Reviewing customer feedback and analyzing the best variants of paper for colored pencils took more than 18 hours. This allowed the describing of all the advantages and disadvantages in detail and the making of a list of the 10 best paper.
Best 10 Brands of Paper for Colored Pencils
Arteza Drawing Pad: Perfect Choice
Arteza Drawing Pad must be the best paper for colored pencils. It is good quality, acid free, and has a nice structure and a warm white color which doesn’t make your eyes tired while coloring.
A sheet weighs 80 lb, 130 gr, and the size is 9 by 12 inches, acid free. The set contains 80 sheets, which is nice for kids since they always have the inspiration to draw another picture.
- Perfect fit for charcoal, color pencils, and watercolor
- It has a smooth surface
- The density is nice
- It can also be used for the printer
- Markers can leave some stains on the sheets underneath
When working with watercolors, users won’t experience any damage, and it won’t even affect wrong color rendering. What else is there to say? This sample is perfect for any type of media and is irreplaceable for any purpose. Besides, this product might be attractive for lots of people because this brand is budget-friendly.
Canson XL Series Watercolor: Top Art Paper
Canson XL Series Watercolor has a very long history, thus this brand is pretty old. Speaking about the XL series for watercolor – it is perfect for coloring works. And the manufacturer advises people to use this for any type of art except with markers and oil. However, it is not a good option for lifting watercolor with water since it gets damaged and leaves residue.
The size is 11*15 inches, it is 140 lb, 300 grs. The set has 30 sheets.
- Set is quite thick
- The color blending is nice
- It absorbs color correctly, the colors stay vibrant
- Perfect for everyday usage
- Sheet gets wavy after watering
- Leaves residue after lifting the colors with water
- Doesn’t interact with different art techniques correctly (salt, plastic)
During numerous tests, Canson has shown nice results. Meanwhile, when mixing colors on a water base there appears some sort of a “cauliflower” effect meaning the stain gets branched. Thus, mention this before you apply it.
They also have nice blending abilities; however, while applying watercolor pens, it seems that the surface is covered with something oily. Thus, the color doesn’t spread correctly and leaves a grainy texture.
Summing up, with confidence, Canson is a very nice option for artworks and it keeps vibrant colors perfectly.
Strathmore 400-3 Series: Good for Beginners
The Strathmore 400-3 Series is another budget friendly option for artists, especially beginners. As with the previous one, it is also an old brand with a 125-year history.
This sample is perfect for quick drawing, and it is also nice for any type of coloring: colored pencils, soft and oil pastels, pens, watercolor, ink, etc. Thus, this sample should be the best for beginners who don’t know how to choose the appropriate option for their art.
The set has a creamy color. The tooth and the roughness allow art to be performed on this sheet easily. It is 80 lb, 130 gsm, and the size is 12*18 inches. The set contains 24 pieces.
- It is suitable for any media
- Erasing performance is good
- The colored pencils wear down fast since it is rough
Despite the manufacturer’s statement that this is all-purpose paper, the user should remember that it is too thin for watercolor works. In addition, masking tape shouldn’t be applied to this paper since it can cause unexpected damage and using the eraser too hard also might cause damage.
Strathmore is a responsible manufacturer that always stands for the quality of their products. Thus, Strathmore 400-3 remains quite popular among artists for a long time.
Legion Stonehenge Pad: Great for Drawing
The Legion Stonehenge Pad is very popular among all level artists, since its features are really stunning for any purpose.
The distinguishing feature is the material they are made from – cotton. It allows the layering of colors numerous times without any side effects. The blending ability is also nice.
The size is 9 by 12 inches, and the quantity of sheets is15.
- Suitable for various art techniques
- They look soft
- The blending is well
- Nice for embossing
- Pencils lay down wonderfully
- It’s not pure white
Stonehenge is suitable for any art tool such as ink, pen, pastel, watercolors, and, of course, colored pencils. All of them perform well on this sample, which gives artists the expected results, and they can be sure that their work will never be ruined.
Arches Watercolor Pad: Best for Blending
Arches is one of the oldest manufacturers in the world, as its history began in 1492. It is also made of cotton, which has lots of distinguishing features. In addition, the heavyweightness allows sheets to be thick, which is also required by lots of professional and non-professional artists. This allows the application of more water for watercolors.
Speaking about blending abilities, they are wonderful and just right as they should be. Thus, Arches might just be the best at blending.
The set contains 20 sheets of size 9*12 inches, and the weight is 140lb/300g; the color is natural white.
- It has a nice texture
- The size is nice
- Color spreading is good
- It can stand lots of water
- It’s hard to cover the lower layer, as it becomes dominant
- Gets warped
It’s not so expensive comparatively to its competitors, but it should be the best option for those who want to have better experiences with watercolor and vivid colors. However, the more paper absorbs water, the more it shrinks while it dries. Don’t forget about this feature, and you’ll always achieve any goal you want!
Best Cardstock: Strathmore Bristol Vellum
Strathmore Bristol Vellum is on the list of the best because of both its reasonably affordable price and its quality simultaneously. Cardstock thickness, which by the way is 100 lb/270 gsm, allows performing art which is not good for other types, for instance: charcoal, graphite, ink, airbrush, markers, etc. It also concerns Copic markers – the Strathmore Bristol Vellum goes on well with them, too. The set comes with 20 sheets in it.
- It is thick and smooth
- It’s good for most artist tools and techniques
- Stable for solvents
- Sheet is transparent
- The binding is very loose
The Strathmore Bristol Vellum is quite an affordable option. It’s quite stable for both art tape and adhesive tools which can’t be used with other types. But always remember to apply an appropriate amount of water on the paper, since otherwise it can lead to an unpleasant effect.
Bellofy Paper Pad: Good for Practice
The Bellofy Paper Pad was specifically designed for watercolors, and this pad can be the best alternative for practicing sketching and other art techniques. The density of the sheets is quite thick, as the weight is 130 lb/190gsm.
They are perfect for all water-related arts, and the quantity (50 pieces) allows practicing artwork often. All of them are glued together, so the user can remove a piece of paper easily.
- Felt-like texture
- Good for practicing, beginners, and kids
- It doesn’t fall apart
- The sheet gets wrinkled after watering
This a cheaper version of branded and famous types of paper, though the quality is not poor and it can stand any manipulation, whether it’s performed by an adult or a kid. If you are keen on watercolors and want to avoid unpleasant wrinkling – just tape the edges, and it’ll prevent warping.
Best Toned Paper: Canson Mi-Teintes Pad
Canson is a well known brand which is famous all around the world. This manufacturer thinks about its customers thoroughly. Thus, Canson released the Mi-teintes pad, which consists of 24 pieces of gelatin-sized, two-sided toned paper which allow users to choose the right side according to the way of usage. The size is 9*12 inches and the weight is 98 lb/160 grs.
These would be the excellent alternative for dry works rather than water. In addition, they are used for handicrafts.
- The texture is nice, the roughness is decent
- Set of multi color sheets
- It’s thick and sturdy
- Can’t hold lots of layers with pastel
The two-sided sheet is rough with tooth on the one side, and smooth on the other side. The first one allows the use of pastels, while the other side is designed for regular colored pencils. You might not want to use Mi-Teintes Pad for water-related art, since it’ll rip too easily.
Great Quality: Fabriano Artistico 140 lb
The Fabriano Artistico 140 lb is an excellent paper among those which are premium quality. It made of 100% cotton, and the weight is 140 lb/300 grs. These features make this quite durable as compared to others. It resists even hard erasing and keeps its structure pretty well. This allows it to be used for any purpose, especially where it concerns watercolors.
- It has a smooth texture
- Easily erasable, resistant to erasing
- Lightweight, makes sheet buckle a lot
As it is stated above, Fabriano Artistico is a great quality product to work on with airbrushes – it doesn’t get distorted too much. To reassure yourself, just stick a piece of tape on the edges, and leave it to dry. This will definitely save your masterpiece!
Excellent Black Paper: Faber-Castell Pad
Faber-Castell is a well known brand with a very long history and is known all around the world. Its products are always good quality, and the Faber-Castell Pad is no exception. This pad is black, and it is made of recycled materials. The set contains 25 heavy-weight sheets.
It would be excellent for all purposes: gel pens, metallic pencils, pastels, etc. In addition, it might be good entertainment for both adults and children, having Black Paper Pad as a background for future drawings.
- The sheet tears out easily
- Glitter and gel pens look gorgeous
- The texture is soft
- Has a very strange chemical odor
- Doesn’t hold watercolor or oil pastel
Faber-Castell Black Paper Pad will make all adults and children create their own masterpieces on this product. All of them will be quite different from the others, as the saturated background allows you to look at them from a different angle. Try this, too!
Paper for Popular Pencil Brands
There are always undoubted leaders in the art world, and when speaking about pencils these might be the Prismacolor Premier colored pencils and Faber-Castell. The interaction between paper and these leaders can also be different. Let’s find out how they work on the surface of Strathmore 400-5 and Fabriano Artistico 300 lb.
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Strathmore 400-5: Best for Prismacolor
The Strathmore 400-5 became the best type of product which shows off the colors of Prismacolor wonderfully. Though the main ingredient of these pencils is wax, Strathmore doesn’t make them smudge, and the colors become vibrant and saturated, while the blending ability is nice. Thus, the user won’t be upset with the final result and will get exactly what he wants.
- Perfect for dry media
- It’s quite durable
- It works perfectly with Prismacolors
- It’s smooth rather than rough, there aren’t lots of tooth
Fabriano Artistico 300 lb: Great for Faber-Castell
The same concerns the Fabriano Artistico 300 lb which is a perfect fit for Faber-Castell colored pencils such as Polychromos. They don’t smudge, but the product allows getting the desirable effect of blending easily. The texture doesn’t wear pencils fast, but the user might wear pencils fast because he will enjoy process of coloring on Fabriano Artistico.
- Nice for watercolors
- The surface is the same on each sheet — predictable
- Holds lots of water
- Cold pressed paper has too rough of a surface
Sometimes, it is too tough to find an excellent surface for artworks. The user should always investigate what is the paper kind of, and how it differs among the others. Here, there are some tips, which will help you find just the right one.
Interesting Facts About Paper
Everyone, at least once, has asked themself some questions which concerned paper production. Here are some interesting facts which might answer some of your questions. Curious?
What Word Paper Means?
The origin of word is paper is from Ancient Greece, and it was called “papirus.” People made the product from fibrous water reed, then, it was used as a surface where writings and drawings were applied. Thus, the word “paper” means a material which is made of fibrous material and can be used for writings, drawings, printings, and wrapping purposes.
When Was Paper Invented?
The first evidence of paper was found in Ancient China. The found pieces of paper resembled the pieces of an old map and it was dated 202 BCE and 220 CE. Thus, the inventor is unknown but, at least humanity has found out that paper was invented in China.
How Many Sheets of Paper Get from One Tree?
Paper is not made of every tree, it is made of pine trees only. Given that, it’s easy to count how many sheets one tree can give. Separating the stem from branches, knots, taper, and everything which can’t be used in production, the manufacturer will get a log 62 feet tall and 1 feet in diameter, which equals appx 81,430 cubic inches and weighs around 1,600 lb. If a pack of 500 sheets weighs around 20 lb, then such logs turn into 80,500 pieces.
How Is Colored Paper Made?
During paper production, when the fiber is pressed, sheets become brown. Thus, for everyday usage, manufacturers add some bleach to make the product white. For colored paper, manufacturers add some pigments.
Why Does Paper Turn Yellow?
Fibrous materials always contain the natural protein lignin. When this protein is exposed to air – oxidation appears, thus, it gets yellow or brown. Thus, manufacturers always add some bleaching chemicals which make paper snowy white, however, the lower grade, the more it gets yellowish.
The market always provides lots of varieties of paper. However, people face a problem quite often when they don’t know exactly which is the best option for their purposes. The abovementioned hints will fix this issue and make the process of searching much easier and interesting. Always use them if you have some doubts! WoWPencils will always provide you with relevant information.