Colored Pencil Tips & Techniques:

Art Papers for Colored Pencil

It's All About Colored Pencils!

Colorless Blenders

As a colored pencil artist, I am ever exploring and experimenting with different types of paper. Not just any type of a paper can hold up to many layers of colored pencil. In addition, some types of papers do not hold up at all to solvents or colorless blenders. There are many types of drawing papers out there on the market, with different surfaces. Below is a list of types of paper I have used and the types of surfaces that I have found, that work well with colored pencil. However, my advice is to just explore and experiment, until you find that perfect paper to meet your needs and requirements. I do recommend you get an acid free or archival paper, which is a paper that's been treated to neutralize acids, to slow down the yellowing and deterioration of the paper. To read more about acid-free paper visit Wikipedia

Drawing Papers

Rising Stonehenge - comes in black, white, warm white, tan, gray and cream colors. It is my favorite paper to work on as it is very durable and can handle lots of layers of color. The colorless blender pencils and colorless blender markers work well on this type of paper. It is 100% cotton and every sheet is acid-free and buffered with calcium carbonate to help protect artwork from contaminated environments.

Rising Stonehenge Drawing Paper Rising Stonehenge Drawing Paper

Canson Mi Tientes - comes in a variety of lightfast colors. You want to use the smooth side of this paper or your pencil leads will get eaten up quickly. Canson doesn't take as many layers as Stonehenge, but the variety of colors allows one to create unique pieces with striking effects. The colorless blender pencils work best on this paper, but Tombo Colorless Blender Marker works well on it too. Canson Mi-Teintes papers are made from medium weight 100% pure rag. Canson Mi-Teintes papers are available in various size pads and sheets.

Canson Mi-Teintes Drawing Paper Canson Mi-Teintes Drawing Paper

Strathmore Bristol Smooth - has a smooth surface, can use blenders and a fair amount of layers of color. It is Acid-free. The toothy texture of the regular (vellum) surface works well with pencil, charcoal and pastel. The smooth surface is ideal for detailed ink work and is great for color pencil and marker.

Strathmore Bristol Smooth Drawing Paper Strathmore Bristol Smooth Drawing Paper

Strathmore Charcoal Paper, Strathmore 300 Series Charcoal Paper, and Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper - comes in a variety of colors. Can use the smooth or textured side, depending on the technique or style you are wanting to achieve. The blender pencils and blender markers work well on this paper. Strathmore charcoal paper is a very durable, acid-free, 100% cotton fiber paper that is great for colored pencil.

Strathmore 400 Drawing Series Paper. The colorless blender pencils and colorless blender markers work well on this paper. Strathmore drawing paper is acid-free, 100% cotton paper and works well with colored pencil.

Strathmore 400 Drawing Series Paper Strathmore 400 Drawing Series Paper

Rising Drawing Bristol Vellum - hard to use blenders on, as the surface is very toothy and very hard to blend layers of colors.

Rising Drawing Bristol Plate - has smooth surface, great with blenders and allows fair amount of layers of color.

Strathmore Drawing Vellum - hard to use blenders on and the surface is very toothy and very hard to blend layers of colors.

Paper Surfaces

Hot Press (Plate or Smooth) - smooth surface with very little tooth.

Cold Press (Vellum or Regular) - rough or textured surface. This type of paper tends to eat up pencils quickly.


Keep on Creating!

Colored Pencil Artist Carol Moore