From the earliest days of humanity, man has always aspired to capture the beauty of nature by using tools which he can manipulate to draw representations of the concepts and ideas that he is seeing. These devices have evolved from charred sticks and cave walls to graphite pencils and the best drawing pad that money can buy.
It can be stipulated that humanity and art share the same path when it comes to history and the development of both are extremely co-dependent upon each other, to the point that one cannot evolve without the other developing and adapting first. What started as etchings on cave walls became reliefs on pottery and tools before becoming intricate masterpieces on canvas, using natural and man-made hues to complete the picture.
Like the old adage, practice makes perfect, creating masterpieces means drawing and redrawing ideas and concepts on the best drawing pad until they get the best interpretation of what they have in mind. The final iteration is what they will be transferring over to the main canvas and bringing to life using hues, shades, and colors.
The Search for the Best Drawing Pad
Here are three of finest drawing pads that you can choose from and are readily available for you to enjoy.
1. Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads
The Strathmore Series 400 sketchpad is an acid-free drawing paper that measures 9 inches by 12 inches, with a grammage of 89 gsm, making it thick enough for charcoal and pencil drawings. Here are some of its features:
- The Strathmore has a fine tooth surface which makes it great for sketching using dry mediums like pencil, sketching sticks and pastels.
- The size of the Strathmore 400 is ideal for sketching and developing concepts as you can bring it around in its pad form.
- Each pad of the Strathmore 400 has 100 sheets all in all.
- The binding of the whole Strathmore 400 pad is durable and can withstand the wear and tear of travel. It has also shown that it can survive the abuse of a student’s life where it will experience being placed back in a bag haphazardly before being tossed around.
- Each sheet is perforated which makes removing each page a breeze, no need for dangerous cutters or scissors.
- The quality and thickness of each sheet are excellent for drawing and sketching using graphite pencils and oil pastels.
- Pencil marks and faint traces can be seen on the back of each sheet after use, and have often bled through the next page. It is suggested that slight pressure is all it needs for pencils and other drawings to make its mark on the paper.
- The grammage of this paper is on the light side so it is recommended that only dry medium should be used as bleed throughs are expected from mediums like watercolor and kuri-color.
2. Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book
The Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book is a spiral bound drawing pad that measures 9 inches by 12 inches and has a grammage of 60 gsm, ideal for pencil and pastels, as well as charcoal and graphite drawings. Some of its additional features include:
- The Castle Art Supplies drawing pad has an acid-free and ph-neutral surface that prevent yellowing as the pad grows old. This also means that whatever drawing made on it will not show visible signs of aging for a long period of time.
- This drawing pad has the right size and thickness per sheet to accommodate preliminary sketches, as well as charcoal and pastel drawings.
- Each ring-bound pad of Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book is comprised of 100 sheets of 60 gsm paper.
- The drawing pad from Castle Art Supplies is versatile enough to be suitable for kids and professional artists alike.
- The surface of the Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book is erasable and does not smudge easily which means that only a little clean-up is required to make drawings appear crisp.
- The paper quality of this drawing pad is excellent and supports dry medium like pastels and crayons which are the favorite go-to materials for kids and adults alike.
- The binding material used on the Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book is sturdy and does not break easily, even if the sheet is already too thin for the pad.
The thickness of the Castle Art Supplies Artists Sketch Book is a little thinner than expected and wet media bleeds through easily. This drawing pad is recommended for drier mediums like graphite and pastels.
3. Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad
Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad is a high-quality drawing pad that comes with 75 sheets per spring bound pad. It has a grammage of 90 gsm and measures the standard size of 9 inches by 12 inches. Some of its features include:
- The Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad is made of 100% acid-free paper, and it also has a neutral PH for a textured, non-reflective finish.
- The spiral binding of the Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad is durable, and each page has a perforation for easy removal.
- The Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad is sized just right for students and professionals alike; it can also be used as a journal or diary if need be.
- The perforations are so perfectly placed that they never become obstructions as one would think of a spiral bound sketch pad. They also make each page easy to pull out.
- The pages are a little thinner than expected and while there is no noticeable bleed through, pencil marks often go to the next page and leave an undesirable impression on it.
- While the pages have a toothy texture, it does not hold much and still leaves little bumps no matter how many passes of pencil or charcoal you use.
- The paper of the Artist’s Choice Sketch Pad is more appropriate for pencil and ink, but it cannot be used for pastels, colored pencils, and sketching sticks.
- The sheets of this drawing pad are not bound securely and may result in accidental dog-ears and tears.
With more than 100 years of experience, the drawing pad from Strathmore claims the title of being one of the better drawing pad there is. With its superior quality paper with “toothy” finish, artists and students can start creating their legacy using one pad of Strathmore 400s and their dry medium of choice. While the paper may be a little thin and leaves unsightly pressure marks on the next page, a backing pad can easily solve this as well as easing up on the pressure applied to the medium.
The binding of the Strathmore 400 is also durable and can withstand the rigors of living with an aspiring artist and does not create dog-ears. The acid-free, ph-neutral finish also makes the pad erasable and smudge-resistant, giving drawings a cleaner finish without any effort during the clean-up stage.
Converting sketches to masterpieces takes time, and a hell lot of patience but the right motivation and the appropriate materials makes the artistic experience worthwhile and liberating.