Best Paper for Prismacolor Pencils


Prismacolor Premier is a professional line of wax-based pencils with a rather soft lead. Prismacolor are considered the softest colored pencils. This is where they differ from the comparatively harder Koh-i-noor Polycolor. As for the brightness of these brands, in the coloring below you can see which pencils leave a brighter layer of pigment.

What paper is suitable for Prismacolor pencils?

Special colored pencils need specific kinds of paper if you really would like your art to be good. This article will show you several of the finest kinds of paper to use with your Prismacolor colored pencils.

Despite the fact that colored pencils were once just for children, they are now gaining popularity among collectors, art galleries, and fine artists, both hobbyists, and professionals. Artists around the world use this beautiful media to show off their work.

Most likely you used colored pencils as a kid and have some familiarity with them, but the ones you used as a kid are quite unlike the professional pencils, which have more pigments and thus provide deeper, more saturated colors.

Prismacolor pencils, especially, feature smoother tips that lead to drawings that look so intense in pigment and smoothness as to be painting-like. For optimal outcomes, though, you’ll have to consider buying top-quality art paper, like the one we suggest for Copic.

What are Prismacolor pencils, and how many types are there?

The drawing utensil manufacturer Prismacolor is a world leader in its industry. Originating from the USA, the brand is manufactured in Mexico in large quantities and includes many product lines, such as markers, pastel pencils, watercolor pencils, or colored pencils.

Prismacolor markers are a product that delivers premium alcohol and bright colors thanks to its dry-based ink. While the markers are those colorful brush pens, the Prismacolor pastel pencils resemble chalk, and they are smooth chalk that allows you to blend and shade easily.

As the name implies, Prismacolor watercolors are water-soluble pencils that can be applied with water to achieve watercolor. The last product line, Prismacolor Colored Pencils, are softcore pencils with long-lasting leads. The product line is divided into three categories to suit each customer: Prisma Scholar, Prisma Professional Quality, and Prisma Verithin.

Why is the choice of paper for painting so important?

Many people assume that the thicker the paper, the higher the quality; the thinner the paper, the easier it is to paint. However, that’s not how it works. Whether a paper is good or not depends on how you use it, what kind of crayons you use.

For example, the choice of the surface of the paper affects your pencil strokes. Smooth paper lends itself to precise details that are difficult to correct, but it produces exceptional colors. Textured or rough paper is suitable for medium or large details that are easy to correct, making it ideal for beginners.

This difference exists in all elements of the paper. Basically, you only need to buy a Prismacolor pen and drawing paper, but the choice of drawing paper is one of the most important decisions that will affect your artwork.

What Are the Best Paper for Prismacolor Pencils?

Strathmore is well-known for its basic traditional drawing paper, Arches is renowned for its watercolor paper, and Canson supplies paper of astonishing quality.

1. Best Choice – Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad

Strathmore’s 300 series provides a heavier Bristol paper. The paper is 270 gsm and the drawing pad contains 20 sheets of 9 x 12-inch paper. The quality of the acid-free paper is no less than expected from Strathmore. This paper is well suited for mechanical sketching and may be handled with charcoal, ink, pencil, markers, as well as airbrush even.
It has been coated on both sides, with one being somewhat more slippery than the other. So you can pick and choose to use the side based on your preference.

The pigments are very easy to get from the pencil to the paper, and not only with Prismacolor pencils.

It is great for use with wet media such as Copic markers, watercolor pencils, and even watercolor paints. The paper is sufficiently thick to work with them but be aware that Copic markers that you lay down a bit too thick can bleed out the backside.

There is a related issue with watercolor paints. When you use excessive water, the paper may curl and you will need to flatten it out once the paint has dried.
In addition, contrary to some other products, it is easy to pull the paper from the block. And the smooth surface of the paper means it can be used for final pieces, in addition to sketching or practicing.


  • Excellent weight – 270 g/m² Bristol paper.
  • Both sides are treated, therefore it features both a rough and a smooth side
  • The paper releases quite easily from the drawing pad
  • Performs great with charcoal, colored pencils, ink, and pen


  • While it can be safely used with wet media, you still run the risk of bleeding or wrapping if you’re not cautious.

How many types of drawing paper are there?

There are a variety of ways to classify drawing paper. You can classify it by its texture, thickness, weight, manufacturing method, material, size, and even hue. In this article, we will introduce three popular varieties.

There are three types of drawing paper, which differ by their manufacturing method:

  1. Handmade paper, which is heavier, extremely durable, and has a grainy texture compared to other drawing papers;
  2. Paper made from machine-made paper and a cylinder mould, which has a nice texture;
  3. Fourdrinier paper/machine-made paper.

Besides, the paper has three kinds of texture: cold-pressed paper is forced between the two cold cylinders and shows average and slight teeth on its surface; the hot-pressed paper has plain and free texture, and the rough paper has a plain surface with many heavy teeth.

According to the size, there are six types of drawing paper: A5, A4, A3, A2, A1, and A0 (in order from small to large).

So what are the best papers for Prismacolor pencils that you have to use?

Have a look at our suggested papers list and pick the one that is most suitable for your painting.

2. CANSON Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad

CANSON Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad

The next pad on our list is globally accepted as the favorite pad for works on paper, sketches, and pastels. The Mi-Teintes pastel pad features gelatin-sized pages that are made of 50 percent cotton.

Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper is great for lots of uses: researching and experimenting on a great finish, practicing skills, learning new techniques, teaching and exercising, as well as even finished work to be displayed or for sale.

You will find that one side of the sheet is light textured and the other is more heavily textured, and that the paper is fade proof. The 24 pages of this artist’s pad are 9 x 12 inches, 98 lb., and non-acidic. The colors mix nicely with colored pencils and pastels.

The rough side is excellent for pastels, whereas the smoother side is great for standard pencils. Prismacolor Pencils create a particularly great effect on the rough side. Thanks to their texture, the colors of the pencils stick unbelievably good to it – making the final product look extremely appealing. Keep in mind that this paper is most likely not appropriate if you are going to be working with a wet artistic media. However, it is absolutely fine for dry media.

If using Prismacolor pencils, a “toothed” paper is most appropriate, since it allows the colors to actually bond to the page in a manner that is not possible with smooth paper. Considering the cost, the Mi-Teintes pastel pad is amazingly affordable and of great quality.


  • Highly affordable, great for practicing, and paper crafts
  • Features both a smooth texture and a rough texture – which makes it highly diverse
  • The paper is also fade-resistant, allowing you to use it for a finished project.


  • The paper is thin; it is not perfect to be used with a wet medium.

Related post: Best Watercolor Pencil Sets for Beginners and Professionals

3. Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper

Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper

If you are considering a 9 x 12-inch block of 140 lb. Cold Press, pH-neutral, acid-free paper, Fabriano Artistico is definitely something to take a look at. The paper on this watercolor pad is extra white and made from 100 percent cotton. Now, let’s just take a look at a few of its other noteworthy qualities.

The quality of the paper is terrific. We really like the uniform, fine-grained texture of the Coldpress surface. Its quality is quite good to withstand glazing. We usually use pencils for sketches, and they wipe off the finish well, also after several tries.

This paper is supplied in extra white as specified, but you may also pick traditional white, both 300 gsm.

The finishes are rough, hot-pressed, and cold-pressed. The cold-pressed watercolor paper features greater texture, ridges, and roughness to retain pigment and water. In addition, it takes up the water quite quickly. Hot-pressed paper, however, is a lot smoother and will not absorb the water as fast, allowing you to spend more time playing with the colors while painting.

By switching to a thicker paper like this, you will be able to deal with extra water and color and have more time to complete your work. Once you have used up a lot of water and warp slightly, you can correct this with tape.


  • Ultra heavy paper with a weight of 300 g/m².
  • Comes in a wide range of color and texture options
  • Performs excellently with nearly every media – wet or dry
  • Made from pure cotton


  • Bleeding and wrapping may also appear with wet art media

4. Strathmore Colored Pencil Paper Pad

Strathmore Colored Pencil Paper Pad

Strathmore is a solidly established paper company with 125 years of experience. The Strathmore 400 Series Medium is a cream-colored paper with medium roughness. It consists of 24 sheets of 130 gsm paper and measures 12 x 18 inches. It is an excellent paper for use with dry art media.

Even if you prefer natural white or off-white paper, you will absolutely adore the hue of this paper. We enjoyed sketching with pencil or charcoal on this paper because of the color. There is definitely something about this shade that makes sketching even more appealing to us. The reason we love using this paper for sketching is because of its slightly rough surface, which picks up the colors of the pencil at just the right pace. When using Prismacolor’s smooth nib, the richness of the result is outstanding.

The surface is also great for media other than colored pencils, such as ink, ballpoint pens, markers, crayons (oil and soft), charcoal, colored pencils, etc.

However, we definitely do not recommend this paper for wet work such as watercolors or poster paints, as the paper is too thin to hold these media well. Overall, it is ideal for dry media, especially Prismacolor pencils, mainly due to the soft nibs and high pigment content of the pencils, as well as the rough texture and off-white tone of the paper.


  • Mildly rough texture that is perfect for the soft tips of Prismacolor pencils
  • Heavy 130 g/m2 paper that is comfortable in weight
  • Features a slightly off-white shade that enhances the colors of the pencils well


  • The paper is thin, therefore not perfect for working with watercolors

5. Arches Watercolor Block 140 Pound Hot Press Paper

Arches Watercolor Block 140 Pound Hot Press Paper

The Arches watercolor pad provides professional paper for watercolors featuring buffered, acid-free, and impeccably textured paper surfaces. This pad of 20 sheets of paper is bonded on every side and is made of 100 percent cotton.

Arches is a fine, multi-purpose working paper. Arches Hot Press is actually not ultra-smooth. Cold Press paper is not exceedingly textured and the rough is not extremely rough. Arches is a basic, fairly uniform paper for almost all jobs.

You are going to love the way your watercolors flow and the way your colors appear on this paper. As it is designed to be used with water and paint, you can be confident that it will work well with professional colored pencils. This is the very best paper for any wet media, however, it works equally great with dry media.

Ensure that you understand if you should use a hot press or cold press paper. When working with a rough paper, it may be challenging to pick out details. However, if you need to include tiny details, hot press printing is suggested instead. You just have to be mindful of not saturating repeatedly when doing heavy washes.

The sheets are robust, thick, and pleasant to handle. In fact, even if you are using graphite and doing a lot of erasing, this paper lasts well. Choosing high-quality paper will totally change your art. Once you reach a plateau or do not believe your art can progress, changing to a superior brand of paper might do the trick.

Key features:

  • Free tooth on the surface
  • Sturdy and long-lasting paper
  • Compressed between 2 hot rollers
  • 20 sheets of paper per block


  • Comes in a wide range of cover colors
  • Has no brand stamp on every page
  • Natural white color
  • Shows off pictures nicely
  • Great thickness and rigidity
  • Accepts colors smoothly and efficiently


  • Slippery finish for some people

Hints for Using Prismacolor Pencils

Your Prismacolor pencils can be a pain to use, even with the proper paper and supplies. Prismacolor pencils are exceptionally great for making attractive blends and blur.

For this reason, we have explained in detail possibilities on how to mix your Prismacolor pencils easily and efficiently. The purpose of these notes and tips is not just to assist you in getting first-class results, but to achieve the desired outcome time after time.

Therefore, keep reading!

Blender Pencils

Blender pencils, which are sometimes also called colorless pencils, nearly resemble what regular pencils look like.

The main thing that makes them different is the fact that these pencils won’t actually leave any color on the paper. Their sole function is to distribute the pigments easily on the paper.

When you need to mix a certain shade, just softly rub the tip of the blender towards the side of the paper where you would like to blend the color. Keep on doing this until you achieve the desired quantity of color. The use of blender sticks is most beneficial when you wish to mix two separate colors into a central point of convergence.

Alternatively, if you wish to achieve a quite particular blend. Because this gives you a lot of control over your blend.


Creating light and shadow in a piece of painting is quite an essential thing to do. To achieve the outcome, you want each time, you need to do some layering.

After the base color is laid down and ready, apply a brighter or a darker tone over it – whatever your aim is. Next, fade the colors slightly and smoothly to get the effect you want.

Be careful to put just a tiny amount of color on the second coat at once, and avoid overdoing it. Begin with a tiny quantity of color and after that try to add additional color if necessary. The reason is that once you apply the second coat of paint, it will be nearly impossible to reverse it and not mess up the first layer too.

Bristle brush

While we’ve spoken before about blending pens as a terrific option for controlling blending, a bristle brush will do the job even better if in case you’re cautious. As brushes are smoother and tend to result in a smoother, more natural blend in any art medium, you can use a brush to get a smoother blend if you understand the way to control the brush. It is critical that you remember the kind of paper you use.

With thin paper, you need to use a brush with soft bristles to avoid creating indentations or dents on the paper. With thick paper, consider using a brush with harder bristles to achieve the greatest effect.

Keeping your pencils properly

Prismacolor pencils come with an ultra-soft center to ensure that the colors stick perfectly to the paper and mix smoothly.

Therefore, ensure that you keep these pencils properly too. Keep the pencils in a proper package where the points cannot get broken during transportation. Do not drop them and treat them with utmost caution when drawing. Do not apply excessive force while drawing as well, or the core could break.

prisma color's paper

Hints for picking the perfect paper for Prismacolor and other colored pencils

If you are working with colored pencils for the first time, the first question you may ask yourself is which paper to choose. There are few definite answers to this, as there is a wide range of papers to choose from. Also, each project has different goals and therefore requires different types of paper.

The general nature of the paper

Overall, most artist papers with good toothing are a great option for coloring pencil work. When artists use the word “serration,” they mean the general texture of the paper’s finish. The paper does not have a completely smooth surface, which means that it supports the consistent hold of the colored pencil.

Fiber paper

Another key consideration is the fiber from which the paper is produced. Cellulose paper, produced from wood pulp, appears to be the most popular option for students and beginning artists. Such paper is affordable, yet it might not have the same degree of longevity as paper produced from other types of fibers.

Cotton Paper

Next, there is cotton paper. Usually regarded as the highest quality paper, it has a price tag to match. Such paper actually offers the potential to endure for more than 100 years.

Paper Thickness

The weight is also a consideration when deciding on the best paper for Prismacolor pencils. “Weight” relates to the heaviness or thickness of the paper.

The thicker a particular sheet is; the more paint it can absorb without ripping or breaking into pieces.

Similarly, the higher the “pound” figure on the paper, the heavier and more lasting it is. Usually, completed artwork is produced on heavier paper than temporary sketches.

Paper color

One other aspect of importance is perhaps the color of the paper. Lots of various tones of white are readily found in a wide variety of mediums. But there is also pastel or other colored paper that fits colored pencil illustrations.

The use of colored paper may give some character and personality to each sketch. Though, it can be frustrating if you’re attempting to create a specific effect. Try experimenting with affordable colored sketching paper to determine if it’s the most appropriate paper for your project and offers the perfect hue for colored pencils.

Best brands of paper for Prismacolor pencils

  • Strathmore
  • Fabriano Artistico
  • Arches

Price of paper for Prismacolor pencils

Paper for Prismacolor pencils under 15$:

  • Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad
  • CANSON Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad
  • Strathmore Colored Pencil Paper Pad

Paper for Prismacolor pencils under 25$:

Arches Watercolor Block 140 Pound Hot Press Paper

Paper for Prismacolor pencils under 50$:

  • Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper


Q: Do Prismacolor pencils work on black paper?

A: The answer is yes; you can add some white over the darker colors to make your work stand out unless you only use a black Prismacolor pencil to write on it.

Q: What is the common drawing paper size?

A: The paper size is widely recognized as “A” size. There are two common drawing paper sizes, A3 and A4. With their average size, almost all people are able to draw easily with no trouble.

Q: What can be done to keep drawing paper from getting warped when you apply watercolor paints?

A: We suggest that you wet one side of the paper and lay the wet side face down on top of the mica board. The water will ensure that the paper adheres to the board. At this point, you can add a watercolor painting technique with no fear that the paper will warp.


Well, that is about it for this article. We’ve rounded up the five top papers to choose from when using Prismacolor pencils. And we have also enclosed a useful guideline to help you get better effects with Prismacolor pencils. Hopefully, this article was helpful to you in your artistic pursuits.
Thank you for reading.

Additional Questions

What is the most suitable paper for colored pencils?

Traditionally, most colored pencil artists tend to prefer medium-textured paper. It has the right balance of roughness and smoothness. This type of paper has a certain amount of tooth, but not excessively so you can blend and layer as much as you want, and it won’t drastically reduce the lifespan of your pencils. Drawing from my extensive experience as an artist, I can vouch for the versatility and quality this paper brings to your art.

Can you apply Prismacolors on watercolor paper?

Indeed, Prismacolor Soft Core pencils work extremely well on illustration board or watercolor paper. Subsequently applying Prismacolor Watercolor pencils and brushing areas with water helps to distribute color, fill in gaps, and achieve a seamless blend. You can also utilize the Prismacolor Watercolor pencils in the same way you would traditional watercolors, opening up more artistic possibilities. Having worked with Prismacolor pencils on watercolor paper myself, I can testify to the fascinating and vibrant results.

Is cardstock a good choice for colored pencils?

Definitely, colored pencils are particularly captivating when used on cardstock. I’ve personally had wonderful results using my Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils on colored cardstock. The blending and coloring are impeccable on such a surface!

What kind of sketchbook is ideal for colored pencils?

The 130 gsm paper in your sketchbook is more than adequate for sketching with colored pencils. The paper used in sketchbooks is typically lighter than drawing paper, making them great for practice, sketching, experimenting with new techniques, planning artwork, and doing quick studies. As someone who sketches frequently, I can attest that a sketchbook with this weight of paper is more than adequate to bring out the best in your colored pencils.

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