Best Practice Pads of Paper for Calligraphy?

Recently on the blog we have explored some options involving nibs, ink, and even nib holders. That covers much of the basic supplies that calligraphers use, however, that still leaves paper with which to practice on. In this post, we will look at some good practice pads of paper for calligraphy. These are going to be more on the inexpensive side, so that you can try to get in the most hours of practice for your buck.


What’s the Best Paper for Calligraphy Practice?

For this post, we’ll stick to pads or reams of paper, and not full-size fine paper sheets. These pads are going to be your best options for practicing your calligraphy and having the ability to accept inks well. Each is linked, and available for purchase, in our store. Here’s all of our available paper pads.

Here’s the short list of best calligraphy papers, more details below:

  • JNB Practice Pad
  • Canson Pro-Layout Marker Pad
  • Boris Layout Pad
  • JNB Copperplate/Engrossers Pad
  • Rhodia Pad (Acid Free pH neutral)


JNB Practice Pad– Our own pads of practice paper have been recently updated and now take on more inks well. It won’t bleed or feather with most inks. This is a smooth paper available in 8.5″x11″ or 11″x17″ sizes, as well as, multiple sheet counts. Our practice pad is quite smooth, to prevent catching, and is translucent enough to be usable with guidelines.

The JNB practice pad is a great option for either pointed pen or using broad-edged nibs. With its inexpensive price, adn 24lb bond, this is one to use for daily practice. No need to worry about making mistakes!



P32 Canson Pro-Layout Marker Pad– One of our most popular pads, the Pro-Layout pad, is also one of the best performers. Very smooth paper that works well for both pointed pen and broad-edged calligraphy. This Canson pad won’t bleed or feather with most inks and is transparent enough to be used with guidelines.

The Canson Pro-Layout is a higher quality paper, for use in personal practice, reproduction or calligraphy classes.



P09-100 Boris Layout Pad– The Boris Layout Pad is used often in beginner classes, as it is responsive and not too expensive to work with.  Boris Layout is our most popular pad,  is known for taking inks well, and not bleeding or feathering.

From Borden & Riley, the Boris Layout pad is available in a variety of sizes. Choose between 50 or 100 sheet pads. Translucent and easy to use with calligraphy guidelines. For tracing, Cotton Comp pads are recommended, versus this one.



P01 JNB Copperplate/Engrossers Pad– Our own pad for pointed pen calligraphy use. This is a grid paper which features blue grid and slanted lines. Like our JNB Practice Pad, the Copperplate Pad has been updated to take inks better with less bleeding or feathering. We’ve tested with Higgins Eternal, Noodler’s ink, Richtone, and McCaffery’s.



P74 Rhodia Pad This acid free and pH neutral paper, features purple lines or graphs. It is a great option for pointed pen practice, as it is both smooth and inexpensive. Also, available in the dot-grid. More sizes are also for sale, on our website.


Finding the right paper can go a long way towards preventing headaches when trying to get some practice in. A bad sheet of paper can bleed with your favorite ink and make everything you write look sloppy. Practice paper doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. In fact, as this list shows, there are plenty of great bets within any price range.

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