Strathmore marker paper

I have compared 45 different papers for markers. I have not included any papers that are not specified for markers by the company that produce them. It is not uncommon that an art store will market a paper as a marker-paper but if you look at the brands homepage they are not label as a marker paper. But with that said, a lot of other kinds of paper can work very well with markers, for example watercolor paper (even though they will “eat” the ink in the marker a lot faster than any other paper). I also tried some Japanese sumi-e paper with good and interesting result.  I might write more about that in the future. For now, this is a marker paper review.

The theory and method
I will start with a group of eight papers, the very thin paper for layout. I categorized the thin layout paper as being between 45 g/m2 and 65 g/m2.  

Since it is layout paper and not drawing paper for final work, I will not test them to harshly on properties as blending capacity or layering capacity. It isn´t after all what the paper is meant to be.

I started with some small samples to se color saturation and value, bleeding and feathering to mention some of the things I look for. However, I am a firm believer in working the paper as you normally would, to be able to fully understand the potential the paper has, so I decided to do a drawing on every paper.

Before I started my drawing I wrote down the brand name of the paper. I then covered the name so I wouldn't se which paper I was working on. I wanted it to be a blind test.

I have earlier tried to do the exact same drawing but find that that is only working if you compare two or three items. When you compare many items (as I did; I compared 29 markers) the chances are huge that the first couples of drawings are a less good than the following (because you are learning) and the last ones are pretty bad because it get so monotonous that it is very difficult to do a good job. At least that is true for me. I therefore chose to draw every drawing different but in the same manner and the same subject (in this case, one girl stood model for all drawings). I also chose to use few colors so that the face would have the exact same colors. I did the skin on every paper before moving on to the hair since it where easier to compare the paper in that way. I let myself have the freedom to use different hair colors after that.

Strathmore 500 series Premium Marker paper

This paper pad has (for European standard, but obviously not for US) an odd sizes; 9x12 in (which is 22x30 cm), 11x14 in (which is 27,94x35, 56 cm), 14x17 in or 19x 24. It is acid free, 100% cotton and 50g/m2 paper. 

The paper is smooth and white. The front side and the backside feel and reacts the same.

The colors (in comparison to the other brands) lack saturation. The drawings becomes very grainy and the ink feather out.  The colors look lighter compared to the average paper. And crisp lines were not easy to get.

Conclusion: I think this is a very poor paper. I was very disappointed when I realized (remember, I was doing the test without knowing the brand) that one of the worst paper where a Strathmore 500 series paper. I usually love their 400 and 500 series of drawing paper.

Very difficult to draw a decent drawing, blending abilities where really bad and the markers became very grainy.

Strathmore samples


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