Thursday, January 23, 2014

Drawing Basics: Paper

For an artist having a sketchbook or the right paper is an art making essential.  It's the best way to record an idea, plan a project or try a new technique and it's a great way to archive your artistic thoughts.  We previously talked about finding the perfect drawing pencil and now its time to find the right paper because there are a lot to choose from and each type of paper has a different purpose.

The recipe for making paper is pretty simple: it's wood, water, and energy. Sounds pretty simple but the simplest things are usually the most complicated- right? The main step in the paper making process that determines the type of paper is the pulping process which is the process that separates the wood fiber.  The wood pulp is then pressed into sheets creating.. yes you guessed it! paper!  The more expensive paper is generally made from rag fibers, cotton, or linen and the lower quality are part rag and chemically treated wood pulp.  The weight of the paper is determined by the thickness or sturdiness of the paper.

Now my personal favorite for my sketchbooks is a nice thick watercolor paper because I can draw on it, water color on it, glue things to it and if I love it enough I can tear it out an put into a frame and the paper is still firm.

Do you have a paper preference?

13 comments:

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

I had no idea there were so many kinds of paper! I used to draw all the time in high school and would either draw in a sketch pad or on mat board (the board that's used for framing art) since I tend to press pretty hard when I draw.
~Sara

Crystal said...

I'm going to have to bookmark this post to refer back to in the future. I like to draw in a sketch pad, just because it's so easy to take with me on the go. But I haven't really tried much else, either.

17 Perth said...

This is so interesting to me...mostly because I have zero knowledge of drawing supplies! I do have to admit--I have seen (not used) linen paper and loved the texture!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

My husband's company sells paper and he even got to visit a mill last year to watch the paper being made!

Lauren said...

I don't draw, but this list is fascinating to me. I love it. Thanks so much for the great post!

The Indie said...

I need to read more of this series, I am searching for a new creative outlet and drawing might be it :) I had no idea so much went into finding the right sketchpad, now taking notes!

Diana said...

What great tips! I love your idea of using sketchbooks with thicker paper -- I tend to go for the cheapest ones so I don't hesitate to mess up a page, but this may convince me to switch over!

Amy said...

YES! i learned a lot of this when taking a few art classes in college - before i would have never fully understood how much of a difference paper makes in what you're trying to achieve artistically!

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

ooo, this is great info. when i started doing prints i was pretty overwhelmed with all the paper selections. in the end i went with linen. and a friend who is also an artist gave me the same advice about watercolor paper, it's really versatile so i usually use that for sketching too.

zara may said...

I love your blog
followed
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Lauren Michelle said...

What fun! I'm terrible at drawing, but I had no idea there were so many types of paper.

http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

Melissa said...

Ah yes paper...very arty/nerdy of you to discuss...I LOVE it!

My fave is actually plain white cardstock. Thin enough to be pliable if you need it to be, absorbs watercolour, contains fineliners...perfect in my world!

Emma said...

Do you know what? I'm so glad I came to read your blog today, between this post and your beautiful painting it's really inspired me to get back into my drawing!

See I'm a bit weird, I love drawing on watercolour paper (I know you're not meant to), but I love the texture that it gives to pencil!

Hmm maybe...