Monday, September 12, 2016

Compare illustration boards: Strathmore Illustration Board and Illustration Board for Wet Media, both 500 Series

This is part eleven of twelve in my series of paper tests, comparisons, and reviews. Here I am testing illustration boards: Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board and Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media. See this post for introduction and photos of all the papers and this post for conclusions.


Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board 


  • Finish and weight: Lightweight vellum, 42 pt.
  • Composition: 500 Series drawing sheets mounted to both sides of an archival, lignin-free white board
  • Website



Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media 


  • Finish and weight: Heavyweight vellum, 78 pt.
  • Composition: Not known
  • Sizing: Internally sized
  • Website 


Paper color


Both illustration boards are white.


Watercolor brightness


Yes, watercolors retain their brightness, but watch out for using too much water and keep your colors saturated or the resulting colors may look pale and diluted.

Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media with watercolors, pencil, pen, brush and ink
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper texture


The Illustration Board has a silky smooth texture whereas the Illustration Board for Wet Media is a bit more textured, more like an albeit fairly smooth watercolor paper.


Paper sizing and absorbency


The Illustration Board does not soak up water quickly, which means that you can keep adjusting and moving colors around until you are satisfied. In comparison, the Illustration Board for Wet Media is more absorbent. Both have a tendency for backruns, so watch out for using too much water and keep your colors saturated.

Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media with watercolors
© 2016 Anna C./See. Be. Draw.

Paper cockling


No, in fact these two boards were the only substrates that did not cockle in my tests!

Though, if very wet, the thinner Illustration Board may get a very slight wave to it. There is another illustration board available that is almost twice as thick, 72 pt. (20-ply, 0.064”) as compared to the 42 pt. (10-ply, 0.032”) board tested here. The 72 pt. board handles similarly but I personally find it too thick to comfortably cut.


Pencil/pen/brush and ink


Both Illustration Boards work well with pencil and pen and delete well. The Illustration Board for Wet Media is more absorbent so the pen needs to supply quite a bit of ink or you need to draw slowerfor the lines to appear black.

The Illustration Board works well with brush and ink in even, black strokes, whereas the Wet Media Board again is more absorbent so the strokes look more dull and less even.


Joy factor


These are both fun, smooth surfaces to paint on!


Cost and availability


Both Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board and Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet media are available as boards in a few different sizes.

  • List price for a 22”x30” Illustration Board is $10.39, online it can be found for about $8.
  • List price for a 22”x30” Illustration Board for Wet Media is $17.89, online it can be found for about $13.


History and continuity

Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board was introduced in the early 1900s whereas the Illustration Board for Wet Media is a more recent addition introduced in 2009. For more information about Strathmore, see this post.


Conclusion


These illustration boards are good options to watercolor papers and worth testing as an alternative. If you are looking for a more conventional watercolor surface, go with the Illustration Board for Wet Media.

If you like a smoother (and also thinner, which translates to easier to cut!) surface and do not use excessive amounts of water, try the original Illustration Board, 42 pt., which is my personal favorite! If you use brush and ink, the Illustration Board is for you.


Översättning. I detta test så jämför jag två olika underlag: Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board (42 pt.) och Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board for Wet Media (78 pt.).

Strathmores Illustration Board introducerades i början av 1900-talet medan Illustration Board for Wet Media är en nykomling från 2009. Av dessa två så är det Illustration Board for Wet Media som mest liknar ett akvarellpapper i ytstruktur, medan Illustration Board är slätare då det från början var tänkt till tuscharbete.

Illustration Board tar god tid på sig att torka vilket innebär att du kan flytta runt färgerna tills du är nöjd. Illustration Board for Wet Media är mer absorberande. Båda kan få blomningar om för mycket vatten används.

Blyerts och tuschpenna fungerar bra på båda underlagen, även om Illustration Board for Wet Media absorberar tuschet snabbare. Till flytande tusch passar Illustration Board bäst med jämna tuschytor, medan tuschet på Wet Media torkar snabbt och ojämt, återigen pga sin absorptionsförmåga,

Av alla papper testade så var det bara dessa två som inte bucklade! Dock så kan det tunnare Illustration Board bli lite vågigt om du använder alltför mycket vatten. Det är dock lättare att skära till, vilket ju är en fördel då det kommer i stora ark.

I korthet så kan man säga att båda dessa är bra alternativ till akvarellpapper för den som är sugen på att testa något nytt.

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