Nope! Mixed media paper and alcohol markers are not your ideal pair.
Due to the nature of the paper, the ink will be soaked up quickly and you won’t have time to work on it because it dries out. Creating sharp lines and adding details may also be challenging because of its textured nature.
Although mixed media paper claims to be ideal for various mediums, including markers, it would be best to limit its use with watercolors, acrylics, and other mediums that are dry, or can still be worked on while dry.
An important technique to follow when using alcohol markers is to keep your paper wet in order to blend out colors and make your outcome smooth. This will not be achieved with mixed media paper, because it absorbs your ink immediately, leaving no room for blending, even while using a colorless blender marker.
What Type Of Paper Is Good For Alcohol Markers?
There are a lot of paper options for when using alcohol markers such as marker paper, cardstock, bristol paper, etc. Here are some important characteristics to look for in a paper when using alcohol markers.
#1 Smooth Surface
In most cases, the smoother the paper, the better. The smoother paper takes longer to absorb the ink which is ideal for when using alcohol markers. This means that there is a long time to blend out colors. Being able to keep your paper wet is very important because a lot of blending techniques are achievable while your paper is still wet.
Smoother surfaces are ideal for beginners that are still exploring and playing around with blending techniques. For more experienced alcohol marker users, however, longer drying times might slow down their coloring process.
#2 At least 120 GSM thickness
Heavier paper can absorb more ink which is ideal for when using alcohol markers. This means that there is a lesser chance of bleeding and feathering of ink. When using alcohol markers, you will most likely be using layers and layers of ink that can only be handled by thick paper.
I would recommend beginners and casual artists use a paper of at least 120 GSM. For professionals, at least 180 GSM thickness would be best to ensure the best quality.
One thing to keep in mind as well is that the thicker paper, the more ink will also be absorbed, so your alcohol marker might run out of ink quickly.
Acid-free paper retains the vibrance of the ink for a longer time which ensures that your artwork does not lose its quality over the years. This is especially important for professional artists who sell pieces that may be for decoration or for display.
Marker Paper for Alcohol Markers
- Strathmore 400 Series Marker Pad – This professional-level opaque paper has a thickness of 190 GSM which strengthens its claim of being bleed-resistant. It also has an ideally smooth surface that allows seamless blending of alcohol markers, but at the same, it still provides friction for controlling alcohol markers. One downside is that its pad only has 24 sheets of paper which might be used up quickly.
- Bee Paper Company Bleedproof Marker Pad – This high-quality, semi-translucent paper has a thickness of 180 GSM. It has an ultra-smooth grain and is bleed-proof which makes it excellent for blending with alcohol markers. It has a lot of great reviews that attest to its bleed-proof paper. This would be your best choice if you are on a budget, as both 30 and 50 sheets are only priced under $20. Its paper is acid-free which means it can retain the vibrance of colors for a longer time.
- Ohuhu Marker Pads Art Sketchbook – This high-quality paper has a thickness of 200 GSM. It has a fine, smooth grain which is ideal for blending. Its paper is acid-free which means it can retain the vibrance of colors for a longer time. Although it claims to be 100% bleed-proof, its company also supplies a plastic page protector that can be put in between sheets to prevent bleeding. Another thing to consider is that it has a left-hand spiral binding which left-handers might find bothersome.
Bristol paper for Alcohol Markers
- Canson XL Series Bristol Pad – This bristol pad has a thickness of 260 GSM and claims to have excellent erasability. It has a smooth surface finish that is perfect for blending with alcohol markers and great for scanning your works digitally. It is also acid-free which means the color vibrance will last longer.’
Is Cardstock Good For Alcohol Markers?
Yes, cardstock is an excellent paper to use with alcohol markers because these are often thick and have a smooth surface which ensures that they are bleed-proof and allows for seamless blending.
Here are some of my recommendations for cardstocks to use with alcohol markers:
- X-Press It Blending Card – This paper is manufactured by a Japanese paper brand and is made to work with any alcohol-based marker. It has a thickness of 250 GSM, excellent for blending several layers of colors. The paper has a smooth surface which allows for seamless blending. The paper is also close to a true white, which means you won’t need to edit and color balance a scanned image of your drawings if you’re planning to import it digitally.
- Accent Opaque White Cardstock Paper – This cardstock has a thickness of 271 GSM, which would be the thickest paper out of all the recommendations. It has a smooth surface that allows for seamless blending. For only under $20, you can get a whole ream with 250 sheets. Another thing to love about this paper is that it’s environmentally friendly.
Is Watercolor Paper Good For Alcohol Markers?
Nope. Most watercolor papers are heavily textured and have a lot of tooth. Generally, smoother surfaces are preferred when using alcohol markers. Due to the nature of its texture, the ink will bleed everywhere and the color will feather out.
You will not be able to achieve clean, sharp lines because of this bleeding. You will also run out of ink faster because the watercolor paper is highly absorbent.
Using the proper kind of paper when using an alcohol marker, or for any medium, matters a lot. If you don’t use the proper kind of paper, you won’t be able to fully maximize its potential for creation, and you won’t be able to produce the unique effects and outcomes that are intended for these mediums.
For alcohol markers that may be a bit pricey, we surely don’t want to waste our money when we use them on the wrong type of paper. It’s better to invest in high-quality paper to make the most out of your alcohol marker.
Follow the guidelines and check out my recommendations to help you decide which paper to choose. You can also check out the articles about how to color with alcohol markers and how to use a colorless blender marker for blending alcohol markers.