Best Paper For Colored Pencils – 2021 (Answered)


If you are working with colored pencils then it is essential that you are getting a sketchpad that contains the right kind of paper. This is going to allow you to see the best results and ensure that the colors will pop.

Sketch pads can differ in their paper depending on what kind of materials should be used so you want to make sure that you are not wasting any money on a pad that doesn’t allow you to draw with your colored pencils.

If you want to make sure that you are choosing the best sketch pad on the market that is going to allow you to work on your art then look no further. With so many choices on the market, it can seem overwhelming but we have you covered.

Best paper for colored pencils

Don’t have time to read the full guide? Find out our top pick here:

Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad

Our top pick is the Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad which is made from heavyweight fine texture paper. The heaviness of the paper makes it ideal for both wet and dry media which includes colored pencils.

With the ability to erase and blend with ease, this is perfect for all kinds of artwork and is especially great for those who want to use colored pencils with other materials such as pastels and markers.

The pad contains 60 sheets of paper that are acid free meaning that they contain no chemicals that can cause the results to be affected.

What makes this our winner? The Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad is perfect for artists of all abilities, especially beginners who are starting out and wanting to practice various techniques.

The versatility of the pad means that you can work with different materials as well as colored pencils and the acid free paper means that the colors applied will have the best vibrancy and result.


Best Paper for Colored Pencils

1. Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad

Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad, Heavyweight, Fine Texture, Heavy Sizing for Wet or Dry Media, Side Wire Bound, 98 Pound, 5.5 x 8.5 in, 60 Sheets, 5.5'X8.5'

Our top recommendation is the Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad which is made from heavyweight, fine textured paper. The heavy sizing means that you can apply both wet and dry media making it perfect for colored pencils as it erases excellently and can be blended.

The versatility means you can use pencils, colored pencils, pastels and markers so you can experiment with a variety of techniques. Containing 60 sheets of acid free paper, you can be assured that your artwork is going to look the best it can thanks to the white sheets bringing out the color contrasts and vibrancy.

Whether you are a hobbyist starting out or a professional artist looking for a new brand to use then Canson can always be relied on.

The Mix Paper is perfect for artists who like to work with a range of materials or create mixed media while also allowing you to excel in one field. The spiral bound edges mean you can take the sketchbook around with you wherever and not worry about the condition of your artwork getting spoiled as it is protected.

Pros:

  • The heavy sizing means that you can apply both wet and dry media making it perfect for colored pencils as it erases excellently and can be blended
  • The versatility means you can use pencils, colored pencils, pastels and markers so you can experiment with a variety of techniques
  • Containing 60 sheets of acid free paper, you can be assured that your artwork is going to look the best it can thanks to the white sheets bringing out the color contrasts and vibrancy

Cons:

  • The binding can cause the pages to bend slightly as the cardboard backing is thin
Sale
Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad, Heavyweight, Fine Texture, Heavy Sizing for Wet or Dry Media, Side Wire Bound, 98 Pound, 5.5 x 8.5 in, 60 Sheets, 5.5"X8.5"
  • Made of heavyweight, fine texture paper
  • Heavy sizing for wet and dry media
  • Erases well and blends easily
  • Great for use with pencil, colored pencil, pastel, and marker
  • 5. 5" x 8. 5" pads contain 60 sheets of 98 pound/160 gram acid free paper

2. LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book

LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book,2 Pack 9'x12'Premium Sketchbook with Spiral Wire and Pencil Loop,Total 160 sheets of Sketch Pad,Acid Free Drawing Paper, Perfect for Pen,Colored Pencil,Pastel and Graphite.

Our second selection is the LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book which comes in a set of 2 that has 80 sheets each. The price tag is extremely affordable and accessible for all artists so you can practice without worrying about running out of pages.

The heftier drawing paper is thick and acid free making it perfect for dry media such as pencils, pastels and pens. All of the pages are perforated meaning you can remove the page cleanly and safely.

With a durable water repellent hardcover and back, your pages will always be protected from creasing and makes a great surface for sketching on the go. The water repellent nature means the artwork is protected from splashing water or rainfall.

The strong twin wire spiral binding means that it can be travelled around with no problem and makes it smooth and easy to turn pages. The elastic pen holder on the cover is perfect for kids and adults if attending an art class. LYTek guarantees to return your money should you be dissatisfied with the quality meaning you can have peace of mind with the purchase.

Pros:

  • The heftier drawing paper is thick and acid free making it perfect for dry media such as pencils, pastels and pens
  • All of the pages are perforated meaning you can remove the page cleanly and safely
  • With a durable water repellent hardcover and back, your pages will always be protected from creasing and makes a great surface for sketching on the go

Cons:

  • Pages are quite thin so multiple layers cannot be applied
LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book,2 Pack 9"x12"Premium Sketchbook with Spiral Wire and Pencil Loop,Total 160 sheets of Sketch Pad,Acid Free Drawing Paper, Perfect for Pen,Colored Pencil,Pastel and Graphite.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY AND VALUE PRICE: 2 Pack of thick, large sketchbooks – 160 sheets in all – so you can draw, sketch, doodle & color on the go or just keeping your doodles organized. All at an affordable value price.
  • HEFTIER DRAWING PAPER: Every LYTek sketch book offers thick acid-free paper – 63lb./95gsm – perfect for dry media such as pencils, pastels, pen, etc. Every page is perforated, so you can detach it cleanly & safely.
  • DURABLE WATER REPELLENT HARDCOVER AND BACK: Coated sturdy chipboard hardcover and back can protect paper from creasing, make for a great surface to sketch against on the go. Water repellent cover can protect the artwork from the splashing water or even in the rainstorm.
  • STRONG TWIN WIRE SPIRAL-BOUND AND CONVENIENT PEN LOOP:Spiral-bound make it smoothly and easily to turn to pages.The elastic pen holder on cover is perfect for kids or adults art class.
  • AMERICAN BASED COMPANY: We are family-run small business located at Seattle specialized in paper book product.We are HERE to help and will stand behind every LYTek product - and those who invested in them!

3. Art-n-Fly Smooth Sketchpad

100 Sheets 9 x 12 Inch Smooth Sketchpad for Drawing Pencils Pens Markers Sketching Coloring Sketch Pad Spiral Bound Sketchbook

Our third choice is the Art-n-Fly Smooth Sketchpad which is extremely versatile as it is suitable for hobbyists and professionals. Intended for technique practices and best paired with dry media applications such as colored pencils and charcoal. The smooth and sturdy paper is acid free and the sketchbook is made up of 100 sheets.

The medium weight allows you to erase multiple times without damaging the surface while the smoothness means you can easily sketch and draw intricately. With a spiral bound for convenience and perforate edge, you can remove the art paper with ease should you wish.

The A4 size means you have a lot of space to work with and can use sketching pencils, colored pencils, calligraphy pens and markers among other materials. Whether the sketchbook is for a child or adult, any skill set is guaranteed to be advanced with this sketch pad. The fantastic price point means that it is accessible for all artists, especially hobbyists.

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile as it is suitable for hobbyists and professionals. Intended for technique practices and best paired with dry media applications such as colored pencils and charcoal
  • The medium weight allows you to erase multiple times without damaging the surface while the smoothness
  • Spiral bound for convenience and perforate edge, you can remove the art paper with ease should you wish

Cons:

  • The cardboard backing is not that thick so cannot be leaned on
Sale
100 Sheets 9 x 12 Inch Smooth Sketchpad for Drawing Pencils Pens Markers Sketching Coloring Sketch Pad Spiral Bound Sketchbook
  • Versatile Sketch Pad: The perfect drawing pad for artists, from hobbyists to professionals. This sketchbook is intended for technique practices and pairs best with dry media applications.
  • Smooth, Sturdy Paper: Our drawing book features 100 sheets of 9”x12” acid-free 70lb or 100g paper. The medium weight of the drawing paper allows for erasing without damaging the surface, while the smoothness allows for easy sketching, no matter what drawing supplies you use.
  • Spiral-Bound with Perforated Edge: An essential addition to your painting, drawing, & art supplies, this sketchbook for drawing is bound with a convenient spiral and finished with a perforated edge, so you can cleanly remove the art paper.
  • Grab Your Pencils, Pens, and Markers: The smooth but subtly textured surface makes this a4 paper ideal for sketching pencils, calligraphy paper, markers, pens, and more.
  • An Art Supplies Staple: Whether you’re shopping for art supplies for adults or a drawing pad for kids, this spiral sketchbook does it all.

4. Canson XL Series Bristol Pad

Canson XL Series Bristol Pad, Heavyweight Paper for Ink, Marker or Pencil, Smooth Finish, Fold Over, 100 Pound, 9 x 12 Inch, Bright White, 25 Sheets

Our penultimate selection is the Canson XL Series Bristol Pad which is made up of heavyweight, bright white, Bristol paper which allows for high contrast with excellent erasibility.

Bristol paper is among the best choices for colored pencils as it has a smooth surface finish making it perfect for a variety of materials including pen and ink, marker, pencil and colored pencils.

It has a brilliant ability to blend and shade which makes it great for detailed drawings. For those who want to upload their artwork online or sell prints of their art, this sketchbook is great as the smooth surface also allows for scanning with ease.

This sketchbook comes with a limited amount of sheets with only 25 pieces as it is a particular kind of paper that is time consuming and expensive to make. Bristol paper is favored among professionals who work specifically with colored pencils.

The paper is also acid free so you can get the best results from your artwork no matter what material you use. Canson is a brand that is popular with artists as they use the finest materials in their products so you can work on your artwork knowing that the paper is the best quality.

Pros:

  • Made up of heavyweight, bright white, Bristol paper which allows for high contrast with excellent erasibility
  • Has a smooth surface finish making it perfect for a variety of materials including pen and ink, marker, pencil and colored pencils
  • For those who want to upload their artwork online or sell prints of their art, this sketchbook is great as the smooth surface also allows for scanning with ease

Cons:

  • The drawings can smudge slightly if the sketchbook is carried around a lot
Canson XL Series Bristol Pad, Heavyweight Paper for Ink, Marker or Pencil, Smooth Finish, Fold Over, 100 Pound, 9 x 12 Inch, Bright White, 25 Sheets
  • Heavyweight, bright white, Bristol paper for high contrast with excellent erasability
  • The smooth surface finish is good for scanning
  • Works well with pen & ink, marker, pencil, and colored pencil
  • 9 x 12 inch 25 sheets
  • 100 pound/260 gram acid free paper

5. Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD

Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series, 9'x12', White, 30 Sheets

Our final choice is the Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD which is excellent to use with a variety of materials including colored pencils, graphite, charcoal and sketching sticks.

The texture of the paper is incredibly smooth meaning that even coverage can easily be achieved as well as the durable surface allowing for repeated erasures and reworking. Perfect for artists of all abilities, especially those who like to draw with a variety of materials, this sketchbook will allow you to experiment with different techniques and advance your skill set with ease.

The sketchbook is made up of micro perforated wire bound sheets meaning that you have the option to take the pages out should you wish as well as allowing you to have as much space as you need to work as you can fold the sketchbook behind the page.

The surface of the paper itself is a clean white and also tooth meaning that you can apply a variety of colored pencil techniques. This is particularly ideal for those who are starting out with colored pencil drawings.

Made in the USA with acid free paper, this sketch pad is guaranteed to bring out the vibrancy in the colors and show off the shading and blending easily.

Pros:

  • The texture of the paper is incredibly smooth meaning that even coverage can easily be achieved as well as the durable surface allowing for repeated erasures and reworking
  • Made up of micro perforated wire bound sheets meaning that you have the option to take the pages out should you wish
  • Made in the USA with acid free paper, this sketch pad is guaranteed to bring out the vibrancy in the colors

Cons:

  • Can only withstand 3 to 4 layers of colored pencil
Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series, 9"x12", White, 30 Sheets
  • Excellent for use with colored pencil; great for graphite, charcoal, and sketching sticks
  • Smooth, even coverage can be achieved, and the durable surface stands up to repeated erasures and reworking
  • Micro-perforated wire bound sheets
  • Provides a clean white, toothy surface that is ideal for a variety of colored pencil techniques
  • Acid free; Made in the USA

Best Paper for Colored Pencils Buyers Guide

Doing the proper research into the best paper for you is going to save you more money and time in the future as you will be assured that your art is going to have the best results.

When conducting your own research, always consider the texture of the paper, how many sheets come with the sketch pad, the versatility and the budget.

Once you’ve thought about all of these factors, you’ll be in a position where you can make a decision that you’re confident in as you will know what to expect.

Texture of the paper

The first thing to think about is the texture of the paper as this is what will affect the final result. If the paper has too much tooth then the final result may not be as intricate as you want it to be as you would have to put too much pressure on the pencil when drawing.

However, if the paper is too smooth then the colors may not be vibrant enough as you won’t be putting enough pressure on the pencil. The texture has to be perfectly in between in order to get the finest results and bring out the colors.

How many sheets

The next thing to think about is how many sheets of paper you want to have. Sketch pads can come with limited sheets whereas others come with a lot.

A lot of higher end brands will have limited amounts because of the time it takes to make the paper and is of a higher quality and is more suited to people who are avid artists or people who draw and design for a living.

However, for beginners or hobbyists, brands that provide a lot of paper in their sketch pads tend to be cheaper as the pages don’t cost as much to manufacture and therefore are a better choice.

Versatility

Always consider the versatility of the paper. If you strictly work with colored pencils then you want to ensure that the paper is specific to colored pencil use.

However, if you are a beginner or like to work with a variety of materials then choosing paper that has the ability to work with colored pencils as well as other materials is the right way to go. This can help you save money as you’re not having to buy a variety of different papers as well as allowing you to experiment with mixed mediums.

Budget

Lastly, always think about your budget. With so many sketch pads on the market, the prices vary greatly depending on the brand. As there are so many options available, there is the perfect match for all budgets.

Whether you are on a strict budget or have the money to splurge, you’ll find the paper that is right for you and is going to advance your skill set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do colored pencils work on watercolor paper?

Colored pencils can be used on a variety of surfaces including watercolor paper, plan paper, wood, masonite or an illustration board to name a few.

The results will differ depending on the texture or tooth of the paper meaning that the vibrancy and detail of the work may be affected.

What is Bristol paper best for?

Bristol paper is a kind of drawing paper that has been glued together whilst under pressure which creates multi ply sheets.

They are perfect for pencils, pens and markers as they are best used for detailed drawing thanks to the little to no tooth.

Nicky WB

Nicky is a professional writer and art lover. They like to stay on top of all the latest and greatest tools and technology in art and use it to educate new artists.

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