Strathmore® Paper  3.5 x 5 inch, 300 series Sketch Pads

300 series
Pros: inexpensive, smooth texture, readily available
Cons: none noted
Strathmore® Paper  3.5 x 5 inch, 300 series Sketch Pads are one of a series of quality, Made in the U.S.A.,  artists’ materials available from a well respected paper company providing quality papers for over a century for those who enjoy writing, sketching, or other artistic endeavors.

This pad is crafted with a sturdy board back, wire bound sheets and textured, lemon hued cover filled with information offered in English, French and Spanish extolling the virtues of the sheets of sketching paper.   A pencil sketch by Rovan Yu, centered, provides a notion for possibility for using the papers, company name and website are included, number of sheets is provided at the bottom of the cover.  Size of sheets, type of paper, and surface are all addressed on the cover.
Wire binding is double wire, heavy enough to keep the book intact without snagging the wire binding on whatever I may be carrying in my briefcase along with it.  Series number, the Strathmore thistle logo and the word Sketch in larger font all clearly indicate the product and intended use for novice sketch artists should there be question regarding best usage of the pad.
Sketch Paper is created as a lighter weight  paper providing a surface that is dandy for practicing, experimentation and perfecting skill. 300 Series is an economical, superior paper designed for student, beginning artist, as well as the artist who is often noted sitting, pencil or pen in hand while producing what he/she sees in the world around.

400 Series, 400 Series Recycled and Windpower™ Series are better-quality sheets having the firmer surface often chosen by the advanced artist.
Acid-free, the reasonably priced 50 lb. white sketch paper is dandy use for dry media to include pencil, crayon, charcoal, and the like. The 3.5 X 5 inch size is handy for tucking into purse or briefcase to have the pad nearby as inspiration presents itself.
While free sheets and glue bound papers are available; I prefer the wirebound.  Perhaps in time, should I actually become proficient with pencil sketching, something I am just taking up as a new hobby interest; I may try other type sketch pads, however at the moment all of mine, large and small are wire bound.

Strathmore offers wirebound pads in sizes ranging from the 3.5 x 5 inch size, subject of this review to larger pads including 9 x 12, 11 x 14 and larger and glue bound 9 x 12, 11 x 14 on up to 18 x 24 inch.
I find this pad of acid free paper having smooth texture in white to be well-matched for pencil sketching, detail work. For now I am confined to sketching with pencil; in time I may try pen, colored pencils, ball point pens and or charcoal.
The 3.5 x 5 inch pad provides 100 sheets, accepts pencil, does not fall apart, create crumbs or pills when erased, and is working well as I apply more enthusiasm than artistic prowess at the moment.  I find the paper to be nicely suited to my ability and hopes for sketching.

I realize that an accomplish artist likely can take a brown paper lunch sack and create a stunning rendering of whatever the eye beholds, on the other hand, as a novice to the world of pencil sketching I suspect choice of papers may be an important decision as I endeavor to create something worth doing.
An accomplished artist will likely realize their ability, and whatever the medium, feel comfortable.  For the novice, myself, I like that the sketch pad helps me feel more like a possible artiste in old age.   Confidence can always take a boost as we begin new things.
While I purchased my 3.5 x 5 inch sketch pad from Michael’s Store in Kansas City, online check shows the product to be available at Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma, and is available from a diversity of online vendors including Amazon.
My heritage includes Scotland in my genealogy: the thistle is a favorite of mine
Happy to recommend  Strathmore® Paper  3.5 x 5 inch, 300 series Sketch Pads
As always I like to know something of the company providing the products I purchase: I prefer Made in America:  © 2015 Strathmore Artist Papers™, a division of Pacon Corporation ®, ™ used under license from Mohawk Fine Papers Inc., an online visit to the Strathmore website indicates:  Strathmore Paper Company began on St. Patrick’s Day in 1892 when founder, Horace Moses, opened the Mittineague paper mill in West Springfield, MA.
Not long after initiation of the first mill, Mr. Moses trekked to the Valley of Strathmore in Scotland where the thistle was in full bloom.  The magnificence of the location so awed Moses; that he commenced using both name and the thistle as an icon of excellence in art and printing papers.
The Strathmore brand name was inaugurated in 1899, initially with Charcoal papers and soon after with Bristol.  The Strathmore brand promptly became celebrated as one of the premier quality art papers used by many leading artists around the world.
Strathmore has preserved their repute as a purveyor of fine art paper for over a century.  And, currently makes available for artists of all levels the ultimate surface for producing striking works of art.
Historical Timeline:
1892 – Mittineague Paper Company opened in West Springfield MA by Horace Moses.
1893 – Strathmore Drawing Board is first manufactured.
1894 – Horace Moses visits the Strathmore Valley in Scotland and begins using “Strathmore Quality” and the thistle symbol on his highest quality papers.
1899 – Charcoal Paper, Patent Office Board and Illustrating Board are added to the art line.
1905 – Horace Moses acquires the Woronoco Paper Company and runs it as a separate company.
1911 – Mittineague and Woronoco Paper Companies are consolidated and becomes the Strathmore Paper Company.
1929 – Student grade papers are introduced under the banner Alexis.
1950 – First pad is introduced as Alexis Drawing.
1952 – Blank Greeting Cards are introduced.
1962 – Strathmore is purchased by Hammermill Paper Company.
1972 – The first recycled sketch pad is introduced and called Shelburne Phase II Sketch.
1974 – The 300 Series is developed, Alexis becomes 400 Series and Artist 500 Series.
1986 – International Paper purchases Hammermill Paper
2004 – Mohawk Paper purchases Strathmore
2006 – Pacon Corporation purchases Strathmore Artist Papers™
Per the website I read The symbol of the thistle may have taken on a different appearance throughout the years, but the quality of Strathmore Artist Papers has remained second to none.
For lasting works of art, Strathmore is the artist’s choice.
Strathmore Artist Papers
2525 N. Casaloma Dr.
Appleton, WI 54913

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