Best Paper for Colored Pencils

Best Paper for Colored Pencils

With so many different types of paper available, how do you know which is best for your colored pencils?

Check out the top 5 recommendations, below:

The art world has a plethora of mediums and techniques for you to enjoy. This makes art one of the most riveting and rewarding hobbies for people of all age demographics.

Whether you are a young high schooler or a family man, there is an option for anyone you can think of.

The best thing to pair with your colored pencils in this context is specialist paper or colored paper for your pencils so you can express yourself to the fullest.

This review guide is tailored for your convenience so you can pick and choose the best for what you want to do in your free time.

Here’s a hand-picked selection of my top 5 best paper for colored pencils to try out for your art projects. Stick till the end to find out and save yourself a ton of money and time.

01) Koh-I-Noor Heavy Drawing White Paper Pad with In and Out Pages

Paper weight 90lb/147 GSM, 18 x 24″, Top Wire-Bound, 24 Sheets per Pad (26170202512)

Koh-I-Noor Heavy Drawing main image


  • Heavyweight, high quality paper
  • Durable surface allows for multiple layers of dry media
  • Wire bound pad
  • Pad of 24
  • 18×24 inch


The Koh-I-Noor sketch pad is among the better quality paper suppliers as they are already known for providing pastels, and therefore they know what they are doing in terms of paper texture. Easy to work with any sort of colored pencil.

This paper for colored pencils does have toothing on the surface, so you are not getting a conventional smooth surface for your pencils. Instead, you’re being offered a rough paper surface for your dry media which is great for layering.

  • Great as pencil pad
  • Enables you to apply multiple layers on the paper
  • Easily loosen your sheet for any purpose
  • Very limited amount of sheets


Among paper types, these are your standard heavyweight papers. The thickness makes way for several layers of paint application. This makes it one of the best papers for watercolor pencils or colored pencils in general.

Overall, a great selection of colored pencil paper or mixed media paper at a very affordable price.

02) ARCHES 31 x 41 cm 300 GSM Cold Pressed

Glued on 4 Sides Block Watercolour Paper – Natural White (Pack of 20 Sheets)

ARCHES 31 x 41 cm 300 GSM Cold Pressed main image


  • Natural grain surface
  • Acid-free
  • 100% cotton paper
  • Dimensional stability ensured


Arches 31×41 cm cold press papers are a brand of paper you may find useful if you are working with wet media or watercolor pencils.

The paper has a smoother surface than most papers. The smoother paper makes for a great way for your colored pencil drawings.

  • Dimensional stability ensures your paper doesn’t warp
  • Great surface for colored pencil drawings
  • Smooth texture
  • Smaller in size


The Arches pack of 20 is a great pack of sheets with conventional paper tone on each sheet for colored pencil work and other media. The paper’s surface has a natural white look something that even a professional artist will appreciate.

Overall, a great purchase if you are looking for the best surface for your colored pencil drawings.

03) Bachmore Sketchpad 100 Sheet

Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching, Ink Sketch Book, Coloring Notebook – 98 Ib/160 g/m2 in Multi-Media Spiral Notebook, Drawing Paper, Drawing Pad (9” X 12”)

Bachmore Sketchpad 100 Sheet main image


  • Acid-free
  • 9×12 inch paper sheets
  • 100 sheets per pad
  • Wire bound, hardcover pad


The Bachmore sketchpad features a hundred sheets of great paper. While these support most media of paint, they are also great for dry media.

The surface works well for any media of paint or colored pencil and additionally, you are free to take loose sheets as they offer a cut guide which you can use or even tear from the wire bounds to separate your finished artwork from the pad.

  • Optimal size
  • Great for colored pencil drawings
  • Eco-friendly
  • Not the best for overly wet media


The Bachmore sketchpad offers a collection of sheets that are great for colored pencil drawings, however, not the best for overly wet media. Nonetheless, if that isn’t your preferred media of drawing or sketching, then these are still a great option for you.

Affordable and has your conventional paper texture. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money looking at different papers and paper types, these are a no-brainer.

04) Bellofy 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro

Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching

Bellofy 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro main image


  • Smooth surface
  • 100 sheets
  • 9×12 inches
  • Mixed media paper


The Bellofy 100 sheet features papers that are thick and smooth on the surface. Making them one of the best papers for colored pencil drawing. With a hundred sheets that are easily separable, they work with not only watercolor pencils but other wet media as well.

Great for colored pencil artists and artists all across the board. Easily one of the best colored pencil papers you can afford on a budget.

  • Heavy-duty paper
  • Acid-free
  • Usable with watercolor pencils and other wet media
  • The surface may be too soft or smooth for some


To get the most out of your finished artworks you may need a little bit more pizzaz but if you aren’t in it for the seriousness of it all these could be just right for you.

Overall on a budget, these are an easy purchase as Bellofy is known for making decent quality pastels and other art products at good prices.

05) 8K Water Color Paper, Drawing Pad with Medium Coarse Grain

Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching, Ink Sketchbook

K Water Color Paper, Drawing Pad with Medium Coarse Grain main image


  • Mixed media paper
  • Thick and durable
  • Optimal for wet media
  • Decent archival


The 8k watercolor paper is a bit of a wild card as they are quite a niche product. However, they have been picked for a specific reason and that is they provide unexpectedly good products at a very good price.

The drawing pad features 300 sheets of rough paper that are compatible with wet and dry media. They are specifically great for watercolor as they are cold press paper.

  • Great paper for colored pencil artists
  • Thick and durable sheets
  • Mixed media paper great with watercolor
  • May be too rough for some artists


Although this is a niche brand you have probably never heard of. They provide some of the best papers for colored pencil artists. Sometimes you need to weigh out your options if you want a smooth surface or a vellum surface.

Overall, a great purchase if you’re a fan of working with colored pencils or watercolor. You simply cannot go wrong with these.

General Information About The Best Paper For Colored Pencils

There is a plethora of papers for colored pencils. Some work especially great with colored pencils and some work great for any sort of media you work with. To get the best paper it is good to explore the ranges of Stonehenge paper, cotton-based paper, or wood pulp.

To get the best out of your colored pencils, you will definitely have to consider the paper you are investing in too. Colored pencils mostly prefer a vellum surface to shine and look their best on.

Apart from your conventional mixed media paper, you also might want to take a look at toned paper for your need.

Among surfaces, there are many to consider. Smooth and vellum surface, depending on how you want your colored pencils to look upon application you make your choice. Vellum will give your colored pencils a rough texture as in you will be able to see the bumps and cracks.

Conclusion / Roundup

Overall, whether you like smooth paper or paper even smoother than a vellum surface it is up to you to decide. This guide was written to help guide you to get the best out of your colored pencils.

You may like toned paper due to the neutrality of the mid-tone values and contrast of your colored pencils or you may like bristol paper. The best way to find out what the best is for you and your colored pencils is trial and error.

This guide will shorten your long list of doubts and queries when it comes to asking questions about finding the right paper for your colored pencils, so now that you’re on the right path, have fun and get drawing.


What is the best paper for colored pencils?

The best paper for you if you want sturdy is bristol paper. They come in both smooth and rough surfaces but the highlight is that they are sturdy and durable.

What colored pencil paper is best for Prismacolor pencils?

If you have been in the art world as a hobbyist or a veteran artist long enough you probably own a set of Prismacolor pencils.

Prismacolor colored pencils are a flagship for any artist to have when it comes to colored pencils. And clearly, you would want the prime paper for the better quality colored pencil set that you have.

If we are talking about the best of the best then an easy suggestion would be the Strathmore 500 series Bristol paper or the Canson XL bristol paper. Easily some of the best papers on the market.

What is toned paper used for?

Toned paper is generally just normal paper but with a slight tint. They are generally used for a special drawing or sketching technique that ensures consistency in your artwork unmatched by what you would get from just straight white paper.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.