The 400 series Strathmore Drawing Pad has a brown cover sheet that a little thicker than the Paper and a back cover that is a thick cardboard. The pad includes 24 sheets of creamy white 80lb paper. The 4″ x 6″ pad is actually 6.5″ long but the extra half inch is taken up by the metal spiral binding. The pad is bound at the top with a sturdy metal binding that allows you to open the pad completely so that the paper you are drawing on becomes the front of the pad. The paper does not have perforations so if you want to remove a drawing to frame it, you will need to rip it out of the book and cut the top edge off the paper. The paper itself is not a bright white but more of a creamy white in color. The paper is smooth with a matte finish. The paper is acid free with a heavy weight. It is designed for dry media like pencil, and charcoal. I have only used it with pencils.
Using the Drawing Pad
I actually have some pads that are larger with the same paper. I have had them for years! Some are over 30yrs old and my paper and drawings still look great. I wanted this little pad to do some very casual drawing or even doodling to get me back into the habit of drawing for fun. I almost did not buy it because for its size it seemed like a lot of money at $6. I am glad I did, because it is a perfect size to keep near me. I am able to put this little pad, my pencils, eraser, and sharpener all in a little pouch and keep it near me when I am sitting on the couch watching TV. It would also be easy to carry in a purse to have with you whenever you might get inspired.
The paper is nice for drawing. It is the same paper that you will find in the larger 400 series Strathmore pads. I like that it’s a heavy weight so if I do want to frame something the paper will not get wavy or out of shape. I also like the creamy white color for it’s softness. My pencils glide easily on this paper and since it is smooth it is easy to erase. I have only done two drawings so far. My first one was a flower and I was less than impressed but I still had fun doing it. The second one was a drawing of my cat. I looked at a picture I had taken with my iPhone and drew a simple sketch at first. The next day I decided to draw in more detail. It was easy enough to add detail and erase or change some things I did not like.
I like to have a nice little edge of white around my drawings so I put some masking tape around the edge and drew right up to the line shading it in. I had never done this before and was just using standard masking tape. I did not leave it on for too long but when I removed it, it did not harm the paper at all. I included a photo so you can see what I was able to do. I am not sure I am done with this drawing yet, as I see more details I could fix to get a more realistic drawing but you can see that this pad is perfect for small drawings allowing you to put in quite a bit of detail.
Final thoughts and rating
I wish we could use 1/2 stars. I would give the Strathmore 400 series drawing pad 4.5 stars, taking off just a little bit for the fact that the top is not perforated to make it easier to remove a drawing for framing. Other than that I love this little pad and when I fill it up, I will consider buying another.