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Old 03-08-2011, 05:48 PM
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Andrew Andrew is offline
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Charles City, Iowa
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Re: Sketch Book Reviews

Originally Posted by big foot

Hi. That Kokuyo sketchbook sounds terrific. 200 gsm sounds really hardy! Separately, I just noticed that the eye you have as your avatar moves! That is so cool. It made me smile when I picked up on it. :-)


I'd love to see your list! That would be great!

Candace/Rainy, Jamie..

Yeah.. the GSM is a really good indicator. There is something kooky about industry standards. I mean, how can something be 100 lbs technically and so much thinner? it would seem that terms that describe the quality, weight and other characteristics of commercial paper should be easier to understand, more transparent..In addition to GSM and weight, the other thing is what the paper is made of. For example Stonehenge's 90 lb paper in its pads and Wired Journals is 100% cotton. Other papers are cellulose or some combination of cotton and cellulose and a wide range of other stuff depending what you buy by label..watercolor paper, pastel paper, mixed media. etc... So the ingredients effect the texture and quality and that can also be confusing. For example, I assume that 100% cotton is better than cellulose/cotton, but this is all over my head. I don't really know how to evaluate papers based on all these different metrics/factors. it can be confusing.. BUT>>>

That said, I am a novice at all this drawing, painting stuff and so, I don't need the elite quality that costs an arm and a leg. So, it's an academic interest in some ways. Still, it's nice to know for reference what the whole range of paper options comprise depending on what one is doing, what is being created, media etc. One of my favorite paper sources is pretty cheap, e.g. the 80 lb Dick Blick 8x10 sketchpads that I go on and on about sometimes..They are 130 gsm, 70 sheets and 4.99 each.

In the end, it's a personal choice. I mean, aren't most of us instinctively drawn to what we like when we feel the paper in a store and have a chance perhaps to try it out? All the abstract analysis might be a bit too time consuming.. I admit, it's just where my mind goes.. I tend to over think these things! :-) We need to have fun with what we have and enjoy the process of finding new materials. :-) Carpe diem..


The difference between the US standard weights and gsm is because they are measuring two different things. 100# paper, for example, means that one ream of full sheets weighs 100#. But that ream can vary considerably. For ledger or bond paper, the standard size is 17"x22" (IIRC), book or offset paper it is 25"x38", cover stock (which may be measured in a double ream) is 20"x26" (or maybe 25" I don't recall), and tag stock or bristol is 24"x36". Watercolor paper gets even more confusing. If it is not 100% rag the standard size is 25.5"x30.5", but its 100% rag the standard size is 17"x22". But manufactures can define standard size on partial rag.

Gsm is a better measurement in my opinion. It is far more definitive.

"Never ascribe to malice what adequately can be explained as stupidity"-- Robert J. Hanlon

“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn't paint.” - Marc Chagall
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