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The worse type of cut to get is a paper cut. Hard to believe that a flimsy piece of paper can make such a fine deep cut that could bring the biggest man to his knees in pain. Paper has been around for centuries, and still going strong. Some people thought it would come to a end once the computer age came, but people print more than ever.

Think of all the amazing things that have to start on paper. Buildings would not be built, Cars would not be designed, religions may not exist. Image carrying stone tablets to church instead on the Bible. Would we have made it to the moon without paper? Of course what would life be like with out the wonders of paper airplanes.

"Paper, and the pulp papermaking process, was said to be developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, possibly as early as the year 105 A.D., by the Han court eunuch Cai Lun, although the earliest archaeological fragments of paper derive from the 2nd century BC in China."

And of course paper is used for art. There are many types of paper used for different type of art. Hopefully below will help clear things up.

How much do you weigh? That is a question you never ask a lady without being slapped. But, it is a question to ask about paper. Different drawing paper comes in different weight.

Sketch Paper – 40 – 60 lbs. Sketch paper is used for rough pencil drawings. Something to use for laying out ideas. It is not ideal for finished art. The paper picks up the oil from your hands, erasing will typically smear lines and is rough on the paper. Though a low quality paper, I recommend having a lot of these around, so you can practice drawings and be able to sketch out ideas on the fly. I have one next to my chair in the living room, on on at work, and carry a small one with me when I travel.

Drawing Paper – 80 lbs. Drawing paper is used for final pencil drawings. It will give you crisp lines when needed and will not smear the pencil lines. It is thicker and a little smoother than sketch paper. Is is also used for color pencil drawing as well. It is not very suited for inking and markers, the ink will bleed (blurry lines) a little on the paper and will not give you crisp line.

Bristol Paper – 100 lbs. Bristol paper is also used for final art work. It will give crisp pencil lines, but because of it is more smooth the drawing paper there is a chance that the pencil lines will easily smear, so it is not ideal for finish pencil work. It is best used for inking and markers. The thickness and hardness of Bristol paper will not cause markers and inks to bleed (blurry lines and run through the paper).

Tracing Paper – 25lbs. Tracing Paper is not used for sketching or final art. It's translucent quality (fancy word for see through) makes it great to use as a tool. Is is used to transfer images to the final paper type or used to draw over other paper.

There are a great deal of other paper to use depending on what you are doing. Watercolor for instance and three different types of paper at various weight. I will cover those in another post. As with all art tools and materials experiment with all sorts of paper types to test to see what works best for you. Also always have a scrap piece of paper near by as you draw so you can test the paper before working on the art.

One final tip, make sure your folds are crisp and straight, it will make that paper airplane fly longer and straight.


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