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Thread: Paper type

  1. #1

    Paper type

    Hey guys,...doing some research on paper. Thought I would get some input here if possible. I'm on my 2nd pen and ink at the moment......I do some stippling so it takes me a while. They are done on Strathmore 300 smooth. I keep reading about the 400 and 500 series as well as a few other brands,..just wandering what some of you guys prefer ??? I use technical pens ( mostly micron). So far only black ink but will be incorporating some color on the next piece. My style isn't comic related but you guys do tons of ink plus lots of color so any input is appreciated. Best -Aaron

    ,.......and I've not had any complaints on the 300,...there is just so many options out there I'm always looking for improvements.

  2. #2
    I like the Strathmore 500 series. It holds up really well. The only time I've had trouble is when an unopened pad caused my lines to bleed. I figured it was because I'd had the pad sitting in shrink wrap for years and the paper took on some moisture (of course, any paper can take on moisture. Continuing on this sidenote, Strathmore does stand by its products, though, and may exchange the pad for you. Or, you could just let it sit for a while to dry out and dry again). I personally like the semi-smooth finish, which I believe is only available in their Sequential line, pre-cut to 11x17. I am finding this finish works better with nibs than hot press/smooth. I have not tried Strathmore vellum finish. I used to use plate, but after a while found that my nibs just didn't like it.

    I've also used Pentalic's Paper For Pens, which is way too smooth for nibs. You might like it for Micron use; it's a sturdy-yet-flexible paper. Not as stiff as Bristol. I do use nibs on Arches cold press watercolor paper (rougher than Strathmore 500 semi-smooth) and it holds up well to good amounts of ink and water. For cheap paper for quick watercolor and inking, Canson's XL watercolor paper is acid free and good for practice work and general drawing. It's not my go-to for finished work, though. It does not hold up to layering watercolor or copious amount of ink.

    Heinmuhle Anniversary is also really, really good paper. At 425gsm, it's essentially cardstock watercolor paper. It needs to be imported and you can get it on Amazon. Though there's only 15 sheets per pad, the price is really, really affordable. The texture is cold press, and it's not 100% cotton, but it's acid free and, even though it's thick, you can still use it on a lightbox. The only problem is, after erasing, the finish seems to "fray" a bit. But, despite this, it still takes my nib and makes a good line (it doesn't bleed), and it holds up to layering so far.

    Since you're using Microns right now (which, if you aren't already, you should let cure on the paper for a while if you're drawing on top of pencil and then erasing. Otherwise you'll just partially erase the ink), any paper that doesn't bleed and is acid free will do. Next, you'll want to consider the texture and thickness you want to work on. Then, you'll want to find paper that will hold up to the amount of medium (ink) you put on it.
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  3. #3
    Straight Outta a Comic Book [SUPPORTER] Symson's Avatar
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    Ultimately, you want to get some paper samples and experiment to find out what works best for your drawing style.

    Three-ply bristol board with a kid finish is my go to paper. A kid finish has enough tooth (roughness) in the paper for the pencil and is smooth enough to lay down india ink. Plate finish is too smooth for pencil work. A rough paper needs a fast, fluid ink. A smooth plate paper requires a slow ink.

    While three-ply is the best; for economic reasons two-ply is used by most companies. But you can still be economical and use the best paper. Bristol board is available in large sheets. Buy it this way and cut it down to size. The art store may cut the paper to size for you in the store; if you are nice and say pretty please. This is the cheapest way to buy paper and get more bang for your buck.

    If the art store won't cut it for you, then you can do it at an office supply store.

    A rough finish may make some pen nibs catch on the tooth if you apply pressure. Ink takes longer to dry on the smooth plate finish, so be careful not to touch it.

    There is a difference between different brands of paper. Cheaper brands are less reliable.
    Last edited by Symson; 10-26-2017 at 07:25 AM.
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  4. #4
    Alright gents,...I thank you for your lengthy and Very informative responses. I do appreciate your time,...Best regards -Aaron

  5. #5
    Strathmore 300 is extra cheap wood pulp
    Strathmore 400 is standard wood pulp
    Strathmore 500 is cotton

    500 (cotton) will take the most abuse without damaging the surface. 300 takes no abuse at all, any erasing will tear up the surface. 400 is in between. If you do any amount of erasing as you draw, or get aggressive with pens, consider spending extra for 500.

    Maybe it's just me but I won't touch kid surface for ink work. Too thirsty and grabby. Sucks up ink from the brush leaving a dry brush look and grabs the brush or pen making smooth arcs difficult. Plate may suck for drawing but, the artist's work never sees print, the inker's does and for ink work it can't be beat. A bit slippery, it can take some getting used to (like new leather shoes on an ice rink) I supply my own 500 plate and a number of inkers, including George Freeman and Terry Austin, immediately asked what it is and where to get it.

  6. #6
    Well it's sounds as I'll be trying some 500......$$ really isn't a factor here. I just want the best product. Not that I am wealthy because that certainly isn't the case...but it takes me a while to get one done,..I simply don't use that much of it. I'm glad I stopped in here,..by far the best answers on the subject I've seen. I did some googling before hand with relatively poor results. -Aaron

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