5 Best Brands of Paper for Colored Pencils (2024)

multiple brands of paper for colored pencils. Best paper for colored pencils

Using the right paper is one of the most, if not the most, important thing when it comes to drawing with colored pencils. The type of paper you use can have a dramatic result on the outcome of your artwork. So to help you a bit I made a list of the best brands of paper for colored pencils.

Not sure how to choose what paper is best for you? Check out this guide on how to choose the right paper for your needs.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a
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What Is The Best Paper For Colored Pencils?

1. Daler & Rowney Fine Grain Heavyweight

Overall best

The Daler & Rowney Fine grain Heavyweight paper is as the name suggest a fine grain paper which means that the paper isn't very textured. This makes it very easy to fill in the white of the paper without leaving white spots. 

It has a weight of 200 gsm / 120 lb. which makes it really nice and thick and it doesn't fold very easily. 

The paper is available in pad sizes of A5 (5.8 by 8.3 inches), A4 (8.3 by 11.7 inches), A3 (11.7 by 16.5 inches) and A2 (16.5 by 23.4 inches) all containing 30 sheets.

The fine grain paper is completely acid free and is also available in 100% recycled eco paper.

Daler & Rowney Fine Grain Heavyweight pad sizes, prices and price per sheet.
Pad sizePricePrice per sheet
A412.03 USD0.40 USD

Pros

  • Good when using markers too
  • Easily fill in the grain
  • Smooth blending
  • Doesn't fold easily
  • Available in 100% recycled eco paper

Cons

  • Not great with solvents

Check Price

2. Strathmore 400 Series Toned Grey Mixed Media

Best grey toned paper

The Strathmore 400 Series Toned Grey Mixed Media is a grey toned paper which makes it easier to determine values when drawing and it makes the drawing stand out more than on regular white paper. The mixed media paper is also available in steel blue and warm tan.

This paper has a very fine grain which makes it very easy to fill in the grain and it is very good for blending.

This toned grey paper has a weight of 300 gsm / 184 lb. which makes it very sturdy and very difficult to get accidental folds in. And as it's mixed media paper it also works very well with watercolor and many other dry and wet mediums.

The Strathmore paper is available in 6 by 8 inches, 9 by 12 inches, 11 by 14 inches and 18 by 24 inches in pads of 15 sheets.

This paper is made of 100% recycled materials and acid free.

Strathmore 400 Series Toned Grey Mixed Media pad sizes, prices and price per sheet.
Pad sizePricePrice per sheet
6 by 8 inches7.45 USD0.50 USD
9 by 12 inches10.79 USD0.72 USD
11 by 14 inches15.45 USD1.03 USD
18 by 24 inches30.90 USD2.06 USD

Pros

  • White will actually be visible
  • Easily fill in the grain
  • Smooth blending
  • Doesn't fold easily
  • 100% recycled

Cons

  • Not many sheets
  • Some colors will look a bit grey-ish

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3. Fabriano Academia Artist Paperback 

Best for layering and burnishing

Fabriano Academia paper has a very nice fine grain that supports many layers of colored pencils and it is really good for burnishing and blending colored pencils. The fine grain makes this paper excellent for oil based pencils like the Faber Castell Polychromos. It can however be a little challenging to fill in the grain.

This paper has a weight of 200 gsm / 120 lb. which makes it nice and thick and makes it difficult to accidentally bend or fold the paper. It is also very resistant to damage from erasing.

Fabriano Academia Artist Paperback paper is available in A4 (8.3 by 11.7 inches) and A3 (11.7 by 16.5 inches) sizes. The A4 size contains 100 sheets and the A3 size 50.

This paper is acid free and comes from coming from forests managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.

Fabriano Academia Artist Paperback pad sizes, prices and price per sheet.
Pad sizePricePrice per sheet
A327.50 USD0.25 USD

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Lots of sheets
  • Can handle many layers
  • Smooth blending
  • Doesn't fold easily
  • Erasing hard doesn't damage the paper

Cons

  • Can be a little hard to fill in the grain with hard pencils
  • Not great with solvents

Check Price

4. Canson Illustration Manga

Best when using both alcohol markers and colored pencils

Canson Illustration paper is more of a marker paper than colored pencil paper, but it does work very well with pencils, especially the softer wax based pencils and in combination with markers. It has a very smooth, but slightly textured surface which makes blending very easy and smooth.

The paper is 250 gsm / 92 lb. which makes it very sturdy and very difficult to get accidental folds in.

This paper is available in A4 and A3 size pads and 50 by 65 cm (19.7 by 25.6 inches) sheets. The A4 and A3 sized pads both contain 12 sheets.

Canson Illustration pad sizes, prices and price per sheet.
Pad sizePricePrice per sheet
A49.99 USD0.83 USD
A323.04 USD1.92 USD

Pros

  • Good when using markers too
  • Can handle solvent
  • Easily fill in the grain
  • Smooth and easy blending
  • Doesn't fold easily

Cons

  • Not the best for hard pencils
  • Can't handle many layers
  • Not many sheets
  • Paper will indent if you press to hard

Check Price

5. Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paper

Best for solvents

Winsor & Newton Watercolour paper is, you guessed it, made for watercolors and not specifically for colored pencils. But this paper is amazing for using solvents to blend colored pencils, as this technique is very similar to using watercolor. The paper absorbs the pigment very well unlike regular drawing paper, making it possible to add a lot of layers. And the solvent doesn't warp the paper at all because it is quite thick with a weight of 300 gsm / 92 lb.

This paper does have a significant grain, but as this paper is best for solvents you won't need to fill in the grain as much.

This Winsor & Newton paper is available in many sizes: A5, A4, A3, 4 by 6 inches, 7 by 10 inches, 9 by 12 inches, 11 by 14 inches, 12 by 16 inches and 16 by 20 inches. All pads contain 12 sheets except for the smallest size. The 4 by 6 inch pad contains 15 sheets.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour paper pad sizes, prices and price per sheet.
Pad sizePricePrice per sheet
4 by 6 inches10.39 USD0.69 USD
9 by 12 inches13.85 USD1.15 USD
11 by 14 inches20.30 USD1.69 USD

Pros

  • Handles solvents very well
  • Can handle markers
  • Doesn't fold easily

Cons

  • Not many sheets
  • Not great for burnishing
  • Paper will indent if you press to hard
  • Erasing hard will damage the paper

Check Price

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Comments

Very useful and clear information, keep up the good work!

Marije - Nov. 7, 2022, 5:22 p.m.