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Canson XL Pad

Canson XL Pads

Canson XL Pads

A drawing pad that has the ability to appeal to everyone… Amylee shares her latest studio crush!

Canson XL® Spiral Sketch Pad, My Favourite!

Aaaah the XL pad!! The most famous of all, the great orange sketch pad that art students carry under their arms on their way to classes.

But wait, why such a craze for this drawing pad?

Well, I have my opinion …

As far back as I can remember, I started making my first sketches on this paper pad in high school. At the time, I used to customize all my XL covers to YSL (Yves Saint Laurent, the French Fashion designer). Yes, as a self-respecting art student, I had to differentiate myself from the others, and then it was so much more “Fashionable” with 3 letters!

Canson XL Pad

Once upon a time…

Originally, the XL® range from Canson was especially developed to meet the expectations of art students and artists. As they use a lot of paper, the XL® range offers large capacity pads with a good price / quality ratio.

Wow, during high school and university, I used alot of these pads… And today, you’ll still find it on the shelves in my studio!

GOOD TO KNOW: The XL® range offers a choice of various pads to try different textures and paper weights according to your needs.

 Canson XL Pad

The Orange Sketch Pad

My Favourite!

In the XL® range, different types of paper are available, identifiable by their cover colour.


The Canson range is currently available at GreatArt Online or in the art supply shop in London Shoreditch..

In this article, I’m going to talk only about the orange cover because at school we became pretty close!

Canson XL Pad


  • Cream white, off-white or ivory coloured paper
  • Light weight, rather sturdy, medium quality
  • Acid-free paper, pleasant to the touch, slightly absorbent
  • Micro-perforated sheets that are easily detachable


  • Mainly used for quick sketches, drawings, drafts, practise or notes
  • Use for graphite pencils, chalks, charcoal, sanguine, pastel, calligraphy and gouache (with not too much water)
  • Holds ink without penetrating the paper, but is not suitable for all markers (except for the purple one, the XL Marker pad).
  • Easy blending and scrubbing


  • Available in several sizes
  • Ideal for a schoolbag, a backpack or a portfolio bag


  • A long-term notebook due to the large quantity of pages
  • Available with a spiral or glued on the top edge
  • The back of the pad is reinforced with rigid cardboard so it remains study, and stays flat if your need to draw on your knees
  • I have a preference for the spiral pad, as it allows me to go from one page to another without damaging the drawings.

Canson XL Pad

A Pad for who?

Absolutely everyone: students, apprentices, caricaturists, stylists, artists, architects, children and creative adults, but especially all creators that use a lot of paper.

Canson XL Pad

And its weakness?

I reassure you this weakness does not prevent me from remaining faithful to the XL pad.

Guess what?

The binding for the pages is not always strong and can tear with time and repeated handling. So make sure you care for it !

Canson XL Pad

Information for this article was provided by professional fine artist, Amylee Paris. You can visit her colourful portfolio or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

GREAT TO KNOW – Find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazine by clicking here!

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