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Which paper should I use?

Thom34

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Which paper should I use?
« on: July 29, 2012, 01:54:15 AM »
I am getting ready to start on a pencil portrait and I want the pencil shading to be really smooth.  What paper would anyone suggest I use for this?  The standard drawing paper that I usually use has a texture and I want the drawing to have a smoother appearance?    :o

  • Matt
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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 02:43:25 AM »
Hey Thom,

I would try using bristol paper or illustration board.  Bristol paper will probably be your best bet.  It has a very smooth surface texture or tooth and will allow you to apply the graphite in the manner that you're after.  Good luck with the drawing.  Maybe you can post it when you are finished.

ldudley

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 03:43:32 AM »
Newsprint paper works will and is not as expensive as the others.

Drewbie

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 06:29:18 AM »
I've used the Strathmore Bristol smooth 300 and the surface seems somewhat irregular.  Is there some other brand or type that is better?

TetragMib

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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 11:52:28 PM »
Quote
I've used the Strathmore Bristol smooth 300 and the surface seems somewhat irregular.  Is there some other brand or type that is better?

All of the above is true. Let's discuss this question.

Monicakat

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 10:13:07 PM »
Quote
Newsprint paper works will and is not as expensive as the others.

Yeah was not impressed .

TetragMib

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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2015, 09:43:46 AM »
Quote
Quote

Of Course. It happens. Let's discuss this question.

TetragMib

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2015, 04:10:33 PM »
Quote
Newsprint paper works will and is not as expensive as the others.

great idea

TetragMib

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2015, 05:40:27 PM »
Quote
I've used the Strathmore Bristol smooth 300 and the surface seems somewhat irregular.  Is there some other brand or type that is better?

Thank you for your assistance in this matter , maybe I too can you do something to help ?

Daniel Y

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 04:25:09 PM »
Just a note I noticed form this thread as well as the tutorial on smooth shading with graphite. Bristol refers to the material the paper is made from and is no indication of it's texture. In this case Bristol indicates it is made from cotton rag which contains no acids. The texture of Bristol paper is indicated by it being labeled Vellum or Smooth. Vellum having more tooth than smooth. So the proper names for the papers being recommended would be Bristol vellum or Bristol smooth. Since in either case of this thread or the video actual paper texture is not even mentioned. I will add this.
I draw portraits. Portraits of faces only. For drawings larger than life size I use Bristol Vellum. For life size or slightly smaller I use Bristol smooth. For palm size portraits and slightly larger I use acid free marker paper which has a slick smooth texture.

P55

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 03:04:43 PM »
Might I suggest one of Matts lessons? It is available on this site and on UTube. It is called "How to Draw a Realistic Eye- Graphite Pencil Tutorial" by the Virtual Instructor.  This lesson is 14 minutes long and uses Bristol paper. (I like smooth Bristol.) Happy Drawing!

Daniel Y

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 04:53:19 AM »
Strathmore 300 series Bristol Vellum for life size or larger portraits. 500 series is the professional grade of Strathmore papers.  For smaller than life size to larger than palm size Bristol smooth. for palm size and smaller I use marker paper.

WindyVA

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 01:09:09 AM »
I just got a good deal on Fabriano Bristol+ smooth.   It is 145lb (Strathmore 300 smooth is 100lb).  I am interested in trying the Fabriano and will post it here when I try it.   I ordinarily would not spend the money but got a 2 for 1 deal.  I also have the hot press Fabriano 140lb. watercolor small block and plan to try it with colored pencils (solvents or watercolor) as I read some impressive reviews.  Will share when I work with them.  Open to any comments about these two products.  I am new to the TVI & the forum.  This is my first comment on the forum to see how it works.  Sorry I can't comment from direct experience on the paper as yet.

Daniel Y

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 03:28:01 AM »
I was a bit off in my description of what paper is what.IN regard to Bristol. it indicates it is a multi ply paper. in addition to Vellum and smooth you will also find Medium, Hot press and Cold press. By far the most recommended paper I have seen is Strathmore 300 series. One of those recommendations comes from a professional that I also have the ability to discuss that choice. Some of the reasons for finding other paper unsatisfactory have been. will not withstand erasing, fibers lifting off the surface, off color, not correct texture, inconsistent quality, lack of acid free, among others. I am currently working with two commonly used Bristol Vellums. Canson and Strathmore 300 series. I am also trying out Blick brand Bristol Vellum. I pretty much only buy Vellum now because if you use the back side it is very similar to smooth. The only other paper I use is Marker Paper for small portraits.

Daniel Y

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Re: Which paper should I use?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 02:18:57 PM »
good video. It covers a lot of very important points. mentioning them quickly and I am not sure they would stand out with the significance they deserve. Realistic graphite drawings are the result of a layer upon layer technique. A harder pencil will blend a softer pencil. One step I use that is not mentioned is to prep the paper with a 4H pencil first. graphite applies to paper that has been prepped differently and smoother. I use 4H, 2H, HB, 2B and 4B pencils. after using the 2H I will come back with the 4H and blend it. this becomes even more important when progressing to the HB. I will again return with the 4H and blend it. That I start with the 4H is also a reason my portraits end up on the lighter side. But I like them that way.