Best Paper For Colored Pencils: Top Brands Compared & Reviewed

Michael Daly
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Have you ever stopped to think about what you use as a colored pencil paper? Do you have a paper preference or is it the same old copy paper from the office?

If you haven’t ever thought about this, you need to. Your colored pencil paper has a huge impact on your drawing. That’s why today, I’ve created a helpful guide to compare the best colored pencil paper brands on the market.

In this guide, I’ll show you what to look for when choosing colored pencil paper, then review some of the best paper brands out there to help you get the best results from your colored pencils.

NameCategoryProduct
Prismacolor Premier Colored PencilsBest OverallPrismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
Canson XL Series Mix Paper PadBudget PickCanson XL Series Mix Paper Pad
Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist RngUpgrade PickCaran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist Rng

1. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Our rating: 10 / 10

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

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If you want the best, then high quality colored pencils are the best option. These colored pencils were named one of the best colored pencils by multiple sources.

The Prismacolor Premier colored pencils are perfect for drawing, and even animators use them for coloring their drawings. They are made in America, and they’re sharpened with an advanced process to ensure you won’t need to sharpen them as often. Prismacolor manufactures the lead with high quality materials, and they’re made from acid-free materials too.

These are dual-ended, and come with the soft core and the hard core. The soft core is great for more aggressive drawing, and the hard core makes more detailed and finer lines.

2. Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad

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Pad, Graphite.

3. Legion Stonehenge Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Legion Stonehenge Pad

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Pros:

  • FSC accredited paper
  • Made from 100% post-consumer waste
  • Manufactured responsibly, fairly, and sustainably
  • Heavyweight, 196 gsm
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Preservative free
  • Acid free
  • Archival
  • Micro perforated sheets for easy tear-away

Legion Stonehenge drawing pads are a heavyweight, 100% post-consumer waste sketch paper. It is a sustainably forested and manufactured product, as well as environmentally friendly. It’s made in the USA, and manufactured with renewable energy. It’s also archival, acid free, and perforated for easy tear-away.

Like most sketch paper, it’s best suited for colored pencils and high-quality graphite pencils. It’s heavier weight gives it some tooth, which is helpful for pencils
Especially smoother ones’ For markers, we recommend using a thin paper behind it to prevent bleed-through.

If you’re looking for a great, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional, unsustainable paper, this is a fantastic choice.

4. Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist Rng

Our rating: 9 / 10

Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist Rng

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Pros:

  • Made from natural light-sensitive materials
  • High-quality pigments from Grenoble in France
  • 24 pencils
  • Each pencil is individually wrapped for ultimate safety
  • Professional-grade pencils
  • Made in Switzerland

Cons:

  • Incredibly expensive
  • Not suitable for use by children
  • Very short pencils

N:

When you say high-quality colored pencils, the first name that comes to mind is Caran d’Ache.

The Luminance Clr Set Artist Rngn is a set of professional-grade colored pencils. Out of the box, you’ll get 24 pencils in an assortment of vibrant colors. Each pencil is individually wrapped so that they’re protected from outside contamination. One thing that’s great about this pencil pack is that they’re made from natural light-sensitive materials. That’s a big deal because few pencils are made from natural material, but most are made from synthetic plastic. That can be an issue for your health and the environment.

5. Moleskine Art Sketchbook

Our rating: 9 / 10

Moleskine Art Sketchbook

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Pros:

  • Moleskine brand
  • Available in multiple sizes and colors
  • Features a bookmark and a pocket at the back
  • Sturdy material
  • Bottom stitched binding
  • Vintage look
  • Easy to hold
  • Different paper grades

Cons:

  • May bleed through absorbent paper
  • Too heavy for kids

Moleskine sketchbooks have been keeping artists, designers and writers organized for years. The classic paper used in their sketchbooks is smooth and has a subtle texture that looks great with colored pencils.

As a bonus, the books are spiral-bound with a tight wire, making it easier to hold up your entire sketchbook.

These are perfect for serious artists, but younger artists might find them too heavy to hold. They are also ideal for artists who tend to work at their desk since they lay flat and don't stretch or pull the covers. They are also great for people who like to sketch and then write a lot of notes and observations about the drawing process. If you prefer soft cover notebooks you might prefer these Rhodia sketchbooks.

6. Fabriano ATW BL Echtbuetten Watercolour Paper Hahn Emuehl 4CO 5 x 7-inch

Our rating: 9 / 10

Fabriano ATW BL Echtbuetten Watercolour Paper Hahn Emuehl 4CO 5 x 7-inch

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300GSM 140LB/65GSM.

Another unconventional choice for colored pencils, this Hahn paper is made from 100% cotton rag and is a popular choice for watercolors and watercolor pencils. It's available in 3 different sizes, eg. 5in x 7in, 8.5in x 11in, and 11in x 14in.

7. Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Vellum Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Vellum Pad

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Pros:

  • Beautiful thick paper with a lovely rough texture
  • The bright white surface is easily secured with adhesives
  • Acid-free and lignin-free
  • No bleeding or feathering
  • Has a very interesting, rough texture that’s rather pleasant to draw on
  • Available in multiple sizes and in packs of 5
  • Good value considering the quality
  • Lift off the 14” x 17” to add more paper if it runs out
  • The smoothness of the paper makes it easy to blend colored pencils

Cons:

  • May be too thick for some pencil sharpeners
  • Some colored pencil thinners may require a great deal of pressure
  • The rough texture is too rough for some
  • Doesn’t work well with colored pencil sharpener in some cases
  • May run a little too easily without the addition of the Prismacolors Blending Board

Though not the thinnest paper on the market, Bristol vellum has a lovely texture that is rather pleasant to draw on. You won’t have to worry about leakage with this paper, and you won’t have to deal with fibers sticking to your drawing either.

8. Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series

Our rating: 9 / 10

Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series

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Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Build-in sharpener

Cons:

  • Contain lead
  • Lead breaks easily

400 Series.

Looking for the best paper for colored pencils? Consider the Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series if you're looking for a excellent set of drawing paper. This drawing paper is very sturdy, and keeps pencil lines very well.

If you're an artist who does a lot of sketching, this standard drawing pad from Strathmore is perfect for your needs. You get 30 sheets of 9" x 12" paper that won't bleed or fade. It is also very easy to clean, so less of your time needs to be spent on maintenance.

9. Bee Paper Company Bee Paper Bee Creative Colored Pencil Book

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bee Paper Company Bee Paper Bee Creative Colored Pencil Book

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Pros:

  • Large amount per book (400)
  • Free sharpener included (rare for colored pencil books)
  • Top quality paper
  • Very high quality. Very thick. Maximum saturation of color.

Cons:

  • A lot of people complain about how sharp they cut the paper
  • The binding tends to get bunched up rather quickly, but this can be easily avoided
  • Doesn’t have a lot of variation in the quality of the rulers vs. the surrounding pages

400.

T his is one of the best paper brands to choose if you are an artist who likes to color with colored pencils. It gives you a thick stack of paper per book, and what’s amazing about it is that it comes with a free sharpener. B ee Paper is clearly looking out for its artists and wants them to be able to sharpen their pencils with ease.

The product has a great quality. Bee Paper is very high quality and the paper is thick. This means that you can use this paper for pencil crayons, and artists’ pencils. If you’re looking for a paper that isn’t thin and cheap, this is a great option. It also comes in a really precise ruler guide to help keep you straight.

10. Faber Castell Faber-Castell Perfection Eraser Pencil

Our rating: 8 / 10

Faber Castell Faber-Castell Perfection Eraser Pencil

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If you’re looking for the best pencil eraser, you should check out the Faber-Castell Perfection Eraser Pencil. An eraser like this would come in handy if you tend to make lots of mistakes when you’re coloring. It’s also great if you hate fixing or filling in the wrong color.

A pencil eraser like this is great for really smudging out the lines and erasing any unwanted marks. The function of this eraser is similar to that of a kneaded eraser in the sense that the tip is soft and slightly malleable, so you can shape it around your coloring and have better control over what you erase.

11. Strathmore

Our rating: 8 / 10

Strathmore

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Pros:

  • Has thicker lines than other paper
  • Great for drawing with colored pencils
  • Big and bright
  • Available in other sizes and textures
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Prone to tearing
  • Prone to being ripped by dog
  • Requires an eraser
  • Not for coloring

9 x 12-Inches, 8 Sheets).

12. Strathmore

Our rating: 8 / 10

Strathmore

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Pros:

  • Highly-saturated colors
  • Feels smooth on paper
  • Vibrant colors
  • Good solid core
  • Rounded lead points
  • Comes in different sizes

This is a top-of-the-line colored pencil in terms of its saturation, texture, and feel. It’s not impressive in terms of price; however, if those are the only two criteria, then this one is pretty good.

The Strathmore nature series has easily dissolved leads, which means there’s very little to clean up. It’s also lays down a very smooth layer of pigment, which adds to its performance.

It’s also available in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, and for those looking for a brush tip, there’s a set available as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best paper for colored pencils?

The best paper for colored pencils is going to depend on which brand you prefer. There are a variety of paper options available to you as a colored pencil artist. Each of these brands come with its own personality, so it comes down to which of these personalities you like most. Also, keep in mind that some brands have a very wide variety of different types of paper, while others are quite limited. This is also an important quality to consider when choosing which paper to use.

What is the best paper for Prismacolor pencils?

Prismacolor pencils are known for being made with high quality pigments that glide easily over paper. The waxes that hold the pigment require a smooth surface to work on. You know the expression, “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”? It’s just as true when it comes to paper. The kind of paper that’s ideal for colored pencil work has changed over the years, and it’s gotten harder to find.

Which brand of colored pencils is best?

There are a variety of different companies that can make colored pencils. Some are better than others in the quality of the coloring and in other factors. The paper that the colored pencils come wrapped in is critically important to the quality of your drawing, so not all paper is created equally. We have done a lot of reviewing of the best colored pencil paper, and there are some stand outs.

What is the best paper to use with watercolor pencils?

When you are using water-soluble pencils, it is best to use heavy-weight watercolor paper, such as the Arches brand (140 lb) and the Rives (135 lb). They are both 100% cotton and acid-free.

Cotton paper provides several advantages over standard newsprint:

Conclusion

It is unquestionable that colored pencils are a preferred medium in most art courses and for many artists. Many of them are known as wax pencils or pigmented pencils.

Paper for colored pencils are made of very lightweight material, which is fit for the color pencils. Also, if it is coated, it can provide texture and offer an excellent resistance. The coating can also ensure that on heavy handling they retain their shape without any damage.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Prismacolor Premier Colored PencilsBest OverallPrismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
Canson XL Series Mix Paper PadBudget PickCanson XL Series Mix Paper Pad
Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist RngUpgrade PickCaran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Clr Pncl Set 76 Artist Rng