The Top 5 Best Types Of Paper For Ink Drawing

By Nicole Tinkham


Looking to improve your ink drawing skills? We know that working with ink can be intimidating but when it comes down to it, the supplies you use make all the difference. A simple shift in paper type can give you a totally different look and we’re not even exaggerating. Today we’ll be talking about paper and the types that we like using with ink. If you’ve been dabbling in the world of art for awhile now, you know how many options come with art paper (and just about every other art supply imaginable). As with anything else, not all paper is created equal and you certainly can’t use just anything with ink!  If you’re interested in playing around with ink washes, you’ll definitely want something with a harder surface. But it goes much further than that with many other options. Read on for the top 5 best types of paper we recommend using for ink drawing.

1.    Bristol Board

Description: Bristol board provides a stiff surface (heavier than drawing paper). Basically, it consists of many sheets of drawing paper together, forming multi-ply sheets.

Application: With the smooth surface option, use with marker, airbrush, pen, etc. With the vellum option, use graphite and colored pencils, mixed media, charcoal, and oil pastels.

2.    Mixed Media Paper

Description: Mixed media paper is a combination of both watercolor and drawing paper characteristics.

Application: Use the media of your choice. It’s great for watercolor, pastel, collages, marker, acrylic, etc.

3.    Watercolor Paper

Description: Cold pressed watercolor sheets in both 90lb and 140lb. We recommend Arches.

Application: Use for watercolor or ink painting.

4.    Illustration Board

Description: Illustration board offers a hard, durable surface that is only finished on one side. We recommend a hot press as it provides a nice smooth surface for pen and ink.

Application: Ideal for watercolor, pen and ink, and any media where a hard surface is needed.

5.    Drawing Sketchbook

Description: Just your typical sketchbook ideally in a smooth, fine surface.

Application: A sketchbook is perfect for line drawings done in both graphite and pen.

Not sure which type of paper to go with for your next ink drawing? Play around and try a few out! You’ll quickly realize what works well and what doesn’t for your particular project. Even though starting out in ink can be overwhelming (what if you make a mistake??) having a good quality paper will definitely work in your favor and eliminate a ton of frustration. These were our top 5 types of paper for ink drawing but we want to hear from you! What is your favorite paper to work on when it comes to ink? Leave us a comment below!

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