Good experiences with bad materials


Hi, a newbie working on a storytelling-type deck here. I hope this isn't too similar to other threads about blank decks. I was wondering if anyone else has had interesting results from working with unsatisfactory materials.

For instance, I've been using the US Games blank deck, and in some ways I've found it terrible- it doesn't take a whole lot of mediums, you can't erase on it, and _everything_ smudges. Even my technical pens, which DO NOT smudge, ever, smudge for several hours after using. And coloured ink wash, my medium of choice, barely shows up, and looks blotchy and terrible. But, since I bought them, I figured I'd make use of them.

So, off I go, with I tech pens and prismacolor markers, which get a nice bright colour, but mess up the tech pen line by blurring it even more, and get muddy whenever it touches the ink line. This has made it impossible for me to even imagine I could get the carefully done, perfect images I envisioned (rather a distant dream anyway, with my meager art skills and lack of perfectionism in action).

And this has been a _good_ thing! Instead of stressing out about making it perfect, becoming frustrated and taking forever on each one so I lose interest b/c I'm never finishing anything, I feel free to go ahead and do it as roughly as I please- so I find myself lightening up about the whole thing, getting stuff done, and having fun! The rather odd style forced on my by the cards' limitations is even starting to grow on me.

I recommend the blank cards wholeheartedly to anyone who wants to get out of an over-perfectionist attitude!

So what about everyone else? Any serendipitous problems out there?

Boy, that got longer than I expected, sorry,



Just a thought, and I don't want to get your hopes up because I haven't tried this and am extrapolating other knowledge.

Have you tried Copic Multi Liners for your line art? They are the most smear-proof marker under the kind of abuse that I put them through. You can add color over them with alcohol based markers, and they do not smear. You can apply acrylic matte medium and they do not smear.

What I don't know is whether the ink will actually bond to the surface of the cards, or just float above and basically wash away with any subsequent layer. This is the real question, because I know that once they dry down on a more absorbent surface, they don't life.



Excuse me, the final word in my post should have been LIFT not LIFE.

I'm not a great typist and don't have edit privileges.


Yes, all the time! There's nothing like an unexpected limitation to bring up new ways of doing things that you'd never have considered if things had worked the way they were "supposed" to.

I've had a number of delightful experiences after running into software limitations on my graphics programs, and sometimes I'm not sure about going to the more sophisticated versions that solve the problem, because I might miss the next workaround.

Even the color limitations that are imposed by CMYK printing have ended up shifting color and composition in some incredibly interesting ways in the graphics I've done. On the other hand, I've learned not to try to get too much in love with purple or pure blue in a graphic, because it very seldom survives the transition.


Thanks, Ambermoon,

I've never tried the Coptic Multi-liners, but I may give them a try now. I use Staedtler Pigment liners, which are also unsmudgeable even with alcohol markers- or so I thought until using the blank cards. But at this point, I think it might be better to keep to my odd, smeary style a bit anyway!