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Paper | Beginner Copperplate FAQs Series


Exploring the Best Types of Paper for Writing Copperplate Calligraphy

As a beginner delving into the world of Copperplate calligraphy, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the variety of tools and materials available. One of the most crucial elements in your calligraphy journey is the type of paper you choose. The right paper can significantly impact the behaviour of the ink and the final result of your calligraphy. In the video above, I explore different types of paper suitable for Copperplate calligraphy.

Offset Paper (80gsm 100% Recycled Copy Paper)

Starting with the basics, an economical choice for day-to-day practice is offset paper, specifically 80gsm 100% recycled copy paper. This type of paper is easily accessible and perfect for beginners who are still practicing their strokes. I use a Hunt 101 pen with walnut ink on this paper, achieving satisfactory results. However, when testing Winsor & Newton ink, I found that the ink spreads more than desired. This highlights the importance of understanding how different inks interact with different papers.

Laid Paper (Galgo Parchemin 70gsm)

Laid paper, particularly Galgo Parchemin 70gsm, is another excellent option. Although this specific brand is no longer produced, similar types of lighter paper can be found online. I appreciate the texture of this paper and find that it holds ink well, providing a pleasing aesthetic to the calligraphy. However, when I tested the Winsor & Newton ink on this paper, I noticed slight bleeding, resulting in thicker lines. This underlines the importance of testing different inks on your chosen paper to ensure the desired outcome.

Marker Paper (Canson Marker 70gsm)

For a smoother writing experience, I recommend Canson Marker paper. Described as having a silky feel, this paper is very smooth and thin. It provides a crisp result with both walnut ink, sumi ink, liquid watercolours and Winsor & Newton ink, making it a versatile choice for various inks. Its smooth texture allows for thin, precise lines, making it a great choice for detailed work.

Watercolor Paper (Canson Watercolor 300gsm & Canson Watercolor Basik 370gsm)

Lastly, for more substantial projects like greeting cards, I suggest using a thicker paper like Canson Watercolour paper. Due to its thickness, guidelines can’t be seen through it, so I demonstrate how to create a custom grid for writing on thicker or dark colour papers. I find that the friction of the pen on this textured paper gives me a sense of higher control, which can be beneficial for beginners seeking stability in their strokes.


In conclusion, the choice of paper can significantly impact your Copperplate calligraphy journey. As a beginner, it’s essential to experiment with different types of paper to find what works best for you. 

Remember, while the material is important, it’s not everything. With practice and patience, you can achieve beautiful results on any paper. Happy writing!