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Art Supplies, Charcoal Drawing: Charcoal Paper

-The best paper for charcoal drawing.  Regular drawing paper or newsprint are too smooth, and the powder of the charcoal will slide right off.

-Has a texture which can be very beautiful in charcoal drawings.

-The texture has a slight tooth, which allows the paper to “grip” the charcoal much better than a smoother paper.

Art Supplies: Charcoal Paper

Adam Linn, Leyla Faye

Video transcript
“When you draw, the paper that you choose really matters. A lot of people have problems with drawing, simply because they’re using the wrong paper. Regular drawing paper is far too smooth for charcoal drawing, when you draw with the charcoal, the charcoal gets really powdery and you can see that it slides right off the surface of the page.

Now charcoal paper on the other hand, has a slight tooth to it, and so when you draw with the charcoal on the surface of the page, that tooth essentially grips the charcoal and allows it to adhere very well to the surface of the page. On top of that, the texture of the charcoal paper can be very beautiful and can provide a lovely surface for your drawing.”

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4 responses on "Charcoal Paper"

  1. Hi, I’ve checked numerous art and craft stores in my city, but the Stathmore charcoal paper (or any charcoal paper) isn’t available. The only papers with tooth are watercolor sheets and pastel sheets, but the ‘holes’ in a pastel sheet create a very odd texture and take away from the piece. Could you suggest alternatives?

  2. Charcoal paper is all about that tooth, so one way you can make your own is by sanding heavyweight paper or canvas, and you can get a similar hold on the charcoal. Also, if you’re using charcoal paper, take it all the way and use all the kinds of charcoal, both with water and without. Charcoal paper is generally heavyweight and pretty durable, so it can take a lot from the elements!

  3. It’s so crazy how the surface you work on is really about half the battle in making a successful piece, and yet so many of us clamber around in the dark for so long when it comes to matching the right material to the right paper! I had a phase as late as my sophomore year in art school where I kept trying to do ALL of my work on bristol board, just because I already had a giant pad of it… My ink drawings, of course, were fine; but anything that needed some teeth to cling to (graphite and charcoal, in particular) just turned out smudged and blurry!

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