Chamois really grabs the color in my experience. If you want to lay down some heavier color go with that surface, otherwise stick to the matte/semi-matte surfaces. I've not seen any great difference in paper brands, just surfaces. I like the use the tubes of Marshall's oil, although I have been working a bit more with their pencils recently and kind of like them more now than when I first started. If you are just starting out, I would suggest trying a small pack of each so that you can see what the results are for yourself - it's the best way to answer this sort of question.
i am in Europe and just discovering the joys of darkroom and of hand tinting prints,
question is does anyone know how i could get my hands on Marshall products in germany?
would appreciate it
You don't need Marshall's products, if they're difficult to find. Any tubed oils will work. Same for pencils- Prismacolor, Walnut Hollow, etc. will also work.
I've been restoring old photos and hand tinting many of them for years, for a fee. The best papers were semi-matte FB, most notably, Kodak Ektalure G (designed for hand coloring) and various Forte semi-matte FB papers. These brown toned well for hand tinting as transparent oils will not color black shadow areas, but you can add black, or any color, over brown toned shadows. I haven't found a good alternative for these discontinued papers yet. Matte surface has too much tooth, therefore I recommend a smooth semi-matte surface for best results and avoiding the painterly look - the end product should be a 'tinted photograph' not a painted over photograph - the photo should be visible through the tranparent color.