There are so many different types of paper and companies to choose from that it can be a little bit of a minefield to know which to go for.
Paper choice is a little like asking someone what their favourite ice cream is. Everyone has a different opinion as to which is the best paper and everyone recommends different brands.
What paper you like to work on and choose is all down to you and the way you work, as each paper responds differently. I always say that it’s personal preference. This might seem like a bit of a cop out answer, but it’s really true. The best way to find your perfect paper is to give them a try.
That doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy huge pads of every single paper out there. Many art supply stores actually offer paper sample packs which contain small squares of multiple papers for you to try. This makes things a whole lot easier and then you can purchase a larger pad or sample of the paper which you like working on best.
There are a few things that you want to keep in mind though, especially if you are planning on selling your work.
This is one of the most important things to look for. You want a paper that is acid free so that it lasts a longer time than other papers. A lot of paper manufacturers state this on their packaging, but if you’re unsure, visit their website or email them to clarify.
Another important factor for coloured pencil. In my experience, coloured pencils stick and stay better on a heavier weight of paper. The heavier the paper, the more layers you can add. So if you’re someone that like to layer A LOT, then look for those heavier gauges of paper. If you only layer a little, then the weight isn’t so important to you.
Do you prefer a white surface? A coloured surface? The colour of your paper makes a big difference to your final piece. If you like to work on a coloured background, then something like Fabriano Artistico isn’t going to be your jam as it only comes in white or extra white.
Are you getting why paper choice and preference is so personal? Everyone works in different ways so it is essential that you choose the paper that is right for you – not what your favourite artist is using, as you most likely won’t yield the same results.