The Difference Between Bristol Smooth and Bristol Vellum
Bristol generally describes a drawing paper that is pasted to form multi-ply sheets. Bristol sheets provide a stiff, strong surface to work on without the need for mounting. The term Bristol derives from the early days of European papermaking when mills would send their finest papers to Bristol, England to be pasted together. Bristol papers generally have two types of surfaces: smooth and vellum.
Smooth and Vellum are each best suited for a specific set of media, so we've created this short video to help quickly explain the difference so you know which is best for your art.
Smooth surfaces are great for pen & ink, mechanical pencil, airbrush, and markers. There is little to no tooth, making these surfaces great for creating fine lines, detail drawings, or marker drawings.
Vellum surfaces are great for graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, and crayon. The surface has peaks and valleys which grab dry media such as graphite. More even shading and deeper tones can be achieved on a vellum surface.
Our Bristol Smooth & Vellum papers are available in sheets, rolls, and multiple pad sizes. Click here to visit our website and learn more about all the types of Bristol papers we offer.