Best Art Paper

Article Contents

Are you trying out watercolor painting, pen-and-ink sketches, or even a new origami fold? Whatever the project, every medium requires a unique paper which meets a specific set of standards and attributes. The art papers listed here will make it easy for you to find what’s best suited for your next creative project, whether it’s a charcoal sketch or a page to add to your beloved scrapbook. Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide as well to find out more about the different types of papers available and some key terms every artist should be familiar with.

Best Watercolor Paper:

Watercolor painting is a delicate medium that requires a sturdy work surface. It takes a heavy paper, one that can stand up to multiple layers of work as well as years of display for the artists finished work. While student watercolor paper often runs 90-110 pounds and tends to be fairly inexpensive, the higher-quality watercolor paper starts at sheets of 140 pounds. The heavier paper can be much more expensive as well, but the price is sometimes necessary to ensure the quality of the paper. Like the selections here, the better papers are made of rag or cotton material for archival quality, are a heavy-weight sheet of paper, and have a sturdy surface that holds up to layers of paint without muddying the colors or clotting the paper. Each of these papers are also available in at least cold-press (better suited for beginners and bold textures) as well as hot-press (ideal for smoother or more detailed work that requires a finer control of the paint).

Arches Watercolor Block

Arches Watercolor Blocks combine a top-brand paper with a special tape-binding. The result is a heavy pad ideal for watercolor painting in a studio or for traveling. While the blocks are fairly spendy, they are a favorite with many artists for both quality and convenience. Read Full Review

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    Arches Watercolor Block

    Strathmore Imperial 500 Series Cold Press Watercolor Paper

    Strathmore 500 Series Imperial Watercolor paper is top-level professional art paper, with 140-pound sheets of 22x30 paper. The papers top claim is its extra sizing, the treatment that gives it a more durable surface and allows it to show brighter colors and hold up under multiple layers of paint. Read Full Review

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      Strathmore Imperial 500 Series Cold Press Watercolor Paper

      Fabriano Artistico Traditional White Watercolor Paper

      Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper offers artists a high-quality cotton paper with a delicate surface. Plus, the brand provides one of the widest selections of sizes and textures available for watercolor painting. With hot, cold, and rough-presses, as well as a choice of pads, blocks, individual sheets, and rolls, the paper allows artists to pick the material most suited to their work. Read Full Review

      Fabriano Artistico Traditional White Watercolor Paper

      Saunders Waterford Watercolor Paper

      A high-quality, mouldmade paper, Saunders Waterford offers an excellent variety of weights and textures. All three surfaces--hot, cold, and rough--come in weights ranging from 90 to 300 pounds, while the paper comes in a fairly unique selection of standard white or high white for artists who like a brighter background for their painting. Read Full Review

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        Saunders Waterford Watercolor Paper

        Twinrocker Watercolor Paper

        Twinrocker Watercolor paper is a rarity in the art world--a handmade paper produced by an Indiana company. The paper is fairly expensive even for watercolor paper, and it can be difficult to find, but many artists love the special texture of handmade paper and the range of unusual sizes. Read Full Review

        Twinrocker Watercolor Paper

        Best Drawing Paper:

        Unlike sketching--a quick drawing or a doodle to play with visual ideas--a completed drawing can take hours of care and precision. Drawing paper needs to hold up both short-term under the artist's work and long-term with archival quality. These brands of paper meet both needs with acid-free sheets and mid to heavy-weight paper quality. Many of these brands provide both smooth and medium finishes, but the selections here are medium finishes particularly suited for pencil and pen drawings. Finally, these brands all have a good range of paper sizes from standard-sized drawing pads to large individual sheets of paper.

        Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Board and Pads

        A top-quality drawing paper, the Bristol vellum finish provides a nearly smooth paper with a very slight ridge, making it well suited for dry mediums and some types of painting. The plate finish, on the other hand, makes unbelievably smooth paper for use with pencils, markers, or pen and ink work. Read Full Review

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          Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Board and Pads

          Stonehenge Drawing Pads

          This paper consistently gets high marks for quality and versatility. It works with a variety of techniques from watercolor to printing to pen and ink, and since it was originally created for printmaking, it's also one of the few brands that offer a variety of colors as well as generic white or cream. Read Full Review

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            Stonehenge Drawing Pads

            Canson Foundation Series: Bristol Vellum

            Canson's Foundation Series Bristol Vellum provides artists with a good, yet relatively inexpensive drawing paper. At 100 pounds, the paper holds up well for a variety of dry mediums. Plus, it comes in a variety of drawing pads as well as in individual sheets that make it easy for artists to find the right size of paper. Read Full Review

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              Canson Foundation Series: Bristol Vellum

              Arches Hot Press Watercolor Paper Roll

              At 140lbs, this may be some of the sturdiest drawing paper available, and while it's called watercolor paper, it can take a wide variety of mediums. Avoid the cold press or rough versions, though, since only the hot press provides a smooth enough surface enough for pencils or other dry mediums. Read Full Review

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                Arches Hot Press Watercolor Paper Roll

                Strathmore 500 Series Drawing Paper, Medium Surface

                At 106 pounds, the 500 Series Drawing paper is a heavy, professional-quality art paper suitable for most dry mediums and even some painting techniques. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to find a source and only comes in large sheets, but for the quality, artists might want to give it a trial at least. Read Full Review

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                  Strathmore 500 Series Drawing Paper, Medium Surface

                  Best Transfer Paper:

                  Artists often start a project by making a practice sketch or working on scratch paper until they create a drawing that they are ready to complete. Once they have this image ready, transfer paper allows them to move the image onto good quality paper without needing to redraw it. Transfer paper acts like carbon paper, leaving a copy of the image on the good paper as the artist traces over it. Unlike carbon paper, though, good transfer paper uses graphite to leave a clear image. It can also be reused multiple times without smudging the paper or requiring so much pressure that the tracing leaves indentations in the paper. Each of the papers listed here meets those criteria and is wax-free and erasable, in addition to getting good ratings from artists.

                  Saral Wax Free Transfer Paper

                  Saral offers artists the best range of transfer papers for working with a variety of mediums. It comes in five colors, each intended for a specific type of surface, while the graphite works on most surfaces. Plus, unlike most brands, the paper can be used on fabrics. Read Full Review

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                    Saral Wax Free Transfer Paper

                    Richeson Transfer Paper

                    With a roll of graphite paper measuring 24" x 24', Richeson Transfer paper offers one of the largest sheets of graphite paper available to artists. The roll can be used in either one long sheet or it can be cut up into the right sizes for a variety of projects. With its low price and virtually inexhaustible supply, the paper makes a great bulk purchase. Read Full Review

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                      Richeson Transfer Paper

                      Loew Cornell Graphite Transfer Paper

                      Loew Cornell Transfer Paper actually comes in two versions'a graphite sheet for working with standard paper and a white transfer paper for moving images onto dark surfaces. This makes the paper more versatile than most brands, though it's not recommended for fabric surfaces. Read Full Review

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                        Loew Cornell Graphite Transfer Paper

                        Sally's Artist's Graphite Transfer Paper

                        Sally?s Transfer Paper is produced by Saral with most of the same properties as the brand?s other paper, but with a special, lighter graphite coating. The paper comes in a box with 12 sheets of 18"x24" paper, giving artists plenty of material to work with. Read Full Review

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                          Sally's Artist's Graphite Transfer Paper

                          Bienfang Graphite Transfer Paper

                          Bienfang?s transfer paper comes in a bulk package, with 25 sheets of 20"x26" paper. Both the size of the package and the size of the sheets make it an excellent choice for classrooms or artists who need multiple sheets of the paper for large projects. Read Full Review

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                            Bienfang Graphite Transfer Paper

                            Best Origami Paper:

                            Origami, paper folding, is one of the easiest crafts to pick up since it requires only paper--and for making origami, any paper works, from a discarded middle-school book report to a dollar bill. At the same time, beginners may find it tricky to cut a rectangle sheet down to a square, or fold with a paper that creases unevenly or tears too easily. Further, some types of projects are best suited for a certain type of paper--folds requiring bends in the paper work best with foil, while heavy papers work well with wet-folding techniques but not for tradition dry folding. Some artists prefer to search out artisan paper or experiment with specialty art paper, but for most people, the best solution is to find a good source of traditional origami paper. Each of these papers, created specifically for origami, were selected because they have good ratings and are relatively easy to find. These papers also represent a variety of origami papers from traditional kami to foil and chiyogami.

                            Japanese Tant Origami Paper- 100 Colors 6 Inch Square

                            Tant paper may be one of the most well-known origami papers among both beginners and experts. It comes in the traditional 15cm squares and works well with a range of techniques. This package has 100 sheets of paper in as many colors, while each sheet has the same color front and back instead of the usual white back of many origami papers. Read Full Review

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                              Japanese Tant Origami Paper- 100 Colors 6 Inch Square

                              Yuzen Chiyogami Origami Paper

                              These papers replicate traditional Japanese woodprint designs on a heavy rice paper for a beautiful, crisp origami paper. Aitoh produces a variety of designs and sizes in this style, but this particular package comes in the standard 15 cm or 5-7/8 square and a selection of patterns and solid-colored sheets. Read Full Review

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                                Yuzen Chiyogami Origami Paper

                                Origami Craze 500 Sheet Economy Pack Origami Paper

                                As a beginners pack, or just a bulk package of brightly-colored paper, this paper is a great choice. It comes with 500 sheets and a range of 20 colors, while each sheet has the same color front and back. Additionally, the package includes an eBook with 100 designs for buyers to download. Read Full Review

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                                  Origami Craze 500 Sheet Economy Pack Origami Paper

                                  Daiso Japan Origami Folding Paper 180 Sheets

                                  This paper is a basic type of inexpensive origami paper, coming in a range of 24 colors with a contrasting white or off-white back to each sheet. The package contains 180 sheets, giving artists a large selection of both colors and sheets, including gold and silver, to work with. Read Full Review

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                                    Daiso Japan Origami Folding Paper 180 Sheets

                                    Aitoh Embossed Color Foil Origami Paper

                                    For artists looking to add a bit of a shimmer to their work, Aitoh offers this package of embossed foil. While foil can be delicate and requires care to fold properly, it allows artists to create folds with bends or experiment with other new techniques. Each package comes with 20 sheets of paper in 15cm squares, and a range of 10 colors. Read Full Review

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                                      Aitoh Embossed Color Foil Origami Paper

                                      Best Tissue Paper:

                                      While many types of art paper work only for a limited range of projects, tissue paper is a near-universal material. Drawing paper works with a selection of dry mediums, but its intended primarily for drawing or sketching. Origami paper is created specifically for paper folding. Tissue paper, on the other hand, fits a number of projects and mediums--it's great for paper folding, collages, paper sculptures, and even wrapping packages or creating party decorations. While there are a wide number of brands available, some tissue paper is created particularly for art projects with a quality intended to meet artists needs. Each of the brands here was chosen as a good quality art paper with high ratings and wide availability.

                                      Blick Colored Tissue Assortments - Assortment of 10 Colors

                                      A bleed-resistant paper, Blicks tissue paper comes in a wide assortment of colors, available in an inexpensive package. A 50-sheet package offers 10 colors, while the massive 480-sheet pack comes with 20 colors, while most of the colors are also available as individual packs or reams. Read Full Review

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                                        Blick Colored Tissue Assortments - Assortment of 10 Colors

                                        Spectra Assorted Color Tissue Pack

                                        Pacon Spectra Tissue paper offers artists a special water-soluble tissue that allows artists to blend colors easily. The brand comes in a range of colors and package sizes, from 50 sheets of 12x18 paper in a selection of 25 colors up to reams of individual colors for bulk purchases. Read Full Review

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                                          Spectra Assorted Color Tissue Pack

                                          Spectra Kolorfast Tissue

                                          Pacons Kolorfast brand is water-resistant, setting it apart from the manufacturers bleed-through paper. The basic package comes with a range of 10 colors on 20x30 sheets, but the brand also offers glitter and metallic tissues, as well as bulk packages of individual colors. Read Full Review

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                                            Spectra Kolorfast Tissue

                                            Lineco Acid-Free Tissue Paper

                                            Lineco Tissue Paper may be intended for framing and photos, but its also a good quality tissue paper with special treatment to prevent discoloration over time. The paper is relatively expensive compared with other tissue papers, but its acid free and comes in a range of sizes and even large rolls of paper, making it a great choice for certain special projects. Read Full Review

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                                              Lineco Acid-Free Tissue Paper

                                              Hygloss Animal Print Tissue Paper

                                              With the Animal Print package, Hygloss offers both a good quality tissue paper and a fun paper for artists to experiment with. The paper is non-bleeding and comes in 20x30 sheets, either in packs of 4 sheets of 5 patterns or in packs of individual patterns. Additionally, Hygloss also produces a good range of other tissue papers to complement this designer paper. Read Full Review

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                                                Hygloss Animal Print Tissue Paper

                                                Best Pastel Paper:

                                                Choosing the right paper for pastels can be a challenging decision, simply because of the number of options available. Pastels work with a wide range of textures and techniques, and each bran of paper offers a unique surface. Ideally, the paper should be acid free and either cotton or a cotton blend for longevity, but artists also have to consider the paper's texture, color and size. Some artists prefer sanded paper, or even a sheet of sand paper for a really rough texture, while others use canvas for their oil pastels. Soft pastels, on the other hand, may need a rougher texture to hold their chalky color. The papers selected for this list were chosen because each of them is a mid to heavy-weight, acid-free paper with a surface suited for holding pastel colors, but individually they offer a selection of textures, weights, and colors to fit your preferences.

                                                Clairefontaine Pastelmat Pastel Pad

                                                Clairefontaine Pastelmat was created particularly for pastel work, providing artists with a heavy cardstock surface that holds layers of pastel colors without needing fixatives between the layers. The brand is fairly expensive, but at 170 pounds, it's also one of the heaviest pastel papers available. Read Full Review

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                                                  Clairefontaine Pastelmat Pastel Pad

                                                  Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper Pad

                                                  As with other Strathmore series, the 500 Series Charcoal is a high-quality paper. It's made of 100 percent cotton, with a medium rough texture, and it comes in a selection of muted colors. The pads range between 9x12 and 18x24, while the individual sheets measure 19x25 for larger drawings. Read Full Review

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                                                    Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper Pad

                                                    Canson Mi-Teintes Spiral Pad

                                                    Canson Mi-Teintes offers artists a heavy sheet of pastel, weighing 98lbs, with a special double-sided texture. The smooth side takes detailed work, while the vellum texture on the other side holds pastel colors well. The paper comes in a variety of colors available in two sizes of pads, as well as larger individual sheets. Read Full Review

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                                                      Canson Mi-Teintes Spiral Pad

                                                      Strathmore 400 Series Artagain Pad

                                                      Strathmore Artagain is a lighter-weight pastel paper at 60 pounds, but it's also slightly less expensive than similar pads. It offers either a range of assorted colors or heavy black sheets that can make a pastel drawing blossom against the inky background. Read Full Review

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                                                        Strathmore 400 Series Artagain Pad

                                                        Fabriano Tiziano Drawing Paper

                                                        Fabriano Tiziano paper is made of a mostly cotton blend, offering longevity as well as a toothy surface excellent for working with pastels. The brand generally comes in large individual sheets but some sources offer packs of smaller sheets. Even better, Fabriano Tiziano has the widest selection of colors among pastel papers. Read Full Review

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                                                          Fabriano Tiziano Drawing Paper

                                                          Best Scrapbook Paper:

                                                          With scrapbooking, memories become an art as families gather photos and memorabilia into a carefully designed album. Today, scrap-bookers can find any number of themes, embellishments and accessories to help them tell their family story, but paper forms the foundation of their work. While any large sheet of paper might work as a foundation for this artwork, a blank white sheet--or even a book of solid-colored sheets--would be dull. Scrap-bookers love to experiment with the vast, beautiful assortment of papers available today. There is no perfect paper, since each project will require its own style, but each of the brands on this list were chosen because they offer a wide selection of styles and colors to give scrap-bookers plenty of options to work with. More importantly, their paper is also acid-free and lignin-free, and in some cases archival quality, to prevent discoloration and ensure the papers longevity.

                                                          DCWV Paper Stacks

                                                          From light paper to heavy cardstock, Die Cuts With a View has one of the widest assortments of colors, themes, and styles. Patterns include fairy tales, floral elegance, and much more, as well as solid colors and glittery papers. The pads usually offer 48 sheets of 12 x 12 paper, but some supplies also sell single sheets from the various patterns. Read Full Review

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                                                            DCWV Paper Stacks

                                                            American Crafts Scrapbook Paper

                                                            American Crafts has one of the largest collections of archival quality paper, with solids, textures, glitter, and a vast number of patterns. The paper comes in a range of sizes from notecard to the standard 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 sheets, and a variety of single-color packs or themed pads. Read Full Review

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                                                              American Crafts Scrapbook Paper

                                                              Bazzill Basics Paper

                                                              Bazzill Basics Paper produces a unique selection of vivid colors and patterns, in a range of monochromatic styles. The paper comes in both 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12 styles to fit most scrapbook albums, and it works well on its own or as contrast sheets for other brands. Read Full Review

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                                                                Bazzill Basics Paper

                                                                K & Company Scrapbooking Paper

                                                                This brand offers a vivid assortment of colors and themes, from chic to seasonal, while the paper ranges from bright primary colors to pastel hues. While the individual pads vary, most of them contain 36 sheets of double-sided 12 x 12 paper. Read Full Review

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                                                                  K & Company Scrapbooking Paper

                                                                  Graphic 45 Pads

                                                                  Graphic 45 offers a more specialized selection of scrapbooking paper with a 1920s-30s flair. The paper is more expensive than some of the larger brands, but offers a whimsical range of themes from Mother Goose to French Country and a Japanese-style Bird Song. Read Full Review

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                                                                    Graphic 45 Pads

                                                                    Best Charcoal Paper:

                                                                    Charcoal drawings can start with laying down a thick layer of graphite and erasing the image into the dark background, or it can use drawing and shading techniques similar to a pencil drawing. For very fine drawings, the paper itself can be super smooth, or it can be rough to add texture. The paper can also be a traditional white background or a colored paper to add instant feel to the drawing. Whatever your preference, though, you will want to find a heavier paper that holds up well under multiple stages of blending and erasing. These papers recommended here were chosen because they all provide thicker sheets similar to a heavy drawing paper, but with a variety of colors and a range of textures from smooth to toothy for you to choose your favorite texture or try a new surface.

                                                                    Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper Pad

                                                                    The Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal paper provides a premium art paper with a slightly ribbed surface ideal for charcoal drawings. Plus, the series offers a variety of sizes from the standard 9x12 pad up to individual sheets of 19x25 paper, available in twelve colors. Read Full Review

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                                                                      Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper Pad

                                                                      Canson Mi-Teintes Spiral Pad

                                                                      Canson Mi-Teintes offers a heavy paper with a unique double-sided texture, great for working with charcoal techniques. The paper comes in large sheets of 19x25, or in two sizes of pads, either 9x12 or 12x16. Both the pads and the individual sheets are available in a range of colors, allowing artists to choose between black, white, earth tones, and gray tones for their work. Read Full Review

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                                                                        Canson Mi-Teintes Spiral Pad

                                                                        Stonehenge Drawing Pads

                                                                        An exceptionally smooth drawing paper, Stonehenge allows artists to create charcoal drawings on a vellum surface. It can be expensive, but it also comes in a wide range of sizes and a variety of muted colors that many artists enjoy using. Read Full Review

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                                                                          Stonehenge Drawing Pads

                                                                          Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad

                                                                          While this paper comes in a more limited size selection than other Strathmore paper, it offers three sizes of pads from 9x12 up to 18x24. Each pad comes with 24 sheets of 80-pound paper in assorted colors. The paper itself is textured for pastels and charcoal drawing, along with other dry mediums. Read Full Review

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                                                                            Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad

                                                                            Fabriano Tiziano Drawing Paper

                                                                            Made mostly of cotton, Fabriano Tiziano paper offers a rough toothy surface great for charcoal or pastels. While a rarer brand, this paper has an amazing selection of colors, with over 30 options to choose from in muted as well as bright tones. The paper is fairly heavy at 98 pounds and comes in large sheets of 20x26, making it great for larger drawings. Read Full Review

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                                                                              Fabriano Tiziano Drawing Paper

                                                                              Best Sketch Paper:

                                                                              At its very simplest, getting a piece of sketch paper can mean pulling a sheet of paper out of the printer tray for a quick doodle. This is a cheap, practical solution for any artist, but it's also nice to have a good quality sketch paper--and a pad that will hold together practice sketches, hold up to the wear and tear of practice, and provide a convenient hard surface for traveling or open air work. Most brands of art paper, especially some of the ones featured here, provide a dizzying array of sizes, textures and weights, but choices featured here all offer acid-free paper to prevent discoloration over time, medium-weight sheets that will hold up to extensive erasing and redrawing, and sturdy backing or covers to make the pads easy to carry and work on. All of the size measurements are given in inches.

                                                                              Canson Artist Series: Universal Sketch 65lb/96gsm Pad

                                                                              With the Universal Sketch pad, Canson offers a great sketchbook for artists on the go. Each of the pads has 100 sheets of 65-pound paper, and the smooth texture makes an ideal surface for pencil sketches, as well as work in other dry mediums Read Full Review

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                                                                                Canson Artist Series: Universal Sketch 65lb/96gsm Pad

                                                                                Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pad

                                                                                With heavy cardboard backs and medium-weight paper, these Strathmore sketchbooks offer artists good-quality paper in an easy-to-carry pad. The series comes in an extensive range of standard sizes, with micro-perforated sheets and a smooth surface for dry mediums such as pencils or pastels. Read Full Review

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                                                                                  Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pad

                                                                                  Arches Sketch Pad

                                                                                  The Arches sketchpads do not have the wire binding that the other choices offer, making it necessary to either remove the pages or bend them out of the way. They are also a relatively spendy option for 20 sheets of 70lb paper, but some artists may find the quality of paper worth the cost. Read Full Review

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                                                                                    Arches Sketch Pad

                                                                                    Utrecht Double-Spiral Sketchbook

                                                                                    One of the classiest sketchbooks available, the Utretch sketch pads may also be harder to find than the average brand, but they provide a good quality pad for a fairly reasonable price. Among other advantages, the pads come with sturdy covers and mid-weight paper, making them both portable and highly durable. Read Full Review

                                                                                    Utrecht Double-Spiral Sketchbook

                                                                                    Bee Paper Bogus Sketch Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch

                                                                                    For a different experience with sketching, artists can use the heavy brown paper from the Bogus Recycled Rough Sketch pads. This paper has a unique look and feel, compared with the other types of sketch paper, plus it's 100% recycled and comes in a wide variety of sizes. Read Full Review

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                                                                                      Bee Paper Bogus Sketch Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch

                                                                                      Best Print Paper:

                                                                                      While printmaking uses very different techniques compared with drawing or painting, the process requires the same key element--a good quality sheet of art paper. Many printmaking papers, in fact, are used for drawing or painting as well, but each of the papers here were selected particularly for its usefulness as a print paper. Each of these papers have high versatility in handling several types of prints, will handle ink well, especially multiple layer of heavy ink, and finally, offers the longevity crucial to any high-grade art paper. To meet the last criteria, all of these papers are also acid free and 100 percent cotton.

                                                                                      BFK Rives White Paper

                                                                                      BFK Rives is one of the most popular printmaking papers available to artists, with a soft, absorbent surface that works well for most printing techniques. The paper comes in five different colors, with a good range of sizes and weights, all available at a moderate price. Read Full Review

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                                                                                        BFK Rives White Paper

                                                                                        Magnani Pescia Paper

                                                                                        This Italian paper has a soft texture and a smooth surface that absorbs ink well and makes the paper a great choice for many types of printmaking techniques. The paper comes in five colors, all of them available in 22x30 sheets. Read Full Review

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                                                                                          Magnani Pescia Paper

                                                                                          Stonehenge Paper 22 x 30 Sheets

                                                                                          A paper created especially for printmaking, Stonehenge has an exceptionally smooth finish. It?s a low cost, sturdy material that?s a good choice for students or bulk purchasers. The paper comes in several sizes, from standard-sized pads to 50-inch wide rolls, but it?s most common in 22x30 sheets. Read Full Review

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                                                                                            Stonehenge Paper 22 x 30 Sheets

                                                                                            Somerset Printmaking Paper

                                                                                            Somerset paper is one of the best choices for artists looking for a specific type of paper. The paper offers four surfaces in varying weights and textures, as well as several shades of muted colors and a variety of large sheets from 22x30 on up to a 60-inch wide roll. Read Full Review

                                                                                            Somerset Printmaking Paper

                                                                                            Canson Editions 22x30 Paper

                                                                                            Canson Editions paper offers the most choices in a single brand with a unique double-sided sheet, seven colors, and a variety of bulk packs and large sheets. The range of options and low price makes the brand a good choice for students as well as professional artists. Read Full Review

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                                                                                              Canson Editions 22x30 Paper
                                                                                               

                                                                                              Art Paper: Buying Guide

                                                                                              For most artists, paper is a tool which is every bit as important as their pencil, paint brush, or collage glue. Depending on your project, you may even use several types of paper, perhaps starting with a sheet of lightweight sketch paper to create a design before using graphite transfer paper to trace the drawing onto a piece of heavy watercolor paper. Or, perhaps you might use tissue paper and a 2D origami design to add flair to your scrapbooking page. Regardless of your intended purpose, the following is some useful information that will help you pick out the best paper for your next creative undertaking.

                                                                                              Weight

                                                                                              Paper is given a weight based on how much 500 standard-sized sheets weigh. This weight generally indicates how thick and sturdy a particular sheet of paper will be. Standard office paper usually weighs about 20 pounds which is great for printers or basic sketching, but won’t hold up well for most projects. Drawing paper averages around 80 pounds, while watercolor paper is often 140 pounds so it can hold up to multiple layers of paint.

                                                                                              Surface/Finish

                                                                                              The terms describe how the paper is processed, but they also tell you what sort of surface to expect. For example, rougher paper catches and holds the paint along its ridges, while a smoother surface lets the color slide across the paper. Other art papers, such as pastel paper, can have more of a toothed, rough surface. Watercolor paper is often labeled as rough, cold-press (semi-rough surface), or hot-press (extra smooth).

                                                                                              Acid-free

                                                                                              Paper with even a light acidity tends to discolor with time, so it’s important to ensure you’re using a quality, acid-free art paper which avoids this pitfall. Acid-free paper isn’t so much a special type of paper as it is a necessity for artists.

                                                                                              Paper Types

                                                                                              Watercolor
                                                                                              This is heavy paper similar in weight to cardstock. Since it needs to hold up to multiple layers of water and paint without warping, this paper is made with very specific finishing techniques allowing enough paint to soak in for the color to hold, but not enough to damage paper fibers.

                                                                                              Drawing Paper
                                                                                              Slightly heavier than printer paper or sketch paper, drawing paper is sturdy enough to hold up to detailed pencil work, but not usually as thick as watercolor paper.

                                                                                              Sketch Paper
                                                                                              This is the scratch paper of the artist’s world. Lighter than drawing paper, this paper type is cheap and easy to draw on as well. While it might be archival quality, sketch paper is meant more for recording an idea or practicing a design than executing a professional drawing.

                                                                                              Transfer Paper
                                                                                              Transfer paper is slightly different than the tracing paper you may have used in middle school. It looks like a normal sheet of paper on one side but the other side is a layer of graphite. This paper acts like carbon paper, allowing you to easily transfer a drawing from one sheet of paper to another.

                                                                                              Pastel Paper
                                                                                              Pastel paper has about the same weight and feel as regular drawing paper, but it has a slight “tooth” or rough surface. While pastels tend to smear awkwardly on smoother paper, this paper’s surface holds the color better and adds a slight texture to the image.

                                                                                              Charcoal Paper
                                                                                              Like pastel paper, charcoal paper is similar to drawing paper, but with a slightly rougher feel. This particular surface is required in order to hold the dry charcoal for a drawing, but too much texture can result in a strange splotchy look.

                                                                                              Printmaking Paper
                                                                                              This paper needs to be extra absorbent to hold large amounts of ink so it’s usually smooth and often made of cotton. Some artists like to use it for other mediums as well such as drawing or watercolor painting.

                                                                                              Origami Paper
                                                                                              Although technically you can fold any piece of paper, origami paper makes folding easier. It’s often sold in squares so you can skip the annoying task of cutting a rectangle down to size. Origami paper is light enough to fold easily, but strong enough to withstand the stress of multiple folds.

                                                                                              Scrapbook Paper
                                                                                              This paper is available in a range of bright colors, pastels, multi-colored patterns, or whimsical designs, often sold in large books or single sheets specially cut to fit standard scrapbook pages. You should always look for archival quality, acid-free paper from a reliable brand to avoid discoloration or fading over time.

                                                                                              Tissue Paper
                                                                                              You may associate soft and delicate tissue paper with gift wrapping instead of art, but it’s great for use with various crafts, collages, and many other creative projects.

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