Crafters Tool Box: Strathmore Recycled Sketch Paper


As artists and creatives, it can be rough finding a sketch pad that feels right.  I know it sounds crazy because it is just paper, but how paper feels and holds ink or color makes a difference.  It is so frustrating working on a sketch or study piece and having the lead smear everywhere because your paper is ultra smooth or working with ink only to have it bleed through 7 pages that now feel ruined. It doesn't help that creatives tend to glorify their sketchbooks and dread making a bad mark on them.  You would think we were drawing on gold or something.  

Even though every artist is different with different tastes and preferences, I think many would be happy with Recycled sketch paper book by Strathmore.  Strathmore is one of those companies where it is easy to get overwhelmed because they have a seemingly endless supply of products to choose from. Keep in mind; I am talking about a SKETCHbook here people.  I really wouldn’t suggest this paper for a finished piece of fine art, but it is great for studies and, well, sketches.  I love them so much I have taken to only buying this brand of sketchpad for all my studies and sketchings. 

Yes, those are three sketchbooks sitting right in front of me on my desk at all times.  One is finished, one is for my graphic designs, and the other is for studies for my bigger more fine art pieces.  I use them for everything when it comes to planning out my ideas and trying to get shapes and sizes down.  Not only are they an affordable line ($11 for an 11” by 14” notebook? Yes please) they are readily available from all sorts of retailers, so you’re never at a loss for picking one up.

I love these because the pages don't smear and bleed very easy as you can see here. 

Even after three layers of Winsor Newton pigment markers, the bleed is minimal which is just awesome.  The paper is a fine tooth surface, so it feels slightly coarse which is great for building up pencils and colors while holding ink and carbon without smudging a lot but isn’t rough enough to leave a texture from the paper under your drawings.  Admittedly, there can be a little smudging, but that is expected from almost every paper.  I have seen people complain about the pages being thin and they can’t use wet mediums on it but really now, why are you trying to use a WET medium on a SKETCH paper?  That is pure user error and an unfair review of the product.  It is kind of baffling to me that people are complaining that they can’t use heavier mediums on this paper.  If you are looking for a sketchbook that you can do watercolors in there are books specifically for that.  This sketchbook does not promise to be that type of paper and delivers 100% on what it does promise to be - an outstanding sketchbook for pencils and inks.   


I was not paid or asked to cover this sketchpad, I just really love them and wanted to share my review. However, if you click on the link I supplied in this post, I will make money.