Another art material test. I bought a packet of white art card last week, wanting to try some different stock for creating cards and bookmarks. This is a high quality sealed card for encaustic art work (wax painting), rubber stamping etc, so I wasn’t quite sure if it would be suitable for tangling. Doing this little doodle, drawn from a random string, I learned the following:

1) This material is OK for pens using pigmented ink, such as Sakura Micron fineliners which Iused for all the black line work in this drawing. It isn’t particularly suitable for use of Indian ink, however, such as the Faber-Castell PITT artist pens. These are a little too wet for this sealed surface, so the ink tends to pool at the end of each stroke which results in a rather streaky finish.You can clearly see this in the brown patterns which were done with FC sanguine & sepia PITT artist pens, as well as in the drop shadows which were created using an FC Warm Grey Pitt artist pen.

2) Alcohol based markers do well on this surface, staying just wet enough to blend colours (as used on the little green leaves) but not wet enough to pool. I’ve used Copic Ciao markers to add colour to the patterns and the brushes, although a little too soft & spongy for accurate use, worked well with the ink of the Micron pens. They blended well but dried quickly enough to ensure a smooth finish.

3) Alcohol based markers and Indian ink pens do not mix! I tried to put a little bit of Copic Ciao Baby Skin pink (E21) over the sanguine & sepia stoke pattern to tone down the white showing through the marks a little but the alcohol, of course, pulled away the indian Ink pigment.

4) Any elaborate designs would have to be carefully planned and very carefully outlined if using pencil for this stage as this material does not take kindly to the use of an eraser. Any eraser marks show up horribly on this sealed surface & would be very hard to conceal in the finished drawing.

5) The sealed surface is also way too smooth for use of colour pencils.

6) The card itself marks quite easily and I haven’t yet found an effective way to remove any marks. I ended up resting my drawing hand on a piece of clean paper to protect the card. This, however, makes it much harder to draw accurate, fiddly patterns as said loose piece of paper has a tendency to shift at the most inopportune moments!

Verdict: This card has a great smooth white finish which allows for some nice crisp lines and really makes the colours pop. I may indeed use it at some point for cards & bookmarks (although the latter would have to be laminated before use to stop marking) but would only ever recommend using Micron and Copic pens on it.

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