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Tutorials and artistic advices

Technical drawing: Selecting your paper

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Texture, format, thickness, grid: a wide range of paper, tracing paper and transparent film readily adapts to all your creations.


1. Grammage


It conditions the paper's thickness and is measured as grams per square meter:

  • fine papers (under 90 g/m²) are appropriate for sketching,
  • intermediate (up to 200 g/m²), adapt to most kinds of work,
  • thick (300 g and more) are designed for wet media such as watercolor. 



2. Format


It is standardized and comes in six formats: from A0 (1 (m)2), up to A5 (the smallest one). Each format represents half of the previous one. Most used are the two classics, A3 and A4.


3. Texture


The quality of a technical drawing relies on perfect lines: opt for slightly textured paper, whether fine grained or satin finish, and even completely smooth, such as Bristol board. 

Memo: There’s a paper for every medium

  • Graphite: white or slightly tinted (beige, ocher, gray…).
  • Color pencils: fine grained to make the pigments hold.
  • Markers: paper known as "layout" paper holds ink and limits smudges.


4. Graph paper


Technical drawing implies high precision. Choose it taking your subject's constraints into account.

  • White drawing paper and Bristol board are available as graph paper.
  • The covers of "to scale" pads of tracing paper come as 5 mm grid charts.
  • There are several models of graduated paper: classical, with isometric (triangular) or logarithmic grids. These grids are available in two colors, bister and blue, that are almost invisible after photocopying or printing (when you scan your work). 



5. Special madia


To perfectly reproduce or work on various aspects on a single plane and overlay them.

Satin tracing papers are available as sheets or rolls between 45 and 115 g/(m)2. A case can also be made for polyester and acetate films, which are completely transparent (up to 180 g/(m)2).

Suggested products

Canson® Manual Technical Drawing

See also

Technical drawing: Selecting your medium
Choisir son médium pour le dessin technique manuel
From the initial sketch to the final diagram, technical drawing is multi-faceted! Therefore, you need to select each medium carefully, in correlation with the nature of your work.
Technical drawing: Selecting your accessories
Choisir ses accessoires pour le dessin technique manuel
Measuring, drawing, cutting, erasing… Technical drawing, depending on how experienced you are, requires many accessories. The perfect panoply for the perfect designer!