Best Paper For Acrylic Paint US.
What is the best paper for acrylic paint? The answer to that question depends on a few factors: the weight and grade of paper, surface texture, thickness, etc. But there are certain tips that can help you choose the best paper for acrylic paint.
In this article, I aim to answer the most common questions I get asked and also will recommend the papers I find to be the best for use with acrylic paints, based on quality and value for money.
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The 8 Best Acrylic Paper Pads Reviewed
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1. Arteza Acrylic Paper Pad
- Pack of 2
- 11 x 14 Inches
- 16 Sheets Each
- Paper Weight = 400 gsm heavyweight paper
- For Acrylic Painting, Oil Painting, & Drawing
- The glue-bound binding helps you take out your finished artwork for display without accidentally tearing it.
- Zero Buckling
- Designed & Created by Artists
I have used and reviewed a number of products from Arteza and I have to say, they’ve done it again with the acrylic pad. The paper is of high quality perfect for all your acrylic painting needs. This pack includes 2 pads so provides great value and will keep you painting for longer.
This pad is perfect for acrylic paint, markers and other mediums as it has the correct texture to accept layers of different colors and make blending easy. This makes it ideal for mixed media artists too.
2. Strathmore 400 Series Acrylic Pad
- Linen Finish
- Glue Bound canvas paper pads
- 10 Sheets
- durable, heavyweight paper (246lb, 400 g/M2)
- Thick Paper, Perfect for Acrylic painting.
- Textured linen surface
- Manufactured in France.
I love working with Strathmore 400 Series Acrylic Pad! I think it’s the best paper for acrylic paint. It is super heavy weight and has a linen like texture that feels amazing to paint on. The surface is very smooth, making it easy to apply my paints. And I don’t have to worry about any paint seeping through the paper because this paper is very durable. Highly recommend for acrylic painting professionals.
3.Canson XL Series Acrylic Paper Pad
- Bleed Proof Canvas Like Texture
- Fold Over
- 136 lb/290 gsm
- 9 x 12 Inch
- 24 Sheets
- Acid free
The Canson XL Series Acrylic Paper Pad is a textured surface pad, perfect for acrylic paint. The paper is heavy duty and won’t rip or tear easily. The pad also has a fold-over cover to help keep the paints and paper together. I highly recommend the Canson XL Series Acrylic Paper Pad to all my fellow artists who need a high quality grade paper for their acrylic work.
4. Bachmore Drawing Pad acrylic paper
- 100 Sheets
- Mixed Media, Watercolor paint, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching, Ink Sketchbook, Coloring in Multi-Media
- Top Spiral Notebook,
- Heavy Weighted
The Bachmore Drawing Pad is a good beginner sketch pad for someone on a tight budget. The quality of the paper is okay, but won’t create the best results. However, it does offer super value for 100 sheets and will have a place for experimental work, or for students practicing techniques without fear of ruining expensive paper. If you are looking to create a frame-worthy acrylic painting, this may not be the best choice for you.
5. Canson Foundation Series – Canva-Paper For Acrylic Painting
- acrylic paper
- Primed for Oil or Acrylic Paints
- Top Bound, high quality paper
- 16 x 20 Inch
- 10 Sheets
- Primed for oil and acrylic paints
- Features a canvas-like texture that is close to linen cloth
- Treated with a high-performance barrier to absorb oil, bonding agents, and water evenly
- 136 pound/290 gram
I absolutely love working on Canson Canva-Paper. When I paint on this paper, I feel like my painting is actually going to turn out well because it’s a really great quality product. The surface is naturally primed for my acrylics which saves me time (and time is money!). One thing that I think Canson could improve upon is the weight and price of their paper as I personally prefer a heavier weight.
Overall I can positively recommend it.
6. U.S. Art Supply Pad For Acrylic Paintings
- 9″ x 12″ paper pad
- Premium Extra Heavy-Weight
- Acrylic Painting Paper Pad
- 246 Pound (400gsm)
- Spiral Bound
- Pad of 12-Sheets
- Pack of 2 Pads
- Acid Free
- Neutral pH
- Natural White Sheets
- Extremely Heavyweight and Versatile Paper made for the Acrylic Artist
- Nice Texture and Resistant to Moisture Bleed Through.
This paper is perfect for the artist looking to work primarily in acrylic paints. It is heavyweight and has a nice texture that resists moisture bleed through. The paper is acid-free, has neutral pH, and is white with a natural tone. When I’m working with acrylics, I need to make sure that the water-based paint doesn’t bleed through.
This paper does its job perfectly without compromising on price or quality! One thing to watch out for is the painting area surface is not quite 9 x 12 inches as the holes at the top for the binding is included in the measurement.
Excellent for mixed media too – suitable for use as watercolor paper.
7. Bellofy – 2 x Large Painting Paper Pads
- 11×14 inch paper pads
- 246lb 400GSM – heavy weighted paper
- 15 Sheets/Pad
- Wet Media Acrylic, Oil & Watercolor paper
- Top Glue Bound Art Pad
- Suitable For Beginners, Artists & Professionals
Bellofy acrylic painting paper pads are a great option for a wide variety of artists. They offer surfaces that are perfect for acrylic paints, oil paint, and watercolor paints. The paper is coated with a cold press feature that naturally degrades in time and the paint will not peel off. This paper is very thick & extra durable, making it perfect for professional artists who need to preserve their artwork.
Very affordable in comparison to other brands, these pads are a great option for all levels of artist from beginners to professionals. The quality of this pad is excellent!
8. Bellofy – 200 Sheet Sketchbook
- Mixed Media/acrylic paper pads
- Textured paper pads
- 5.8 x 8.3
- Sketch Pad for Drawing
- Drawing Notebook with Acrylic Paper
- Wet Media Acrylic, Oil & Watercolor paper & Dry Media
- Multimedia Sketchbook for Pencils, Watercolor, Acrylic Painting art mediums.
Sticking with Bellofy for the final pad in my top 8 selection, I couldn’t overlook this great value option. The paper is a lot thicker than you typically get in this price bracket (less than $10 for 200 sheets!) and as it’s acid free your work will last a lifetime.
This sketchbook is so versatile and can be used for wet media such as watercolor to mixed media with acrylic paint. The paper has a lovely tooth to it which allows you to mix your paints into the paper adding texture however you wish – the paint adheres really well.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this drawing paper.
Why Students Shouldn’t Paint On Cheap Paper or Canvas.
If you’re a student and just starting out, choosing the right paper is an important decision that may affect your artwork in more ways than you think. You might be under the impression that all papers are created equal, but this simply isn’t true. There’s a wide range of prices, textures and colors available, so it’s important to choose the right paper for acrylic paint.
However, there are many reasons why you should avoid using cheap paper or cheap cartridge paper when learning how to paint with acrylics. Some of the problems students run into when using cheaper paper are:
- Crumpling or Distorting. Cheap papers aren’t designed to withstand a lot of stress, and some kinds of thin paper will even crumple or warp if they get too wet.
- Bleeding. Paint might bleed through the paper when applying a heavy coat or multiple layers.
- Peeling Off. The surface of the paper is often too smooth and acrylic paint won’t stick to it in some areas. This problem becomes even more apparent as you layer wet coats on top of each other.
- Acid-Base Reactions. A lot of cheaper paper will yellow or turn brown over time. Looking for “acid-free” paper is highly recommended to make certain that the paper will not yellow in the future and your masterpiece will be good for many years to come.
Professional Grade Paper For Acrylic Paints
Professional or “artist-grade” paper for acrylic painting is available from top brands like Strathmore and Canson. They provide a high-quality, heavy-weighted canvas paper which is versatile acid-free paper and has been designed specifically for acrylic artists. The pads are also well suited for oil or acrylic paints, drawing, pastel, or charcoal applications where heavy paper with a canvas texture surface is beneficial.
Qualities and a few things to look for in Acrylic Paper include:
- Durable paper / thicker paper
- Acid free
- Heavy weight paper pads
- Canvas paper
- Different textures/textured finish paper surfaces
Look for paper that is durable, heavy-duty to resist tearing from erasure, and sanding. Paper made from cotton or linen pulp are typically stronger and more durable than paper that is made from wood pulp. Whereas soft papers like newsprint may contain acids, wood-based papers may give off a vinegar odor when used with acrylic paint. You might come across paper labeled “100% cotton” or “100% linen” or “pure cotton rag.”
Acrylic Paper Color
Acrylic Paper comes in several shades, ranging from bright white through to more of a pale cream. Lighter paints may show brighter on the lighter paper or white shades of paper, whereas the cream or off-white shades may appear duller between color strokes where the paper shows through. This is fine if this is the effect you are going for, but something useful to be aware of.
How Do Acrylics Dry?
Did you know that acrylics dry when all the water content in the paint moves away? This is because it either seeps into the surface that the paint is applied to, or evaporates into the air. What remains is the acrylic polymer binder, which causes a layer of paint to contract and form a solid film. When acrylic paint goes from wet to dry, it also changes from being water-soluble to being water-resistant! The process happens fastest at the top of a layer – where it can easily evaporate into the air. The next fastest is at the bottom of an acrylic paint layer, where the absorbency of the acrylic paper pulls out the water in a layer. This explains why thick layers dry slower than thin layers!
Acrylic paper versus stretched canvas or traditional canvas.
You’ve got to decide, which one should you choose?
A lot of people are confused on this question. They don’t know what to buy when they want to paint. There are a lot of things to consider, including your style and texture preferences, what you can afford, and how much space you have for a painting. The thing is, it comes down to what YOU like!
When comparing acrylic paper versus stretched canvas, there are many different factors that make each one great for specific uses. On one side of the scale, paper is great for projects like sketches, studies and would be especially useful if you are trying to save money.
On the other side of the scale, stretched canvas is perfect for your larger projects that you want to show off and display. Working on acrylic paper is the perfect way to create freely, then transfer your work to a stretched canvas when ready.
Acrylic Gesso is also known as pre-ground or artist’s acrylic primer. It’s a specially prepared, inert white ground that can be tinted with color pigments to create a protective and preparatory layer for paintings and drawings on any non-porous surface such as wood panels, paper and canvas.
When to use it: Gesso helps better achieve the desired effects by filling fine cracks and holes in the surface of the painting with pigment so they stand out less. It acts as a filler before an undercoat or varnish is applied in preparation for painting.
Archival quality Acrylic Paper
What is archival-quality paper?
Archival quality paper is a type of paper that you would want to use if you plan on keeping your art for a long time. The paper must have no wood in it and also be free from optical brighteners. It should also not contain any groundwood, bleached wood or metallic content in it.
It is typically rated to an archive quality of up to 200 years. Due to the characteristics of the paper, it has been specially designed for archival purposes. By using this type of paper, any work on it can be preserved and remain unharmed for a very long time.
Best acrylic paints
Coming soon, all of the best brands of acrylic paints on the market for beginners and professionals. I’ll post the link here when the page is live on the site.
Many of the papers and pads mentioned here are also perfect for oil paints. If you are interested in picking up the best oil paints to add to your artist tool kit, why not read about “the best oil paints” here.
The best paper for acrylic paint is professional grade and acid free. The professional or artist-grade paper will allow your painting to withstand a lot of stress and there are many benefits that come with it, such as durability, heavy weighting, canvas texture surface etc.
Another good investment in addition to the right type of paper is high quality paints.
* You can find more information about all the best oil paints here.
* You can find more information about all the best Acrylic paints here (coming Soon).
If you’re looking for recommendations on which brand would be most suitable for pro’s or beginner’s then look no further than the articles above!
Hope this has helped you to choose paper for your next project and has inspired you, so grab your gear & start painting today!
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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.