Best Tracing Paper For Artists – Buyer’s Guide

Using tracing paper is one of the tricks of the trade for artists. If you’re starting out as an artist or just wanting to use a different type of tracing paper, you are in the right place.

Here I will discuss why artists use tracing paper, the different types and my picks for the 5 best tracing papers for artists.

If you’re interested in more art articles check out these two on the best art markers for coloring and the best craft knives for paper cutting!

At a Glance: Our Choice of the 5 Best Tracing Paper For Artists On the Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer’s Tips: What you need to know when buying the best tracing paper for artists

Tracing Paper?

Artists use tracing paper for a variety of reasons.

  • To sketch out shapes needed for a collage. Tracing paper can be used to practise and get an accurate shape before committing to the final picture
  • Sketch out harder pictures
  • Transferring drawings over to watercolor paper

Not sure how to use tracing paper? Have a look at this quick video for tips.

Carbon was used as the original tracing paper. Carbon sheets were placed beneath your paper and whatever you write is transferred to the paper below. Transfer paper now uses graphite as the main ingredient as its much cleaner than carbon and leaves less residue.

Here are my picks for the 5 best tracing papers for artists!

5 Best Tracing Papers For Artists

1. Saral Paper

SARAL PAPER SARAL White 12' X12' Wht Transfer Paper

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

The Saral tracing paper comes in a handy roll to allow better storage. The 12 inch by 12 foot roll is ideal for artists wishing to complete a lot of tracing. Saral paper is fantastic as it can be reused several times, simply erase any drawings and go again! You pay a little more for this product but the quality is worth it. The white paper allows for excellent tracing over darker backgrounds.

PROS

  • Great quality
  • Good amount of paper
  • Reusable

CONS

  • The roll can be frustrating if not cut away properly
  • Expensive
  • Roll is fiddly

Let’s take a look at this product…

2. Loew Cornell Transfer Paper

Loew-Cornell 102-1 4-Piece White Transfer Paper, 9-Inch-by-13-Inch

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Loew Cornell are a reputable brand who have produced a tracing paper perfect for beginners and professionals alike. This product comes with 4 pieces of paper each measuring 9 x 13 inches. Tracing paper is meant to be thin and this is where Loew Cornell have prospered here; the paper is ultra-thin and smudge proof, but is not suitable for fabric.

PROS

  • Cheap price
  • Very thin
  • Good brand

CONS

  • Only 4 pieces of paper
  • Not good for fabric

Let’s take a look at this product…

3. Derwent Tracing Paper

Derwent A3 Tracing Paper/Pad (2302179)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Derwent have provided an A3 pad with 50 pages of tracing paper. This is slightly cheaper than the Saral but the paper is not reusable. 60gsm paper allows for high definition tracing which is perfect for beginners and professionals. The pad is useful for easy tearing off of pages, no rolling and ripping paper accidentally.

PROS

  • Derwent is a great brand
  • Lots of sheets
  • Pad is useful

CONS

  • Not reusable, any mistakes and the paper is finished
  • Still expensive

Let’s take a look at this product…

4. Canson Tracing Paper

Canson 702-321 Pro-Art 9-Inch by 12-Inch Tracing Paper Pad, 50-Sheet

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Canson is one of the top makers of paper, tracing being no exception. Another pad with 50 sheets makes it onto the list. The size is slightly smaller than the Derwent at 9 X 12 inches but the quality is slightly better. With excellent transparency, this paper is smooth and suitable for ink, pencils and markers alike.

PROS

  • Excellent quality paper
  • Pad is useful for tearing paper
  • Resistant to scraping

CONS

  • Less sheets than the Derwent for the same price
  • Not reusable

Let’s take a look at this product…

5. Clearprint Vellum

Clearprint 1000H Design Vellum Sheets, 16 lb., 100% Cotton, 24 x 36 Inches, 10 Sheets Per Pack, Translucent White, 1 Each (10201228)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

This is what legends are made of. Well, legends of tracing paper. Clearprint Vellum is for serious artists who need top quality tracing paper for professional pieces. These are large sheets at at 24 x 36 inches, however there are only 10 sheets in a pack. The Vellum paper is the most expensive item on the list.

PROS

  • Best quality on the list
  • For professional artists
  • Large sheets

CONS

  • Only 10 sheets
  • Very expensive

Let’s take a look at this product…

So what is the best tracing paper for artists?

Tracing paper should be in every artist’s cupboard. Transferring your art successfully should be the number 1 priority when thinking about which tracing paper to buy. The thinner, transparent sheets are ideal, those with gsms of under 100 are considered the best. All of the picks on this list are great and will suit most artists in their tracing needs. When choosing which to buy depends on how much you wish to spend, the size and how many sheets you might need.

The Clearprint is ideal for professionals who need the absolute best tracing paper and have the budget to boot.The Loews is perfect for artists who are pretty confident in their tracing skills and need quality paper on lower budgets.

Overall my winners for the best tracing paper for artists goes to the Canson and Derwent. They are roughly equal in quality, price and amount of sheets you get. Both are choices for artists who use need numerous sheets to practise on. The pad is great for ripping off sheets without needlessly ruining the paper. Lots of sheets, a great size and a great price for both make these my joint winners.​

Image Credits:

Featured Image Source: Jenni Douglas​ / CC BY-SA 2.0

http://www.saralpaper.com/main.html​

http://www.dickblick.com/products/loew-cornell-transfer-paper/#photos​

https://www.derwentart.com/en/gb/4454/2302178/a4-tracing-paper​

http://en.canson.com/new-artists-pads/tracing-pad​

https://www.clearprintpaperco.com/1000h​

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