The Best Paper for Ink Drawing: 10 Sheets That Work Wonders

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Ink drawing can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to use the right paper if you want your drawings to look their best. In this blog post, I will cover the 10 different types of paper that I have found to be by far the best to use for ink drawing.

I’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right type of paper for your project. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, read on for the best paper for ink drawing!

Table of Contents

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10 Best Paper for Ink Drawing Reviewed and Rated in 2022

Best paper for Ink Drawing

Deciding on the best paper for ink drawing can be tricky. There are so many different papers out there, each with its own set of pros and cons.

In this article, I’ll help you narrow down your choices by reviewing 10 of the best papers for ink drawing. I’ll also provide a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right paper for your needs. So whether you’re looking for the perfect paper for calligraphy or just want to find a versatile option for general drawing, read on for my top picks.

Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pads

Strathmore is one of my favorite brands and this particular mixed media pad is great for a variety of art techniques. I mostly use this for watercolor washes combined with ink drawing.

The Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper is a versatile type of paper that can be used for a variety of different projects. One of its main advantages is that it is able to hold up to multiple mediums without warping or buckling. I find the paper to be firm enough to hold the ink also allowing for some play.

This means that you can use it for pencil sketches, ink drawings, and even light washes of paint without worrying about the paper losing its shape. In addition, the Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper has a smooth surface that is ideal for detailed ink drawings.

The paper is also acid-free, meaning that it won’t yellow or deteriorate over time. This makes it a great option for artists who want to create archival-quality pieces.

Overall, the Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media paper is an excellent choice for any artist who is looking for a versatile and high-quality drawing surface.

Canson XL Series Bristol Pad

The Canson XL Series Bristol Pad is a great choice for those who enjoy drawing with ink. In fact, this is probably the most popular Bristol pad on the market. The heavyweight, bright white paper provides high contrast and excellent erasability.

The smooth surface finish also works well with pen & ink, marker, pencil, and colored pencil. The 9 x 12 inch 25 sheets are perfect for scanning and the 100 pound/260-gram acid-free paper means that your drawings will last a long time.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned artist, the Canson XL Series Bristol Pad is a great choice.

Bianyo Bleedproof Marker Paper Pad

There are several reasons why the Bianyo Bleedproof Marker Paper Pad is great for ink drawing.

Firstly, the size of the paper is ideal for most drawings.

Secondly, the weight of the paper is perfect for absorbing ink and preventing bleed-through.

Thirdly, the pack includes 50 sheets, which is enough for most projects.

Finally, the color of the paper is white, which makes it perfect for drawing on. The paper is also ultra-smooth and acid-free, making it ideal for use with markers.

Bachmore Drawing Pad

If you’re looking for a top-quality drawing pad, the Bachmore Drawing Pad is a great option. The paper is a premium quality, and the spiral binding makes it friendly for both left-handed and right-handed artists.

The pages are easily torn from the notebook with punctures, so you can easily remove your artwork.

The papers are made of acid-free paper with thick, strong, slick-smooth white & durable features.

These papers can be used for most media, including all dry media like charcoal, pencil, some watercolors, acrylic paint, etc. The hardbound sketch pad includes 100% handmade hardcovers, and the hard bottom pad helps protect your artwork safely.

The Bachmore Drawing Pad is a great choice for any artist who wants superior quality paper and a well-made sketchbook.

Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks

Arteza’s Mixed Media Sketchbook is the perfect tool for any artist, regardless of experience level.

The medium-weight sheets are versatile and can be used for a variety of dry and wet media, while the acid-free construction ensures that your colors won’t deteriorate over time.

Plus, the sketchbook is spiral-bound for easy page-turning. And because it’s designed and created by artists, you can be sure that it meets the highest standards of quality.

U.S. Art Supply

U.S. Art Supply paper is great for ink drawing because it is acid-free, neutral pH, natural white, and has a smooth uniform surface that is virtually bleed-proof.

This means that your drawings will not fade over time and will remain bright and vibrant. The smooth surface also allows you to use a variety of different pen types without worrying about the ink bleeding through the paper.

Whether you are using a water-based marker or a permanent marker, you can be confident that your drawing will look its best.

U.S. Art Supply paper is also available in a variety of different weights and sizes, so you can find the perfect paper for your project.

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad

The Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad paper is a great choice for anyone who wants to create beautiful ink drawings.

The paper is thick and heavy, making it perfect for final artwork. The smooth surface is ideal for pen, ink, mechanical drawing, airbrush, and marker.

The 100 lb. / 270 gsm acid-free smooth surface is perfect for fine detail work. The 9″x12″ Tape Bound; 20 Sheets per Pad makes it easy to keep your work organized and protected.

Borden & Riley #234 Paris Paper Pad

The Borden & Riley #234 Paris Paper Pad is a high-quality option for anyone who loves to do ink drawings. The paper is acid-free and 108 lb., making it perfect for archival projects.

The smooth, hard surface is ideal for every type of pen, from calligraphy pens to fine line technical pens. The paper doesn’t feather or bleed, so your lines will always be clean and crisp.

And because the paper is thick and sturdy, you can use it for manga illustrations without worrying about it breaking or tearing.

If you’re looking for a top-notch paper pad for your next ink drawing project, the Borden & Riley #234 Paris Paper Pad is a perfect choice.

Design Ideation Sketch

Design Ideation Sketch Paper Pad is great for ink drawing because it is made with heavy, 67 lb premium paper.

The white jumbo size – 8 ½” x 11” is perfect for sketchers and painters who want to use a variety of mediums including pencil, ink, charcoal, marker, and watercolor.

The pad also has extra heavyweight front and back covers for added durability.

Castle Art Supplies Premium Sketch Book

Castle Art Supplies generally offers art supplies at a very reasonable price. This sketchbook doesn’t break the bank and it’s also great for ink drawing because it is smudge resistant, non-fade, and acid-free.

The sketchbook is also textured to “grip” dry media, giving you the freedom to try graphite pencils, charcoal, pastels, colored pencils, or gel pens. I found this sketchbook particularly good for urban sketching because it is lightweight and spiral bound.

Ink drawing is a popular medium for artists because it allows for a great deal of precision and detail.

When done correctly, ink drawings can be incredibly realistic, making them perfect for capturing the nuances of a subject.

Additionally, ink is a versatile medium that can be used for both black-and-white and color drawings. It also dries quickly, which means that artists can work relatively quickly when using ink.

However, ink drawing does have its challenges. Because it is such a precise medium, it can be difficult to correct mistakes.

Additionally, ink can be tricky to blend, making it difficult to create smooth transitions between colors. Nevertheless, these challenges are part of what makes ink drawing an exciting and rewarding medium for artists.

Drawing with ink is a centuries-old art form that has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. There are a number of reasons why ink drawing is so popular, chief among them being the unique way in which it allows artists to create richly detailed images.

When drawing with ink, you have the ability to layer lines and textures to create complex visual effects. In addition, ink is highly versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces, from traditional paper to more unconventional materials like wood or fabric.

As a result, ink drawing is a popular choice for both professional artists and hobbyists alike. Whether you’re looking to create an intricate work of art or simply experiment with a new medium, ink drawing is a great option.

best paper for ink drawing dog

What paper is used for ink painting?

When it comes to ink painting, there are a variety of papers that can be used, depending on the desired effect.

For example, absorbent papers such as rice paper or Xuan paper are typically used for water-based inks, while more textured papers are better suited for oil-based inks.

In general, thicker papers are better able to withstand multiple layers of ink without warping or tearing. However, thin papers can also create a beautiful effect, particularly when using washes of ink.

Ultimately, the type of paper you use is up to you and will depend on the specific needs of your painting.

What do you use for ink drawing?

Ink drawing is a type of art where you use pens or brushes to apply ink to paper. The ink can be bought in bottles, or it can be made at home using a mixture of water and pigment.

When drawing with ink, it is important to use a light touch, as the ink will spread out and become thinner the more it is worked. This can be used to create different effects, such as fine lines or soft washes of color.

In addition, ink drawing can be combined with other media, such as watercolor or gouache, to create more complex images.

When it comes to ink drawing, there are a few different options to choose from. Perhaps the most popular type of ink is India ink, which is made from a mixture of soot and water.

India ink is known for its rich black color and its ability to produce sharp lines. Another option is fude ink, which is made from a combination of pine soot and animal glue. Fude ink has a softer appearance than India ink, making it well suited for delicate drawings.

Finally, Sumi ink is made from a mixture of plant ash and lampblack. Sumi ink has a deep black color and a smooth texture, making it ideal for producing both bold and subtle effects.

Tools to use for ink drawing on paper

best paper for ink drawing nibs and holders

Nylon brushes

Nylon Brushes are the best type of brush to use for ink drawing. Nylon brushes are made from synthetic fibers, which are less likely to absorb and distribute the ink unevenly.

Additionally, nylon brushes come in a variety of tip shapes and sizes, so you can find one that is well suited for the specific type of line work you want to create.

Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are another popular tool for ink drawing. Fountain pens contain a small reservoir of ink that is fed to the nib of the pen as you write or draw.

This allows you to produce a consistent line without having to stop and refill your pen frequently. Additionally, fountain pens come in a variety of sizes and tip shapes, so you can find one that is comfortable for you to use.

Hongdian Dark Blue Forest Fountain Pen Extra Fine Nib 0.38mm Beautiful Tree Texture

This fountain pen is one that I use for contour line drawing and I absolutely love it. I really bought it because of how nice it looked (haha) but having used it for several drawings I cant attest to how smoothly it works.

Nibs and Handles

Nibs and handles are another type of tool that can be used for ink drawing. Nibs are small, pointed metal tips that can be attached to a variety of different handles.

This allows you to create a variety of different line thicknesses and shapes, depending on the type of nib you use. Handles can be made from a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, or metal.

Technical Pens

Technical pens are a type of pen that is often used for precision line work. A technical pen has a fine metal tip that is encased in a plastic body.

This allows you to create extremely thin lines without the ink spreading or feathering. Additionally, technical pens come in a variety of different sizes and tip shapes, so you can find one that is comfortable for you to use.

Pigma Micron Pens

These are the technical pens that I use most often. I really like how fine the lines are that you can create with them and they come in a wide variety of sizes (I typically use the 00.45mm and 01.0mm sizes).

Surfaces and Papers For Ink Drawing

Although any surface can be used for ink drawing, there are certain materials that work better than others. 

best paper for ink drawing hand drawing an ink picture

Bristol Board

Bristol board or bristol paper is a type of paper that is frequently used for ink drawing. It is made from 100% cotton and has a smooth surface that is ideal for detailed work.

Bristol board is also neutral in pH and acid-free, which helps to prevent your ink from smudging or fading over time. When choosing a bristol board for your drawings, it is important to consider the weight of the paper.

Heavier weights are better suited for wetter mediums like watercolors, while lighter weights are more suitable for dry mediums like graphite.

Ultimately, the best way to find the right bristol board for your needs is to experiment with a variety of weights and surfaces until you find the perfect match for your project.

Mixed Media Paper

If you’re looking for a versatile paper for your ink drawings, mixed media paper is a great option. This type of paper is designed to accept a variety of mediums, including ink, without buckling or bleeding through.

Mixed media paper is also heavier than standard drawing paper, so it’s less likely to warp or crease. And because it’s acid-free, it won’t yellow over time. 

Watercolor Paper

Though often thought of as a delicate material, watercolor paper is actually quite tough and resilient, making it an excellent choice for ink drawing.

Unlike traditional drawing paper, watercolor paper has a “toothy” surface that helps to grip the ink and prevent it from spreading. In addition, the texture of watercolor paper provides a unique look that can add dimension and interest to your drawings.

When shopping for watercolor paper, be sure to choose a heavy weight (140 lb or higher) for best results. For a truly professional look, opt for a sheet that is acid-free and archival quality. 

Illustration Board

best paper for ink drawing figures

Illustration board provides a versatile surface for ink drawing and other traditionally rendered artwork. It is generally made of a lightweight yet durable material such as Masonite or plywood, and it can be either smooth or textured.

The smooth surface is ideal for achieving fine lines and detailed shading, while the textured surface can provide added dimensionality to your drawings.

In addition, illustration board is available in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your project.

Whether you’re creating a detailed illustration or a simple sketch, illustration board is an excellent choice.

Drawing Sketchbook

If you’re an artist who loves to work in ink, then you know that having a good sketchbook is essential. After all, the sketchbook is where you’ll be doing most of your drawing and brainstorming.

And when it comes to ink drawing, there are a few key things to look for in a sketchbook.

First, you’ll want to make sure that the paper is heavyweight and smooth. This will ensure that your ink lines are crisp and clean and that they won’t bleed through to the next page.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the sketchbook has plenty of pages so that you can experiment freely without running out of space. With these things in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect sketchbook for your needs.

[Related Article: Looking for the Best Mixed Media Sketchbook?]

How to choose the right type of paper for your project

pen drawing of a parrots head

If you’re an artist who likes to work with pen and ink, you know that the type of paper you use can make a big difference in the final product.

This is because different papers absorb ink differently, and some are more likely to bleed or feather than others.

So how do you choose the right type of paper for your ink drawing?

The first thing to consider is the weight of the paper. Heavier papers are less likely to bleed or feather, but they can be more difficult to work with.

If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to go with a lighter-weight paper until you get a feel for how the ink will react.

Another important factor is the surface texture of the paper. Smooth surfaces are best for detailed work, while rougher surfaces are better for general sketching.

Finally, think about what kind of finish you want for your drawing. Matte papers produce a softer look, while glossy papers create a more striking effect.

With so many factors to consider, choosing the right type of paper for your ink drawing can be a challenge. But by keeping these guidelines in mind, you’ll be sure to find a paper that meets your needs.

Tips for using ink on different types of paper

best paper for ink drawing lines

Many people consider ink drawing to be a challenging and unforgiving medium, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be surprisingly forgiving.

Here are a few tips for using ink on different types of paper:

  • If you’re using water-based ink, such as Indian or Chinese inks, start with a smooth, absorbent paper such as hot press watercolor paper. This type of paper will help prevent the ink from spreading and will allow you to achieve fine lines and detail.
  • If you’re using oil-based ink, such as pigmented ink or Pigma Micron pens, start with a smooth, non-porous paper such as Bristol board. This type of paper will prevent the ink from bleeding and will give you more control over the flow of the ink.
  • If you’re working on a large scale, such as a poster or mural, consider using a rough paper such as newsprint. The texture of the paper will add interest to your drawing and can help disguise any imperfections.
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If you’re an artist, illustrator, or creative explorer looking for the best paper for ink drawing then I am sure that you will be more than satisfied with the 10 options above. Test out a few and see which one works best for you.

Remember, the weight, surface texture and finish of the paper will all affect the final result, so take these factors into consideration when making your decision.

And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment – the only limit is your imagination! With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to create stunning ink drawings that you’ll be proud of.

What is your favorite type of paper for ink drawing? Let us know in the comments below!

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