Color Pencil Tips and Techniques

Drawing Papers for Color Pencil

As an artist, I am always exploring and experimenting with different types of paper. Not just any type of a paper, can hold up to many layers of color pencil. Some papers don't hold up well, when applying solvents or colorless blenders either. There are many types of drawing paper 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 color 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 here

Drawing Papers

 •  Rising Stonehenge - comes in black, white, warm white, tan, gray and cream. It is my favorite paper to work with. It is very durable and can handle lots of layers of color. The blender pencils and blender markers work well on this paper. Suitable for all drawing applications, is 100% cotton. Every sheet is 250 GSM, neutral pH/acid free, and buffered with calcium carbonate to help protect artwork from contaminated environments. Stonehenge drawing pads are tape bound. Made in the USA..

 •  Canson Mi Tientes - comes in a variety of colors. You want to use the smooth side of this paper. Canson doesn't take as many layers as Stonehenge, but the variety of colors allows one to create unique pieces. The blender pencils work best on this paper, but can use Tombos too. Canson Mi-Teintes papers are made from medium weight (75 lb.) 100% pure rag. Their colorfast shades produce striking effects when used with charcoal, pastels, or color pencil. Lightfast colors and rich textures. Canson Mi-Teintes papers are available in various size pads and sheets.

 •  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 300, 400 and 500 Series Charcoal paper - comes in a variety of colors. Can use the smooth or texture 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 acid-free, 100% cotton fiber paper that has a traditional laid pattern for precise shading control needed with charcoal, pastels and color pencil. The raised texture is also suitable for pen, pencil or art crayon. Strathmore drawing paper pads are acid-free, heavy weight, and durable. Ideal for illustrations and final drawings. Suitable for any dry media, such as color pencil, pen, ink, or light washes. 


 • Strathmore 300 and 400 Drawing series paper. The blender pencils and blender markers work well on this paper. Strathmore drawing paper is acid-free, 100% cotton paper and works well with color pencil; Ideal for illustrations and final drawings.


 •  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.

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.


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Color Pencil Holder/Containers |  Help! My Paper Won't Take Anymore Color |  Techniques In Creating Textures and Patterns | 
Blending and Burnishing Techniques |  Solvents |  Colorless Blenders |  Vertical Line Technique |  Impressed Line and Sgraffito Techniques | 
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