Like paints, pastels, and other media, markers perform better on certain papers than on others. Sure, you could achieve a lovely design on a piece of printer paper, but you really won’t be getting the nicest results out of, say, your cherished Copics or Prismacolors if that’s your go-to canvas. To bring out the best qualities your markers have to offer, pick up some paper expressly made for them. These papers are typically coated to prevent bleed-through, and the best ones offer fibers that allow complex blending. Find your next drawing pad in our recommendations below.
1. Canson XL Marker Paper Pad
Bleed-resistant and welcoming of permanent, water-based, and alcohol-based markers, Canson’s marker paper is a great-quality pick for everyday use. The sheets in this 9-by-12-inch pad are slightly waxy, which helps nibs glide across the page, prevents bleeding, and facilitates blending. The paper is also semi-translucent so you can trace drawings but still use the results as frameable works of art. If you’re unfamiliar with marker paper, the 18-pound sheets might seem flimsy to the touch, but don’t worry—these hold their structure even as you layer on ink.
2. Ohuhu Spiral-Bound Marker Pad
Ohuhu, producer of the popular namesake alcohol-based markers, developed this paper specifically for its products. Accordingly, the sheets in the spiral-bound book are a dream to draw on using alcohol markers—and not just Ohuhu’s. They’re much heavier than our top pick, with a 120-pound weight, so you can feel completely at ease if you tend to have a heavy hand when coloring and blending; the sheets also tolerate erasures very well. And if you need even more assurance against bleeds, the pad also comes with a clear mat to place under your working page.
3. Crayola Giant Marker and Watercolor Pad
Looking for something a little more basic? Although this marker paper lacks the quality of artist-grade products, it is very affordable and super resilient—two reasons why it is an especially great choice for young ones. The bright white sheets feel similar to copy paper but are a notch more durable, and they’re larger too, at 12 by 16 inches. They’re also smooth, so kids can draw freely and press as hard as they wish, and the surface remains easy on the marker tips.
4. Bienfang Graphics 360 Marker Paper Pad
For decades, Bienfang’s marker paper has remained a favorite among professional illustrators and designers for its particular weight and texture. Like Canson’s sheets, these are semi-translucent papers; in fact, they are thinner still than Canson’s, but they retain the durability to handle artistic flourishes. You can blend freely with alcohol markers without experiencing bleed-through, layer to your heart’s content, and erase cleanly without tearing. Because the sheets are sheer, you can use them for tracing and layering concepts in progress.
5. U.S. Art Supply Manga-Marker Paper Pad
If your drawing tools of choice are water-based markers, consider this paper pad. The papers have a 60-pound weight, feel slick, and handle watery solutions very well without smudging, warping, or pilling. You don’t have to worry about bleed-through, either, even if you’re smoothing out your colors with a brush. The paper has a slightly glossy finish that adds a touch of sophistication to the final image.