Heavier papers, up to 140 lb (approx 300 gsm) or more, are most often used for painting rather than drawing.
Thick 740 GSM acrylic paper is ideal for 8-10 Layers of paints yes you got me right. This paper for acrylic painting has very less texture on it. Both papers are suitable for pen art on paint.
Light paper is anything less than 140 lb/300 gsm and heavy is 300-400 lb/600-850 gsm. Heavy paper can be very expensive but is preferable for some artists because it doesn't need stretching unless you're using very heavy washes.
Most experienced painters will advise you not to go below medium weight. Anything lighter than 140lb / 300 gsm requires the paper to be prepared before painting either by stretching or taping down the paper to a board.
This heavy drawing paper is durable, yet smooth, making it ideal for a wide range of artistic expressions, including ink and pencil drawing, watercolor, or even acrylic painting.
We recommend using not less than 300 gsm (140 lb) to avoid buckling. Heavier weights are even sturdier and can be mounted on a board or canvas more easily.
Acrylic paper is thicker than average drawing paper, and its textured surface is designed as an adherent surface for acrylic paint washes and layers. Perfect for plein-air painting, sketching, and final works, acrylic paint pads can also be used for a variety of media other than acrylic paint.
90-120gsm is better quality printer paper. Above 120gsm can be considered 'light card' in the printing industry. 150gsm and above is in my experience acceptable for watercolor paper, but for light watercolor washes. I have found that 200gsm is the sweet spot for most watercolor painting.
No. GSM is just a thickness rating, but watercolor needs a certain level of absorbability.
200gsm cotton paper is a perfect choice for daily drawing and for those of you who have experience with regular sketchbooks. 200gsm premium is also great for practicing watercolor techniques, gouache, pencils and even fountainpens.
Using paper that is lighter than 300gsm is not recommended. Plus, the heavier the paper, the easier it is to frame or mount on board, which can create a beautiful finish for any acrylic painting.
150 gsm is slightly thicker than standard home or office printing paper. It is used for presentations, reports and brochures etc. 160 gsm. Thick paper, almost card.
For sketching with colored pencils, the 130 gsm sketchbook paper you have will work just fine. In general, sketchbook papers are usually lighter weight than drawing papers, so they are ideal for practicing, sketching, trying out new techniques, planning out works of art, and creating quick studies.
Mixed Media and Watercolor paper both come in similar common weights: a lighter 190gsm and a heavier 300gsm. The lighter weight is better for sketching and practice applications. The heavier weight is best for finished work and heavier washes of watercolor.
Common GSM Weights and Their Uses
50-60 lb (approx 75-90 gsm): sketching or practice paper — thick enough to work on with pencils, charcoal, or pastels, but usually too thin for ink or most markers, which may bleed through. 70-80 lb (approx 100-130 gsm): drawing paper suitable for finished artwork in most media.
Yes, all types of watercolor techniques work on the paper.
Hot Press paper will be the smoothest, so that is the one I would recommend for painting with acrylics. The Rough Grain paper will have a rough, bumpy texture, and the Cold Press will be a little bumpy but not as much as the Rough Grain. Those little bumps could get in the way when painting with acrylics.
It's excellent inexpensive paper for kids work, for practice, exercises and such, but if you want to use it for good drawings, it's a bad use. The next step up would be acid-free sketch paper which is a heavier weight and mean to last - it's durable paper.
In short, GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter. There are thousands of varieties of paper and board which have a wide range of properties. The use of the term GSM is a good way for paper manufacturers and printers to identify them. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper.
Acrylic papers are available at a variety of weights, ranging from 230gsm – 450gsm. The lighter weight papers may become slightly wavy if thick applications of acrylic paint are applied – however this can be avoided if you tape the paper to a board and keep it taped until the painting has fully dried.
Stretched over a wooden frame, called stretcher bars, stretched canvas is one of the most popular types of canvas for acrylic painting. Most commonly made of cotton, the canvas is primed with gesso to create an ideal painting surface.
You can paint with acrylics on watercolor paper, and you don't need to gesso or prime it first. You can thin the acrylics to be as fluid as watercolor and therefore transparent. Or you can use them in the consistency as they come out of the tube.