For any artwork, the media is a vital part that needs a careful selection, regardless of the paint or drawing tool we use, to put the art beautifully. Mainly, a paper needs to be sturdy and smooth so that it won’t be damaged while drawing. Especially for graphite drawing, this is essential to use the paper effectively for repeated erasing and working.
When we are looking for art paper, it shouldn’t be white only, but also smooth and thick. So, to help creative artists find the best paper for graphite drawing, we have analyzed the quality of numerous paper types through customer recommendations. Fellow artists have good experience to judge a paper best suited for various artworks. So, the article helped to rank the different products on the list. We also checked the features of the papers like texture, thickness, etc. to help you choose a particular paper.
One of the mentionable brands to provide the best quality papers is Arches. The paper is both tough and smooth, allowing multiple erasures. We can use any shades of graphite pencils to result in smooth gradations. The sketches will come out very detailed and stunning enough to keep it archived for years.
Our Favorite Best Paper for Graphite Drawing
Types of Drawing Paper
The paper is a vital component of any drawing to work as the foundation. So, a type of paper will make all the difference about how the artist will feel or present their art to the audience. There are many types of papers with different builds and textures, and some of them are widely used for different drawings.
Acid Free Paper
Mostly, graphite works well on such papers as the paper is free from any acids. However, the neutralization mechanism is quite short-lived, so the paper becomes yellow over time.
This is the most common type of paper that comes in various sizes for several other color media, including acrylic. Even though it is delicate, it is well-textured to make the artwork smooth, even with graphite pencils.
Such papers consist of cotton fiber and are durable and also versatile. It is widely used for drawing with graphite.
Other than the canvas itself, we get similarly textured papers suitable for oil or acrylic colors. It is also great for learning new techniques.
As the name suggests, it is made for charcoal drawing, which means the texture is tough for continuous erasing and dry media.
Cold Press Paper
It comes from a small percent cold finish and isn’t very textured. So, it can work well for watercolors or lighter media.
Cotton Fiber Paper
This is an all-purpose drawing paper that is made of pure cotton fiber. So, it has the best quality and durability for all media.
Hot Press Paper
The papers have been through a hot press for allowing more details for professional-level drawing or sketches.
Layout Bond Paper
This kind of paper is for creative people for designs, comics, or calligraphy.
It is heavyweight with a smooth surface to suit inks from a marker pen without any smudges or bleeding.
Pastel paper is smooth on one side and slightly rougher on the other for use with pastels and other dry media.
This paper is lightweight for use with different pencils for sketches, but we can also use other sketching media.
We know that this is a transparent paper to transfer images and use for different sketches and drawings.
Here is a very common type of paper with different textures and weights suitable for various media, both dry and wet, other than watercolor only.
Best Paper for Graphite Drawing to Buy
1. Leda Art Supply Perfect Premium A5 Sketch Book
Leda Art Supply Sketchbook is the perfect choice for frequent travelers. This notebook’s 8.25 x 5.7-inch dimensions offer sufficient space for different sketches. There are 160 cream-colored papers in total with a wonderful texture and density to make the colors pop.
Rest assured that the paper is tear-resistant and won’t make colors smear or bleed, which is usually the case for watercolor art. Apart from graphite drawing, we can use it for pastels, charcoal, pens, or ink. So, this notebook has the best paper for graphite drawing with a stylish hardcover and elastic band to work as a bookmark.
Although this brand offers three different sizes, this one is with the size 8.25 x 5.7-inch to work as a journal for easy packing and carrying it around. Besides, it has a durable and gorgeous cover design.
We get 160 sheets of paper in a single sketchbook that are all in beautiful cream color with a fine texture without any troubles of tearing or smudging from colors and ink. In addition, the papers remain flat for easy drawing.
The papers are in 130gsm, so we can easily use different media like pen, pencil, ink, and charcoal. So, it is a great sketchbook for drawings, but we can use some light watercolor wash on the paper.
- Premium quality tough paper
- Suitable for various media
- Easy to carry
- No issues with tear or smear
- Offers an elastic band
- Not very suitable for watercolors
2. Articka Note Hardcover Sketchbook
The Articka Sketchbook can’t go wrong with being the best paper for pencil drawing, whether for professionals or beginners. Get creative with gorgeous ideas to put them on the thick and durable papers. Since it is a hardbound sketchbook, it offers the finest paper quality with 180GSM/122Lbs thickness.
Unlike other thick papers, this one has bright white papers of a total of 120 sheets. We can easily use this for graphite, colors, charcoal, pens, and many more. The sketchbook is 8” x 8” inches with a perfectly square shape, a gorgeous outer design, and an elastic band.
The sketchbook has a square shape with 8 x 8-inch paper sizes. It offers various drawing options. Besides, this one also has a beautiful hardcover. Yet we can easily carry it around for use.
We get around 120 sheets of paper in this sketchbook. Each paper has a 180GSM/122Lbs thickness. The papers are also in white color with smoothness and durability to easily erase without any smudges.
Overall, this is a great choice for dry media and brilliant sketch work. So, we can use different colored pencils, pastels, charcoal, graphite, silverpoint or pens.
- Suitable for all artists
- High-quality white and thick paper
- Great size for carrying around
- Good compatibility with various media
- Beautiful hardcover design
- Not thick enough for liquid paints
3. LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book
LYTek SketchBook offers a beautiful hardcover sketchbook with 80 sheets of 95 gsm. We can easily use this one for professional purposes. Whether it is sketches, illustrations, or doodles, the papers will show detailed artwork to organize the artists’ ideas. The papers are acid-free and thick without any issues of tearing or smudges due to watercolors.
In addition, the notebook micro-perforated to remove papers easily. While we are drawing, the pages will remain flat on the surface. The 9 x 12-inch paper size makes it slim and overall one of the best drawing papers for graphite with a convenient pen loop.
The sketchbook has 9 x 12-inch papers making it quite slim in size to carry around. We get a strong cover with spiral-bound and a pen loop. Besides, it also has an elastic pen holder for convenience.
Since the papers are acid-free and thick, they are water-resistant to prevent any damage. They are of 95 gsm to offer a dry media for various artwork.
These papers are ideal for various dry media. We can use a pencil, pen, charcoal, sketching sticks, and so on. It also has a perforated edging to tear each Sheet.
- Great size for portability
- Allows different dry media
- Includes a pen loop and elastic band
- Very durable paper
- Spiral-bound cover with micro-perforated edges
- Thin papers for continuous erasing
4. Art-N-Fly Black Sketchbook
Art-n-Fly Get Black Sketchbook is a unique one for creativity purposes. We get some silky and black paper of 140gsm. There is a total of 32 sheets in one sketchbook. We can use these papers for pastels, paints, or any white pens for some masterpieces. This one also has micro-perforated papers with a spiral-bound book.
So, we can easily tear each paper properly. The papers are made of a saturated black dye which is cold-pressed and acid-free. We can have different artwork stored for ages due to its durability. Each paper comes at 22.9cm x 30.5cm size, suitable for professional drawing paper.
The sketchbook size 9 x 12-inch and weighs 140 gsm with a spiral bound. This allows us to place the paper flat for a smooth surface. Besides, it also has micro-perforated edges.
Other than the saturated black dye for the color, the papers are also cold-pressed for strength and sturdiness. Since these are acid-free, the art will never wear off.
Due to the color of the paper, this sketchbook has limited uses. Yet, we can use white pastels, pencils, gouache paints, white color, and so on that will glide seamlessly on the paper.
- Unique quality black papers
- Made of great materials for durability
- Great size for better working space
- Suitable for various media
- Each artwork comes opaque and detailed
- Only works with white ink
5. Dyvicl Sketch Book
Dyvicl Sketch Pad has lightweight and acid-free papers that help with practices for various drawings and sketches. Such papers are used for dry media, mostly like pencils, charcoal, crayons, and so on. Besides, the papers have a wonderful texture and finish to avoid smears and tears.
The pages are also perforated with a hardcover to protect each sheet. These are sized 9 x 12-inches for easy storage and keeping wonderful sketching ideas. The spiral-bound cover helps to keep the papers flat for a better surface. So, this sketchbook can use by professionals and amateurs. Such a high-quality sketchbook has the best graphite paper.
This sketchbook also has 9 x 12-inch sheets with 100 gsm weight. Each paper is smooth and lightweight for use with various media. There are 100 papers in a single book.
Since the papers are smooth, they have different uses. Besides, the micro-perforated Edges allow the papers to be tear and smear-resistant. The neutral pH also causes the papers to be durable.
We can use such papers to use with graphite pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, wax crayons, sketching stick, wax crayon, and pastels. There won’t be any issues with bleeding or fading of the drawing.
- High-quality paper
- Easy to carry around
- No issues with fading or yellowing
- Works with various media
- Micro-perforated edges
- Papers are quite thin
6. Soho Urban Artist Sketchpad
Soho Urban Artist Sketchpad comes to our rescue whenever we feel inspired to create new ideas. The papers here are used for various purposes and work as an ideal sketchbook for every artist. This one has a spiral-bound cover with 100 sheets weighing 110 gsm. Each paper is easy to flip and lay flat on the surface for working.
We get high-quality drawing papers that work great for all kinds of dry media, including color pencils. Other than the cover, the sketchbook is also sturdy yet lightweight. So, we can easily carry it around and doodle or sketch whenever our artistic inspiration spikes out.
This sketchbook has 5.5 x 8.5-inch papers that are quite small yet great for various drawings. Besides, the papers weigh 110 gsm, so the sketchbook is compact and lightweight for carrying around.
A single pack of 100 sheets has a fine-tooth surface and soft texture. The papers are white and sturdy to support all kinds of dry media with frequent erasing. In addition, the papers are acid-free to prevent yellowing.
We can use this sketchbook for different dry media. So, sketch or draw with graphite, Colored pencils, charcoal, Conte, and many others.
- Acid-free high quality white papers
- Good compatibility with different dry media
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to flip pages and lay flat
- Beautiful and hard cover
- Very small size papers
7. Creative Mark Hard Bound Sketch Book Journal
CREATIVE MARK HARDBOUND SKETCHBOOK has some professional-quality and smooth textured papers for various media, mostly dry. It also has a unique cover made of embossed faux leather to offer a luxurious feel. This journal-type sketchbook has 80 sheets of paper for different types of artwork.
We also get a marker loop and also an elastic band to keep pens and bookmark the pages. Both the cover and papers are durable to preserve the drawings well. Each sheet sizes 5 x 7-inch to pack the journal easily. Besides, here we get the best paper for graphite that is acid-free and cream-colored.
Beneath the faux leather cover journal, we get around 80 sheets of paper with 5 x 7-inch sizes. Each sheet weighs 110 gsm to offer great quality with an elastic band to bookmark.
Each paper cream-color with a great texture to support all types of media. The sheets are durable for erasing and preventing tears or smudges. These papers are also acid-free.
Since this sketchbook is multi-media friendly, the papers can used to draw with a pen, chalks, colored pencil, graphite, pastels, and many others. We can also use some light washes using watercolors without any issues with tearing.
- Professional-quality and cream-colored papers
- Works with various dry media for drawing
- Papers are acid-free
- Cover is hard with great materials with pen loop
- Suitable for various multimedia artwork
- Small sized journal with limited uses
Best Paper for Graphite Drawing Buying Guide
We can easily find numerous high-quality sketchbooks for various artwork. However, even with a great list of the best papers for graphite drawing, we need to know some other aspects to understand more about such papers. This will help us to choose the right sketchbook and paper depending on our skills and creative purposes.
We see that most sketchbooks are quite small in size to resemble a journal. This allows the artists to pack the book and carry it around. The paper size ranges from A2 to A5 and in square or rectangular size. Depending on the type of drawing you are skilled or interested in, choose the paper size to put the art within the space.
Any sketchbook either has a spiral bound or hardbound cover. These also have a softcover or hardcover outer part. We can tear off papers for spiral-bound covers and place the pen on the loop. Besides, it allows us to lay the paper properly without any creases. But hardbound cover works like that of a book. It seems that such sketchbooks have more space for art.
Number of Papers
Similar to a notebook, the sketchbooks offer around the same number of sheets. The paper amount depends on our preferences. For occasional artists or enthusiasts and also beginners, a smaller sketchbook works great. But for more professional uses, a larger amount of paper is useful.
This factor will determine whether the paper is wrinkled or polished. The best way to determine this weight is with the unit grams per square meter. This easily defines the thickness and the overall durability of the paper. So, the higher the number, the better for different art media.
Mostly, the papers used for any art need to be durable and resistant to smudges, smears, or tears from continuous erasing or from watercolors. In addition, micro-perforated edges and neutral pH also make the papers very sturdy. Whether the papers are white or cream-colored, check that these have a great texture. The medium texture is good for sketches or drawings, but for other media, a smooth texture is necessary.
Paper is made of various materials, apart from woods only. The materials that make up the papers for drawing also determine their texture. We can also understand whether to use smooth or rough paper depending on our uses.
Even though these are sketchbooks, we need most all-purpose paper to suit different media. The papers have a great texture and strength to support both dry and wet media. But if the purpose is only to sketch or draw with different dry media, then a sketchbook is suitable. Regardless of the purpose, art paper needs to be resistant and durable.
How to Make Graphite Paper?
Graphite papers are essentially traditional transfer papers for different images or illustrations. We can easily use a DIY method to make a simple and cost-effective graphite paper to transfer any artwork to a board or canvas. In contrast to a projector, tracing paper can help with the process. Besides, this is quicker to make one with the right materials.
- For working properly, you can tape the tracing paper on the board to line up the drawing and make markings on the border. Place cardboard underneath the paper.
- Use a 6B graphite stick to rub gently but by covering depths over the tracing paper. Apply more layers for better coverage. You can also use a 4B graphite pencil.
- Apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol onto a cloth or tissue to wipe over the graphite cover surface on the tracing paper. Let it dry completely and carefully.
- After the paper is dried out, flip on the other side. Place this part accurately on the board.
- Now the graphite paper is ready to transfer images. Use a reference picture to trace the lines with any media like pencil, pen, marker, etc.
- The drawing can now be used for detailed work with sketches or to make a colorful painting. This simple process can be used to make several papers at a time. We can also use other substrates similar to isopropyl alcohol.
We can use these papers for a long time if they are handled and stored properly. Otherwise, there will be issues of fingerprints over the paper or even smudges and smears.
Make pairs of these papers and place them such that the transfer surfaces face each other. They can either be rolled or placed flat to store in a folder or any other storage item. We can also use a clean sheet with each graphite paper to work as a protective cover.
How to Use Graphite Paper?
Graphite paper is used for a simple and traditional method for illustrations, designs, and also artwork. Graphite papers are artists’ transfer paper that works to speed things up. Even though an artist needs to learn their drawing well, a transfer paper is simply used to aid in drawing, especially for beginners.
This artist’s tool works similar to a regular transfer paper but has added features. It is greaseless, unlike carbon paper, and leaves lesser residue. So, we can easily erase as needed without any issues. Using such a piece of paper for any artwork is quite simple.
- First, get a reference photo of the same size as the painting or drawing paper where you choose to draw. This should be rough in texture to work with the transfer paper. The graphite paper should also be the exact same size as the reference photo.
- Place the transfer paper over the platform where you will draw, facing the clean side upwards. Now tape the paper gently on the surface. An artist tape will work the best here.
- Then place the reference photo on top of the graphite paper. Position it properly and then tape it as well. Ensure that all of them are tight and secured in place.
- Finally, it is time for tracing. Use a dark pen or pencil with a sharp point. Trace all the outlines of the objects in the photo, including highlights and shadows. In addition, mark any color changes.
- After you are done with the tracing, gently remove the photo and transfer paper to see the magic. Then you move on to the details of your artwork.
When the drawing is done faster, the artist can focus more on mixing the colors for details and painting the whole thing. In addition, graphite papers are simple to create at home for use. The best part is these papers can be reused several times.
What Is Graphite Paper Used for?
A good-quality graphite paper is used to transfer images and to draw for art, sewing, and craft projects. We can easily use this paper on plastic, leather, fabric, metal, wood, glass, and china. Any graphite pencils will put strong, deep lines and shades on the paper.
Is Smooth Paper Better for Graphite?
Neither a smooth nor a rough paper is suitable for graphite drawing. So, the best we can select is a paper with a medium texture. This will allow the artists to make a luminescent shade on the paper with their graphite sketches.
What Paper Do Professional Artists Use?
Professional artists look for media that is made of the finest quality materials and has a nice finish. The papers are usually made of 100% cotton with a great texture to avoid tearing or smudges. Besides, such paper types are compatible with various art tools, from charcoal pencils to colors. Strathmore Sketchbook offers some great papers for such artists.
What Do I Need for Graphite Drawing?
Certain things like graphite pencils, erasers, rulers, blending stumps, etc. are needed for any sketches or graphite drawing. But the most important thing is the paper, which needs to have a smooth texture to make the drawing look beautiful, detailed, and popping.
What Can I Use Instead of Graphite Paper?
Usually, graphite paper is used as a transfer paper. So, a graphite pencil is used on such papers to draw different artwork. Instead of such papers, we can use wax-free transfer papers made of carbon for the same purpose.
Is Graphite Paper Reusable?
Fortunately for us, we can easily use graphite paper several times until the graphite wears out. This is a great way to save more paper that is economical and also allows us to save the environment.
Now that you know about the best paper for graphite drawing, you can now select a sketchbook according to your desire and purposes. The sketchbook is used for various artwork with different wet or dry media. Most of these sketchbooks are suitable for all types of art. Depending on the certain factors that determine each sketchbook, select one according to your art preferences. Even though these are multi-purpose, each artist might need a different one that will work the best for their art categories. Regardless of this, the most important thing would be to get the best quality and durable papers for the long-term preservation of art.