As dry media artists, we all know how important our choice of paper surface is - toothier papers will grab more color, but really eat up your pencils. Smoother papers tend to make a very even coverage harder to achieve, since every little stroke shows up.
But did you also know about the huge, huge difference printer paper makes when printing out a reference photo or one of our Digital Download Kits?
When you print an image onto regular printer paper, what you'll get is a very washed out image that generally doesn't have color that is true. Values are off and and contrast and depth are reduced.
We print our Project Kits on Office Depot Brand Presentation Paper, Matte, 32 lb. Before printing, we make sure we change our printer settings, changing the paper source to "Photo Matte". Even if you have great paper, if you don't let the printer know you're using a specialty paper, it still won't print appreciably better than on plain paper.
The weight of this kind of paper allows for intensive color saturation, so the values are great, and you also get details that are completely lost when printed on plain paper. We prefer Matte, but a Glossy presentation paper would also be great for printing reference photos.
Below is a great example of the difference in printing paper. On the right, I've printed out on plain printer paper a jpg of my granddaughter, Evey, enjoying some corn on the cob. On the left I printed the exact same jpg on matte presentation paper. Notice how much information you lose when you print on plain paper? Seems the difference is almost of a "make or break" magnitude.
Which one would you rather have as a reference photo??
Yep...me, too! ;-)