For any artist, having the right drawing paper is crucial for creating vibrant, detailed works with colored pencils. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which paper will work best for your artistic needs? When shopping for drawing paper, there are a few key factors to consider.
First, look at the tooth or texture of the paper. Papers with more tooth will grip the colored pencil pigments better and allow for richer, more vibrant colors. The downside is that papers with a lot of tooth can feel rough and scratchy. Smooth papers don't allow the colors to layer as easily. Finding the right balance is key.
You'll also want paper that is acid-free and archival quality for longevity. Paper that is too acidic will cause drawings to yellow and fade over time. The paper's weight is another consideration. Heavyweight paper reduces wrinkling and buckling. But lighter weights can be ideal for detail work.
The ideal drawing paper will have just the right tooth and thickness to suit your specific artistic style and colored pencil brand. Do you prefer bright, waxy hues or subdued, earthy tones? Detailed illustrations or expressive sketching? By thinking about how you draw, you can narrow your options to find your perfect sheet.
When investing time into creating a colored pencil masterpiece, you want it to last. Choosing the right paper provides the foundation to make your vibrant visions a reality. With so many factors to weigh, take your time, do your research, and find the paper that speaks to your inner artist. The results will be worth it.
9 Best Drawing Paper For Colored Pencils
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The product is ideal for artists and individuals interested in color pencil drawing, providing a compact and dedicated journal.
The product is ideal for creating drawings and artworks with colored pencils, ink, pastels, markers, and other artistic mediums.
The product is ideal for practicing and developing colored pencil drawing techniques.
The product is ideal for artists looking for a high-quality sketch pad to create detailed drawings using colored pencils, gel pens, and oil pastels.
The product is ideal for artists and students working with charcoal, colored pencil, ink, pastel, and markers.
The product is ideal for artists, this sketchbook is great for creating drawings with colored and graphite pencils, charcoal, and soft pastels.
The product is ideal for artists, students, and individuals who enjoy drawing with graphite or colored pencils and charcoal.
The product is ideal for artists and students working with charcoal, colored pencil, ink, pastel, and marker mediums.
The product is ideal for artists, the Arches Drawing Pad is perfect for pencil, charcoal, pastel, colored pencil, felt pen, and more.
1. Bee Paper – 5.5"x 8" Bee Creative Color Pencil Drawing Journal
I recently purchased the Bee Paper Watercolor book with the intention of using it for my Inktober drawings, and I must say, I am extremely impressed with the quality of this sketchbook. The paper, made from 100% cotton and cold pressed, is perfect for a variety of mediums. Although I typically prefer hot press paper for ink drawings, this watercolor book has exceeded my expectations.
Over the past few weeks, I have tested various inks on this paper, including Kuretake Fude pens, Speedball Calligraphy Ink, Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils, and even Mozart Mixtio alcohol markers and watercolor brush pens. The paper has held up beautifully to all of these mediums, showcasing vibrant colors and allowing for easy blending directly on the paper. The only instance of bleed-through occurred when I used a dark black alcohol-based marker, which was my own fault for using an unsuitable medium on cotton paper.
One of the standout features of this sketchbook is its ability to accept paint well and maintain vivid colors as they dry. Although there is some slight pilling with heavy washes, it does not affect the flow of the paint on the paper. Additionally, non-staining colors can be lifted off this paper without any damage. I also appreciate the fact that the paper is strong enough to be painted on both sides of each sheet.
The size of the sketchbook is perfect for on-the-go artists like myself, as it easily fits into my purse. I have not encountered any disappointments with this sketchbook so far. The covers are sturdy enough to paint in your lap, providing added convenience.
In addition to the Bee Paper Watercolor book, I also use the Stillman and Birn Epsilon/Zeta for alcohol markers, pen and inks, and pigment markers. However, when I came across the Bee Paper Company Creative Marker Book, I was immediately drawn to it. The paper felt amazing in my hands, as it is smooth and thick (110lbs). The color of the paper is a beautiful creamy white with a warm undertone, which enhances the appearance of markers.
I have found that this sketchbook is perfect for using colored pencils alongside alcohol markers, as they blend seamlessly together. However, it is worth noting that erasing can be a bit challenging due to the smoothness of the paper. If alcohol markers are applied heavily, there may be some bleed-through, but this is a common occurrence across different papers. The thick covers of this sketchbook offer excellent protection for artwork.
Considering the price and quality, I highly recommend the Bee Paper Company Creative Marker Book for those who primarily use alcohol markers and pens. It has quickly become my go-to sketchbook for using copic markers, and I am thrilled to have discovered this new addition to my art supplies. Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying this sketchbook and its exceptional performance.
2. Artist's Delight: Canson Xl Black Paper Pad
The Canson Black Drawing Paper Sketchbook is a fantastic product for artists of all levels. Whether you're a professional or just starting out, this sketchbook offers a great surface for a variety of mediums.
One of the standout features of this sketchbook is the black paper itself. The texture is smooth and it provides a wonderful backdrop for pastels. The pastel colors really pop on this paper, creating vibrant and eye-catching artwork. However, some users mentioned that they wished the paper was a bit thicker. Despite this minor drawback, it didn't deter them from purchasing the product again.
The versatility of this sketchbook is truly impressive. Users have experimented with different mediums such as watercolor, sumi ink, acrylic brushes, pencils, ballpoint pens, Micron pens, and even Sharpies. The paper performed exceptionally well with all of these tools, with no bleeding or smudging. It also allows for layering and cutting, making it suitable for various techniques and projects.
The durability of the paper is worth noting as well. It can withstand broad lines without tearing or wrinkling, and it can even be cut into panels and sewn or glued together. This makes it a great choice for artists who want to create unique compositions or mixed media pieces.
In terms of usability, the Canson Black Drawing Paper Sketchbook is user-friendly. It has a pleasant scent, reminiscent of real paper, and the pages tear out easily, allowing for hassle-free removal or display. The weight and quality of the paper are also commendable, providing a smooth surface for all types of inks to glide on effortlessly.
For beginners, this sketchbook is a fantastic choice. It offers an ideal surface for colored pencils, and it erases easily, allowing for experimentation and corrections. Users have also tested it with Sharpies and fine-tipped pens, and although not explicitly mentioned, it is likely to work well with these inks too.
3. Strathmore (25-752 300 Learning Series Colored Pencil Textures Pad , White , 9×12 In
I recently decided to give watercolor painting another try after a few failed attempts in school. As a fan of Kelly's youtube tutorials, I was excited to dive into her book and learn more. The book is filled with 32 pages of full-color breakdowns, covering everything from brushes and paints to paper preparation and using masking fluid. I wish I had this book when I was younger as it answers many questions I didn't even know to ask.
One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it caters to beginners like me. Even though I already use watercolors, I often found myself getting stuck at the end of projects. This book serves as a great refresher of the basics and makes the learning process fun. I knew that Kelly's videos accompanying the book would be just as enjoyable, and I was right.
The book and videos are suitable for anyone looking to learn watercolor painting. You don't need a lot of supplies to get started, as Kelly starts with the most basic materials. The accompanying website provides additional support, with a video guide on how to use the book and watch the instructional videos. It even includes templates and line drawings for those who may feel nervous about sketching.
As someone who has always been interested in watercolor painting but never had the chance to learn it professionally, this book has been a game-changer. The content is well-organized and easy to understand, even for someone like me who doesn't have an art background. The step-by-step instructions are clear and guide you through each project.
I was so satisfied with this book that I also purchased Kelly's other book, "Watercolor Basics," and I love them both. Whether you're a beginner or have some experience with watercolors, I highly recommend this book. It's a fantastic resource that will help you discover the joy of watercolor painting, just like I did.
4. Art Supply Black Heavyweight Sketch Pad – 2 Pack
I recently decided to try out a new art style and I must say, I have no regrets. The paper quality of this pad is exceptional, making it perfect for use with gel pens and colored pencils. If you're looking to experiment with a new style using black tone paper, I highly recommend giving this pad a try.
The paper itself is incredibly smooth, making it well-suited for colored pencil drawings, pastels, gel and paint pens. However, it's worth noting that standard markers like Copic alcohol markers won't show up on this black paper. In the photos I took, I used Uniball Signo UM-153 pens, which worked perfectly without any bleed through.
I personally used Prismacolor Verithin colored pencils with this paper and they worked very well. However, I found that the white color didn't pop as much as I would have liked. For deeper and more vibrant colors, I believe using the softer core Prismacolor pencils would be a better choice. Additionally, I wish the black tone of the paper itself was a bit darker.
I should also mention that I received this product in exchange for an honest review. And let me tell you, I rarely post reviews unless I truly love a product. As someone who has been searching for good black paper for dip nib pens, I can confidently say that this paper keeps the ink in place. I typically use acrylic or watercolor as my main ink resource, and I found that the best results come from having good ink consistency and using the right paper.
5. Artist's Choice: Strathmore 9×12 Drawing Paper Pad
I recently purchased this drawing pad as part of a bundle of art materials for my grand daughter, and I must say, I am quite impressed with its quality. I already own one myself and have found it to be a very nice type of drawing paper, with a good weight and sturdy body.
The surface of the paper is just right for a wide range of drawing, painting, and craft uses. It is not too shiny or grainy, and it strikes a perfect balance between absorbency and smoothness. This makes it a pleasure to draw and paint on, as it allows for precise details and vibrant colors.
One of the standout features of this drawing pad is its ability to withstand wet media without wrinkling or cockling. This is particularly important for artists like me who enjoy working with watercolor or ink. The paper's firm and weighty nature ensures that it remains intact, even when a large pool of ink is applied to it.
I have also discovered that this paper is excellent for calligraphy projects. Its smooth and consistent texture allows the pen to glide effortlessly across the surface, resulting in clean and crisp lines. The ink does not bleed or warp the paper, making it ideal for creating intricate and precise lettering.
Furthermore, I appreciate the fact that the paper is a good shade of white. It is not too creamy or grey, but rather a plain white that provides a clean canvas for my artwork. The quality of the paper is exceptional, and it has quickly become my go-to choice for any projects that I plan on giving to others.
6. Spiral Bound Artist Sketch Pad – 100 Sheets
I recently purchased this sketchbook for my summer pencil artwork, and I must say, it has exceeded my expectations. The top spiral design allows me to draw in landscape orientation and easily flip through the pages from left to right, just like any book in the Western world.
The paper in this sketchbook takes graphite exceptionally well, providing a smooth surface for my drawings. Additionally, it offers plenty of pages for me to fill up over the summer. I particularly appreciate the big and stiff spiral, as it lays flat when I'm working on my artwork, and the pages never get caught on the rings.
The heavy cardboard covers of this sketchbook are a game-changer. They not only keep the pages flat and protected in my backpack or while on the go but also offer much-needed support during use. The subtle perforation allows for easy removal of pages, but I would recommend tearing them out of the rings first and folding across the perforation front and back before removing the edge waste to avoid any tears or rips.
One of the best things about this sketchbook is that it comes as a set of two. This makes it an incredible value for money. The quality is excellent, and the pages stay securely attached at the perforation. Moreover, the acid-free paper is perfect for sketching, ensuring that my artwork will stand the test of time.
I haven't had a chance to test the durability of this sketchbook in my art class yet, but considering the overall quality, I have high hopes that it will hold up exceptionally well.
Lastly, I must mention that the delivery of this sketchbook was prompt, and it arrived just as I needed it. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this product and would highly recommend it to any artist in need of a reliable and high-quality sketchbook.
7. Premium 9×12 Art Pad With Graphite & Charcoal
I am extremely satisfied with the US Art Supply 9" x 12" Premium Drawing Paper Pad. The quality of this sketch pad is exceptional, making it perfect for professional use. The texture, weight, and brightness of the paper are all top-notch.
I have recently switched to exclusively purchasing art supplies from US Art Supply on Amazon, and I have not been disappointed. Their products are reliable and of great quality, always at a fair price. Additionally, the fact that they offer free Prime Shipping is a huge bonus.
One of the standout features of this sketch pad is the thickness of the paper. It is thick enough to prevent bleeding if markers are used, but it also works well with colored pencils, charcoal, and other mediums. The dimensions of the pad are accurately described in the product description, so there is no risk of disappointment upon receiving it. The medium size of the pad is perfect for making sketches and drawings.
The cover and binding of the pad are sturdy, and the pages have a satisfying weight and texture. The paper feels premium and adds a professional touch to any artwork.
In terms of value, the current sale price of this pad is an absolute steal. I highly recommend it to anyone in need of a high-quality sketch pad.
To address any concerns about bias, I would like to clarify that I received this product at a discount or as a free sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I can assure you that 100% of the opinions I give are based solely on the functionality, price, and actual use of the product.
8. Canson Cream Artist Wirebound Pad – Versatile Sketchbook
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Canson 1557 Drawing pad, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. As someone who is fairly new to drawing, I was initially hesitant about the price of the pad. However, after using it for a beginner's drawing class, I quickly realized why my instructor recommended it.
The pad contains 25 sheets of high-quality paper, which I initially thought was a bit limited. However, I soon discovered that this actually made me more conscious of my work and motivated me to put more effort into each assignment. The paper itself is incredibly smooth and has the perfect amount of tooth for erasing. I made the mistake of trying a cheaper alternative with lower gsm, only to find that it lacked the necessary texture for my erasing needs. Needless to say, I quickly returned to the Canson 1557 Drawing pad and found myself much happier with the results.
One of the things I appreciate about this sketchbook is its suitability for my drawing style. I enjoy spending around 1-3 hours on pencil drawings that require a lot of erasing. The paper in this pad strikes the perfect balance between being nice enough to work with, yet not so expensive that I'm afraid to touch it. Additionally, I'm pleased to note that this pad is made in the USA and does not contain any plastic, which aligns with my personal values.
However, I do have a minor complaint about the color of the paper. While it is advertised as "cream," I found it to be more of an "off white" or "natural" shade. Personally, I prefer this color, but it's worth mentioning for those who have specific preferences.
In terms of durability, I must say I am impressed. I am quite hard on my sketchbooks, as they often accompany me in a backpack that receives less than gentle treatment. Despite this, both the front and back covers of the Canson 1557 Drawing pad have remained intact. The only casualty was the small paper leaflet on the front, which seemed to be designed to be removed anyway.
All in all, I am extremely satisfied with this 5.5"X8.5" Spiral Drawing Pad. With 60 sheets of beautifully textured 90 lb off white colored paper, it offers excellent value for the price. As someone who loves Canson products, I can confidently say that this particular item lives up to the brand's reputation for strong and smooth paper. I highly recommend giving it a try, and I will certainly be purchasing it again myself.
9. Arches Artist Drawing Pad: 100% Cotton, 10×14", 16 Sheets
Arches continues to impress with their amazing paper quality. The paper is perfect for graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils, making it a versatile choice for artists. The thickness of the paper surpasses that of other drawing papers, giving it a sturdy feel without being overly stiff. While it may not be suitable for watercolor techniques or heavy wet media, it excels in soft mediums like pastels and 8B pencils.
The texture of the paper is smooth but has a slight grab, allowing it to hold pigment exceptionally well. It has a soft, velvet-like texture, reminiscent of printmaking paper or textured newsprint. Artists who enjoy working with a variety of mediums will appreciate the paper's adaptability.
While the paper is great for colored pencils, it may require a bit more pressure, which could potentially damage the paper. Additionally, erasing on this paper is not recommended. It is essential to handle it with care to preserve its surface integrity.
In comparison to Arches' watercolor paper, this drawing paper is quite different. The watercolor paper is thicker and stiffer due to the gelatine sizing added to it, which acts as a glue. On the other hand, the drawing paper seems to have less sizing, resulting in a softer texture.
Similar papers to Arches' drawing paper include BFK Rives, which has less sizing and a similar texture, available in different weights and colors. Arches' text paper also shares similarities, but it has more sizing. Certain Stonehenge papers offer comparable textures, but they tend to be thicker and have more sizing.
Are there any specific features to look for when selecting drawing paper for colored pencils?
When selecting drawing paper for colored pencils, there are several features to consider. One important factor is the paper's tooth or texture. Look for a paper with a medium to heavy tooth, as this will allow the colored pencils to grip the surface and create vibrant and layered effects.
Another feature to consider is the weight or thickness of the paper. Heavier weight papers, such as those labeled as "drawing" or "mixed media," are ideal as they can withstand multiple layers of colored pencil without warping or tearing.
Additionally, acid-free and archival-quality paper is recommended to ensure the longevity of your artwork. This type of paper will resist yellowing or fading over time. Lastly, consider the color of the paper.
Opt for a neutral or off-white tone, as it will allow the colors of the pencils to appear more vibrant. Overall, choosing a high-quality drawing paper with the right tooth, weight, and color will enhance your colored pencil artwork and provide the best results.
Are there any specific types of paper that prevent color bleeding or smudging with colored pencils?
Yes, there are specific types of paper that can help prevent color bleeding or smudging with colored pencils. One popular option is called "drawing paper" or "sketch paper," which is usually thicker and has a slightly rougher texture compared to regular printer paper.
Drawing paper is designed to hold the pigment from colored pencils more effectively, reducing the chances of smudging or bleeding.
Another option is "vellum paper," which is smoother and has a finer texture. Vellum paper is often used by artists who want to achieve more precise and detailed work with colored pencils. Its smooth surface allows for better control over the pencil, while minimizing the risk of smudging.
Additionally, there are specialized papers marketed as "colored pencil paper" or "artist-grade paper" that are specifically designed for colored pencil work. These papers are usually heavier, have a unique surface texture, and are more resistant to smudging and bleeding.
It's important to experiment with different types of paper to find the one that works best for your specific needs and preferences. Keep in mind that the quality and characteristics of the colored pencils themselves, as well as the technique used, can also affect the likelihood of color bleeding or smudging.
Are there specific brands of drawing paper that work better for colored pencils?
Yes, there are specific brands of drawing paper that work better for colored pencils. The choice of paper can greatly affect the quality and outcome of your colored pencil artwork. It is recommended to use a heavier weight paper with a smooth surface to achieve the best results with colored pencils.
Some popular brands that are known for their compatibility with colored pencils include Strathmore, Fabriano, Canson, and Bristol. These brands offer a variety of options in terms of paper weight, texture, and finish.
It is important to choose a paper that has enough tooth or texture to hold the colored pencil pigment, while also allowing for smooth blending and layering.
When selecting a paper, consider factors such as the type of colored pencils you are using, the desired effect or style of your artwork, and personal preference. It is also a good idea to experiment with different brands and types of paper to find the one that suits your artistic needs and preferences the best.
Can you recommend any specific drawing paper that is compatible with colored pencils?
Certainly! When it comes to colored pencils, finding the right paper is crucial for achieving the best results. One highly recommended option is the Strathmore 400 Series Colored Pencil Paper. It is specifically designed to enhance the performance of colored pencils.
The paper has a slightly textured surface that allows the colored pencil to grip and layer the pigment effectively. It also has a heavyweight (100lb) and acid-free composition, ensuring durability and longevity of your artwork.
Another excellent choice is the Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper, which is suitable for both wet and dry media, including colored pencils. It has a smooth surface that allows for effortless blending and layering of colors.
Additionally, it is available in various sizes and formats to suit your preferences. Ultimately, it's essential to experiment with different papers to find the one that works best for your specific style and techniques.
Does the color of the paper affect how the colored pencils look?
Yes, the color of the paper can have an impact on how colored pencils look. When using colored pencils on different colored papers, the color of the paper can influence the overall appearance of the drawing.
If you use colored pencils on white paper, the colors will appear more vibrant and true to their original hue. This is because white paper reflects light and doesn't interfere with the colors you are applying.
However, when colored pencils are used on colored papers, the color of the paper can alter the way the pencil colors appear. For example, if you use a yellow colored pencil on blue paper, the resulting color may appear greenish due to the interaction between the pencil color and the paper color.
Therefore, it's important to consider the color of the paper when using colored pencils. Experimenting with different color combinations can yield interesting and unique effects, but it's advisable to test the colors on a small scrap of paper before committing to a larger drawing.
How does the texture of the paper affect colored pencil drawings?
The texture of the paper plays a significant role in colored pencil drawings. It determines how the colored pencils interact with the surface and affects the overall appearance of the artwork.
Smooth paper with a fine texture allows for precise detailing and smooth blending of colors. It is ideal for creating realistic and highly detailed drawings. The smooth surface also enables the colored pencils to glide effortlessly, making it easier to achieve smooth gradients and subtle shading.
On the other hand, textured paper, such as rough or grainy surfaces, adds character and depth to colored pencil drawings. The texture of the paper can create interesting patterns or enhance the illusion of texture in the artwork.
It is particularly useful when drawing subjects like landscapes, where the roughness of the paper can simulate the appearance of foliage or rough surfaces.
Ultimately, the choice of paper texture depends on the desired effect and style of the colored pencil drawing. Experimenting with different textures can lead to unique and visually appealing results.
How does the tooth of the paper affect the application of colored pencils?
The tooth of the paper refers to its surface texture, which can vary from smooth to rough. The tooth of the paper plays a crucial role in the application of colored pencils.
A paper with a smoother tooth will allow the colored pencil to glide more easily across the surface, resulting in a cleaner and more even application. This is ideal for achieving sharp and precise lines, as well as layering multiple colors.
On the other hand, a paper with a rougher tooth provides more texture for the colored pencil to grab onto. This can create a grainy or textured effect, which can be beneficial for certain artistic styles or when aiming for a more expressive and dynamic look.
It's important to consider the tooth of the paper based on your desired outcome. For detailed and controlled work, a smoother tooth is generally preferred. However, if you're looking to add texture or create a specific artistic effect, a paper with a rougher tooth would be more suitable.
Ultimately, experimenting with different types of paper and understanding how the tooth affects your colored pencil application will help you achieve the desired results in your artwork.
Is it necessary to use a certain weight or thickness of paper for colored pencil drawings?
While there is no specific requirement for the weight or thickness of paper when using colored pencils, it is generally recommended to use a heavier weight paper to achieve better results. A heavier weight paper, such as 140lb (300gsm) or higher, will be more durable and less likely to buckle or warp under the pressure of the colored pencils.
Additionally, a thicker paper will have a smoother surface, allowing the colored pencils to glide more easily and evenly across the page. This will result in a more vibrant and polished finish to your colored pencil drawings.
However, the choice of paper ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired effect you want to achieve in your artwork. Feel free to experiment with different paper weights and textures to find the one that suits your style and technique best.
Is there any specific paper that helps to enhance the vibrancy and saturation of colored pencil drawings?
Yes, there are specific types of paper that can help enhance the vibrancy and saturation of colored pencil drawings. The key is to choose a paper with a smooth surface and a good tooth (texture) that allows the colored pencil pigment to adhere well.
One popular choice is Bristol paper, which is known for its smooth texture and ability to hold multiple layers of colored pencil. Another option is illustration board, which has a slightly rougher surface that can create interesting texture effects with colored pencils.
Additionally, some artists prefer using specialized colored pencil papers that are specifically designed to enhance the vibrancy and saturation of colored pencil artwork.
Ultimately, the best paper for your colored pencil drawings will depend on your personal preference and the specific effect you want to achieve. It's recommended to experiment with different types of paper to find the one that suits your style and desired outcome the best.
What is the best type of drawing paper for colored pencils?
When it comes to choosing the best type of drawing paper for colored pencils, there are a few factors to consider. One important factor is the weight of the paper. It is recommended to use heavier weight paper, typically around 80-100lb, as it can handle the layering and blending techniques often used with colored pencils.
This prevents the paper from wrinkling or tearing.
Another consideration is the texture of the paper. Some artists prefer a smooth surface, while others prefer a slightly rough or textured surface. Smooth papers are great for achieving fine details and precise lines, while textured papers can add depth and enhance the overall appearance of the artwork.
Additionally, acid-free paper is highly recommended to ensure the longevity of your colored pencil drawings. Acid-free paper prevents yellowing or deterioration over time.
Some popular choices for colored pencil drawings include bristol board, hot-pressed watercolor paper, and drawing papers specifically designed for colored pencils. Ultimately, the best type of drawing paper for colored pencils will depend on your personal preferences and the specific effect you want to achieve in your artwork.