What Black Paper Is Good To Use With Colour Pencils?

Struggling to choose a black paper to try out with your colour pencils? Have a read or watch the video and learn about three good options and what they have to offer.
Black Paper

There are various black papers available for drawing and some may be easier to purchase in some countries than others. I haven’t tried out and tested every black paper that is available but I have got three popular ones to share with you and look at what they are really like. As with any type of paper, it really comes down to personal choice and what qualities you are looking for in a paper.

You can either read what I have to say below or watch this video....

First off we have the Canson Mi Teintes black paper. (Just to clarify I am not referring to the touch version which is much rougher). Canson Mi Teintes has two different sides to the paper. One side is quite rough which a patterned honeycomb texture to the surface. The other side is smoother, but still has a bit of a texture to it. You can use either side of the paper. I personally prefer the smoother of the two sides as I find the honeycomb texture too rough for my liking. It is actually a pastel paper but can also be used with colour pencils. The thing with this paper is that it is only 160g In weight, so it’s the thinnest of the three papers I’m showing you today. It is available in sheets, rolls and pads of different sizes and it also comes in a range of 50 colours and it is quite reasonably priced. According to their website it is an acid free paper with colours being light resistant. How light resistant I do not know. Also I’ve found it handles a number of layers of colour pencil before it can’t take anymore.

Canson Mi-Tientes Black Paper
Canson Mi-Tientes Black Paper

Next up we have Fabriano Black Black paper. Now, the thing that stands out about this paper is just how black it is compared to the other two papers. It is also 300gms in weight so it is like card, so nearly twice the weight of the Canson Mi Teintes. It is ideal for pastels, colour pencils and acrylic markers. In terms of what the surface itself is like, it is the smoothest of the three papers, being classed as very smooth. Whilst it is pretty smooth, it will take a few layers. If you used a fairly firm pressure I found I got about 6 or 7 layers before I couldn’t really apply more pencil. This is a good choice if you want a fairly smoothish paper, that’s not too thin and you want a truely black surface to work on. Particularly good if you are wanting to leave your background black on a picture. If you are wanting to get in lots of layers then you would need to use a fairly light pressure.

Fabriano Black Black
Fabriano Black Black

Last up we have black Stonehenge Fine Art paper. Is it like their popular white versions but in black. Now I am a fan of the white vellum paper they do so I was keen to try it in black. My first comment about it would be that the colour is definitely not as dark as the other two papers, it’s almost like a very dark grey. It has a smooth, slightly mottled surface to resemble vellum. It is made of cotton and is acid free. This one has a weight of 250g, so comes in the middle of these three papers. I find it is a good quality paper that takes the layers with colour pencils

Stonehenge Fine Art Black Paper
Stonehenge Fine Art Black Paper

Overall these are three good examples of black paper you can use with colour pencils. They each have their own unique properties so it really comes down to what you are looking for and what type of surface texture you enjoy working with and how heavy you want your paper.

So I’m summary you’ve got the Fabriano black black which is the blackest and heaviest weighted of the three. It is also the smoothest so I personally found it doesn’t take as many layers as the other two but if you like smooth paper then this one’s for you. The Stonehenge is the middle weight, good quality, takes the layers with a light texture to it but is the lightest black of the three so it depends how black you want your paper. Then the Canson Mi Teintes is the lightest weighted, but it has a choice of two surfaces depending which side of the paper you use. So it can take lots of layers and it’s the middle black in terms of these three paper here.

Black Paper Test
Black Paper Test

You can see here what a little bit of colour pencil can look like on the three. The white looks the brightest on the Fabriano black black and the Canson Mi Teintes. The Fabriano shows up the colours on white the best. Drawing straight into the black I personally prefer the look of the Stonehenge or Canson. You can also see I was able to draw on over the top with a white luminance on all of them. Personally I would be happy to use any of these three depending upon what I was looking for for a particular drawing.

If you’ve used any of these papers then let me know what you think of them or if you have used any other black papers for drawing with colour pencils then drop me a message and let me know what you thought of it. I always enjoy exploring new papers, so am interested to hear about your experiences.

I hope you’ve found that helpful and perhaps inspired you to test out a few for yourself.

Happy drawing!
Izzy x

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