January 17, 2022

26 thoughts on “How to Draw Comics 101: Choosing Paper

  1. Thanks for the tip, man! I was experiencing the same problem you were when searching for the right paper. This article really helped out.

  2. Thanks for this post. I’m having the same problem, I got Bristol but the ink kind of spreads, soaks the paper and I don’t get straigh lines. And not only with brushes but also pens, should I get a thicker one?
    Thanks again

  3. The Strathmore Bristol 300 should work fine for you. That’s what I use all the time. You might also want to try smooth instead of vellum. Vellum is a little more rough. It just depends on the look you’re going for.

  4. Im going to a comic con and going to have a few artists do sketches on a compilation jam.
    They’ll all be in pencils and inks..I was told to get Strathmore smooth 400. Would this work or should I switch to Canson?

  5. What would the bleed& live area be on 9×12 paper? I have been thinking about using that smaller size of paper instead of normal comic pages.

  6. Hello, I’m wanting to make comics for my career, but I live in an area where literally no one knows what route I should take. My art professor doesn’t even know a lick about comic illustration, so forgive me if my questions are kinda silly. (I’m in college.)
    What is the “template” you keep referring to? I’m assuming its that blue line around the page, but what is it used for, and what are the numbers for and such?

    I’m really sorry for the bother, but like I said I have no one else to ask and I literally know nothing. I can draw, and I can write, and I know how to lay out panels and speech bubbles so that they make sense, but I know nothing about how to do it as a professional like I want. ( I also noticed that you mentioned at the end writing a tutorial about the templates, but I didn’t find it anywhere.)

  7. Hi Samantha,

    So, here’s an article on what the measurements are for the traditional comic book page: http://www.blambot.com/articles_artdimensions.shtml

    I’ll put up a post soon with a template you can download and print out. You can draw traditional comics on 11 X 17 paper (which is standard) or on 8.5 X 11 copy paper really.

    Go take a look at the link, and in the meantime I’ll add another tutorial with the templates. Hope this helps!

  8. Thank you, this helped my confusion quite a bit, but it also enlisted another smaller question.
    When it talks about the art being reduced for printing, does an editor reduce and print the pages, or do I do this before I send it in to anyone?

  9. Thank you, this helped my confusion quite a bit, but it also enlisted another smaller question.
    When it talks about the art being reduced for printing, does an editor reduce and print the pages, or do I do this before I send it in to anyone?

  10. Thank you for this tutorial. Quick question, is this the paper you recommend for pencilling vs. inking? What paper would you ink the final product on?

    Assuming that you’re not inking directly over the illustration !

  11. This is the paper I’d use for both penciling and inking. You could pencil digitally and then print out on this paper too. But at the very least use it for the final illustration.

  12. The editor/layout person will do that. You just send in the page at least at 400dpi for inks, and 300dpi for a finished color version.

  13. Hi, I literally know nothing about how comics work. I draw, write and illustrated my own comics but I’ve never known how to make one professionally and publish it. What paper Do you recommend me using? What sizes are there? And how do you publish it? I use Crawford and black a4 cartridge sketch books, it’s the only paper I know about that works for me. Can I use it? Or do you recommend me using some other paper to put my comics on?

  14. My son is 8 years old and he loves to make comic so we want him to publish a book can you suggest what size of book is worthy for him to make and i dont have any idea about what type of pen or pencil ir colo is needed can you give me some suggestions please

  15. Can you Suggest some measurements for artist who would like to draw bigger than 11 x 17.

  16. Hey i’m working on a comic book and i wanted to ask whether printer paper is alright for the orginal sketches and inking since i plan on colouring the illustrations digitally anyway or if i should use bristol board or paper instead for quality purposes.

  17. Eon is very good paper. The bright white bleached bristol is great for black ink, the only reason more people don’t use it is because it’s super expensive compared to Canson, Blueline and even Strathmore in most cases.


  18. Woah such a helpful article, thank you! Just wandering, is the 11 x 17 then shrunk down to 6 58 x 10 1/4 inches? thanks! 🙂

  19. Russell: I started drawing comics a LONG time ago when the standard comic art size was “twice up” (2 times the size of the printed page) and I still prefer working that size. Precise measurements depend upon the publisher, but a reasonable generic size is 12″x18″ for the live art. This reduces to 6″x 9″. One drawback of working this size is that it doesn’t fit comfortably onto most Bristol board sizes. There may be a lot of wasted paper when you trim a page to size. The other drawback is that large pages are hard to scan. I use an 11×17 scanner to scan pages in halves or thirds and assemble them in Photoshop.

  20. Hi!! I have a question and it may be dumb haha. I’m completely new to this, although I’ve always wanted to draw comics, but I’m never exactly sure how to do it. do artists normally Sketch it all out on paper or in a sketchbook? With the entire paneling and all? Or do they do one scene each? Sorry if this is confusing…

  21. Hi Zoe! Sorry, I just saw this comment! Usually an artist will sketch out the whole page to lay it out. Sometimes we’ll sketch out the whole issue. Then tighten up those loose sketches when we pencil them on the final paper/art board.

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