Paper & Surfaces

Artists have diverse types of art paper to choose from. These include super smooth surfaces and very rough and ‘toothy’ papers. Some papers are best with soft pencils, pastels, and charcoal, while others are better suited for watercolours. You will find no shortage of paper to work with, the hardest part is deciding which to use.

The texture of the surface is the primary concern for art papers. There are several factors that influence the texture of a paper.

  • The fiber itself is most important. The diverse types of wood pulp, cellulose, and cotton will behave differently when made into paper.
  • The volume of pulp per sheet will affect the weight and strength of the paper.
  • The production process itself is also important. Papers are made with mold, machine, or hand processes. The amount of heat and pressure in the drying process changes the paper as well.
  • Surface textures can be created by the mesh mold that paper sheets are made on, or applied by a roller to machine-made paper.
  • The amount of ‘size’ – the binding glue, not the dimensions – in the paper and on the surface, will affect how well it holds water. It also determines how ‘toothy’ the surface is.

Different types of papers

  • Rough surface: has the most texture and during manufacture the blankets pressing on either side of the paper creates a heavily textured finish. This surface is very popular for landscape watercolours, abstract watercolours and also for mixed media work where dusty or dry pigments are attracted to the ‘tooth’ or surface texture.
  • Cold pressed paper is the most common surface for watercolour artists and also popular for drawing. The paper is pressed for a second time without the blanket, flattening the surface that has been imprinted with the blanket.
  • Hot pressed is the result of further pressing on a hot cylinder, bonding the fibers closer together and creating a smoother and finer surface, popular for artists who like fine details.
  • Surface for Pastel Paper has ‘tooth’ is most important when using pastels. The pastels need to adhere to the surface of the paper. Some printmaking papers with softer surfaces are popular but more commonly there are textured surfaces ex: Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper or fully primed papers which include ground pumice stone mixed into a binder priming medium which smoothly coats the surface of paper ex: Canson Mi-Teintes ‘Touch’

Other type of papers we carry,

  • Newspint
  • Cartridge papers

And Surfaces,

  • Illustration boards
  • Coroplast
  • Foam boards
  • Gator boards
  • Masonite boards

Drop by today and check out our amazing selection of Paper & Surfaces! Northmount Plaza, 3400 14 Street NW – Calgary Alberta