Top 10 Best Pastel Paper for Portraits, Oil Paintings of 2022

Best Pastel Paper Reviews

Pick up the best pastel paper can be an overwhelming task. You have to keep in mind many factors, for instance, surface texture (tooth), surface color, weight, and format, etc. Hence the task can be a bit complicated for the newbies. But no worries, we take care of this for you. We reviewed the top 10best pastel paper for your convenience. We researched the market very carefully as we realize how delightfully quirky you can be about your artwork. We also clearly added which pastel paper is best in which category. So, enjoy your ride with us and pick up the appropriate one.

Table of Contents

Best Paper for Pastel Drawing Reviews

1.Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad – best pastel paper for beginners

The Pro Art-Strathmore Pastel paper pad made using pastel effortless. It’s an excellent surface for pencil, pastel, and paint.

You might be amazed to know that it’s acid-free. It’s designed with a textured finish that is suitable for mastering oil plus dry pastel drawing techniques.

What is more, the pastel pad, which is 12×9 inches, contains 24 sheets. The weight is around 10.4 ounces. So, we can say that the papers are heavyweight.

This pad comes in 4 colors: deep cream, tan, soft gray, and pale cream. Good for you.

The paper is delightfully thick. You will be beautifully surprised to know that what is a comfortable medium it is to work with.

PROS (What we liked)
  • You can easily carry it anywhere.
  • The paper is extremely sturdy.
  • It works fine with chalk pastels.
  • Pleasant collection of foundational colors.
  • You can avail of gesso, acrylic paint, or oil pastels on this paper.
  • This is made in the United States.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • At times, consumers complain that it does not work well with oil pastels.


This pastel pad works splendidly. It is perfect for grabbling aids and pigment in blending. I must say it would be perfect for your final artwork.

2. Sennelier Oil Pastel Card Pad 11.75X15.75 – best paper for oil pastel

First of all, the Sennelier oil pastel card pad’s surface is designed exclusively for oil pastels’ exact application. In that way, oil pastel doesn’t seep. They also don’t bleed through, plus halo on the paper.

Furthermore, this bright white pad is machine-made. You will be happy to know that it’s entirely acid-free.

Each pad consists of 12 sheets. This heavyweight textured paper contains protective, interleaved glassine sheets.

Move on to the technical part.

The dimension of the product is 11.7 x 0.4 x 15.8 inches. And the weight is nearly 1.55 pounds.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It comes with spiral binding.
  • It’s effortless to use.
  • It does not bleed.
  • It’s acid-free.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It’s not as durable as I expected. However, some consumers find it sustainable.


I believe you will find it a valuable addition to your art supplies.

3. UART Sanded Pastel Paper M-148931 9-Inch/12-Inch No.400 Grade Paper – best paper for oil pastel drawing

At the very outset, UART Sanded Pastel Paper is designed with the exclusive computer-controlled electrostatic coating process, which provides a consistent grain application.

Another striking fact about UART Sanded Pastel Paper is that it’s ph neutral and acid-free.

In addition to that, this pastel paper is versatile. You can use various media, for instance, oil, alcohol, terpenoid, mineral spirits, and water.

It is available in seven different grades and seven different sizes. If you are not certain which grade you may prefer, you might invest in a trial pack.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It accepts all kinds of wet media.
  • The surface of this pastel paper is suitable for layering and underpainting.
  • It doesn’t need fixatives.
  • It has a quality weight.
  • It has a consistent base.
  • It is available in seven paper grades.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Not yet found.


This pastel paper can be a trustworthy companion in your journey. It has everything that you need.

4. Art Spectrum Colourfix Paper Rainbow Packs warm tones pack of 10 – best pastel paper for portraits

Art Spectrum Colourfix Paper can be the right choice for pastel colors. Besides, it’s equally suitable for a wide range of wet and dry mediums, for instance, charcoal, oil colors, watercolors, gouache, oil pastel, inks, and acrylic.

The range has lightfast and permanent colors with a beautiful, deep tooth. More importantly, the surface holds multiple layers of pastel exceptionally well. Interestingly enough, you do not require any fixative to do that. In addition to that, the coating allows the velvet bloom plus vibrant colors of pastel to be preserved.

Moreover, the paper can easily withstand soaking, sanding, erasure, and scrubbing.

Move on to the technical part.

The standard of the product is 10.5 x 0.4 x 13.5 inches. And the shipping weight is around 12 ounces.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It’s acid-free.
  • The surface is an absolute treat to work with.
  • It allows the layer of colors.
  • The texture and weight are just what you need.
  • This paper is highly durable.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Not yet found.


Art Spectrum Colourfix Paper is a delightful pastel paper. You surely have some fun using it.

5. Faber-Castell Black Paper Pad – 25 Sheets of 9″ x 12″ Paper – best pastel paper brand

Let me present to you an interesting fact about Faber-Castell black paper pad. Do you know that Faber-Castell black paper sketch pad is crafted from 50% post-consumer recycled materials? I find it incredibly thoughtful as they are using the waste again. It’s also an excellent service to the environment.

You might like to know it works wonderfully with Gel and Beeswax Crayons, metallic gel crayons, gel sticks, gel pens, metallic pencils, and oil pastels.

Moreover, per pad features 25 sheets of paper, which are entirely acid-free. So, you don’t have to worry about quality.

PROS (What we liked)
  • The Faber castell sketch pad is extremely smooth.
  • It holds the paint well.
  • The paper is very glossy.
  • The paper is heavyweight.
  • It’s thicker.
  • An excellent choice for kids.
  • Bottom of Form
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It’s not compatible with brush pens.


This paper is divine to work with oil pastels. However, dry pastel also works well with this paper. But oil pastel is the best.

6. U.S. Art Supply 9″ x 12″ Premium Pastel Paper Pad, Assorted Natural Tone Paper Colors – best art paper for oil pastels

This U.S. Art supply Premium pastel paper pad contains 16 sheets. It’s a pack of 2 pads.

It has four different vintage colors. You will love it. It’s perfect to use with sketching sticks, charcoal, colored pencils, and graphite pencils.

Let’s discuss the technical details.

The dimension of the paper is 12.2 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches. And the shipping weight is around 1.35 pounds.

PROS (What we liked)
  • This paper is suitable for handicrafts, for instance, gluing, cutting, folding, making cards, etc.
  • It contains cotton and combining mechanical resistance.
  • It provides a luxurious feel.
  • It comes with a guarantee of excellent conservation. It complies with the ISO 9706 standard on permanence,
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Not yet found.


This budget-friendly pastel paper pad can be an excellent choice for beginners.

7. Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Assorted Pad – best paper for soft pastels

Canson Mi-Tentes is known as a pulp-dyed color paper that has earned people appreciation over the years. It contains 24 sheets – 4 sheets each of light blue, flannel gray, dawn pink, red earth, sand, white pads are glue-bound on one side.

It can work with graphite or colored pencils, chalk, oil, and soft pastels efficiently? Furthermore, you can use acrylic work, gouache, and watercolor on this paper.

On top of everything else, it has a sweet, different texture on either side, a beautiful grain side, and a honeycombed side on the other.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It’s laser and inkjet compatible.
  • The paper is thick.
  • Great selection of colors.
  • It’s FSC certified.
  • Made in the USA.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • A few complained that the package is slightly damaged. So, I believe the manufacturer should be more careful about it.


This top-notch paper is elementary to use. It’s an excellent surface to work on.

8. iQ Multipurpose Pastel Colored Copy Paper – best pastel paper for beginners

iQ multipurpose pastel colored copy paper is suitable for everyday use. It comes in a variety of vivid colors. The colors are stunning.

It contains 100 sheets. You will be happy to know that each sheet is acid-free plus lignin-free.

Move on to the technical parts.

The dimension of the product is 8-1/2 x 11 inches. And the item weight is around 12.8 ounces.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It’s acid-free and lignin-free.
  • The five assorted pastel colors are lovely.
  • This paper is excellent.
  • It’s durable.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The colors are not bright.


At a forgiving price, it’s a good quality paper.

9. Kaboom Glimmer Pastel Assorted Colored Paper – best paper for pan pastels

Kaboom Glimmer Pastel Assorted Colored Paper has five assorted pastel colors. It contains 100 sheets. And it’s lightweight.

Furthermore, it’s acid-free. And the standard dimension of the product is nearly 11 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches. The item’s weight is around 1.2 pounds.

Interestingly enough, this product is compatible with copier, laser, and desktop. What is more, this paper has color on both sides.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It’s laser and inkjet compatible.
  • The paper is thick.
  • Great selection of colors.
  • It’s FSC certified.
  • Made in the USA.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • A few complained that the package is slightly damaged. So, I believe the manufacturer should be more careful about it.


The durability, color, weight, in a nutshell, everything about this product is great.

10. Speedball Art Products 513046 Premier Sanded Pastel Paper – best paper for chalk pastels

This unique paste paper is made of 100% cotton paper. It’s double primed plus coated with aluminum oxide. It ensures a suitable surface for pastel painting. Interestingly, it’s armed with a final coat so that the surface becomes extremely durable. Isn’t it just amazing?

It’s a versatile paper. You can use an array of mediums on it. It’s beautiful for use with acrylic, oil, colored pencils, and all dry media.

What is more, it’s available in 5 lovely colors. The standard dimension of this product is around 12 x 16 x 0.5 inches. It weighs nearly 5.4 ounces.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It’s just sensational with Soft (chalk) pastels. They blend on the paper very well.
  • This paper is an excellent surface for pastels. They go on evenly and smoothly.
  • The medium grit surface is just fantastic. It’s so tight.
  • The packaging is excellent. The box is packaged with paper for additional precautions.
  • The size of this product is great for many users.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • A few consumers think that the price is a bit expensive.


This is one of the best pastel paper you have ever across on the market. It works on a wide range of mediums. It works well with both hard and soft pastels. The oil pastel is also compatible with it. So, what you want more? I guess nothing. This pastel is an excellent choice for professionals.

Wrapping up

These areour top 10 best pastel paper reviews. So, understand your requirements and choose wisely. However, if I need to recommend any pastel paper, I will pick up Speedball Art Products 513046 Premier Sanded Pastel Paper. It’s compatible with acrylic, oil, colored pencils, and all dry media.

For beginners, Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Assorted Pad or Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad could be a good pick.

The final call is yours. So, whatever decision you make, best luck with that. I hope your adventure will allow us to enjoy some best artworks. If you would like to share anything or feature your artwork on our website, comment below or send us an email.

Best Pastel Paper buying guide

Picking up the suitable pastel paper to function with your pastels can be a bit tricky job. You can feel overwhelmed in this process.

There are some factors, for instance, texture, size, format, surface, color, which can make an essential contribution to your drawing. We will discuss those factors to simplify your journey.

Surface texture:

The surface is the most crucial factor for pastel painting.

There is an array of pastel paper kinds available from myriad manufacturers. Most of them have a wide variety of teeth. However, tooth refers to the coarseness of the surface. It’s like when you touch it; the surface feels uneven and rough.

On the contrary to this is an extremely flat and tooth surface. It’s kind of like hot-pressed drawing paper or printer paper.

You need to remember that the smoother and flatter the pastel paper’s texture, the more struggle you will have to face getting many layers to adhere.

Let’s have a look at the various kind of textures.

Ingres or laid surfaces:

Ingres is a sort of paper that has an extremely unusual gridline pattern engraved into the surface. The texture of this type of paper is very delicate. So, it may not take a lot of layers.

On this positive side, Ingres paper is very straightforward to blend and very affordable. The gridline pattern is equally a leverage or a con. You may ask how? Well, so some people like the gridline patterns or some do not? So, there is a fifty-fifty chance that you could be on either side.

Honeycomb or dimpled surfaces:

This surface is quite similar to the Ingres surface. They are armed with a slight texture engraved into their surface. The pattern appears more pitted when we compare it to the Ingres surface.

Honeycomb textured papers are equally easy to blend and affordable, even though it’s a bit pricier than Ingres paper.

It’s also not compatible with many layers. The honeycomb pattern is fine, though — I kind of like it.

Gritty surfaces:

Unlike Ingres and honeycomb paper, it can hold up several layers. That’s huge leverage of this surface.

You can also blend smoothly with them, but not as high as Ingres or honeycomb surfaces. Also, Gritty surfaces reduce pastel pencils’ lifespan considerably.

In my case, I use gritty surfaces when I go for detailed art. So, they are mainly for professionals. Professionals use them for serious pieces of art.

Velour surfaces:

Velour surface possesses a velvety, material-like texture to them. It’s costly and not very popular among the users.

Which surface is suitable for you?

At the starting point, you can go with Ingres or honeycomb surface. They are delightfully affordable. They are also straightforward to work on. And at the first phase of pastel painting, artists rarely need to go for detailed artwork. So, they hardly need to work with complicated work, for instance, several layers. It’s a fact that Ingres or honeycomb surface is not suitable for several layers.

For beginners, Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Assorted Pad can is a great pickup. It works hard pastels, soft pastels, and pastel pencils. It comes in a wide range of colors. More importantly, it’s highly affordable. And the professional also uses that.

When you become a pro and need to do some serious artwork, you can go with a gritty surface. It has some fabulous layering ability. So, you can play with your art deeply.

I find Speedball Art Products 513046 Premier Sanded Pastel Papers a delight for detailed work. It works with hard, soft, and oil pastels efficiently. So, it’s a show-stealer product.

Surface color:

The surface color affects pastel painting. Because pastels don’t cover the entire surface, So, there would be some tiny gaps that will be left uncovered. And it shows your pastel paper color.

So, it’s a common fact that pastel artists use colored or toned paper. It helps them to create a wide range of subtle effects. Case in point, you can pick up a paper that merges with your pastel colors.

Interestingly enough, you can also pick up something which contrasts the paper color with the pastel. In that way, you can create something very unique, interesting atmospheric moods.

The tone of the paper denotes the darkness or lightness of any specific color. Traditionally, light-toned papers emphasize and enhance dark-toned pastels. You can also try to use your imagination to create something extraordinary. For instance, you can contrast light pastels on dark-toned paper. It creates dramatic effects.

Typically, the mid-toned paper is the most used paper with pastel. They offer a harmonious, balanced background. It’s very straightforward to work on.

The thing is that surface color entirely depends on your personal preference. For instance, if I want to draw a winter landscape, I will pick up a pale grey or blue as it will provide a subdued effect. However, you can try a completely different color. As I told you, it entirely depends on your creativity or imagination.

Even the sky is not the limit of your imagination; it’s just the beginning.”

Weight and format of pastel paper:

Many people think that weight isn’t an essential issue in pastel painting. Anyway, it may not be as important as surface texture or color. But it also makes a difference.

If your style requires reworking, blending, wetting, using an eraser, then I guess you need a robust paper. Hence the ability to withstand mixture, reworking demands sturdy paper.

I will recommend you pick up a pastel paper, which is 175 gsm or more in weight.

What should I use to blend my pastel colors?

Many newbies wonder what they should use to blend their pastel colors. So, I am going to address this question.


First of all, you can use your finger for blending. It’s the most used tool for blending pastels. Many artists do that. However, it has some downsides.

Case in point, if your paper is extremely coarse, which is right for many pastel papers, your fingers can turn raw with excessive rubbing. Sometimes, blending Ares -are so much small that your fingers can’t blend without smudging.

You require to wash your hands recurrently to not transfer the color on your finger to another part of the artwork.

Pastel shapers:

Pastel sharpers are fantastic for blending pastel. Their appearance is quite like paintbrushes. But they have flat or tapered ends instead of hairs on end. Flat pastel shapers help to blend larger areas, while tapered pastel shapers assist in blending small areas. Tapered pastel shapers are mainly for detailed work. They are convenient.

Pastel Brushes:

Pastel brushes are also fabulous for blending pastels. You can find them in a wide range of shapes.

Q-tips or cotton buds:

You can also use a cotton bud to blend pastels.

Tortillons or stumps:

They look like a pencil. However, tortillons are tightly wound sheets of paper. When they get dirty, you have to unwind the paper.

Cloth or chamois:

To use cloth for blending is traditional. But still, many people do that. That’s moderately effective. On the other point, chamois is a kind of super-soft, durable leather. It can be used for blending colors with pastels. And I have to say it’s beneficial. If it gets dirty, wash it. It will be brand new again.

Kneaded rubber:

It’s a must-have product for an artist. It’s one of the most flexible rubber you can ever find on the market. Anyway, it’s equally functional for blending color.

Frequently Asked Question

Are pastels dangerous?

Most of them are not. Nowadays, the vast majority of pastel made of non-toxic pigment. I also reviewed the pastel paper, which is non-toxic.

What is the difference between soft and oil pastels?

Soft pastel is the most used, versatile pastel. It is made of chalk, gum Arabic, and pigment. It’s armed with a drier matte finish. Soft pastel let the surface to be brushed off. On the contrary, oil pastel is quite similar to oil paint. It doesn’t dry out or harden entirely. Anyway, it can be thinned and worked. It’s inclined to have a wax-like, creamy consistency. Usually, oil pastel generates an intense hue. On the other hand, soft pastel produces a soft, delicate hue. Soft pastel is versatile and easier to blend. On the other hand, oil pastels are not as versatile as soft pastels. In fact, they are not very compatible with mixed media.

Should I use oil or soft pastels?

It entirely depends on your personal preferences. If you like lighter paintings, for instance, ink, watercolor, and adore ready-made color and drawing, then I guess soft pastel is the perfect choice for you. On the other hand, if you prefer oil painting plus enjoy blending colors to get exclusive texture and hues, then oil pastel could be a fantastic choice.

How long oil pastel take to dry?

It can take around 20 to 30 minutes. It’s good to provide your painting three coats of spray varnish. In that way, you will be sure that the oil pastel will be suitably sealed. And the surface will not be ruined by grease, dirt, or smudges.

Are oil pastels permanent?

Oil pastels are made to last for a long time. But to make it permanent, you can use gesso or acrylic medium.

About Amelia

I am a physician, writer, traveler, painting artist and decided to devote my life to adventure, writing, image, and travel. In search of my own geography, the mystery of distant lands is my playground, the diversity, and richness of human nature the source of his testimony. I claim the subjectivity of the gaze both in writing and in the image, placing myself at the height of interest in those who live on the less enlightened side of the world.

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