5 Best Paper for Prismacolor Pencils in 2021 Reviewed

Best Pastel for Portraits & Drawings

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Almost all of us have used color pencils to draw at some point or another in our life – especially, as kids. They are generally perceived as a novice medium to create art.

But that’s not the case with many artists because nowadays many creators use professional grade color pencils to make beautiful art pieces.

QUICK COMPARISON: Our Top 3 Picks For Papers for Prismacolor Pencils

  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 30
  • Density: 163 gsm
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  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 24
  • Density: 160 gsm
  • Dimensions: 11 x 14 inches
  • Number of sheets: 20
  • Density: 270 gsm

One such professional grade pencils are Prismacolor Pencils. These pencils have a soft nib that gives a high count of pigments while drawing making them appear almost like a painting.

To get the best results though, you’d need to use specific kinds of paper that can use its full potential.

Hence, in this article, we have listed the 5 best paper that you can use with Prismacolor Pencils and also added a guide to help you in that pursuit.

Best Paper for Prismacolor Pencils

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Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 24
  • Density: 160 gsm
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Strathmore 400 Series Medium Surface
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 30
  • Density: 163 gsm
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Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad
  • Dimensions: 11 x 14 inches
  • Number of sheets: 20
  • Density: 270 gsm
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Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 20
  • Density: 300 gsm
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Arches Watercolor Block
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12 inches
  • Number of sheets: 20
  • Density: 300 gsm

Best paper for prismacolor pencils

  1. Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series, 9″x12″, White, 30 Sheets

Strathmore is a well-established company in the paper production industry with an experience of 125 years. Strathmore 400 Series Medium surface provides you with off-white papers with medium roughness. It has 24 sheets of 130 gsm papers and the dimension is 12 by 18-inches. The paper is ideal for dry art media.

Strathmore 477-9 Colored Pencil PAD 9X12 30SHT 400 Series, 9"x12",...
  • Excellent for use with colored pencil; great for...
  • Smooth, even coverage can be achieved, and the...


If you prefer off-white or cream-colored papers then you’d like the tint of this one as well. Because of the color, we liked sketching on this paper with pencils or charcoal. Something about this shade always makes sketches appear more attractive to us.

We loved this paper for sketching because of the slight roughness of the surface which would pick colors off the nib at just the right amount. With Prismacolor’s soft nib, the saturation of the finished product was, hence, exceptionally good.

The surface feels fine for some other mediums than colored pencils as well, like ink, pen, markers, pastels (oil and soft), charcoal, crayons, etc.

But, we wouldn’t recommend this paper for any wet work like watercolors or poster colors because the paper is, kind of, thin for those media to work fine.

In conclusion, it’s amazing for dry media, especially, for Prismacolor Pencils mainly because of the pencils’ soft nibs and high pigment count, and the rough texture and off-white color of the paper.

  • Mild rough texture which is great of Prismacolor’s pencils’ soft tips
  • Heavy 130 gsm paper which has a nice weight to it
  • Has a certain off-white tint which really compliments the colors from the pencils
  • The paper is thin, so, it’s not ideal for working with watercolors
  1. Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad, 11″x14″ Tape Bound, 20 Sheets

Strathmore 300 Series brings a heavier Bristol paper. It’s a whopping 270 gsm paper and the drawing pad has 20 sheets of 9 by 12-inches paper. The quality of the acid-free paper is no less than what is expected from Strathmore. This paper is good for mechanical drawing and can be used with charcoal, ink, pen, markers and even airbrush.

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad, 11"x14" Tape Bound, 20...
  • Heavy Bristol weight paper for final artwork
  • Ideal for pen, ink, mechanical drawing, air brush,...


It is treated on both sides with one side being a little smoother than the other. So, you have the choice to work with what you prefer.

The pigments lay off really well from the pencil on the paper and it’s not just with Prismacolor pencils.

It works with wet media like Copic markers, watercolor pencils, and even watercolors. The paper is thick enough to handle them but keep in mind that if you lay down Copic markers a little too thick it might bleed from the other side.

A similar problem also happens with watercolor. If you use too much of water then the paper might get wrapped and you’d have to flatten it out after the paint has dried.

The paper also comes off easily from the pad, unlike some other products. And combined with this, the smooth finish of the paper makes it usable for finished products rather than just for sketching or practice use.

  • Very good weight with it – 270 gsm Bristol paper
  • Treated on both sides, so, it has both a rough side and a smooth side
  • The paper comes off very easily from the drawing pad
  • Works very well with charcoal, colored pencils, ink, and pen
  • Although it is serviceable with wet media, there is still a chance of bleed or wrap if you are not careful
  1. Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press 20 Sheet Block 9×12″ – Extra White

Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. is a great acid-free paper that comes in a convenient size of 9 by 12-inch. The quality of this paper is excellent.

This paper is manufactured from pure cotton giving a nice quality and texture to it. Also, it helps this paper to be extra white and give it a good heavy weight of 300 gsm.


The quality of this paper is outstanding. From the texture to the weight, everything feels top notch. Erasing on this paper is blemish-free, even after doing so several times.

The specific product we are reviewing here is extra white. But you have the choice of going something less bright and traditionally white if you may desire to do so. Both variants have the same weight and quality to it, so the purchase depends only on your preference.

You can also choose what kind of surface you want – rough, hot press and cold press. Any surface would work fine with Prismacolor but we love the rough one because of how well the pigments stick to the paper.

Because it is so thick, this paper is amazing for working with watercolors – especially, cold press because of the texture – but it’s not full proof. So, be careful to not use an excess of water, otherwise the paper will warp.

  • Very heavy paper, rated at 300 gsm
  • Has quite a few variants on the basis of color and texture
  • Works amazing with almost any media – wet or dry
  • It’s made from pure cotton
  • Bleeding and wrapping can still occur with wet art media
  1. CANSON Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad, Assorted Colors 9″X12″ Fold Over (100510864)

Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad is globally preferred by almost every artist when it comes to pastels and paper crafts. It’s an affordable but good quality paper and is made from 50 percent cotton. The pad comes with 24 sheets of 9 by 12-inches, 98 lb. papers that are acid-free.

CANSON Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad, Assorted Colors 9"X12" Fold Over...
  • Recognized world wide as the preferred papers for...
  • 50 percent cotton, gelatin-sized papers


The paper has really nice textures to it. The two sides bear different textures – smooth and rough.

The rough one works wonders with pastels and colored pencils. Prismacolor Pencils especially leave a good impression on the rough side.

Because of how course it is the colors of the pencils adhere incredibly well to it – giving the finished product a very attractive look.

For regular pencils and sketching, the smoother side is the one we prefer. It’s mainly because the lines are clean and hatching looks really well on it.

The paper is also lightfast, which makes it possible to use it for finished art pieces.

Mi-Teintes Pastel pad has lightweight papers. It’s thin, so, we don’t recommend using wet art media like watercolor. But with dry media like pencils and charcoal, it works absolutely fantastic.

  • Very affordable, great for practicing and paper crafts
  • Has both smooth and rough textures – which makes it very versatile
  • Paper is also light-fast making it usable for an end product
  • The paper is thin, it’s not ideal to use it with any wet medium
  1. Arches Watercolor Block, Cold Press 9″X12″

Arches Watercolor block provides 20 sheets of paper of impeccable quality. It’s made from 100 percent cotton and is bounded on all sides. The paper is thick, reliable and very consistent in its performance making it good for finished use. It’s also highly erasable and works really well with graphite making it’s also excellent for practice sketching.

Arches Watercolor Block, Cold Press 9"X12"
  • Paper made with natural cotton fibers on a...
  • Great for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and...


You get to choose three kinds of surface – hot press, cold press and rough. The good thing is that the difference in the surfaces is subtle, which makes it very consistent.

But if you really care about how your art turns out, keep in mind that rough is great at getting good colors from dry art media like charcoal and colored pencils – especially Prismacolor Pencils – but it’s difficult to get precise lines with it.

Because of that, for minute details we highly recommend going for the hot press variant. The cold press is also good for dry medium and it’s more of a middle-ground between hot press and rough.

The area where this paper really shines is with watercolors. Since the paper is designed for that, the flow and look of watercolor are incredible on these sheets. And the fact that the paper is extremely tough and thick helps with that as well.

  • It has amazing texture and color pick-up – no matter the variant
  • Each variant – hot press, cold press and rough – is extremely consistent in performance
  • The paper is tough and highly erasable with no flaw
  • It’s also incredibly thick and excellent for watercolors
  • The surface can be a little lackluster if you are looking for heavily coarse texture

Tips for using Prismacolor Pencils

Even with the right paper and everything, it can be an ordeal to use Prismacolor Pencils to their maximum potential. Prismacolor is especially great at creating attractive blends and glazes.

So, in these methods, we have talked about how to blend perfectly and conveniently while using your Prismacolor Pencils.

Not only should these tips and tricks help you get the best results but these should also help you get the desired result every time.

So, go ahead and give it a read!

  1. Blender Pencils

Blender pencils, sometimes also referred to as colorless blenders, look almost like regular pencils.

The only difference is that these pencils don’t leave any color behind on paper. Their sole purpose is to spread the pigments on the paper conveniently.

When you need to blend a specific shade, just gently rub the blender’s tip in the direction you want the color to blend. Do it until you have reached the desired amount of blend.

Using blender pencils is especially more helpful when you try to blend two different colors together towards a central convergence.

Or when you want the blend to happen very specifically Because it gives you a great amount of control on your blend.

  1. Layering

Doing light and shade in a painting is a very important task. To get the desired result every time, you might wanna do layering.

When the base color is applied and finished, apply a lighter or a darker shade – depending upon what is your goal – on top of it. Then blend the colors slightly and gently to achieve the desired effect.

Make sure to only add a slight amount of color on the secondary layer at once and not overdo it. Do it with a small amount of color at first and then try to add more color if necessary.

This is because once you have put the second layer of color it’s almost impossible to undo it without messing up your primary layer as well.

  1. Bristle Brush

Although we talked about blender pencils as a great way to control your blend, a bristle brush might do the job even better if you’re careful.

Since brushes are softer and give a more natural blend generally in any art medium, if you know how to control a brush, you can achieve a more even blend with a brush.

The important thing to keep in mind is the type of paper you are using.

With a thin paper, use a soft bristle brush to not have any impression or dent on your paper. While with a thick paper, use a harder bristle brush to get the best results.

  1. Keeping your pencils right

Prismacolor pencils have extremely soft cores to give the best color adhesion to paper and make perfect blends.

So, make sure that you take good care of them as well. Have a proper housing packet or box for these pencils where the tips have no way of incurring any damage while moving.

Be sure to never drop them and handle them with utmost care while drawing. Also, while using them, don’t put too much pressure or else the core might get cracked.


So that’ll be all for this article.

We’ve listed the five best papers to be used with Prismacolor Pencils. And we’ve also added a handy-dandy guide to help you get better results with Prismacolor Pencils.

With that, we hope that this piece helped you in your creative pursuits in some meaningful way.

Thank you for reading.

If you are looking for the best mechanical pencils for writing or the best mechanical pencil overall you can find them here swiftly!

If you are looking for the best art paper for art prints, or the best paper for acrylics paint you can find it reviewed on Architecture Lab.

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