Posca pens are among the best things to ever happen to illustrative and creative minds. And if you are wondering what is so special about them, well, they are vivid, opaque, smooth, lightfast, and super versatile paint pens.
These water-based acrylic paint pens mark literally any surface: glass, metal, select plastics, wood, cardboard, concrete, and ceramics. But if you got them to use on paper, you must be careful of your choice because some papers are flimsy and don’t do well with wet media.
When water-based ink comes into contact with regular paper, its fibers are weakened, making it disintegrate easily. If it survives tearing, it will bleed through and appear warped once dry, and this is unlikely the image you have for your artwork.
So, what is the best paper for Posca pens? The best paper for Posca pens is high-quality, sturdy, smooth-textured, and bleed-proof paper. Paper like Bristol and mixed media paper can handle the wetness of paint and rubbing of the nib without wrinkling or tearing.
Considering how expensive the Posca pens are, it would be such a shame to waste precious ink on any paper only to have your artwork ruined at some point. That is why we’ve compiled the best papers for Posca pens in this informative post to help you get the most out of these premium paint pens.
Choosing Paper For Posca Pens
All papers are not created equal. Some are excellent for pencil art but perform dismally with paint pens. That is why considering the nuances of different papers is critical before selecting one for your Posca pens. Here are the characteristics to look for;
Thin paper is usually not the best for paint pens like Posca, with a few exceptions such as tracing paper. It is not forgiving, and the tip is likely to feather the fibers with several passes and eventually tear into the page.
Essentially, thick paper of 160gsm or higher will do just fine. But again, it depends on what you want to do with the paper. You can get away with thinner sheets if it’s only highlights or graphic linear and geometric drawings.
The texture of the paper is fundamental when choosing paper for Posca pens. Smooth surfaces produce best results with Posca pens hence go for coated paper.
A smooth coat is critical, especially if you intend to blend and layer the paint. The coating minimizes the paint absorption speed, so you have a long window period to work the paint, mix colors and create smooth gradients before it dries.
Avoid super absorbent paper that will bleed and also soak the paint instantly. If the paper is not coated, at least it should be fine-grained. Visibly coarse paper may begin to pill when you go over it with the wet pens.
Binding and Cover
Assuming you are buying the paper in a book/pad (it’s more economical), the type of binding and cover matters when it comes to preserving the artwork you made with Posca pens. You wouldn’t spend so much on pens only to crumple and throw away the results.
If you are looking to save your drawings to showcase your best work in future, you need a sturdy binding like glue or thread where the pages won’t be flying away in due time. But a spiral binding will do for sheets you want to tear away easily for display or distribution.
It also has the advantage of flipping over and lying flat for a stable working surface.
As for covers, hardbound covers have more to offer in terms of protection and longevity than paper or fabric covers. The latter, however, makes portability a breeze as they make the book/pad lighter
If you’ve invested in Posca pens, chances are, the ultimate goal is professional results, and with that is the expectation of permanence. Therefore, it would greatly help if the paper were acid-free for archival purposes.
Since Posca pens’ paint is lightfast, and the paper is acid-free, your masterpiece will always look vibrant. Acid-free paper will not yellow over time from exposure to UV light.
Paper isn’t predominantly white. Although it is the most common color, you should not assume that your purchase will turn up white.
There are other near-white colors like ivory, cream, and off-white as well as darker colors like brown, gray, and even black. Therefore, select the correct color as per your needs. Please note that these colors may also affect the actual color of the pens and sometimes darken them.
The Best Paper For Posca Pens
Posca pens don’t come cheap. Therefore, your paper choice matters to avoid wastage of resources. If you are not familiar with the variety of papers available, or their capabilities, buckle up because we are about to expand your horizon. Here are the best papers to use with your Posca pens.
1. Bristol Paper
Bristol paper provides a thick and sturdy surface that enables you to draw without having to mount the paper. This type of paper consists of multiple layers of drawing sheets glued together into one.
It is available in 100lbs/260gsm weight and holds up to extensive layering. If your work or design involves huge solid blocks using your Posca pens, it is the only paper that guarantees stability, no bleed-through or distortion.
The most notable feature of the Bristol paper is its ultra-smooth finish that enables Posca pens to glide through streak-free. It is also available in vellum finish which has a little tooth.
2. Mixed Media Paper
Mixed media paper is currently many artists go to paper due to its versatility. It accommodates a range of dry and wet mediums, including acrylic paint pens.
The paper is hybrid and borrows its qualities from watercolor paper and drawing paper. It is a bit lighter than watercolor paper weighing anything between 180 and 260gsm.
The drawing surface is not perfectly smooth and has subtle tooth described as medium vellum. Yet it provides the best experience for layered artwork with Posca and other paint pens.
3. Canvas Paper
Canvas paper, as the name suggests, is a lot like an artist’s canvas and mimics it in many ways. The texture, thickness, and drag make it feel like an actual canvas.
The paper is coated, ensuring the paint from your Posca pens doesn’t sink through, and it doesn’t get soggy or warp.
Although it is on the heavy side of paper weight, it is still lighter than canvas. It comes in a couple of standard paper sizes in sketchpad book format but is not as big as large canvases.
Paired with Posca pens, canvas paper offers an economic surface for painting with acrylic pens or practicing various techniques. Being acid-free, you can preserve your best work and even have it framed or in a portfolio.
4. Watercolor Paper
Watercolor paper is built with superior wet strength, which lends itself well to watercolor painting.
So if it won’t bow down to a wet medium like watercolor paint, Posca pens made of fast-drying, water-based acrylic ink are a walkover.
This paper is very prevalent and is available in a range of thicknesses, weights, and finishes.
Typically, the weight ranges between 200-300gsm, which gives it a thick and stable profile. The surface could be hot pressed or cold pressed.
5. Marker Paper
Marker paper is explicitly designed for markers as they tend to bleed through regular paper. It is a thin coated/waxy, smooth paper that prevents ink from soaking.
There’s absolutely no bleed through; you can bid goodbye to feathering and ghosting.
The paper is welcoming of all types of pens and markers both water-based, gel-based, and alcohol-based inks. Your Posca pens will do just fine and last longer too.
You use less ink in the long run because it stays on top of the paper surface and looks like an actual acrylic painting once dry.
6. Sketch Paper
Any serious artist will not miss a sketchbook or pad in their backpack. And well, you might just want to use your Posca pens with it on the go for when an idea sparks in your mind or to capture breathtaking scenery.
But is sketch paper suitable for Posca pens? Sketch paper is thin, light, and smooth paper ideal for mostly pencils, graphite, and depending on quality, pen and marker drawing.
However, with the ever-expanding sketchbook and pad brands, it is increasingly becoming impossible to fit it into a single description. Today, sketch paper can be anything from stiff to flimsy, light to heavy, smooth or textured, small or extra-large, coated and uncoated, etc.
Therefore, emphasis is on quality and thickness. At least 90lbs sketch paper or higher will do and preferably bleed proof.
7. Tracing Paper
If you’ve transferred images between two papers before, or traced, this next paper is familiar to you. Tracing paper is a very thin, lightweight, semi-transparent paper. It’s hard to imagine that paint pens will fare well on this one.
Well, they do, and so do Posca pens. You could actually trace a sketch or drawing and color it in with Posca pens.
Hopefully, you can now find the best paper for Posca pens from our research-based recommendations and avoid splotchy, blotchy, messy illustrations. Remember, the quality of the sheets is key.
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