As its name suggests, newsprint paper was first developed for the news industry as a cost-effective way to print daily reports. These thin, pulpy sheets are also favored by artists as they make for great surfaces to lay down sketches, whether one is working with charcoal, pastels, pencils, or other dry media. They are not made to be archival, so you should really be using them for work that is disposable. Still, it’s important that you pick paper that will serve you well. Many papers come in pad form, which is a nice, often more affordable alternative to a sketchbook.
1. Jack Richeson Newsprint Pad
Jack Richeson’s product checks off all the boxes of a top-quality newsprint paper pad. The paper carries a slight amount of tooth—just enough to take mediums like charcoal and Conté well. The sheets are thin, but they have good weight to them, meaning they won’t rip if you’re flipping pages quickly. The pad is also well constructed to handle fast flips, so sheets don’t easily fall out. Plus, you get a large amount of 18-inch by 24-inch sheets for the price.
2. Pro Art Newsprint Paper Pad
Pro Art’s paper is a touch smoother than Jack Richeson’s, which some artists might prefer, especially if they’re sketching at top speed. It’s also very easy to erase markings with minimal smudge marks. Compared to our top pick, however, this pad offers just 50 sheets at around twice the cost. We also find the cardboard back a touch too thin.
3. Juvale Newsprint Drawing Pad
If you’re looking for a bulk pack of newsprint at a low cost, we recommend Juvale’s pads, which each feature 50 sheets and are sold in packs of three. Artists looking to stock up on paper or educators who need to distribute pads in classrooms might find this particularly convenient. The sheets have a rough surface that is suitable for practice drawings with charcoal and pencil.
4. Canson XL Newsprint Pad
Canson’s newsprint pads feature exceptional paper and are also made with respect to our planet. Each is made entirely out of post-consumer waste, resulting in chlorine-free paper that has an off-white color. Yet, the pages feel new and crisp, with a rough-textured surface that takes mediums like chalk, crayon, and charcoal very well. We also like that sheets have an ideal weight for executing fast sketches in one sitting.
5. Strathmore 300 Series Newsprint Pad
If you’re willing to spend a little more for higher-grade practice paper, consider Strathmore’s newsprint pads. These medium-weight sheets have a satisfyingly smooth texture that captures the subtleties of tools from graphite to crayon. The binding is very sturdy, enabling you to draw at top speed without tearing your work.