Types of Paper for Art

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With many of us finding we have extra time on our hands at home, many of us are turning to traditional crafts to keep ourselves occupied.  But which paper is right for the job?

With many of us picking up a paintbrush or pencil for the first time in years, it could be said that art is having something of a renaissance.

But how much do you remember from your childhood art lessons?  For example, how do you know which paper is best suited to each medium?  Business Optimizer offers some advice on how to choose the best paper for your home art projects.

Tissue paper

Tissue paper isn’t just for wrapping presents – it can inspire a whole host of kids’ crafting projects!  It’s also ideal for layering onto artworks on canvas to create a textured effect.

Crepe paper

Stretcher and stronger than tissue paper, crepe paper is another good tool in your kids crafting armoury but, as this Martha Stewart blog shows, it’s also perfect for more sophisticated craft projects too.

Cartridge paper

Traditional cartridge paper is the staple of pencil sketching.  The optimum paper weight for sketching is between 180gsm and 230gsm.

Sugar paper

This is the perfect crafting paper for kids.  Cheap and inexpensive, it can lighten considerably over time, but for short-lived art projects, it is a great option that comes in many colors.

Black cartridge paper

If you’re using chalk pastels or white charcoal, a lightweight black cartridge paper is a much better option than sugar paper as it won’t fade and contrasts are maintained.

Watercolor paper

For watercolor paint, you need a paper designed for the job.  A variety of weights and textures are available so experiment until you find one that suits your style of painting and the look you are going for.

Handmade papers

Handcrafted papers bring depth and texture to your work.  You can even make your own at home!  It’s a fab recycling project to do with your kids.

Specialist art papers

We looked at Washi papers in our blog last month.  These delicate Japanese papers made from kozo (mulberry), mitsumata or gampi fibers are great for collage or printmaking.

Lightweight cardboard

When paired with a good craft knife, lightweight cardboard is perfect for engineering and architectural craft projects – such as this fab initiative by Manchester-based company, Kelsall Architects.

Corrugated cardboard

Thicker or corrugated cardboard can be used to add texture and depth to collages. 

Whatever medium you choose, the right choice of paper can help you give your creative impulses free rein!  There are important mental health benefits too: expressing ourselves through art is known to have many therapeutic effects – another reason to pick up the paintbrush in these unusual pandemic-affected times.