Strathmore 500 series Bristol Plate


I have compared 45 different papers for markers. I have not included 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 for thicker marker paper

I started with some small samples to se color saturation and value, bleeding and feathering. On thicker paper it is common to se colors becoming milky as well.

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.
I especially wanted to test the blending and layering abilities. With blending I mean that I work wheat in wheat, and with layering I let the ink dry before I put another layer on top.

Before I started my drawing I wrote down the name of the brand on 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 found that this only works if you compare two or three of them. When you compare many items (as I have done earlier; I compared 30 markers, and now I compare a lot of papers) 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 use the same subject (in this case, one girl stood model for all drawings). I also chose to use the same colors for the face and hair on every drawing.

Strathmore 500 series bristol plate surface                                250 g/m2

Strathmore paper pad
This USA made paper is acid free and made of 100%cotton.

It is a smooth paper but not ultra smooth. The white has a slight yellow tone.  
It comes in pads in two sizes: 11x14 or 11x17 in and are also available in sheets.

On all of the thicker paper that I have tried, markers behave differently than on the thinner marker paper. Even if all markers change in value on all kinds of paper, the problem is more obvious on thicker paper. The value changes are more than just one degree. Vibrant colors usually stay true, but darker colors can loose a lot. But on Strathmore the colors keep the darkness better then other thick paper. 

Even though the colors look great a bit of a problem is that a little feathering arose on the places that I layer much ink.  Colors also can look a bit grainy.

Even though I love this paper, I would not recommend it to any Copic user. If you look at the drawing made with Copic you can se how milky the colors look. It is more than milky; it is as if the colors are dissolving. It is easiest to see on the throat.  

Conclusion: This is my second favorite paper among thick papers.

Copic on Strathmore, I hade some real problems as you can se. 

Drawing with promarkers on Strathmore paper

Color samples on Strathmore 

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