I have noticed a big debate going on in the Colored Pencil community:
What paper is the best for colored pencils?
There is no right answer, its all personal preference. I know CP artists that love the graininess that they get with rough highly textured paper. I know of an artist that creates beautiful CP drawings on slate. There are artists that love vellum because of its subtle texture. Then there are artists like myself that do mixed media and like paper that is smooth with very little tooth.
My paper of choice is Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper, 100 lbs. I have tried several different brands and many different surfaces and have found Strathmore Bristol Smooth to be the best paper for my marker/colored pencil drawings. The marker lays down nicely with minimal bleeding and blotching and allows me to apply multiple layers of colored pencil over the top. I think that there is a misunderstanding out there about smooth paper. I have read blogs where the artist says that they could only apply one or two layers of colored pencil to the smooth paper and it wouldn’t accept any more layers. This has definitely not been the case for me. My drawings have many many many layers of colored pencils over marker. In some cases it has taken up to 20 layers of colored pencil to achieve the effects that I was trying for and the paper never prevented me from adding any more layers.
My advice is to do your own research. Experiment with different brands and different surfaces and be your own judge. Don’t ever settle until you have found the paper that best supports your creativity and fabulous artwork!