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Paper and Ink

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  • Paper and Ink


    I have bought myself a bottle of ink and a dip pen with several nibs.

    I wanted take up my former love for drawing with ink. Since I usually
    start to doodle something on whatever i can doodle on, it happens
    that most of my "brilliant" pieces often end their life on a bad piece
    of paper.

    Now I want to make more complete illustrations and need to plan
    a bit ahead to make sure it will be done the way it should be done.

    Can you recommend any good paper that can be used, both with
    and without water?

    I know I can use watercolor paper, but if there exist other sort of papers
    that will do the job, let me know.


  • #2
    Bristol board is the most popular for ink, Strathmore being the brand that most seem to prefer. By "water" you mean you want to do wash? A vellum surface might work better for that.

    Most of the time, I use Strathmore 80 lb. drawing paper (medium surface), but I pick up a few other sheets depending on what I'm looking for, and I'll pick up some to experiment with. I find Canson paper not as well sized as Strathmore. Some watercolor papers are specifically designed for watercolor, making them as absorbant as a paper towel.
    People will believe anything, which means I will believe anythingI want to start believing in things that have shapeliness and harmony.
    -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


    • #3
      Thank you!

      Much useful information here.

      It is wash I want to try out or a combination of both. I also want to experiment with adding color.

      Have tried using watercolor pencils, hence the use of watercolor paper. I think I'm going to try
      acrylic to see if that is usable too.

      Have to see if I can find a shop with extended paper supply here in Norway. Unfortunately it is difficult to
      find stuff like that near my hometown. If you know of a good web shop that send international, send me a link.

      Here is a picture of an on going project. Used a sheet of paper thats better suited for charcoal and
      pastels, and doing wash did not work very well. :P
      Probably going to redraw it when I get better equipments. Had fun doing it anyway and need drawing practice.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I visited Norway last year and loved it. Hvor bor du?


        • #5
          Hi Lita— Welcome to the world of ink, acrylic and stuff. As You most probably expect, your several questions have several answers. Let me offer my personal recommendations:

          Paper for drawing with pen or brush and ink: There are two excellent papers (usually called bristol board) for pen and ink drawing and both are both made by Strathmore. Personally, I prefer Starthmore plate finish for pen work. Strathmore matte (or kid) finish is good also but I prefer the matte finish for brush and ink. Both finishes come in several weights, 2 to 4 ply and heavier.

          Paper for pen/brush and ink with ink wash: Strathmore makes a matte finish, light weight illustration board that is very good for this. Cresent illustration board comes in both light and heavy weights and is very good also. I worked on Strathmore light-weight and Cresent heavy-weight illustration board for most illustration assignments throughout my commercial career. For any work done with washes of water, you need a paper that can absorb at least a percentage of the water. Most Illustration board is really just a thin layer of good paper mounted on cardboard. You may have to experiment to find the paper or board that will work for you. If you cut corners on materials, you are cheating yourself.

          For the last 12 years, I have been working on Arches cold press watercolor paper. For what you are planning to do, 140 lb. would probably work well. Although it has a texture, one side is slightly smoother.

          Acrylic line and wash: This may be a medium to consider because it has a lot of potential. What I mean by that is as you become more proficient with acrylics you will have several different ways to apply your skills. If you decide to explore acrylic line and wash, I would suggest Golden "flow" (or fluid) acrylics or F&W acrylic inks for starters.

          About pens and brushes: The best pen for conventional pen and ink drawing is the crow quill pen. The best tool for you to become familiar with is the Winsor Newton, series 7, sable brush in sizes #0, #1 and #2. Larger brushes can be synthetics for now. Work with the brushes until you can handle them as naturally as you do a pencil.

          By the way, see if you can find a place in Norway to by paper and supplies. Some of that can be hit pretty hard with import duties. If you can't find a good vendor in Norway, you might check "Cheap Joe's" here in the states.

          Last edited by sully1251; 06-18-2012, 11:37 PM.


          • #6
            Beumers (I think that's what it's called) in Germany has great prices. Sully, after pricing it all out in general I find dickblick cheaper (for whatever that's worth)


            • #7
              For dip pens, believe it or not, many people are using HP 32# bright white copy paper. I haven't used it so I can't comment, but apparently it works great for pens. It struck me as odd too. Copy paper for pen and ink? But apparently it's a great combination (in addition to the paper being cheap).

              I've been doing a bunch of research over at and they have a whole section on just paper. Check it out...


              • #8
                Originally posted by littletinyfish View Post
                I visited Norway last year and loved it. Hvor bor du?

                Nice to hear you like it here. I'm from the west coast of Norway and currently live in a small city called Haugesund. I've been living in Bergen, a bigger city that perhaps is more known to people from other country. It's a really nice place and recommend all that travel in Norway to visit.


                • #9

                  Thank you for much useful informations. I'll have to explore to see if I can find suppliers here in Norway. It seems that its easier to get brand from Europe than America here. I found someone called Daler Rowney that deal in the same area as Strathmore. Dont know if they have the same quality tho, but I'll try them out.
                  When it comes to art materials I have much and more laying around. I've been painting with acrylic on regular basis. Experimenting with some collage and so on.


                  I've actually heard before that some people prefer to use copy paper with both sketching and illustrations. I buy for my kids to draw on myself, its easy and cheap, and my kids draw a lot. I've started to buy some paper suited for markers tho, cause I've got an up and coming manga fan in my house.

                  I'm going to check out the sites given here. Hopefully I find a good place to shop.

                  See you!


                  • #10
                    Lita— Try:
                    Last edited by sully1251; 06-19-2012, 01:43 PM.


                    • #11
                      Here you go Lita, boesner, not buemer, sorry about that. It's in Germany, best prices I found when I lived in Europe.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lita View Post

                        Nice to hear you like it here. I'm from the west coast of Norway and currently live in a small city called Haugesund. I've been living in Bergen, a bigger city that perhaps is more known to people from other country. It's a really nice place and recommend all that travel in Norway to visit.
                        I loved Bergen. I went hiking up it's tallest peak with a couple of local ladies. My knees were so sore, but the view was worth it. It's a little silly to call the mountains "spectacular" there, but in comparison to flat, woody Wisconsin, spectacular is close.






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