I've been working a bit with ink illustration recently, and when coloring with marker pens I've been having issues with smudging. The ink from the linework smears out along with the color marker pen; an effect I'd really prefer to go without.

The paper I usually use for marker pen illustrations is the Canson XL Marker paper. It's a semi-translucent paper, which is nice to have when either going from a rough sketch to finished work, or when for example tracing a composite image (I've used that technique when making illustrations for backdrops to a consert). The properties of this paper, however, mean that any ink you use to draw on it will take longer to dry, because the paper doesn't absorb it. I'll try out some different papers in the future, but right now this is what I've got.

In my first test I used a few different types of pens and fine liners I had lying around. With each pen I drew a (somewhat) straight line next to the name of the pen. I then went over the lines with two types of marker pens: An orange Pro Marker, and a pinkish Touch Twin marker. Oddly there was very little smudging going on here. Even the Pigma brush held upp well, although there is a light haze of ink around it, smeared into the marker pen. I attribute this to there being such a thin layer of ink. So I went on to further testing...

The pens that I like the performance of the most are the Pigma Micron and the Tombow Fudenosuke. They have a very deep black color and no noticable bleed. I generally use the Pigma Microns a lot for this reason, but also for the feel of the pen.

I went on to make three more tests with these pens. The first I would let the ink dry for 3 minutes before applying marker pens, the second for 30 minutes, and the third I'd wait until the next day (it wound up being around 18 hours).

After 3 minutes the Pigma and the Tombow perform pretty much equally. Both smear a lot.

After 30 minutes the Pigma is still smearing just as much, but the Tombow is smearing significantly less. I would say the Tombow is at this poing usable to be colored over.

In the last test we can see that the Pigma is in fact STILL smearing (although less than before), while the Tombow is holding up in perfect condition.

Clearly, Tombows Fudenosuke pen is the preferable pen for use with Canson XL Marker paper if you're going to be using alcohol based marker pens on top of an ink drawing.

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