Sunday, July 7, 2024

Paper Again

I posted about paper here. I didn't re-read it, but I wanted to do a follow-up because I got some new paper.

For all my drawing life I've used Strathmore Bristol*, when I use Bristol at all. Strathmore pads come in smooth and vellum (vellum is toothy... not as smooth, duh). Smooth is nice for markers, pens, inks, etc. Vellum is nice for pencil... and charcoal, I guess. Come to think of it I've only used it a few times and I don't know what you vellum weirdos get up to but you keep on rocking that shit.

So anyway, Strathmore pads come in sheets of 20. Now, I'm not so god damn poor that I can't buy Strathmore. But they are more expensive than many other brands. And I wondered... is there a reason?

As I got further into this new comic project, I needed to get some more paper. I settled on 11x14 smooth Bristol and I went with Canson instead of Strathmore. Because Canson comes in pads of 25 sheets and they cost less. Not a ton less... but less.

I've drawn 5 or 6 pages on Canson now and I gotta say the differences between it and Strathmore are negligible at best. I can barely tell the difference. I do think Strathmore FEELS just a tiny bit better. Just a tiny bit more substantial. But that might be an illusion caused by the higher price point. I don't know.

My honest opinion is if you want to save a little money, go for the Canson. If you don't care about that and you want the best, go for the Strathmore. You won't be able to tell, but you might get that psychological bump from it. I dunno.

*Side note: It always bugs me that you can't type "Bristol" with a small "b" without spellcheck going "no no no". I thought that was dumb. Then I finally looked it up and learned that Bristol board is called Bristol board because it's a type of paper that used to be primarily produced in Bristol, England. Who knew?!


  1. Agreed, in most cases Canson is just about as good as Strathmore. For studies and quick work I'll even use hobby store brand paper...I just got a decent toned paper spiral sketchbook and a lightweight watercolor pad from the local Five Below, too, and they've been great for graphite and ink drawings.

    1. I was just in a Five Below last weekend! I noticed they had an art stuff isle. Picked up some cheap markers to try out. Markers are funky because you can find them at a fraction of the price of the high end ones and the colors are, in many cases, just as good. The tips are iffy, but you never know. Some of the cheaper ones are pretty amazing.