over other markers: the colors mix easily, even if they are dry, you just need to moisten them in water. Aqua Markers give the effect of a watercolor paint, combining the convenience of a marker.
Aqua Markers have two different nib thicknesses for ease of use.
The Aqua Markers palette uses 60 shades. The ink is very bright and rich, acid-free.
Use a blender marker for better mixing.

Buy Aqua Markers in our store


These American markers produce particularly vibrant colors. They are often used for architectural visualization. Unlike its alcohol and water based competitors, Chartpak AD Marker is based on a non-toxic solvent.This quality allows this marker to be used not only on paper, but also on other surfaces: plastics and ceramics, and even on natural materials such as eggshells and shells. Although this marker uses a single nib, the shape is such that you can draw lines of different weights.

Buy Chartpak AD Marker in our store



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