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Types and Characteristics of the Paper for Drawing


          When choosing a drawing paper, always have in mind that it is weighted in grams; the higher the number of grams, the thicker the paper. Considering the type of supplies you choose to use when designing art is essential. Dedicating yourself and having talent gives you room to produce the vision in your head, but the right tool will help you see it through. Papers cannot be forgotten when talking about what professionals love. A good piece of paper will enable your media to flow across the page and spit in most cases. It can as well stand up to scoring and folding without tearing.

The kind of paper you wish to use will significantly depend on the work you are making. The drawing usually uses dry media, and therefore, you will be required to sketch on paper that has toothy texture on it, making sure your pencil is sticking to the page instead of sliding off. Painting usually benefits most in smooth areas. It gives you room to apply equal thin layers of pigment until you get the right multifaceted colors. Below is the type of papers that can be used for drawing with their specific characteristics:

  1. Mixed media paper.

As the name suggests, it is used for more than one type of medium. Mixed media paper is always best for pencil, charcoal, pen, collage, acrylic, printmaking, and watercolor. It has the same weight as the watercolor paper but is much lighter, and this recommends you not to use a lot of water on the paper. If you want to use a lot of water, look for a heavy type of paper. Mixed media can support both dry and wet mediums.

  1. Pastel paper.

Having texture is essential for pastel papers. Both mixed media paper and Watercolor paper is also best for pastel because of its roughness. Pastels require textured surfaces for them to function; these textures will help them grip on the paper. The paper’s rough texture also determines the number of pastel layers you can add to your artwork. Rougher surfaces can hold more layers compared to smoother surfaces, which can only hold a few.

The roughness will also contribute to the result of your artwork. Pastel papers have different colors and tones, contributing to your final work’s mood or atmosphere. This happens so since pastel does not cover the entire surface, making some colors from your paper show through and affecting your artwork.

  1. Colored pencils paper.

Like the pastel papers, colored pencils are perfect when used on papers with tooth and texture. Nevertheless, it does not require a lot of tooth, or it won’t be easy to color equally and get details in your artwork. Additionally, just as the pastel papers, the paper’s rough texture affects the number of colored pencil layers, you can use in your paper. In case you are using solvents like colored pencil blender or the Mona Lisa Odorless paint thinner to mix your colored pencils, the paper with some more weight will be perfect for this, such as hot press watercolor paper.

  1. Marker paper.

If you experiment with markers on watercolor or mixed media paper, your marker will be sucked dry quickly and absorbed into the paper, which is not very good. They will tamper with the surface of the paper. You would wish to have a paper that does not absorb and waste your marker ink and smooth at the same time to glide your marker along. Therefore, marker papers are very smooth, and coated marker papers prevent ink from spreading in the whole paper.

  1. Newsprint paper.

They are very cheap and thin, like the paper used to design newspapers. They are mostly used for practices, roughing out ideas, and so on. If you always participate in quick gesture drawing practices, which will result in paper wastage, newsprint papers will be the best for you for the practices if you use expensive ones.

Newsprint paper can support dry mediums such as graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, and pastels, and so on. Because they are affordable, not acid-free, and cannot be stored in the archive, meaning they will not take long before they start becoming yellow and brittle. With its thin property, it can also be used to transfer drawings through tracing.

  1. Watercolor paper.

It comes into three different types that are cold press, hot press, and rough press paper. When dwelling on the texture, the hot press paper has the smoothest texture; the cold press is quite rough compared to the hot press and less rough than the rough press. The rough press paper has the highest texture among the three. Hot-press paper contains a smooth surface; it retains water for longer than the other two types of papers; because of this, less water will be required when watercolouring on hot press paper, cold press absorbs more water, and rough press retains even more water.

The difference in texture and water retention makes the three types suitable for different things. Because rough press paper can absorb a lot of water, it is suitable for painting using the wet on wet technique. Cold press paper is the famously used type of paper for beginners. Hot-press paper contains a smooth texture; therefore, colors pigments in the water can move smoothly, making it perfect for mixing colors.

In conclusion, the wrong medium usage of paper types will not only result in an unsatisfactory end product of your art but also destroy your art tools. Therefore, before you go to your nearest found art supply store or shop online for the sketchbooks or art papers, ensure you have explicit knowledge of the medium you are going to use and do some research on the different types of papers to avoid getting loss over your money through buying a sketchbook or paper that does not support your medium. Normalize using the correct type of paper when doing your work of art to get the best results always.



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