Art Paper and Boards

Art Paper and Boards

Whether you use fine art papers professionally, academically, or for your own enjoyment, the paper you choose can go a long way toward helping you achieve the best results. How can you make sure you’re choosing the right paper? Think about the media you’re planning to use with it. Blick offers specialized papers designed for almost any media, in formats that include individual sheets, art pads, blocks, multi-sheet packs, reams, art paper rolls, and others. The best plan is to learn everything you can about an art paper before you buy.

Wondering how Blick ensures that delicate loose papers and boards arrive undamaged? From our climate-controlled clean room to our trained packing team to specialized shipping solutions learn about the steps we take to make sure that your paper order arrives in the condition you expect.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When choosing the weight of a fine art paper, what is more accurate, lb or gsm?

    Paper weights in the U.S. may be stated in lb., and that is determined by weighing 500 sheets (a ream) in the standard basis size of a particular paper. The standard basis size for paper varies by type, however, so measuring the weight this way is not consistent. For example, the standard size sheet for most watercolor paper is 22" x 30", but for drawing paper, the standard size sheet is often 24" x 36". Therefore, even if the sheets were the same thickness, the lb. weight would not be the same.

    When paper weight is noted as grams per square meter (gsm or g/m2), measurements are based on the weight of one square meter of a single sheet of the paper, so it is always consistent, regardless of the paper type. For example, a sheet of 80 lb. watercolor paper and a sheet of 80 lb. drawing paper won’t be the same thickness since the weight isn’t based on the same size sheet. However, if the paper weight is provided in gsm, you’ll be able to tell that the watercolor paper at 170 gsm is thicker than the 130 gsm drawing paper.

    So, gsm is the more accurate way to choose your paper.

  • What are the most common types of art paper?

    Cotton papers, made from the longest cotton fibers, are generally considered the highest quality. Paper made from 100% cotton rag can handle heavy working and erasing without tearing or showing wear. High-quality 100% cotton paper can last more than 100 years. Those papers made from shorter, lesser-quality cotton fibers can become fuzzy with reworking. Cellulose papers are usually made from wood pulp and have a natural acid content that will destroy the paper over time. The more acidic a paper is, the shorter its life expectancy. Buffers are often added to make a cellulose-based paper pH neutral and extend its life.