Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Paper Comparison - Distress Ink Watercolored Image

Today I tested the papers by stamping an image with Jet Black Archival Ink and then coloring it with a Niji Waterbrush and Distress Stains/Inks; some details were added with Distress Markers.

Also, just to see how it would act I added a single dot of Distress Stain (Spiced Marmalade).  I did this because I wanted to see how the ink would soak into the paper and what it would look like afterwards. I found the results very interesting.

With this test you really want to pay attention to the intensity of the colors.  I colored each image exactly the same but the results are all different

Bazzill - nice color and really easy to blend. No buckling of paper at all.

Canson - colors were hard to control as they ran very easily.  It took lots of ink and was very absorbent but there was very little buckling/warping.    This is right in line with the mixed media aspect of this paper.

CC - Light color saturation, didn't blend the best, lots of pilling when I tried to blend and lots of warping & buckling.  The dot of Distress Stain however looks perfect.

Copic - Not so blendable - some pilling an warping.

Crafters Companion - Nice color saturation but lots of warping and some pilling when I tried to blend; not easy to blend colors.  

Georgia Pacific - Good color saturation, good blending, no pilling and some buckling/warping.

HP Photo Paper Glossy - Great color saturation but no blending at all.  No buckling because the water never soaked in.  Check out how funky the Distress Stain dot dried.

HP Photo Paper Matte (back) - Really light color saturation, some blending, no pilling or buckling.

JudiKins Matte Kote - REALLY light color saturation but great blendability.  No pilling or buckling/warping at all.

La Blanche - Extremely hard to watercolor this paper.  The water/ink just sat on the surface and never really soaked in which is why the image looks so washed out.  It did great with the Distress Markers but look at how the dot of Distress Stain dried...

Neenah Classic Crest - Nice color saturation, a bit difficult to blend, some pilling, lots of buckling/warping.

Neenah Exact Index - Nice color saturation, nice blending, quite a bit of pilling and lots of buckling/warping.

Ranger  Specialty Stamping - Extremely similar results to the La Blanche stamping paper.  Extremely hard to watercolor, hard to blend because the water just sits on the surface so it pretty much goes wherever it wants.  Because it's coated, no buckling or pilling at all.  The dot of Distress Stain on this again looks almost identical to the La Blanche cardstock.

Simon Says Stamp - Great color saturation, easy to blend, no buckling or pilling.

Strathmore - Nice color saturation, easy blending, no pilling or warping.

So, after the first color test what are your thoughts?
Has your opinion changed from your initial opinions?

Tomorrow I am going to test the same image using Tsukineko's Memento Dye Ink and Alcohol Markers ~ what many of these papers were made for.  It should be interesting!

See you then!


  1. I normally don't watercolor (I use copics or colored pencils) but it's fun to see the difference the paper makes. I will definitely keep this in mind if I want to give the Distress Inks a try.


  2. Thank you for sharing this info. I enjoy watercolour techniques and especially get frustrated when paper pills and buckles. I have now gotten to the point I use watercolour paper from the art section. Although I have found the cheap kids watercolour paper pads do pill. So there is a difference there too. I also buy watercolour paper in the large sheets from the art store. I am looking for good quality smooth watercolour paper these days, I haven't found the one yet, the quest is on for the perfect paper that can be easily gotten at the art supply store. Thank you for sharing today.
    Jacquelene L

    1. I have some watercolor paper I will be comparing in the near future! I like it too and yes, there are huge differences out there.

  3. That was a lot of work, I appreciate the time it must have taken you. Thanks for doing this.

  4. This is really helpful, and eye opening. It just goes to show how important it is to use the correct products to get the best results. The paper that you choose can make a big difference. I cannot wait to see the copic results. Thanks for doing this comparison.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!