How to Choose What Paper to Use For Your Drawing

How to Choose What Paper to Use For Your Drawing


When it comes to drawing, choosing the right paper is crucial for achieving the desired results. The type of paper you use can greatly impact the texture, durability, and overall appearance of your artwork. In this article, we will guide you on how to choose the perfect paper for your drawing needs.

Consider the Purpose

The first step in selecting the right paper for your drawing is to consider the purpose of your artwork. Are you creating a quick sketch, a detailed portrait, or experimenting with different techniques? Each purpose may require a different type of paper.

Understanding Paper Weight

Paper weight refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper. It is measured in grams per square meter (gsm). Lighter weight papers, such as 50-90 gsm, are ideal for sketching and practicing. Medium weight papers, around 120-150 gsm, are suitable for finished drawings and illustrations. Heavyweight papers, 200 gsm and above, are best for wet media and mixed media artworks.

Texture and Surface

Consider the texture and surface of the paper as it can greatly affect the look and feel of your drawings. There are three main types of paper textures: smooth, medium, and rough. Smooth papers are great for detailed work and realistic drawings. Medium texture papers provide a balance between smoothness and grip, making them ideal for a variety of drawing styles. Rough papers, with their pronounced texture, are perfect for creating expressive and textured drawings.

Paper Types

There are various types of paper available for drawing, each with its own unique characteristics:

  • Drawing Paper: A versatile option suitable for a wide range of drawing techniques.
  • Watercolor Paper: Designed specifically for watercolor paintings, it is also suitable for wet media and mixed media drawings.
  • Sketch Paper: Lightweight and inexpensive, sketch paper is great for practicing and quick sketches.
  • Pastel Paper: With its textured surface, pastel paper is perfect for pastel and charcoal drawings.

Budget and Availability

Lastly, consider your budget and the availability of the paper. Some papers can be quite expensive, especially those of higher quality. However, there are also affordable options that still provide good results. Additionally, ensure that the paper you choose is readily available in the sizes you prefer.


Choosing the right paper for your drawing is essential for creating artwork that meets your expectations. Consider the purpose, weight, texture, and type of paper that best suits your drawing style and techniques. Don't be afraid to experiment with different papers to find the one that enhances your artistic vision. Happy drawing!

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