20 Best Paper For Charcoal Drawing In 2021

6/20 of the Best Paper for Charcoal Drawing in 2021

Getting into the medium of charcoal means investing in time, tools, and technique. That’s why the paper for charcoal drawing matters. Charcoal is a very aggressive medium, and the rougher the paper you use, the better your drawings would pop.

So, we've made this bullet-proof list of the best paper for charcoal drawing for beginners and professional illustrators. Learn how to navigate the medium and your technique using the correct type of paper, one page at a time.

Our Top Picks

Arteza White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad
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Best Overall -  Arteza White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad 

• Thick, textured paper
• Good weight
• Acid-free 

Jack Richeson Drawing Pad
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Best for Wet and Dry Media - Jack Richeson Drawing Pad 

• Good for dry media
• Less prone to yellowing
• Portable

Best Black Sketch Pad - Arteza’s Black Spiral-Bound Sketch Pad

• Heavyweight
• Great for contrast effects
• Spiral-bound and micro-perforated

1. Arteza White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad - Best Overall 

Arteza White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Comes in a set of two
  • Durable 130gsm paper
  • Thick and textured
  • Good weight
  • Acid-free
  • A bit hard to tear

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

When it comes to value for money, Arteza’s drawing pad pleases its customers. Many buyers of this white spiral-bound paper for charcoal drawing liked its impressive quality. 

They also appreciated that it came in a set of two, making it easy to use for other dry media. Another customer said it was a good pad for sketching but is flexible enough for painting as well. Overall, the five stars are well-deserved

Why We Think It's Great

Those getting in the habit of sketching people on the subway or a park bench might want to get a hold of Arteza's 30-sheet white spiral-bound drawing pad.

For less than $25, you would be getting two white sketch pads with reasonable weight and textured thickness in every sheet. It's also acid-free, which boosts blending and highlighting when using charcoal pencils.

Who Should Buy It

Sketch artists who love to use various types of charcoal media should try this paper for charcoal drawing. It's travel-friendly and fabulous for life drawings on the go.

2. Canson XL Series Water Color Paper for Charcoal Drawing

Canson XL Series Water Color Paper for Charcoal Drawing
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 Pros Cons
  • Cold-pressed paper
  • Easy to tear
  • Durable interface
  • Good light texture
  • Versatile for other media
  • Not ideal for wash effects

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Canson's XL Series pad is well received by many customers, with one fondly commending it for its adaptability to colored charcoal pencils. 

Another buyer who happened to be an art teacher "Loved this paper" and kept stock. Canson's affordability was another plus, which is a factor many artists consider.

Canson XL Series Water Color Paper for Charcoal Drawing review

Why We Think It's Great

One of the best papers for charcoal drawing is Canson's XL Series. This exceptional 11 x 15 drawing pad is an excellent option for those looking for versatility. Apart from good texture, it is perfect for other media and offers a good light texture. 

This heavy cold-pressed paper with a durable interface can take a pounding from your charcoal pencils. It is also acid-free, making it easy to create depth on and blend compressed charcoal. One downside is that it can be tricky to tear off without ripping the edges, but it shouldn't impact the drawing with the proper hold.

Who Should Buy It

This 11 x 15 drawing pad is great for art students looking for their first sketch pad. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy the ring-bound paper for charcoal drawing, this option might work for you.

3. Strathmore Tan 400 Series Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book - Most Eco-Friendly

Strathmore Tan 400 Series Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book
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 Pros Cons
  • Fine tan color
  • Micro-perforated sheets
  • Sturdy and heavy chipboard backing
  • 100% recycled paper
  • Acid-free
  • Not suitable for wash effects on charcoal

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

"A necessity for every artist," says one happy customer who was quite fond of the effect her colored charcoal pencils had on the paper. 

Others liked how sturdy the paper was and the handling that made it well worth every penny she spent. Generally, Strathmore's Tan 400 Series Charcoal Drawing Sketchbook is a great option to consider for first-timers.

Strathmore Tan 400 Series Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book review

Why We Think It's Great

Strathmore Tan Drawing 400 Series Toned Sketch Pad is an excellent option to consider when looking for the best paper for charcoal drawing. 

This travel-friendly sketch pad is acid-free and eco-friendly since it is made from recycled paper, boosting its tan color. It's bound nicely with a ring, making it easy to turn every page with micro-perforated sheets for a seamless tear.

This 100% recyclable sketch pad boasts sturdiness thanks to its heavy chipboard backing. However, it’s not the first choice for artists who enjoy playing with water and charcoal as part of their technique.

Regardless, the rugged texture of the paper is perfect for intense charcoal techniques that stunningly elevate tones.

Who Should Buy It

This sketch pad makes for a great gift to amateur artists and the like. It's also an ideal choice for beginners who wish for a sturdier paper for charcoal drawing.

4. U.S. Art Supply Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book - Best for Mixed Media

U.S. Art Supply Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book
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 Pros Cons
  • Comes in three different sizes
  • Acid-free and neutral pH
  • Metal coated spring binding
  • Excellent textured paper
  • Heavyweight
  • Not recyclable
  • Coarse fibers

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Artists enjoyed the quality of this ring-bound sketchbook by US Art Supply. However, others found the paper to have coarse fibers. Another customer enjoyed gifting it to her daughter. It is excellent for kids who are just getting into art.

 U.S. Art Supply Charcoal Drawing Sketch Book review

Why We Think It's Great

The US Art Supply's Charcoal Drawing Sketchbook is another outstanding option for the best paper for charcoal drawing. It comes in three different sizes: 5.5 x 8.5, 9 x 12, and 11 x 14 making it perfect for artists on the go.

This sketchpad is acid-free and has a neutral pH level which makes for excellent textured paper. It's heavyweight and has a metal-coated spring binding. Despite not being made from recyclable material, it makes a versatile canvas for various mixed media, such as pens, markers, and other pencil gradients.

Who Should Buy It

This best paper for charcoal drawing is a budget-friendly option that is fantastic for first-timers exploring charcoal techniques and other media like pens, markers, and colored pencils.

5. Castle Art Supplies Premium Paper for Charcoal Drawing - Most Smudge-Resistant

Castle Art Supplies Premium Paper for Charcoal Drawing
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 Pros Cons
  • Smooth textured
  • Acid-free and neutral pH
  • Smudge resistant 
  • Easy to erase 
  • Flexible and economical
  • Low paper density

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Castle Art's drawing sketchbook is generally liked by its buyers, with one person commending its durability and "Really good quality." 

Another customer enjoyed its thinness which was great for her animation and roughing out their ideas. However, one shopper said it could be better in terms of tooth density.

Castle Art Supplies Premium Paper for Charcoal Drawing review

Why We Think It's Great

With 100 sheets of fine and smooth textured drawing paper, Castle Art's drawing sketchbook is one of the best papers for charcoal drawing on our list. 

It's acid-free and has a neutral pH, excellent for heavy charcoal stylings. The paper of this sketchbook is smudge resistant and gives artists the convenience of erasing without a fuss.

Other smooth drawing pads make it hard to work with a barrier between the artist's arm and the paper due to its smoothness. Castle Art's paper for charcoal drawing is flexible and has a good hold. Not to mention, this set of two 9x12 sketchbooks starts at a reasonable price point.

Who Should Buy It

This best paper for charcoal drawing is perfect for artists who use charcoal and other dry media, making it a win-win for every dollar spent.

6. Arteza Black Spiral-Bound Paper for Charcoal Drawing - Best Black Sketch Pad

Arteza Black Spiral-Bound Paper for Charcoal Drawing
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 Pros Cons
  • Comes in a set of two
  • Heavyweight paper
  • Fantastic for contrast effects
  • Spiral-bound and micro-perforated
  • Excellent for white and colored charcoal pencils
  • Expensive

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Arteza's 30-sheet Black Spiral-Bound Sketch Pad is another artist favorite. "Sturdy Sketch Pad," said one customer who got it as a gift to her granddaughter, who enjoyed using her fine tip neon pens on it. 

Another customer gladly commended its value for money and flexibility in terms of mediums used on the paper. Generally, this black sketch pad was well received by many customers.

Why We Think It's Great

Arteza's 9 x 12 Black Spiral-Bound Sketch Pad makes it to our list of the best paper for charcoal drawing. If you wish to challenge yourself in reverse charcoal drawing, then using your white charcoal pencils or colored charcoal pencils is perfect on this black sketch pad. 

Best for producing stunning contrasts, this heavyweight paper could add versatility to your collection of art supplies.

Who Should Buy It

Perfect for beginners in charcoal drawing, Arteza's black sketch pad will help test your technique in reverse. Plus, micro-perforated sheets will save artists from stressing over the ripped edges after tearing the page off.

7. Strathmore 300 Series White Charcoal Pad

 Strathmore 300 Series White Charcoal Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Ring-bound 
  • Easy-pull and tear
  • Natural white with a laid finish
  • Teeth density
  • Water-absorbent
  • Pricey

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Strathmore 300's white paper pad was generally received with delight by its customers. Many enjoyed its value for money, commending how seamless the charcoal is on the paper. Others gifted this best paper for charcoal to their family and said it made a great addition to their art supplies.

Strathmore 300 Series White Charcoal Pad review

Why We Think It's Great

The Strathmore 300 Series Charcoal Pad is a gem in the world of art supplies. The 9x12 drawing pad is a must-try for charcoal illustrators. We liked how the paper has a natural white pigment and is free of acid with great teeth density. 

It is perfect for deep charcoal pencils, woodless charcoal pencils, charcoal powder, vines, or sticks. This paper for charcoal drawing may be a bit over your budget, but with its superb texture and fine tooth, every penny might just be worth it.

Although it is best for dry media, artists who enjoy wash effects in their work will appreciate these micro-perforated sheets for their excellent water absorbency. This is useful when mixing charcoal with some water to create depth. It also comes in a ring bind with convenient pull-and-tear.

Who Should Buy It

Ideal for any artist experimenting with wash effects and charcoal media, Strathmore's 300 paper pad is the perfect gift for artists trying to work on their charcoal technique.

8. Bachmore Sketchpad Paper for Charcoal Drawing - Best for Beginners

Bachmore's Sketchpad Charcoal Drawing Paper
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 Pros Cons
  • Hardbound vertical sketchbook
  • Acid-free paper 
  • Good teeth density for texture
  • Ring-bound 
  • Inexpensive
  • Yellow tone

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

People who spent money on Bachmore's Sketchpad thought it was a good purchase. They liked the thickness of the sheets and how they quickly ripped off. 

Another buyer recommended this drawing paper for practice sketches. However, one customer said it has a yellow tinge to the supposed white color, but the paper's quality is "good enough to handle most mediums."

Bachmore Sketchpad Paper for Charcoal Drawing review

Why We Think It's Great

Bachmore's Sketch pad is an inexpensive must-have in your art supplies. For less than $12, you will be able to own a 9x12 sketch sketchbook that features hardbound, acid-free paper that is ideal for sketches and even doodling ideas.

This best paper for charcoal features a good teeth density, efficiently producing texture when you're using charcoal media. This sketch pad is also ring bound, great for quick and easy tearing.

Who Should Buy It

Left-handed artists might want to give this sketch pad a go since the ring bind is placed vertically on top for easy navigation. 

9. Articka Hardcover Sketch Book - Most Compact

Articka's Hardcover Sketch Book
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 Pros Cons
  • Minimalist design
  • Compact and travel-friendly
  • Smudge-resistance
  • Easy tear and peel-off
  • Budget-friendly
  • Not great for wash effects
  • Not perforated  

 

What Customers Have To Say 

It’s no surprise that Articka’s sketchbook is in great demand by many artists. It is praised for its quality and softcover, as well as its portability. You can also use this best paper for charcoal drawing for case studies and idea generation. 

Articka Hardcover Sketch Book review

Why We Think It's Great

Articka's hardcover sketchbook is one of the best papers for charcoal drawing you can find online. It's budget-friendly and compact, perfect for artists always on the go. 

It’s 8 x 8 in size, a perfect square notebook you can carry everywhere. The hardbound cover is smooth and has charming calligraphy of Articka for a minimalist touch. 

The paper is perfect for charcoal media and other types of pencils. Messy charcoal can be frustrating, but Articka has smudge-resistant pages for less stress. 

Tearing off a quick sketch is easy with a seamless and refined edge. The only downside is that it's not the first choice for those who like to work with wet media or creating wash effects with charcoal pencils.

Who Should Buy It

This best paper for charcoal drawing is fantastic for traveling artists or anyone who just enjoys doodling on the go. It is also perfect for live sketch sessions and pitching sketches to subjects. 

10. Canson Universal Paper Sketch Pad

Canson Universal Paper Sketch Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Fine tooth texture
  • Erasable and smudge-resistant
  • Resists yellowing
  • Micro-perforated sheets
  • Easy flipping and tearing
  • Pricey

What Customers Have To Say

Many customers said it's an excellent choice for sketching paper, and the perforated sheets add to a seamless finish. Other buyers also enjoyed this sketchpad’s textured paper. Overall, thousands of people who bought this paper for charcoal drawing were pleased with the product.

Canson Universal Paper Sketch Pad review

Why We Think It's Great

Despite the high price point, Canson's universal paper sketch pad makes for a great addition to your sketchbook supply. Its paper boasts a fine tooth texture and acid-free surface, which means it's highly resistant to yellowing over time. 

The sheets are ring bound but are micro-perforated for easy flipping and tearing. Those who enjoy sketching know the hassle of several erasures and smudging. Luckily, this sketch pad is an exception, thanks to its smooth interface.

Who Should Buy It

Perfect for artists who like to turn the paper a lot when sketching, this excellent trial-and-error pad allows illustrators to create case studies or practice blending and highlighting.

11. Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Sketch Pad

Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Sketch Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Heavyweight
  • Hardbound cover
  • Ring-bound
  • Acid-free
  • Comes in various sizes
  • Hard to get a clean tear

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers found Strathmore's 400 series recycled sketch pad quite enjoyable to use. They enjoyed the sketch paper's quality and said they would purchase it again when they run out. Others used it for their master's program in the ars and said their medium does not leak through the back.

Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Sketch Pad review

Why We Think It's Great

Strathmore offers another variant in their collection of sketchbooks. The 400 series sketchpad comes in various sizes apart from 9x12, ring-bound with a hardbound cover. It is also made with recycled paper and contains 30% post-consumer fiber, an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious artists.

The Strathmore 400 is excellent for dry media and washes effects. Playing around with charcoal and water won't be such a hassle to achieve depth and contrast. The back is made from heavy chipboard backing, great for support during quick sketch sessions outdoors.

Who Should Buy It

This paper for charcoal drawing is ideal for right-handed artists since its ring-bound is on the left side, making it easier to navigate the paper flawlessly. This is also a perfect traditional gift to amateur artists trying to experiment with several media apart from charcoal pencils.

12. Bee Paper Company Black Paper for Charcoal Drawing

Bee Paper Company Black Paper for Charcoal Drawing
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 Pros Cons
  • Pages are easy to turn
  • Double spiral binding
  • 25% cotton in paper
  • Seamless drawing
  • Wavy sheets
  • Not suitable for liquid media

What Customers Have To Say 

Another fantastic sketchbook to consider investing in is Bee Paper Company's Black Drawing Pad. A customer enjoyed the black paper's texture and said it made a great art journal.

Another buyer said its cover was very sturdy and made it convenient to protect the pages from ruffling or curling on the edges. One customer did point out that some pages tear and fall out quite easily.

Bee Paper Company Black Paper for Charcoal Drawing review

Why We Think It's Great

Bee Paper Company's Black Drawing Pad is the best paper for charcoal drawing in white and colored variants. It features a double spring binding to help artists with trials and errors.

This 9x9 black sketch pad features impeccable texture, perfect for seamless white charcoal drawings thanks to its material containing 25% cotton. It's also a portable option you'd want to just grab out of your backpack if you're a traveling artist.

A downside to this sketch pad is its incompatibility with liquid media. If you enjoy wash effects with white charcoal, then this may not be a solid first choice. Also, the sheet feels a little wavy and uneven, but its hardbound cover does a great job flattening and straightening them out.

Who Should Buy It

Perfect for charcoal artists who enjoy experimenting with various charcoal media, this sketch pad makes for a great gift to friends who are professional illustrators.

13. Pacon UCreate Sketch Diary

Pacon UCreate Sketch Diary
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 Pros Cons
  • White sulfite paper
  • Recycled material
  • Durable spiral binding 
  • Economical
  • Acid-free
  • Not suited for wet media

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Pacon's beginner-friendly sketch diary received thousands of positive feedback from buyers. Some were pleased with the quality and affordable price point, while others said the spiral bind makes it easy for kids to turn through pages. However, some customers pointed out how the thickness could be improved.

Why We Think It's Great

Pacon's UCreat Sketch Diary is a multi-purpose white sulfite drawing paper that is best for beginners or amateurs. 

We like its economical price point, which is fantastic for those on a student budget. The white paper is acid-free and made from recycled paper, protecting your drawings from yellowing over time. 

It also has a double spiral bind to make it easier to separate during case studies or to contrast different ideas for a sketch.

Who Should Buy It

This best paper for charcoal drawing by Pacon is suitable for those who work best with dry media and black charcoal pencils. This sketch pad also holds charcoal life drawings and portraits well.

14.  Brite Crown Sketch Pad

Brite Crown Sketch Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Easy tear
  • Fine tooth texture
  • Smooth surface
  • Great for creating contrasts 
  • Perforated
  • Bleeds though the next page

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Brite's Crown Sketch Pad was positively received by many customers. Some said it's an excellent deal that is a great gift idea for artist friends. 

Another user commented that this best paper for charcoal is professionally constructed. The best thing about this sketch pad is its reasonable price.

Why We Think It's Great

This 9x12 sketch pad by Brite Crown is an excellent option for any artist. This best paper for charcoal drawing is perforated for an easy tear and seamless finish. The paper also has a smooth surface and fine-tooth texture that gives artists an edge in creating vibrant contrasts.

Since the paper is acid-free, it saves your work from yellowing over time. However, some media may bleed through the next page. But if you're using charcoal pencils and other similar media, this isn't a huge issue.

Who Should Buy It

The Brite Crown Sketch Pad is ideal for indecisive sketch artists who like to practice several times before executing their final drawing.

15. Jack Richeson Drawing Pad - Best for Wet and Dry Media

Jack Richeson Drawing Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Sturdy chipboard back
  • Portable
  • Less prone to yellowing
  • Acid-free
  • Plastic binding

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Well reviewed by its buyers, Jack Richeson's drawing pad has a "Wonderful quality" that they enjoyed. Apart from the quality, it's also an economical option that gave the customer a bang for every buck. 

Another shopper liked its size, making it ideal for those who enjoy portability and travel-friendly sketch pads.

Why We Think It's Great

Jack Richeson Drawing Pad is another option to consider if you're looking for the best paper for charcoal drawing. This acid-free pad is 9x12 in size and comes in other sizes with 150 sheets. It is most suitable for dry media like charcoal, graphite, and pastel pencils.

Another highlight about this product is how easy it is to bring anywhere. It is perfect for those who enjoy quick sketches at the park or a backup sketch pad in your studio once you used up your last page. 

When it comes to using wet media, you would have to do a thorough trial and error for better contrast on your work. However, its con would have to be its plastic binding which isn't very ideal if you pull hard to tear off the paper.

Who Should Buy It

Jack Richeson's drawing pad is excellent for students looking to up their game in dry media. It is also a wonderful holiday or birthday present to your friends who enjoy illustrations.

16. LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book - Best Extra Features

LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book
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 Pros Cons
  • Water-repellent cover
  • Pencil loop on the hardcover
  • Acid-free paper
  • Superb thickness
  • Twin-wire spiral-bound 
  • Thin pages

 

What Customers Have To Say 

LyTek's hardcover sketchbook got many good reviews, while a few customers pointed out a few points to improve on. They said this paper for charcoal drawing has excellent value and makes it easy to draft out ideas.

Another shopper liked how sturdy the sketchbook was, plus the pencil strap in front was another extra feature buyers enjoyed. Although a sketch artist said the pages were relatively thin and could use an extra bulk, the general feedback on LyTek's sketch pad was terrific.

LYTek Hardcover Sketch Book  review

Why We Think It's Great

Ideal for artists to maximize their work, this hardbound 9x12 drawing pad has 80 sheets with a water-repellent cover to help protect your charcoal masterpieces.

LyTek's sketchbook is made with significant thickness and acid-free paper. It also comes with a pencil loop on the cover where your favorite charcoal pencil can snuggly fit. 

The twin wire spiral binding makes the sketchpad extra durable, giving users a clean and swift tear.

Who Should Buy It

The LYTek Hardcover Sketchbook is great for art students, doodlers, and anyone who enjoys sketching. The pencil loop makes it easier for any charcoal artist to whip out their favorite pencil when a new sketch idea comes to mind.

17. Canson Artist Series Sketch Notebook

Canson Artist Series Sketch Notebook
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 Pros Cons
  • Sleek and minimalist design
  • Polyvalente material 
  • Heavy-duty stitch bind
  • Works for other media
  • The paper is a bit thin

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Five stars were given to Canson's Artist Series Sketchbook. Many users enjoyed this charcoal sketchbook, with one customer specifically liking its durability and smoothness. 

Another shopper said it was their favorite sketch notebook since grammar school. Overall, customers love this paper for charcoal drawing.

Why We Think It's Great

Canson Artist Series Sketch Notebook made it to our list of the best paper for charcoal drawing for its quality and sleek design. The hardbound cover is made with polyvalent material that helps close and flattens the smooth and textured paper. It is an excellent addition to anyone's art supplies. 

This best paper for charcoal drawing is 8.5 x 11 in size with a heavy-duty stitch bind that adds to its sturdy quality, so artists can easily consolidate their work in one portable notebook. Its versatility makes it a great surface to work on whether you're using graphite pencils, pens, charcoal, or markers.

Who Should Buy It

The Canson Artist Series Sketch Notebook is most suitable for professional illustrators, art students, and journalists who enjoy drawing while jotting down their ideas.

18. Artisto Premium Paper for Charcoal Drawing

Artisto Premium Paper for Charcoal Drawing
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 Pros Cons
  • Pack of three
  • Acid-free and neutral pH
  • Best for dry media
  • Spiral-bound
  • Value for money
  • Not best for wash effects

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

A couple of buyers commended the Artisto sketchbook’s durable material and thickness. However, some buyers did not receive a set of three notebooks.

Why We Think It's Great

Artisto's premium sketchbook comes in an 8.5 x 5.5 size with 100 sheets. This set offers three sketchbooks with paper that had zero acidity and a neutral pH creating pages that properly absorb color and texture. 

For less than $20, you would get three sketchbooks that could last you a few months in the studio. This best paper for charcoal drawing is made with a durable spiral bind for an easy tear. 

It also has a neutral pH and an acid-free sketchbook suitable for dry media like charcoal, graphite, and pastel for artists trying out various media. Please note that creating wash effects with charcoal pencils or vines may be tricky since the paper is not suitable for contrasting with wet media.

Who Should Buy It

Kids, teens, and adults will appreciate this practical and affordable set of sketchbooks. It's perfect for drafting ideas, sketching a vision, and doodling random curiosities.

19. Amber City Premium Sketch Pad - Best for Art Studio

Amber City Premium Sketch Pad
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 Pros Cons
  • 9x12-inch with 40 sheets
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Flexible interface
  • Convenient tearing strip on top
  • Budget-friendly
  • Not great for wet media

 

What Customers Have To Say

Buyers who bought Amber City's Premium sketch pad liked its simplicity. "Good quality paper!" said one buyer who was pleased to get this sketch pad for her art. 

Why We Think It's Great

This best paper for charcoal drawing by Amber City is a premium yet affordable option for those on a budget. It has 40 sheets of flexible yet smooth paper that are great for dry media, bringing charcoal masterpieces to life. 

The sketch pad is ideal for first-timers trying to experiment with heavy and messy media like charcoal pencils. The convenient bind on top will make it easier for artists to rip off their work without tearing the paper.

Who Should Buy It

The Amber City Premium Sketch Pad is perfect for left-handed artists who like to move the pad when trying to get to a few parts that need better highlights. It's also great for life figure illustrators who draw in real-time.

20. Arteza Sketch Spiral-Bound Sketch Book

Arteza Sketch Spiral-Bound Sketch Book
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 Pros Cons
  • Pack of three
  • 100 gsm paper
  • Thick and textured
  • Durable hardcover
  • Easy to carry
  • Poor packaging

 

What Customers Have To Say 

The majority of customers who bought the Arteza Sketch Spiral-Bound Notebook gave this product five-star reviews. When it comes to quality and value, many appreciated the bargain deal. 

Other buyers liked that tearing the paper was seamless and did not damage their work. A user did point out that they received the sketchbooks in inadequate packaging.

Why We Think It's Great

Arteza's Sketch Spiral-Bound SketchBook is the last but not the least in our list of the best paper for charcoal drawing. This pack of three boasts 200 sheets per sketchbook and has a thickness that makes it ideal for dry media, especially charcoal and pastel. 

The paper is acid-free, while the cover is hardbound and durable for easy compression of the sheets. These sketchbooks are also easy to carry if you're an artist that travels a lot. 

Who Should Buy It

Arteza's 200-sheet sketchbook is a terrific choice for students and professionals alike. It makes for a great addition to any drawing supplies.

Best Paper for Charcoal Drawing Buying Guide

When it comes to creating charcoal masterpieces, it's not just about the pencils or drawing tools you use. It's also about the paper. Here are a few essential factors to ponder on before making a purchase.

  • Smooth or Rough 

As an artist, you should experiment with which type of paper best suits your style. In terms of a charcoal drawing, the paper's roughness does a great job holding the charcoal since it gives more texture and lightness to your illustrations.

  • Color

If you're keen on using white charcoal pencils, then go with darker toned papers like black or blue to make the color pop. If you're using black charcoal pencils, then shift to white textured paper; it's all about creating a complementary tone.

  • Acidity

When it comes to sustaining the charcoal on your preferred surface, papers with high acidity will impact the charcoal. There's a tendency for the paper to turn yellowish and even warp if not quickly mitigated. 

Your best bet is to select the most optimal paper for charcoal drawing labeled "non-acidic" for a more seamless sketch session.

  • Texture 

A paper's texture lies in its size. Since these types of paper require many marks and erasures, rougher surfaces hold up better when using charcoal as a medium.

  • Weight

The ideal weight of a textured paper for charcoal drawing should be from 27 to 40 kg. The thicker, the better since it would take on the pressure charcoal puts on the paper. 

Paper for Charcoal Drawing FAQ

1. What paper is the best for charcoal drawing?

The best paper for charcoal drawing in our book is Arteza's White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad. It boasts quality and affordability, giving artists value for money. 

It has thickness and texture, making it easier to hold charcoal art. Arteza's drawing pad has a neutral white color that is acid-free, making charcoal and other dry media produce stunning contrasts.

2. Do you need special paper for charcoal?

No, mainly because art is about your preferred medium and style. However, many artists prefer fine-toothed paper, which is suitable for charcoal drawing since it blends better. 

Also, charcoal attaches thoroughly with textured paper. Unlike glossy paper or printer paper, textured or toothed paper can endure many layers of erasures.

3. How do you get charcoal to stay on paper?

Since charcoal is a messy medium, smudging can be frustrating to deal with. A fixative spray can get the charcoal to stick on paper without any dust marks or other stains after sketching. 

4. What is the difference between drawing and sketching paper?

Sketching paper is for practice, drafts, and quick studies on different techniques. Meanwhile, drawing paper is meant for finished artwork, and it's heavier in contrast to sketching paper which is usually less textured.

5. What is the disadvantage of using charcoal in art?

Charcoal is known to be one of the oldest mediums in art. A downside to it is that it can be very messy and tends to dust off or smudge. 

However, using a fixative spray can help lessen the mess. It also helps to use a barrier between the paper and your arm to avoid leaning and eventually smudging.

Conclusion

The media you choose is one thing, but the paper you select to apply your media can be game-changing. The right sketch pad or drawing pad will ultimately depend on the artist's preference. 

But for this list, we recommend Arteza's White Spiral Bound Drawing Pad for a multi-functional paper for charcoal drawing. When it comes to texture, this drawing pad is fine-toothed and acid-free, less prone to yellowing your art over time.

Suppose you're into a more convenient and user-friendly canvas. The Canson XL Series Water Color Paper for Charcoal Drawing is made from cold-pressed paper and is not ring bound, making it less challenging to tear out without ripping. It also has a durable interface that brings out a stellar light texture. 

Whichever brand you end up buying, let us know in the comments if they worked well for your charcoal drawing technique and style.

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