View Full Version : Paper

08-11-2001, 09:49 AM
Warning: Novice question ahead.

What's the difference between normal paper and acid-free? (aside from the obvious *L*) Does the acid in paper really make that much difference for pen and inks or pencil sketches? Therefore, is it worth buying the 'proper' paper to work with?


08-11-2001, 10:51 AM
Hi Saau. I'm really no paper expert, but, using the proper paper for your art project will definately be a plus. Plain paper is great for doing your quick sketches and layouts for your composition. If you plan to put hours of work into a drawing and would like to sell it later, then using a paper that will last and hold up to discoloration would be the thing to do. Let's say you decided to frame a drawing that you spent countless hours on....you have it hanging on the wall for a couple of years and you notice that the paper is starting to turn yellow with age....not a good thing :( Do you get my point? I always use acid free paper and archival inks for my drawings that way they will look good for many years. :)

08-15-2001, 09:34 PM

Artdude has pretty well answered when to use acid free, and I agree. Most acid processed papers are of wood pulp and we think of newsprint which I use only for very basic practise. You will also hear the term 'rag', which refers to the cotton fiber in the paper and it will be stated in percentages. When I started painting and sketching, cost was a very real factor so I used a lot of cheap paper. The shame now is that some of my early work is among my best. Now only 30 years later the work is disintegrating and in ruin. Fortunately, the work I sold was always on acid free paper and mounted using archival methods.

It is well worth the trip to the library to research artists papers. Papermaking itself is an artform and I've seen spectacular work in everything from willow to dog hair. Each and every paper responds to the brush or the pen in its own way. And like every tool, we have our favorites.

Sorry about the lecture, but everything we create has value even if we cut it up for a collage.