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Drawing Tips: Drawing Papers

Quick Tips:

Drawing Papers


To preserve the life of your drawing be sure to use papers that are 100% cotton rag. Most of these types of papers will be watercolor and printmaking papers. I prefer 90lb to 140lb papers.

Papers come in different textures and are sized differently. (Sized means how absorbent or non absorbent the paper fibers are. Gelatin sizing is used to control paper absorbency).

Paper textures vary, starting with plate (smoothest), hot pressed (slight texture), rough (more texture), cold pressed (most texture). I prefer using paper with at least a slight texture. I use papers with different sizing, depending on the need. Heavily sized paper is easier for tight rending and using hard erasers without destroying the paper. Heavy sized papers like Arches hot pressed watercolor paper or Strathmore illustration board are great for pencil drawing and tight renderings. Lightly sized papers have a more delicate surface, so the drawing done on them have softer marks and the media you use will penetrate the paper more. I use lightly sized papers for pastel or charcoal drawings. Lightly sized, more absorbent papers I like using with charcoal, like Rives BFK, allow for smearing and smudging techniques that give you soft values.

These papers all have great qualities for different techniques and approaches. Find the texture and size of the paper that pleases your taste and suits your purpose.

Video on Papers Used in the Class

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