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I am planning on using markers for a drawing. As I have never used markers, I lack knowledge about them.
Is it okay to use them on normal drawing paper, or should I use sketch paper?

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When you say "is it okay", that implies that there's a rule about what you can use with what, or that everybody who uses markers, uses a particular kind of paper for a reason.

Any medium will have different characteristics on different kinds of paper. You probably want to avoid something that's incompatible. For example:

  • a medium that's thick and brittle on tissue paper; it's likely to flake off
  • a medium that won't adhere to the surface, so it will tend to aggregate in spots rather than stay where you put it
  • a chemical incompatibility like acidity/alkalinity, where the medium and paper can interact and change color or other characteristics
  • a medium that requires a different kind of surface texture to work as intended, like a rough surface to abrade a material like chalk or charcoal, or an extremely smooth surface to use a metal-tipped technical pen.

Once you get beyond those kinds of problems, it's more a case that different kinds of paper will give you different kinds of appearance. It may also require the right techniques and some practice to "bend the combination to your will". Part of art is experimenting with those variations to see what combinations give you results you find pleasing or achieve what you're trying to accomplish.

  • Thank you so much for replying – NSR Oct 17 at 16:26
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I'm not sure what you're defining as "normal drawing paper" or "sketch paper," but you can ultimately use markers on any surface, however you will experience different results depending on the qualities of the paper.

Weight

Markers will generally soak into the paper and bleed to some degree (with some brands tending to bleed more than others); working with a thicker paper like bristol or watercolor paper will tend to resist bleed-through better than thinner papers like newsprint.

Tooth

You'll generally get a smoother result with a smoother surface, though depending on the result you're looking for, you may like the look of using a paper with more tooth to it. Experiment here to see what you prefer.

Coatings

Some papers (marker pads, for instance) will be coated to prevent bleed-through on a thinner sheet; this can allow for better workability in blending, but may also result in less saturated colors as the ink cannot soak into the surface. This can also create issues with layering multiple colors or extensive blending; again, this may come to personal preference and style.

Absorption

If you're planning on extremely heavy blending, particularly using water and water-based markers, you may wish to consider a paper that is better suited to heavy water applications such as a smooth watercolor paper over a lighter paper that may warp or disintegrate when saturated with water.

Bleed

You may also wish to experiment with the amount of bleeding your chosen markers will exhibit on different papers. All markers will bleed to some degree (except, possibly, on coated papers), but some papers will wick the ink away from where you deposited it more than others. You'll want to find an amount of bleed that works for you, and learn to work with it as you're drawing.

  • Thank you so much for the info. I really appreciate it. – NSR Oct 17 at 16:25
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"Bond" paper is usually best for markers, it has a smooth flat surface and is usually thick enough to prevent too much bleed through. If fact there are specifically made papers for magic markers called "Marker Bond", "Marker Layout" or just "Marker Paper".

With markers the main issue you will face is bleed, where the ink soaks in and expands in the paper. Bonds and Marker papers are made in a way that minimizes this. Also markers do not gain any benefit from roughness or tooth in a paper, so avoid papers with a lot of texture, like charcoal paper, watercolor paper, or even a lot of sketch papers (where bleed will be an issue anyway.)

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