How to choose paper for drawing?


In order for the drawing to be successful, it is very important to choose the right paper.

The choice will depend, first of all, on what you are going to draw. For each type of artistic material there are certain types of paper. If you use the same base under colored pencils, ink, gouache, watercolor, coal or sanguine, the result will be completely different. Of course, there is a relatively versatile paper. But, for example, pastel, is very capricious in this respect, on many bases, it just crumbles. Over time, you will certainly master all these subtleties. In the meantime, you need to understand the main types of paper to get a normal result in drawing.

Drawing paper

Novice artists are encouraged to use qualitative Watman paper for drawing. The paper should be thick (not thin and strong) and with excellent whiteness. But even thick paper is not always of high quality, sometimes it may consist of crumbly or loose material. Over time, you will learn to determine the quality of the material on the eye, but first time you will have to check it.

To check the quality of the paper you need to buy one sheet of paper and perform the following procedures:

  • rub the paper with an eraser. If paper immediately begins to frazzle, then these fibers that appeared on the surface indicate on a poor quality of paper. This paper should not be used. Of course, if you rub a lot with a scrubber, the top layer of paper will inevitably crumble, but good paper has a margin of safety and should not be easily damaged.
  • wet the paper. If stains remain on it, and water easily permeates the sheet, then such material should also be discarded. Evidence of low quality paper is its “marbling”, after wetting it is covered with stains.

A sign of high quality paper is strength and a bluish tint. On such a basis it is very convenient to draw. Precisely this paper applicants need to take for exams in drawing, it will not fail. You should always buy paper in advance and check it in the ways described above. So that at the crucial moment it does not impart unpleasant surprises.

Paper for painting

For more experienced artists there is another paper for painting. For example, torchon. This is a relief paper with high whiteness. Since this material is very high quality, then it is quite expensive. And only for this reason you better should not use torchon for sketches or drafts. It is better to take the simplier type of paper, for example, Watman paper. Here we go, again Watman paper. This is just a very versatile paper, which is quite suitable for ordinary works with pencil, and various colors.

There is no need to immediately take a lot of sheets of paper without prior inspection.

Check the quality of art paper in this way:

  • Paint something with different pigments on it. And then wash your drawing with a sponge or soft sponge. On poor-quality paper stains will remain, or even the top layer of paper will be completely removed.

Paint should not penetrate into the deeper layers of paper. On quality paper, paint falls evenly, does not stain.

Coated Paper

This paper has a glossy surface. By density, it is different and is used in painting quite rarely. Most of all it is suitable for work with drawing ink or black ink.

Moreover, the low-quality “Coated paper” can whiten the paint with the white dye with which it was clarified in production. It happens that it makes pale and nebulous even felt pen drawings. It is good that poor quality coated paper comes across quite rarely.

These are the three main types of drawing paper. There are others, but artists become familiar with them in the process of work. It is important to clearly understand the purpose for which you need paper and what types of work will be done on it. Proper selection of the basis for the picture will give a good result. Bulking paper should not be used for ink. But it is well suited for drawing with watercolors. The paper used for working with soft materials, such as pastel and sanguine, is also not suitable for ink. At the same time, it is useless to use these materials on coated paper, which, as stated above, is excellent for ink.

Note those stores where you can buy high quality drawing paper. But even if you, by inexperience, bought a lot of bad quality paper, do not worry: you will surely find a use of it. At least, you will not regret to do any kind of trial work on it, like sketches, drafts, or practice exercises of shading.

When you will choose the drawing paper have a look at the article, which will help you to find the right easel for drawing. Find your type of easel here!


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