Charcoal is a great medium to draw with, and if you never have then I suggest you give it a try. Not only can you get the best shades, but you can go into further depths with the charcoal than with any other type of medium that is out there.

One of the worst things I found though, is that charcoal is not ideal for just any paper out there. You risk having a lot of smudges, leak-throughs and bleeds when it comes to using the wrong type of paper.

So I was on a mission to check out some of the most recommended papers for those, like me, that love to draw and shade with charcoal but do not want to worry about the problems that are found when it comes to using them on papers.

Here are some of the best paper products I found for using charcoal when it comes to the drawings that you’re able to make. Happy charcoal drawing!

What to Look for in the Best Paper for Charcoal Drawing

  • Heavy weight: The paper should be heavier because this prevents the smudging, bleeding and leaks that might happen with many other types of papers out there. When you have a heavier paper, this is something that does not happen too often.
  • Non-toxic: Non-toxic, acid free paper will ensure that bleeds through the paper do not happen, but it also is safer for everyone to use, especially when your hands are rubbing on the top of the paper while you draw.
  • Comes in a booklet: Keep your drawings in one place when you choose to go with a booklet of papers that you can flip through and draw on. Of course, the books should also come with an easy way to get the drawings out, if you ever do not want to draw inside the book or give out the picture.
  • Versatile pages: You want to make sure that you’re able to use the paper for a lot of the other drawing that you do, and not just charcoal. When you go with the right charcoal paper, this should not be a problem because it tends to be heavier and bleed proof for other types of drawing mediums.

Strathmore Charcoal Paper Pad

best paper for charcoal drawingOne of the highest and most regarded brands on the market for drawing products, this Strathmore Charcoal Paper Pad provides the artist with a way to easily create pictures using charcoal, and not having to worry about bleeds, or other things when it comes to it.

The paper is heavy weight, and it comes nicely packaged inside a notebook that keeps all of the drawings and papers together with ease. You can also easily tear out the papers since each of the pages is perforated.

The pages are non-toxic, acid free and made in the USA to keep up with the quality standards that you should come to expect from such a high quality paper product that is being used for all of the drawing that you’re going to be doing.

Customer Feedback

“This paper is awesome, the texture creates little “rectangles” in the pattern than do 3 things: (a) the extruded bumps “catch” the medium so the texture helps to get charcoal, etc. on the paper, and (b) the impressed bumps make little “wells” that hold bits of charcoal so erasing can be done in stages (it doesn’t all just lift up at once), and most importantly (c) the raised/lowered pattern creates a “maximum resolution” of detail so you don’t get too lost in infinitely small details..”

“This paper goes very well with charcoal ! The grain adds texture to your drawings, especially when you’re making portraits. It is also Cheap, which gives it a 5 star rating overall.”

“This is high quality paper with a slightly yellowish shade. I also love its nice texture. Best for charcoal and pastel.”

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Bee Paper Company Big White Bee Drawing Pad

best paper for charcoal drawingThe Bee Paper Company Big White Bee Drawing Pad comes with a large platform for you to color on with the large pages that open up for you to flip through.

Each page is bound inside the notebook, so you can stay organized and keep everything together with ease.

The paper is all made with cotton, so it gives off a fine, smoother texture that what you’d expect to find with some of the other pads on the market.

In addition to this, it also is smoother, so it goes well with charcoal shading that is done on drawings.

Non-toxic, and all organic, this paper is one that is not going to bleed through or let you down with any of the drawings that you choose to do on the pages.

Easily tear them out of the book when you want to pass them around and share them.

Customer Feedback

“Very nice paper. Strong, takes wet media well but I would tape it down to be sure. Would buy it again. Love their black paper for pastel work. Both of the covers are very sturdy and you don’t need a drawing board if you don’t want to use one.”

“This company makes quality products. I wanted a spiral bound, they offer many sizes. They also have the Green Bee. That is my fave, but this time I wanted the black pages.”

“Grand Father Loves this. Will be buying him more.”

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Colore Sketch Pad – Durable Sketching Paper And Notebook Material

best paper for charcoal drawingWhen you’re creating many professional prints, then the Colore Sketch Pad – Durable Sketching Paper And Notebook Material can be your go-to when you need a nice, durable, solid piece of paper that is not going to bleed through.

All of the pages come bound inside an easy to flip through notebook, while also having perforated pages, so you can rip them out as you want to share or show them off. Enjoy having the organization.

Each page of paper is heavier weight, and can do well with other drawing and writing mediums that artists use, making the pad a versatile method of drawing and creating beautiful pictures.

Not only that, but each page is large enough to make the picture as big or small as you want.

Enjoy all that comes from this unique pad with high quality pages.

Customer Feedback

“Sketch Pad, durable and sturdy this pad is designed for hours of sketching if with colored pencils, charcoals, or pastels. The paper is thick and textiled, pencils go across the paper easily, perfect for shading. It is perfect for the beginner or the most experienced of artist.”

“This is not just your everyday normal sketch pad, it’s bigger!!! We love that edition to the sketch pad because the normal size sketch books make it hard to fit beautiful drawings my husband does and I end up with markers on my floor as my kid thinks other sketch pads aren’t big enough.”

“This sketchpad is great. It’s nice binder with very hard cardboard back and the spiral notebook edges are perfectly for me. The size is 9″ x 12″. It’s really nice blinded book . Its got perforated edges so that you can tear them out if you need to or want to.”

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Sax Recycled Heavyweight 110 Pound Drawing Paper

best paper for charcoal drawingThough a little different from the other choices out there, this is for those that want to use white charcoal on a black surface. The Sax Recycled Heavyweight 110 Pound Drawing Paper provides the artist with the dark pages that provides them with a smooth, safe surface to draw on.

Heavy weight and non-toxic, this paper holds up to the test and allows you to do many different charcoal prints.

Of course, some enjoy using other modes of coloring on them such as chalk and pastels that are able to show up on the black background.

They are loose sheets, so you can cycle through them as you draw and not have to keep them bound together. You can enjoy the larger sized pages for putting together your pictures and making them really stand out.

Customer Feedback

“The paper is certainly thick and durable”

“Provides a smooth, all over surface for white charcoal pens.”

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Jack Richeson 8-1/2-Inch-by-11-Inch Drawing Paper Pad

best paper for charcoal drawingWhen looking for high quality, thicker charcoal paper to draw on, the Jack Richeson 8-1/2-Inch-by-11-Inch Drawing Paper Pad provides you with the ideal paper pad that you’re in need of for all of the mediums you want to use for the drawings that you have.

The toothy white surface provides a little pop of texture, but enough smooth surface to create the most beautiful of artwork, while providing you with a way to add some depth to some of the pictures that need a bit more.

The sheets all come bound together inside a booklet, allowing you to easily tear them from the spirals, or keep all of your drawings safe in one area together. Ideal for all drawing types and people that love to draw.

Customer Feedback

“Right size & quality… equal to the task… spiral bound & easily portable.”

“Exactly as pictured and arrived promptly, thanks!”

“The 8.5 x 11 size is perfect; it fits in my shoulder bag easily and is not awkward to maneuver, but it is large enough to get a lot of words on one page. Yes, it is around $12.89 (as of this review) which might seem expensive, but I go through two smaller lined notebooks per class… With these books I get exactly what I want, and one book should get me through a semester (I’ll report back if it doesn’t.) So I think it will all even out.”

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Do you have any charcoal paper recommendations?

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