NameProduct BenefitsOur RatingGet it Now!
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad
✔️ 270gsm high quality acid-free paper
✔️ Won’t fade or yellow even after years
✔️ Comes with two different surfaces with different textures
Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad
✔️ Made of 50% cotton and 50% pulp, and acid-free
✔️ Two different sides - one which is rough, and useful for pastels, and the other which is best for softer pencil colors
✔️ Wonderful material for dry media
Strathmore 400 Series Medium Surface
✔️ Comes with a rough surface on both sides; perfect for pencils
✔️ The cream-colored paper works well for sketches and other drawings
✔️ Can use almost any dry media with ease
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper
✔️ Premium 300gsm paper with 9x12 blocks of cold press, acid free paper
✔️ Also features hot pressed pages on the same pad, with 100 percent cotton
✔️ Available in extra white or regular white
Arches Watercolor Block
✔️ Made from 100 percent cotton
✔️ Available in both heavily textured paper and fine paper styles
✔️ Can handle both water and paint
NameGet it Now!Product BenefitsOur Rating
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad
✔️ 270gsm high quality acid-free paper
✔️ Won’t fade or yellow even after years
✔️ Comes with two different surfaces with different textures
Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad
✔️ Made of 50% cotton and 50% pulp, and acid-free
✔️ Two different sides - one which is rough, and useful for pastels, and the other which is best for softer pencil colors
✔️ Wonderful material for dry media
Strathmore 400 Series Medium Surface
✔️ Comes with a rough surface on both sides; perfect for pencils
✔️ The cream-colored paper works well for sketches and other drawings
✔️ Can use almost any dry media with ease
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper
✔️ Premium 300gsm paper with 9x12 blocks of cold press, acid free paper
✔️ Also features hot pressed pages on the same pad, with 100 percent cotton
✔️ Available in extra white or regular white
Arches Watercolor Block
✔️ Made from 100 percent cotton
✔️ Available in both heavily textured paper and fine paper styles
✔️ Can handle both water and paint
Pencil colors often evoke a feeling of nostalgia and carefree life. Most of us have used pencil colors at some point in our childhood – but the humble pencil color is much more useful than just being a kids’ coloring tool.

Professional artists are also often found using high-pigment pencil colors which give as much depth as regular colors do.

Prismacolor is once such brand of pencils, which has a very high quality of depth and texture of colors. They also have much softer tips than your run of the mill pencil colors. However, this necessitates using particular kinds of paper to come up with the best possible version of your work.

And that’s exactly what we’re reviewing today – the best paper for Prismacolor Pencils.

We’ll be following this up with a short guide on how to get the best blending effect from your pencils. Since these can’t be blended with a simple scrap of paper, we point out the best methods in lieu of regular blending techniques.

Without waiting more, let’s begin with the product reviews!

5 Best Paper for Prismacolor Pencils

1. Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Smooth Pad


If you’re already a fan of using these pencils, chances are you’ve already heard of Bristol paper. Hence, this could be a wonderful option in case you’re on the lookout for a 20-page drawing pad with 9×12 inch pages of 100-pound paper. The uses of this paper also include airbrush work, marker art, inks, and pen based artwork – and definitely Prismacolor pencils.

Our Experience

You’re in for a treat with the 300 series – both sides of the paper have different textures and feel to it. Hence, you can very well practice on both sides, until you get comfortable with either – certain projects may require using one side only. This pad comes with 270gsm high quality acid-free paper. The surface is smooth enough to get even the smallest of details right.

Also, the paper is accessible enough for use by art enthusiasts at any stage of prowess. The pad allows paper to be removed easily and cleanly, with none of the glue coming off with the page. This is a huge problem which the Strathmore 300 avoids. The page is unlikely to yield to time, whether it’s three months or ten years of being kept unused.

Pros & Cons

Comes with two different surfaces with different textures
Acid-free, high quality 270 gsm 100lb paper
Won’t fade or yellow even after years
Certain markers and excess water/marker are known to bleed through, as well as cause the sheet to loosen up

2. Mi-Teintes Pastel Pad

We now come to the de-facto paper used in almost every studio, and which is recognized worldwide as a preferred pad for pastels, drawing as well as papercraft. The Mi-Tientes comes with 24 pages of 9×12 inch paper, which are 98 pounds. They are also acid-free. Further, it comes with gelatin-sized sheets which are made of 50% cotton and 50% pulp.

Our Experience

Many artists have mentioned the accessibility and versatility of the pad to be one of its biggest strengths. Like the Strathmore 300, it comes with two very different sides – one which is rough, and useful for pastels, and the other which is best for softer pencil colors. The pad simply won’t tolerate any water, however. Dry media are where the game is at with this pad.

In the case of Prismacolor pencils, the rough side of the page works out to be the side of choice for most. This is because the colors truly become one with the medium on the rough side – smooth pages often don’t have such hold over the pigment. Whether you’re looking to practice or to sell finished work, the Mi-Tientes Pastel Pad has you covered in all cases.

Pros & Cons

The rough side of the page sticks very well with the pigment of the Prismacolor pencil
Wonderful material for dry media
Colors mix beautifully, whether it’s color pencils or pastel colors that you use
The paper simply won’t handle any wet media whatsoever

3. Strathmore 400 Series Medium Surface


Now that we’re done covering more general pads, we now focus on something more specific. This specificity the Strathmore 400 Medium Surface pad has in spades – it’s a wonderful cream-colored, slightly rough surfaced paper. It’s 130 gsm, and much larger – this comes in at 12×18 inches, and is wire-bound. You get 24 sheets of 80 lb, acid-free paper in the pad.

Our Experience

This pad might not have the sheer quality of the 300’s 270gsm paper, but it does have a more usable rough surface on both sides. The surface is best for those looking to sketch their designs quickly, and those who like having pigmented paper instead of plain white. You can also include materials such as sketching sticks, color pencils, dry-erase markers, and charcoal easily.

Ink and pen designs are also equally at home on the 400 Series. Almost any artist who uses this paper, swears by it – particularly because over 125 years of experience, Strathmore has had time to perfect a number of its offerings. Hence, if you’re looking for a paper which holds well for dry media, and is large enough for all drawings, the Strathmore 400 is worth a look.

Pros & Cons

Strathmore 400 comes with a rough surface on both sides, pencils work very well
The cream-colored paper works well for sketches and other drawings
Can use almost any dry media with ease
The 130gsm paper feels a bit thinner than you’d expect

4. Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Paper


Coming to more professional offerings on the market, the Fabriano Artistico clearly leaves no stone unturned in giving you the best paper for your Prismacolor pencils. It features a decidedly premium 300gsm paper with 9×12 blocks of cold press, acid free paper. There are also hot pressed pages on the same pad, with 100 percent cotton and comes in extra or regular white.

Our Experience

While the pad is of a regular size, everything else on this pad is much higher in quality than you’d expect. The texture of the cold pressed pages is rather grainy and fine. Glazing will most definitely not be a problem with these pages. Erasing doesn’t cause any issues, either. The extra white pigment of the sheet is definitely a stand out feature as well.

Coming to hot press pages, these cannot soak water as quickly as cold press pages can – and hence you can mix and play with colors before they’ve dried for much longer. However, for wet media, the cold press pages are more reliable, since they have grooves and bumps which hold wet media better. If you do experience warping, artist’s tape can easily remedy it.

Pros & Cons

High quality paper with 300 gsm, 140lb pages
Hot press and cold press pages both have their distinct uses
Can be had either in extra white or regular white as per requirement
Glue around the block may separate when you apply water to the plain paper

5. Arches Watercolor Block


If you’re looking for the best, standard block for all your art needs – look no further than Arches. Known for being able to handle just about any medium – from pencils to watercolors, it comes in both cold pressed and hot pressed varieties depending on your needs. Made from 100 percent cotton, a number of artists have proclaimed it as the best general purpose art paper.

Our Experience

Even though the labelling might not suggest it, this paper packs quite a punch. There are 20 sheets, with both sides coming with binding. Also, the paper, by virtue of the variants on offer, allows you to have either heavily textured paper – best for rougher drawings, or fine paper meant for uber-detailed drawings. It’s best to know which one to buy beforehand.

Watercolor, happily, is not an issue at all with this paper. It can handle both water and paint with ease (especially on the cold pressed variant), and your pencil colors will add incredible depth and character to the artwork. However, while dealing with water and paint, make sure you don’t saturate the same surface over and over again when doing repeated washes.

Pros & Cons

Comes in two very different variants for varied uses
Does not get wet even under multiple washes
Can handle color pencils with ease, the smooth surface holds colors very well
Exceptionally hard to separate pages from each other

Best Blending Techniques for Prismacolor pencils

As a small aside to the product reviews, we now go in to some depth around the best methods to ensure colors get blended well when you use your color pencils. Since the same techniques you use for paints, chalk, or graphite won’t work because of the much softer tips, we now present some methods to help ease the blending process.

1. Using a bristle brush to spread the colors

A medium brush can be used to smear the colors which you’ve already applied on the page. Spreading colors together ensures they’ll blend, and making them more dense will only increase the intensity – meanwhile, the concentrations which are thinner are going to be lighter. Thick papers need thicker brushes, and vice versa as a general rule of thumb.

2. Layering your colors on top of each other

One of the tried and tested ways of mixing and blending colors is to layer colors on top of each other. Gradients can easily be formed if you end up layering darker and lighter colors alternatively. However, make sure you don’t put too much pressure when layering, since it’s a one-way process, and getting layers off is nigh-on impossible.

This technique works both for lightening up colors which end up darker than you intended them to, as well as for adding nuance to skin shades, sunsets, etc.

3. Blender Pencils

This might be the best solution here, but involves having to spend some more than you already have. These pencils are similar to regular pencils, but do not have any color whatsoever. The usage is simply by rubbing it on top of colors which you intend to blend – side to side rubbing is needed until you get your desired blending effect.

Caring for your Prismacolor Pencils

As you might have noticed, these pencils are not like regular pencils. They have much softer tips, and hence are very prone to getting broken or blunted accidentally. Hence, to make sure you get the best experience possible, keep them as protected as you can. Further, rough use or unintended drops lead to smudged up drawings and lead being wasted.

Bringing it all together

With this, we bring our discussion on the best papers for the Prismacolor Color Pencils to an end. We also mentioned a few tips which will definitely make the blending process easier for you, as well as a few words on how to make sure your pencils last as long as possible. Have fun with your art, and all the best!