An artist sketches and draws on many different surfaces. You can choose from different types of art paper. These include super smooth surfaces, rugged surfaces or granule surfaces. You can use choose among these papers which are best suited for soft pencils, pastels, and charcoal. You will find plenty of papers to work with; the hardest part is to select which one to use.

Let’s take a look to get a better understanding of the papers you’ll come across. Every artist is different and has his own interpretation, so it’s best to explore your options as per your convenience. Give some of them a try to see which you enjoy working with most.

1.Ingres or Laid Papers-


Ingres or laid paper has a pattern of parallel lines created by the wires from the mold used in its production. It has a broad, definite surface texture which is clearly visible in the drawing. You can choose a scale of texture that is appropriate to your style of drawing. This type of paper is appropriate for sketching with pastel, charcoal, and soft pencil.Brands include Canson Ingres, Pastel Paper, and Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Paper.

2.Canson Coloured Papers-

Canson paper surfaces are made of a fine, irregular texture, pressed into the surface. The roughness and firmness of the paper vary according to the manufacturer. It has a harder media and provides a certain amount of layering. However, they are usually not suitable for heavy layering. It is good for pastel and charcoal, as well as expressive larger scale pencil sketching. Strathmore Pure Tints and Canson Mi-Teintes, are some of the brands which are available in a huge selection of colors.

3.Strathmore 400 series Paper-

Strathmore 400 series paper is made on a fine sieve. A fine, smooth surface gets created when the woven mesh is tightly bided. A heavier weave may give some paper a slight texture. The smooth surface of untutored paper is well-suited realist for pencil drawing. It is one of the best-known base medium enjoyed by artists.

4.Bristol Paper-

Bristol paper provides a stiff, strong surface to work on without the need for mounting. The boards come in various weights and finishes. Bristol paper is a sketching paper that is put together and to form multi-layered sheets. It has 100% cotton drawing paper mounted on both sides of heavy weight board and is regarded as multipurpose board for sketching.

5.Fine Grain Paper-

A fine grain paper includes cold-pressed  paper, as well as a variety of medium- surfaced drawing papers. When shading with a sharpened pencil it can look quite subtle as this paper is of fine grain quality. The same effect may also be acquired by shading with a blunt pencil or charcoal. It is used to get better toning and shading with the help of the charcoal.

6.Smooth Paper-

A smooth paper is rolled during production to create a very smooth, flat surface. You can draw very fine detail without any noticeable bumps or texture. The amount of execution and type of medium depends on the quality of the raw fiber, manufacturing process, and fiber used.

7.Arches 140lb hot press paper-

This paper has a harmonious natural grain. The fibers are evenly distributed, making the paper more stable, with very limited deformation. It is made of long 100% cotton fibers. It can absorb a lot of water without warping or cause the colors to bleed. It is sized to the core with natural gelatin, which means it can be scratched without tearing. It is best suited for line drawings and technical artwork.

Choose the medium as per your convenience and taste and indulge yourself in the soothing ambience of a sketch. Feel refreshed and charged with portraying your inner thoughts on a canvas larger than your own life itself.