View Full Version : What paper to use?

09-05-2006, 07:54 AM

I've been painting a couple of years now but so far have mainly used canvas. I'm interested in painting on paper but I have no idea what to go for, a couple of years ago I tried system 3 paper but found it to be pretty poor. I know this is a tough question as I imagine there are hundreds of different types to suit all budgets, but I'd like to know what constitutes a better quality i.e. higher gsm = better quality? then I can see what's the best to use for my budget range.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


09-05-2006, 09:04 AM
Hi Joe....the one i use is....Vermeer....360gsm....acrylic board Acid free...i like the weight and i just tape it down before painting....sometimes i gesso first depending on what i'm painting ...i have also used acrylic paper which is 300gsm. but i think you definately need to gesso...
Do you have a 'Statioery Box' shop near you? thats where i got it.

09-05-2006, 09:27 AM
Thanks Carrie, I work in central London and have access to a few good art shops, that's where my confusion lies! So the heavier the better with acrylic? Are there different weaves or am I talking rubbish?

09-05-2006, 10:40 AM
Hi Joe,

There is a thread by Enion in the info kiosk on supports, it has quite a bit of informaiton on papers etc to use.

Support and preparation (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=227402)

09-05-2006, 10:40 AM
Hi Joe.... not too sure about texture....the one i have is smooth...good luck...:wave:

09-05-2006, 10:51 AM
Thanks for your help guys, that thread looks just the ticket.

09-05-2006, 03:08 PM
Hi Joe! I'd recommend you pop in to Atlantis art supplies (Plumbers Row, off Whitechapel High St) and browse their paper section at the back. There's loads of stuff. :) All the watercolour papers will be appropriate, I'd be surprised if they didn't sell 'blocks' of them too, as in their more generic brands rather than the expensive ones. Also they have some really nice handmade khadi papers in various soft colours. I've used those a lot with acrylics (not primed, it buckles but I don't mind at sizes like A5 plus I tend to hold it in my hand to paint on, I'm weird). I've also just cut down sheets of Bockingford or even Arches (which I don't think I bought but got from someone). Oh, and SAA do student paper too! That's really decent watercolour paper, bought a box of it (er, 50 sheets I think) for some printmaking that I haven't gotten around to yet. Their shop is at www.saa.co.uk

It's worth trying different textures I think, which is what I think would be good about Atlantis. You could just buy a piece or two of some different stuff and try it out. :)


09-05-2006, 03:39 PM
I use arches only, 16 x 20 or smaller, 140 pound
anything bigger in size I use 300 pound and up.
I tried other papers but like arches the best

09-05-2006, 04:54 PM
Thanks guys. That's great info Tina, I've never heard of Atlantis - looks huge on their website, I'll pop down there one lunchtime.

10-18-2006, 01:42 PM
Hi Joe! I'd recommend you pop in to Atlantis art supplies (Plumbers Row, off Whitechapel High St)

Thanks for the heads up on Atlantis Tina, I finally got round to going there and what a great place! - I could spend hours and pounds there.

10-20-2006, 10:40 AM
Don't overlook the potential of using either illustration or watercolor "boards" since they are much easier to deal with, IMO, considering the usual "buckling" problems of papers.


Charlie's Mum
10-20-2006, 03:22 PM
Joe, in addition to good quality w/c paper, I also paint on mountboard - it's pretty good, and already firm!
It's best to gesso it first though, otherwise it will soak up the first layer of acrylic and you'll wonder where your colour went! :lol:

10-20-2006, 04:27 PM
Mountboard, I never thought of that. Another top tip - thanks Maureen.