Copic markers use alcohol ink, which is waterproof and can be layered and blended on paper and other surfaces. Available in a wide range of colors, Copics are refillable, and the tips are replaceable. This means you can also mix inks to create your own colors. Many types of paper work well with Copic markers, but you will want to avoid thinner, more porous papers, as the ink tends to bleed on them.
Copic makes its own paper brand specifically for use with the markers. As of July 2014, sketchbooks filled with this paper range in size from 5 by 7 inches to 11 by 14 inches. The blending card allows you to use Copic markers for stamping and card making. The smooth, almost slick, surface keeps colors bright and is acid-free. Manuscript paper comes with measurement guides for working with comic-strip panels and comes in two sizes. Illustration paper also comes in two sizes and two colors, "pure white" and "natural white." The paper works well with pen or ink, in addition to markers. Pure white is more transparent and bleed-proof. Natural white retains color better and is bleed resistant. Architects and other designers appreciate the bleed-resistant quality of alcohol marker pads, created for their layouts. The paper "grabs" markers with a slight tooth.
Glossy or coated marker papers hold the ink well and do not allow bleeding through the back of the paper. Matte card stock permits the ink to soak into the paper. In contrast, marker papers use less ink, but do not respond well to heavy layering as the colors will pool. Colors look different on both types of paper. Allow ink lines to dry completely before you color over them so they don't feather or smear.
Copic markers work well on smooth-grained paper, or with watercolor paper. If you use a paper with a slightly rough finish, take extra care when using fine tips so you do not damage them.
Images Printed Off a Laser Printer
With Copic markers, you can color images copied from most photocopiers or printed with a laser printer. The toner fuses the lines to the paper so the markers will not alter them. Test paper printed on an inkjet printer before you attempt to color it; each printer responds slightly differently to the alcohol in Copics.