Sunday 30 July 2017

Product Review Series | Paper Comparison

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a great day.

Today I will be doing a paper comparison to show how the same images will look vastly different depending on the type of paper you use. I will show the finished card for each paper type. I will also discuss how the paper responded to the pencils and my impression of each.

I'm going to apologize in advance -- this is going to be a long post; hopefully it will help you choose the right paper for your project, and maybe be less afraid to try something new.

For the purposes of today's review, I will be creating three cards using identical methods and products. The only difference between the cards will be the type of paper used. In the top left I have Recollections Kraft 65lb cardstock. In the bottom left I have Staples 110lb cardstock, and finally on the right I have Strathmore Toner Grey 80lb cardstock.

The images come from Lawn Fawn's "Our Friendship Grows" stamp set, stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, using the MISTI. And the greeting comes from Lawn Fawn's "Party Animal" set, also stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.

To colour each of the images, I used Lyra Rembrandt Oil based pencils. The technique I used to colour each image is exactly the same - despite the temptation to add more to certain panels. I'm sure you can immediately see why this temptation arose.

First up I have the Recollections Kraft 80lb Cardstock. I got this from Michaels Craft store. It comes in a pack of 50 for about $5.00. This is the only Kraft cardstock I buy and if you look back through previous posts, this is the one you will see when I use it.

At 65lbs it's a thicker paper. It takes stamping well, but I would certainly not use Copics on it. They bleed out almost instantly. However I love the way the pencils took to this paper. I find that Kraft lends a warmth to the piece as well as a rustic look. As it isn't white, the colours aren't as vibrant as you will see below, but there is a richness to them.

Next up I'm using the Staples 110lb cardstock. I get this from my local Staples for about $20 for a pack of 250. I use this for all my card bases as well as any time I'm colouring with Copic markers. This paper is incredibly sturdy and can handle layering very well.

While the pencils look for vibrant - remember I used the same pencils for all the cards - it felt unfinished, if I were going for a sketchy look this would be great, but I'm not. The surface of this paper is incredibly smooth and the pencils don't grip the paper very well. It was very difficult to not pull in additional colours to bring more life to the flowers.

Finally, I have the Strathmore Toner Grey 80lb cardstock. I got this pad of 36 sheets for about $13 at an art store in my city. First off, this is the thinnest 80lb cardstock I have even seen in my life. I honestly was very disappointed when I opened this package. My first thought was "well, this is never going to work", but as I had committed to a review, I trudged on.

I was terrified of tearing the panel, but the paper ended up being surprisingly tough; it isn't anything I would ever use as a card base, though. Cutting this paper was the same as cutting regular printer paper.

Then I started to apply the colour. Despite being very thin and relatively smooth, the pencils gripped this paper as well as on the Kraft shown above. This paper creates a lovely balance between the two others. Because of the light shade it still allows for the pencils to be vibrant as well as giving some of the warmth that Kraft lends.

When I looked at all three completed panels, the white just stared at me. It was a glaring contrast from the other two. To make it feel more complete I added the twine bow to the right side. I didn't feel that the Kraft or the Toner Grey needed this finishing touch, but I couldn't let that white be left in the cold.

I then matted each of them with a deep yellow cardstock and adhered them to standard A2 sized card bases.

I hope you like today's review. If you haven't all ready, please follow me over on the right sidebar, if you are viewing this via mobile device, scroll to the bottom and click "View Web Version" first. You can also follow me over on Facebook. If you have any questions about any of the papers, or have a suggestion for a future review toss me a line in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.


  1. Love posts that compare products, do helpful. If you make another of these, please do different types of watercolour paper.

    1. Hi, Thanks for the suggestion. I've been using the same type of watercolour paper for ages so maybe it's time to explore my options. Don't forget to follow this blog so you won't miss it when it happen!

    2. Not sure if you had a chance to check it out, but I did complete a watercolour paper comparison as you suggested! Check it out!


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