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The Best Papers for Gel Pens for 2023

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

Gel pens are the go-to writing instrument that benefits many of us in daily work, study, and creative projects. Indeed, sketching and writing with gel ink produces opaque and vivid lines on surfaces. And to make the best out of this convenient tool, we need a high-quality paper with ideal smoothness, color, weight, etc.
best paper for gel pens
If you have not yet decided which is the best paper for gel pens to go for, check out our selected list below. Explore each product’s strengths and weaknesses to find out why many users in the market vouched for them. Read on!

<strong>Top-Rated Products</strong>

Top 1

US Art Supply Black Paper Pad


Top 2

OOLY DIY Cover Sketchbook


Top 3

Chalk-Style Expressions


Best Paper for Gel Pens Reviews

1. US Art Supply Black Paper Pad

The pleasant experience brought by the US Art Supply Black Paper Pad comes from both its look and quality. Thus, this product is always high on the list of must-have accessories that teachers, calligraphers, and many users adore.
Loyal fans have many good things to say about this versatile paper pad as it presents a smooth surface on one side and rough on the other. Artists can use the piece for multiple writing tools.
A water-based gel pen is among the instruments that can work wonders on this paper. You can also use oil pastels, fluorescent pencils, and other types of pigments to deliver your ideas with impressive effect.
In each package, there are two pads of 30 black sheets each. Notably, it only weighs around 64 lbs, a light design that is ideal for carrying around. The pad measures 9 inches x 12 inches, meaning it is of standard size that can fit in your backpack.
You can also make use of its convenient design point – the spiral bound. Such a feature allows users to flip through pages quickly and easily remove failed pieces.
This paper contains no acid pulp, thus allowing us to preserve our artwork for longer periods. Also, as it is rated as pH-neutral paper, the product will not turn yellowish and ruin the original art’s beauty.

For some buyers, this product is slightly more expensive than expected. But considering its sturdiness and well-thought-out design, I reckon it’s worth my investment.
  • Comes with a smooth side and a rough side
  • Ideal for gel pens, oil pastels, fluorescent pencils, etc
  • Two pads of 30 black sheets each
  • Lightweight design (64 lbs) and standard size ( 9×12 inches)
  • Spiral-bound for easy flipping and removing sheets
  • Acid-free and pH-neutral paper for long-lasting artwork
  • Costs a little more than expected
All in all, I love to utilize these gel pen-paper pads with their nice texture. Thus, I recommend it for buyers who seek high-quality paper for their writing and sketching purposes.

2. OOLY DIY Cover Sketchbook

If you want a small-sized pad that can sit nicely in your handbag, the OOLY DIY Cover Sketchbook is an ideal pick. Besides its convenient dimensions, the sheet’s sturdiness promotes long-term use.
For one, this book is a wonderful gift for creative individuals as its cover is customizable. It is delivered to us with blank surfaces, waiting for the owner to fill all the pages and cover with their artwork. My daughter loved such a feature when she decorated it with stars and the moon using her shiny metallic pens.
With its smooth black sheets, users can use gel pens to sketch their work without worrying about smears and smudges. The high-quality book supports other media types, allowing you to explore different styles on its 75 sheets comfortably.
About its convenient features, all pages are perforated for us to detach the artwork effortlessly. You can frame the sheet or gift it to someone special; after all, art is worth sharing. Also, most users love its top spiral for easy flipping and sketching, rather than ones with a loop on the side.
I appreciate this sketchbook’s portability as it comes in a small size, measuring 5 inches wide and 7.5 inches long. Plus, its hardbound cover and stretchy strap ensure protection for inner pages when being carried inside our handbags.

However, if you intend to find a painting pad with thick paper to prevent bleeding, this product might not be your best choice.
  • Customizable cover, ideal gift for creative individuals
  • Smooth black sheets for using gel pens
  • 75 pieces of high-quality paper that support different media
  • Convenient features: perforated pages and top-spiral design
  • Portable size, measuring 5×7 inches
  • Hardbound cover and stretchy strap for protection
  • Paper sheets might not be thick enough for painting
Overall, for the use of gel pens, crayons, or pencils, this paper pad never disappoints. You can purchase it as a gift for your little kids or friends who love sketching.

3. Chalk-Style Expressions Coloring Book by Valerie McKeehan

This next entry stands out from other options for paper for micron pens, as it allows us to practice chalk-style arts. We can utilize our gel pens, markers, or pencils to finish this beautiful Coloring Book by Valerie McKeehan.
Words cannot describe how excited I was when seeing 32-handwritten designs by this talented artist. All of them present the aesthetic calligraphy that I always want to practice writing. If you are curious about some examples from the book, check out the instruction video that shows all its pages.
When exploring its contents, you will find colored sheets introducing creative ways to paint its patterns and words. The book’s messages are cheerful and encouraging, urging us to commit and develop ourselves through this artwork.
More importantly, the coloring pad comes with extra-thick paper in chalkboard-like color. Each sheet is of high quality for the use of watercolors or thick-point brush pens. Plus, artists can create cool effects with its black and smooth surface by using neon-color gel pens.
Slightly smaller than an A4 paper size, this design can be packed inside your bag and be with you everywhere. After finishing a sheet, you can remove it quickly due to its available perforations.

Other than that, I just wish it featured some blank pages for me to create new patterns on my own.
  • Offers chalk-style art practices with 32 calligraphy designs
  • Comes with cheerful and encouraging messages
  • Extra-thick paper for gel pens, watercolors, brush pens, etc
  • Black and smooth chalkboard-like sheets for neon-color gel pens
  • Smaller than A4 piece, ideal for carrying
  • Features perforated sheets
  • Contains no blank pages for self-creation
After a while of practicing through this book, I am confident to write and draw new patterns. It is indeed a fantastic paper for ink and watercolor that every beginner of chalk-style expressions wants to try.

4. Lined Blank Black Paper Notebook by Regina Ray

This Notebook by Regina Ray comes at an affordable price and with decent quality. Hence, I recommend the product for teachers who purchase black paper pads in large quantities for their students to practice hand-lettering and note-taking.
Black sheets and colorful gel pens make a great combination for your creative side to flourish. Luckily, this product’s paper quality can offer a smooth surface and thick layer to stand up to gel pen ink. In my experience, the paper feels heavy when flipping, so the pen pigment cannot bleed through it and ruin my work.
Besides gel pens, we can produce different shines with our notes using metallic markers, fluorescent crayons, etc.
Other than its quality, the book comes with 100 pages, allowing users to practice on it for a long time. Also, since its sheets feature white lines, we can do hand lettering, calligraphy, or journaling with it. Such a feature benefits small students when they start learning to write in a straight line.
Regarding its dimensions, this pad measures 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long. Usually, it can sit nicely inside my backpack, accompanying me to work with ease. Just make sure the sizing is what you need for your writing proposes.

The only gripe I have with this accessory is its lack of perforations on each sheet. It would be awesome if I can tear the page out any time I want. Yet, I am content with such a feature for small kids as it teaches them to keep everything, even the failed work, to reflect on their practicing journey.
  • An affordable black paper notebook for gel pens
  • Thick, smooth, and heavy enough to handle different pigments
  • Ideal for metallic markers, fluorescent crayons, and more
  • Includes 100 blank pages with straight white lines
  • Measures 8 x 11 inches, suitable for easy carrying
  • Lack of perforation for easy tearing
Despite its slight inconvenience, I still love this collection of black gel pen paper. It is tricky to find a better product for note-taking at this price point.

5. Notebook Dot Grid by LS Black Paper Press

Coming in a simple design, the Notebook Dot Grid by LS Black Paper Press offers precisely what I need for daily journaling. If you are a fan of minimalism, look no further than this pad.
It comes across as a casual book without decorations yet promotes flexible and durable use. In detail, there are 100 thick pages colored black for your hand-lettering and note-taking. The product has a weighty feel to it, thus promising no punctures and bleeding through the sheets even when you write with more pressure.
Such a paper quality allows individuals to use different writing and drawing instruments on its surface. Those can be fluorescent gel pens or metallic markers, to name a few. Thus, you can create clear and vivid notes that benefit your studying and working projects.
I adore some nice features that the author designed for this product, which include its dot grid pattern. It is easier to journal and decorate the contents with these small dots. Also, every page is numbered, allowing us to keep track of our notes.
Not to mention, all pages inside are shielded by laminated paperback covers. It can block moisture intrusion, keeping our works safe. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate this protective function, especially when it’s raining and my bag gets a little damp.

This budget-friendly dot grid paper book delivers its purpose with many incredible features except one drawback. It is that there is no spiral for easy flipping and detaching the pages.
  • 100 thick and heavy pages for no punctures and bleeding
  • Quality paper for fluorescent gel pens, metallic markers, etc
  • Includes dot-grid pattern and numbered pages
  • Laminated paperback cover to block moisture intrusion
  • Simple design at a budget-friendly price
  • There is no spiral design
The bottom line is I am content with what this simple yet functional paper book provides for users. You can confidently use various colored gel pens for notes on its sheets without issues.

6. Sketch Book & Journal by Obsidian Paper Press & Happy Paper Press

I could hardly resist purchasing this adorable design for my little girl. If you also seek a gift for your kids who love writing and drawing with gel pens, this BLACK PAPER Sketch Book & Journal is a tempting option.
Measuring 7 inches x 10 inches, this book offers enough space for your girls to do calligraphy, doodling, or simply writing their diaries. Although it is not in small size, the note can surely fit in most backpacks without hassle. Hence, your kids can bring their books along anywhere to create beautiful pieces.
Since its sheets are made thick and quality, you can confidently purchase various gel pens to use with it. Be it coloring glitter pens, bullet-tip pens, or metallic markers; they can all appear vividly and vibrantly on this black paper book.
Furthermore, your children can use suitable instruments for writing on the lined right side and drawing on the left side of the sheet. With its 100 pages, 50 front and 50 back, there are endless possibilities for users to explore and express over time.
The premium cover full of cute details, including unicorns, cakes, and palaces, will appeal to little kids who love colorful pieces. They will be delighted with such a beautiful and bright book that encourages them to create and have fun. The author of this design, the mother of a 5-year-old kid, surely knows what it can offer to small children.

However, due to printing issues, there can be models with distorted or misaligned lines. If that happens to your package, you can contact for a replacement right away.
  • Measures 7 x 10 inches, ideal for carrying
  • Thick and quality paper for coloring glitter, bullet-tip, or metallic gel pens
  • Writing on the dotted right side and drawing on the blank left side
  • Comes with 100 pages in total (50 front and 50 back)
  • Adorable and premium cover, perfect for gift ideas
  • There can be some printing issues, requiring contact for a replacement
Luckily, I am not among the ones who encountered a misprinted product. But that’s a rare case, and this adorable and convenient design is worth the investment.

7. Unlined Notebook by Lila Notebooks

We can never go wrong with minimalistic design and quality paper. Fortunately, those characteristics can be found in the Unlined Notebook by Lila Notebooks for gel pens.
To deliver protection for inner content, the author adopts a premium-quality black cover. The laminated piece prevents liquid from bleeding through and damaging our work. Plus, it is durable enough to endure frequent traveling inside our backpacks. So, do not hesitate to bring the notebook along with your adventures.
More importantly, each sheet is constructed after eliminating all acid pulp, resulting in a safe and long-lasting texture. Thus, you can confidently keep the artwork in pristine conditions for an extended period without worrying about discoloration.
The special thing about this design must be its simplicity. We can notice the author’s intentions, from its matte cover with only one neat word, “notebook”, to its inner pages with bright white shade and no dotted lines. With these blank and soft sheets, you can fill them with thoughts, notes, and beautiful drawings, using your favorite gel pens.
More information about the notebook: it measures 8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long, nearly as the standard A4 paper. The pad contains 50 sheets with 100 pages in total, and you can utilize them all since the paper can avoid bleeding and smearing.

Yet, some users who desire thicker sheets and cover for a weightier feel might not be satisfied with this option.
  • Durable cover is laminated to block liquids
  • Acid-free sheets for long-lasting artwork without discoloration
  • Simple design: matte cover with one word, blank inner pages without lines
  • Soft and white pages for writing and drawings
  • Ideal for the use of gel pens without bleeding and smearing
  • Measures 8.5 x 11 inches, includes 50 sheets
  • Not as thick as some users expected
All in all, this simple design can provide what we need for daily work and study. Its quality suffices as a durable and smooth paper for sketching and writing. So, I advise against missing out on trying this notebook.

What to Look for When Buying Paper for Gel Pens

Gel pens make excellent sense in various applications, from hand-lettering, calligraphy, sketching to simple daily journaling. The instrument becomes our best choice for work and study, so it is advisable to find a suitable paper for gel pens.
But the selection task is not necessarily cumbersome and time-consuming; just check out these quick guides below to make a well-informed decision:
Quality paper – If you opt for premium sheets, the paper should be acid-free and have a neutral pH level. That means you can keep the vibrancy of your note and drawings after a long time. And issues such as yellow paper will be unlikely to happen.
Furthermore, the notebook should feature a thick and smooth texture to avoid smearing, smudging, and bleeding through its layer. Such a product can surely handle gel pens and be paper for ink painting if needed.
In case you need to combine many drawing and coloring instruments on your artwork, it is recommended to choose heavyweight and extra-thick paper. With that, you can utilize metallic markers, brush pens, and watercolor brushes to express your ideas.
Specifications – While paper quality is the key feature to choose your notepad for gel pens, its dimensions and design should also be considered. Usually, people stick with A4 paper, measuring 8.25 x 11.75 inches. Yet, many notebooks are made with slightly different lengths and widths that can still fit into your backpack nicely.
Some of them come in a smaller size, just like a handheld sketch note. If you want to save space when packing many accessories to work but refuse to leave your notebook at home, these options are ideal for you.
Often, the note pads have around 30 to 50 sheets; some allow you to utilize both sides; others are suitable for writing on the front page only. Make sure you read the product description before purchasing.
Other details – For people who love organizing and keeping track of their contents, choosing a numbered book makes excellent sense. Also, they might love papers with grid dots rather than blank ones. It depends on the requirements that you choose the right type of sheets.
Furthermore, many books contain convenient features such as perforated pages for easy detaching and spiral for quickly flipping. Such designs are widely loved by users, as they allow us to have a comfortable experience during and after finishing our work.


Choosing the best paper for gel pens should be an enjoyable task, whether you intend to use it for work or art projects. Each type of notebook features different details that benefit us in specific ways. Hence, do not forget to compare those to make the best choice. Have fun with your pick!

5/5 - (2 votes)