MAU Art & Design Glossary

Drawing Paper



Drawing paper is very versatile and one of the most common surfaces used for pencil and pen drawings, watercolor, and crafts.

Drawing paper has a fine to medium surface texture with moderate stiffness that gives it a unique quality of feel. Papermakers typically produce a white matte drawing paper processed with surface sizing that prevents ink from bleeding. Drawing paper is suitable for soft pencil and resists fuzzing from erasers. Artists also use it for Conté and crayons, as well. The front side of the paper is slightly rough and uneven, and the back side is somewhat smoother.

Drawing paper can be produced as a high-quality paper made from chemical pulp (chemically treated wood to extract only wood fiber) or may include a high ratio of groundwood pulp (also used in newspapers). The latter is relatively inexpensive, so artists often use drawing paper with groundwood pulp to practice painting.

There are many types of drawing paper. Sunflower drawing paper comes in weights (per one square meter sheet of paper) of A (157 g) and M (205 g). Both types of weights are neutralized, have medium texture (more apparent in M), and are nearly pure white in color. TMK poster drawing paper comes in weights of 193 g and 217 g, has a somewhat uneven but smooth surface, and is natural white in color. Artists use this high-quality neutralized paper for its ability to hold up to moisture. The nearly pure-white, fine-textured HG gagakushi drawing paper has a weight of 243 g, a heaviness that makes it resistant to water warping. Other types of drawing paper include hakuzōgagakushi and new canvas paper. Each type of drawing paper generally comes in B size sheets, but there are also 10 m rolls (sunflower A only).

Drawing paper does not hold up to moisture as well as watercolor paper, so it is advisable to stretch the paper before using moisture-rich media.
Drawing paper is available for purchase at art supply stores and stationery stores.

*The illustrations (photos) are test samples designed to illustrate the characteristics of the paper and provide an example of how artists might use the product for expressive purposes. They are not intended to recommend specific drawing materials for certain purposes (the illustrations may even use some drawing materials considered unsuitable for given applications in order to exhibit their traits).


  • Drawing paper (close-up)
  • Strokes on Sunflower A