Sunday, 22 July 2012

Pens & Cardstock

I picked my favourite cardstocks for pencil colouring (the W H Smith & the two Southfields in the top row) & then a selection of cardstocks normally recommended for use with alcohol markers (the three in the second row & the single in the third). Each piece of cardstock is labelled & the various test pieces all marked according to pen type except for the quartet of squares bottom right on each swatch - this was an afterthought where I used a Faber-Castell Polychromos black pencil, blending the top left square with a tortillon & then doing the same but also pulling the colour out from the bottom right square into the bottom left square. I hope that my explanations are sufficiently clear but if not please do not hesitate to ask.

I wanted to see how the Sakura Pigma Micron Pen compared with a similar ordinary fineliner pen available off the shelf from a good Stationers - in this case a Pilot V5 Hi-tecpoint. Of the two I much prefer the Pigma Micron for it has a far superior feel in the hand & has a more consistent line when applied to cardstock. It also has the advantage of being available in differing line widths & is marketed as being waterproof & fade proof. The Pilot's barrel gives no indication of anything but the name. I'd use the Pilot for rough drafts & when practising a new pattern but not for 'proper' tangled artwork.

I was astonished by the cardstock results with the best one, in my opinion, being the relatively inexpensive W H Smith 220 gsm White Card which is readily available throughout the UK.

The W H Smith cardstock gave the most even coverage when it came to filling in solid areas with the Pigma Micron & also gave a nice crisp distinct line. The Polychromos pencil also blends very well on this as there is a little tooth in the surface.

The two Southfield cardstocks, if anything, gave crisper & more distinct lines but disappointingly caught & started to pill the surface when it came to filling in a solid area. The Polychromos pencil blends beautifully on these & a little more evenly than the W H Smith but it is quite a marginal difference for me. When it comes to stamping detailed images these cardstocks are magnificent & I prefer them to the W H Smith  but that wasn't what I was testing for here.

The remaining four cardstocks were all rather disappointing when it came to filling in an area, for the coverage was patchy with the pen's ink seeming almost to pool & stick in areas. To my astonishment there was feathering of the ink on the Neenah & a clear distinct line almost impossible to achieve. None of these four cardstocks allowed the Polychromos pencil to blend smoothly either for they were somehow almost too slick.

These differences may not be visible from a distance or to a non-crafter but in my opinion they affect the overall experience of creating & ultimately the artwork produced as a whole. 

I include close-ups of the what I deemed the 'best' (W H Smith) & the 'worst' (Neenah). In all the photos I have edited out as much of the shadowing as possible & increased both definition & sharpness settings to the maximum.


Aquarius said...

Thanks so much for sharing these detailed testings of some of the many types of card available and it is also interesting to see the differences in the use of the two pens. I would have assumed that the smoother card sold as suitable for alcohol markers would have been excellent for the 'filling in' of patterns but obviously this isn't the case. I must say I've not tried the WHS card for any purpose but will be adding some to my list when I next go shopping in town. Thanks again - very helpful information,

Lorraine said...

hi huni i think this post is brill and one many crafters we come back to over and over well i know i will xx

Donalda said...

Wow thanks so much dear for this. I know this had to of took forever. Your so sweet. Hope you are doing well dear. Hugs

brenda said...

Hello Paula,

I think you must have far more patients than I do, it is so very interesting to read this post and see how much research you've done. Thank you so much to sharing.

B x

judith@poppy cottage said...

Meticulous as ever Paula, this is a great post. It does go to show that the purpose certainly changes the card that you require.

I am still going great guns with my Manga drawing pad, there is no pilling, and a pencil blends beautifully on the surface as well. I am definitely going to buy another one! I bought that from W H Smiths as well. However for proper pieces, i.e. swap pieces, I am yet to start trying out surfaces. Hope you are keeping well, Judith xx

Elizabeth Allan said...

Paula this detailed account of using different types of paper and pens is such a valuable reference. Thank you for so generously sharing your findings!

GinaA said...

This is really interesting Paula, I have some basic card-stock that I use for trying out ideas and I do use watercolour paper a lot for 'best'. My favorite pens are the Sakura micron as well.
Off to the CB site to have a look at what is going on there.