I’ve spent many years looking for the perfect paper.
I used to get caught up in those cute sketch pads with beautiful covers and sweet quotes on the front. The problem was and is, they all come with cheap drawing paper inside.
I’m not gonna lie, I like good quality drawing paper. The way the materials land and dance across the page is just different. Bad drawing paper is the same as a bad dancing partner. I just don’t enjoy it. I’m a penny pincher (just ask my family) but somethings are worth paying a little more for. For me, quality paper is one of them.
Next I tried Canson’s mixed media paper. I used this for while but in the end, I didn’t love it. For me, it was too thin. Heavy layers of pen can bleed through and you can only add a little watercolor before it’s just too much. Personally, I like having one go to sketchbook that will handle all the different media I throw at it.
My all time favorite is Strathmore. Oh how I love this brand! Strathmore has been around for over 125 years! You have to be doing something right to be around that long. On a side note, it is named after the Valley of Strathmore in Scotland. You can read more about the history of the Strathmore brand here.
Here is my recommendation, for drawing only, check out the Strathmore 400 series drawing paper. It has a fabulous smooth texture that is perfect for details and smooth shading.
If mixed media is your thing, check out the 400 series mixed media they offer. The texture is smooth which is great for details but it’s also pretty thick which means it can handle some wet media, colored pencils, and pens too. This is a great all around paper.
When it comes to art on the go, my personal favorite is Strathmore’s hardbound 400 series watercolor journal. I use pencils, pens and watercolors in this journal and its awesome!
Pen and ink sketch of Shannon Lakes in Tallahassee, Florida
I could go on and on about my favorites but I’ll stop for now. But, I’ll tell you more about my favorite brand of watercolor paper soon.
Do you have a favorite drawing paper? If so, I’d love to hear which one and why.