Choosing the Right Drawing Paper

Any artist knows that the paper used for drawing is just as important as the pencils or pastels that are being used. Without the right paper, your lines will not look right. There are literally hundreds of different types of paper for drawing, so choosing the right one can be tricky.

Strathmore 300 series drawing paper is a good choice if you aren’t sure which paper you need. This comes in pads of 50 sheets, so you’ll have plenty of drawing space.

drawing paper

The paper itself is a medium surface paper, meaning it has a slight tooth, but not too much. This is the best option for most dry mediums. Dry mediums include pencil, colored pencils, pastel pencils, and pen and ink.

You can choose from a range of paper sizes, depending on what you prefer. The most common sizes include 9 x 12 and 11 x 14, but you can also use other sizes if you prefer. It even comes in rolls which can be cut to your desired size for custom drawings. See Plaza Art at for the best deals.

Look for pads of paper that have spiral binding at the top. These will be easier to use, since you can flip each page back without worrying about bending them. The spiral tops are a useful way to keep all your sketches in one place. However, if you do want to leave the paper in the pad, you will need to consider using a fixative spray to prevent smudging.

Why You Need Drawing Paper

When many artists are just starting out, they use simple printer paper. This is not ideal for several reasons. Printer paper tends to be too smooth to really work with many mediums. You need some tooth to the paper to really get the best results.

Another good reason to use a heavier weight of paper designed for drawing is durability. A notebook might look fine if you just do a quick sketch, but if you do much in the way of revisions, you’ll need to use heavier paper.

The 300 series allows for repeated erasing and redrawing of lines. You can also add multiple mediums, including light watercolor washes, without destroying the paper. Ordinary paper simply cannot hold up to these artistic methods. However, if you plan to paint, you will need to consider using watercolor paint to hold the extra moisture.

Where to Find Drawing Paper

Any art store will carry good quality drawing paper from Strathmore. You can also purchase it online and have it shipped to your home. This is a great option if you draw frequently and need to order more paper on a regular basis.

In some cases, large chain stores also carry the paper for drawing and may have Strathmore paper. If you routinely shop at these places, then it can be a good option for buying your drawing paper.

Unless you have a good reason to use a different weight paper, the 300 series will work very nicely for most drawings. As long as you are using dry mediums, it will hold up just fine.