Which Paper is Best for Mandala Art (5 Different Types)

Mandala art is a very complex and intricate abstract design. This art is usually in the form of a circle. A number of different materials can be used to make colored mandalas. Coloring mandalas on different types of paper will bring various effects on the final look of the art projects.

Similarly, colored pencils of different types used on a specific type of paper will offer a divergent variety of mandala arts. The final look of any art depends upon the type of art material used for the making purpose. If you use colored pencils on thin paper, mandala art will not produce a vibrant look.

However, in case of using colored pencils on the thick paper affects the details of the mandala art.

Therefore, the final look of the mandala creation dramatically depends on the products used to create such beautiful mandalas.

Best Papers for Mandala Art

Why Is Paper Important for Mandala Art?

The intricate design is made up of geometric patterns and organic shapes. This artwork takes time to create, but it’s worth every second because the result looks stunning!

However, paper is one of the essential materials required for coloring mandalas to get such results. The outcome of the art depends upon the type of paper and the quality of paper indeed.

The simple mandalas can be drawn even on a simple sheet of paper from a regular notebook. However, the delicate mandalas demand quality paper.

Moreover, the type of paper used in mandala art depends upon the kinds of mandalas. Different kinds of mandalas include healing, teaching, and sand mandalas, and all these types require a diverse variety of paper for the detailed mandalas. Most mandala art projects are done on white or black paper for better clarity and more excellent contrast.

How to Look For the Best Mandala Art Paper?

Mandala art is a complex yet straightforward design and requires all the necessary materials and a proper mindset. The best art paper ensures the best result. In the case of the detailed mandalas, selecting or choosing the best paper is essential. A variety of tools are being used for creating very colorful mandalas.

As the most prime factor is the type of paper used, certain factors illustrate the unlimited usage and selection for the specific art and craft projects. This includes the texture of the paper, weight, and other GSM factors.


Every person or artist has a definite desire to save the art for many years without any deteriorating effect. This implies that the paper used for mandala art must be acid-free for prolonged safety. Surface texture plays a significant role in the creation of mandala art.

The smooth surface of the paper results in the fine and good finishing of the mandala art. Moreover, traditional pencils and soft pencils work best on it. On the other hand, the stiff surface of the paper demands different marker sets.

Weight of paper

Another critical factor is the weight of the paper. A heavy paper can absorb more layers of water-based inks, acrylic paint, and other bright colors. A lightweight paper does not perform well with multiple layers. The weight of the paper is determined by the bundle of sheets and not by the individual sheets.

For simple mandala art and for beginners, lightweight paper would work best.

However, in case of professional use, heavy-weight paper is recommended as it can deal with different kinds of tools used on it, including markers, watercolors, mechanical pencil,brush pens, and many others.


GSM serves the role of a good guide to the quality of the paper. 120 GSM paper works best for pencil usage. Similarly, 140 GSM paper works well with markers and pencils. All the papers with GSM greater than 160 are considered cards. Thus, 170 GSM paper goes really well with acrylic paints, watercolors, brush pens, roll pens, and ball point pens.

The lower the GSM value of the paper, the thinner it is and thus, it makes things difficult to apply multiple layers of coloring materials. For the sake of ease and mandala art lovers, mandala grids and graph papers are available in the market, and these are for the people who love adult coloring books and coloring books in general.

Some of the Best Paper Types for Mandala Art

Some of the best papers for Mandala art are as follows:

1. Mixed Media

Usually, mixed media paper has a medium drawing surface and a slight amount of surface textures. More than one material can be applied to this paper.

Moreover, this paper has a good quality of creating art that includes deeper tones. The mixed media paper works well both with dry materials such as graphite and with wet materials including markers, inks, watercolors.

Brush tip markers also go amazingly with it, and the reason is that it gives the smooth and finer details of the materials used on it.

Moreover, Faber Castell Mixed media stencils are best for mandala art. Different types of mandala art, including fully designed and interchangeable mixing and matching components, can be created successfully.

2. Bristol Board

Bristol board is high quality and a type of heavy paper. This is best known for its thickness and the more excellent coverage it provides. It is suitable for a wide variety of media.

The remarkable result can be produced on the Bristol board in the two finishes, vellum and smooth. Because of its thickness, the watercolors do not appear on the other side of the paper, and thus, they can be used on both sides, providing two surfaces for working.

It works well with all the types of pens for mandalas, and it is one of the best choices for creating a mandala on paper. Mechanical layout, watercolors, colored pencils are all suitable materials to use on the Bristol board. The paper is stiff and super smooth to touch. To achieve maximum whiteness, a Bristol board is made up of a cotton rag.

3. Illustration Board

An Illustration board is the type of paper that is used for different types of artwork. It is composed of placing a sheet of paper on thick paper such as cardboard. The paper is heavier and rigid than the usual sheet of paper; thus, it works well with various drawing materials.

However, only one surface of the illustration board can be taken into use. This is very affordable and best for several artistic techniques. Any material that requires a rigid or hard surface area can successfully work on the illustration board.

4. Sketch Book

Sketchbook paper is mainly lighter in weight and is usually used for experimenting and practicing purposes. Wood paper pulp is one of the common types of paper used in the sketchbook.

Sketchbook comes in a very affordable range, including a lot of sheets to work on. It comes with the light texture of the paper. It is suitable with dry media materials mostly. However, paint can be used on it.

Different sketchbooks of mandala arts are available with multiple designs and quantities. These sketchbooks of mandala designs are perfect for drawing and artwork.

5. Watercolor paper

The watercolor paper offers the best surface for painting and drawing purposes. It is usually made up of two types of materials: wood pulp and cotton. It is an inexpensive and budget-friendly alternative to cotton papers.

The quality of watercolor paper in producing effective art designs is unmatched. As the absorbent feature is its main concern, the watercolor paper has cotton fibers in its manufacturing.

Since it is mainly used for water-based materials, Water-based inks, acrylic paint, and brush markers can be used appropriately. A colorful mandala can be created using watercolors and then advanced doodles on the top of the design for better finishing. Different markers for coloring mandalas that are available in the market can be used easily on this paper.

However, brush markers are best for producing a broader stroke on the paper.


Q: Which GSM Paper Is Good for Mandala Art?

Usually, a GSM paper of 120 values is considered suitable for mandala art. However, different GSM papers of various ranges, including 140, 150, 160, and 170, can be used for mandala art.

The selection of GSM paper depends on the coloring material that will be used for the mandala creation. A variety of mandala coloring book and mandala coloring pages are present in the market.

And the GSM paper for each is different. GSM refers to the quality and thickness of the paper. And these two factors are the primary concern of using the materials on it.

Q: What Is the Best Paper for Ink Drawing?

Smooth Bristol paper is considered the best paper for ink drawing. The reason for placing it at the top of the list is the less tooth and weaker texture as compared to other types of paper.

These features ensure that the paper does not rip, pill, or bleed during the work, making it the most durable and practical for working purposes. Another fantastic feature of Smooth Bristol paper is its smooth surface which gives a very clear, crisp, bright, and clean look of the art in the result. So, you can try this one.

Q: What Materials Are Used to Make Mandalas?

Making mandala art does not require many materials. All you need is paper, a pencil, a ruler, and an eraser. Moreover, a compass can be added to the list of materials needed for mandala creation for better drawing purposes of different shapes and forms.

Depending upon the desire and interest, a range of coloring materials can also be required. These include watercolors, acrylic paint, brush markers, colored pencils, and many others. The different parts of the design can be made colored using any coloring materials of your own choice to turn it into a colorful mandala.

Final Thoughts

Mandala art has spiritual and therapeutic value. It is very interesting to make the mandala grid and then add design to it. Different types of papers are used for the mandala art depending upon the materials used and the choice. Different coloring materials can also be used for making a colorful mandala.

Certain factors such as weight, texture, and GSM value also play an important role in mandala art. Let us know if you found this information useful for your Mandala journey. 

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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