Artists' Paper & Sketchbooks

Whether you are a professional or an intermediate artist, a hobbyist, an art student, or a crafts enthusiast, you are going to need some paper and sketchbooks when you are ready to create your art. There are many different types of art papers, sketchbooks, canvas pads, and other art supplies that are available to meet your needs. The appropriate paper for a particular project depends on the desired results and the materials used.

What kind of paper should be used for a project?

It all depends on the medium. Acrylics, for example, can be used on almost any kind of paper and may be used with or without gesso. Watercolours, on the other hand, are done on cold-pressed paper or one that has a lot of texture. For opaque painting, hot-pressed, or smooth, paper works well. Charcoals and pastels need a rough paper that holds the particles onto the surface. Ink works well on a smooth paper, but ink pens may sometimes make an indentation in the surface.

How is art paper alike and different from each other?

Artists have many choices when choosing supplies. Sketch pads, for example, are helpful for making quick or detailed sketches and for planning out your drawings, paintings, and collages. Newsprint, on the other hand, is good for gesture drawings and similar quick art pieces to loosen the artist up. Newsprint is also helpful when sketching subjects, such as animals, children at play, or fast-moving athletes that move and change quickly.

Drawing pads provide multiple sheets that can be used for creating detailed sketches, botanical illustrations, fashion illustrations, and still-life drawings. A sketch pad or sketchbook is an appropriate choice for artists who do a significant amount of drawing on the go.

Watercolour pads and individual sheets are suitable for use with water-based media, including gouache and watercolour paints. The surface usually has texture, which can add significant visual interest to a painting. As a substitute for a watercolour pad, whiteboard holds up well for water-based media, such as markers and craft project. It comes in two different finishes: smooth and slightly textured.

White vellum works well for tracing and is also a good choice for crafts, such as scrapbooks, journals, and cards.

How is art paper made?

Paper is made from fibers from wood or plants, including cotton, flax, and hemp. Textiles and paper may also be recycled into paper. To make the paper, pulp from the fibers is pressed into mats and ingredients are added to make it suitable for specific uses. The addition of minerals, such as calcium, carbonate, and chalk, determines how opaque the paper is and gives it form, and dyes may be added, as desired. Art paper is coated with a gelatinous liquid to give it the qualities it needs.