Paper

Published on August 27th, 2010 | by Wenona Napolitano

5

Review of Canson’s XL Series of Recycled Paper Art Pads

Sketch pads Canson, the paper company, has been around since 1557 creating quality art papers. They’re still at it today and are dedicated to providing art students, art enthusiasts and professional artists with exceptional papers and original products.

I had the chance to try out a few pads of paper from their XL Series of artist pads. The XL series of art pads are made from recycled paper that contain at least 30% of post-consumer materials.

I compared these papers to other artist pads I’ve tired and I’m impressed.

The heavy duty bristol paper is a thick paper which is double sided where one side is smooth while the other is textured. The XL series Recycled Bristol pad would be perfect for sketching, doing artwork with pencil, crayon, ink, or charcoal. It is also suitable for watercolor or acrylic paint.

The XL series Recycled Sketch pad is best suited for your basic sketching with pencil or crayon. Charcoal, pastels, and ink may also be used but it is more for pencil.

I absolutely love the XL series recycled drawing pad because it has a big spiral top so you can easily flip pages and sketch on the go. It is perfect for the art student or traveling sketcher. This is a pad you can keep in your bag and take with you, so you can have it whenever inspiration strikes.

These are great artist pads. I would use them (If my daughter didn’t already confiscate them for her fall art classes she’ll be starting soon). I do wish that they had a higher percentage of recycled materials in them but that might compromise the quality and texture of the paper.

I know that some recycled paper feels very, very thin while others still feel very textured and less smooth, all of which can pose problems when you need a specific type of paper- say for art class.

All of Canson’s papers are acid free, lignin free, and made without chlorine. Canson maintains rigorous control over their product manufacturing and production of materials to ensure consistency and performance. And they’ve stepped it up an eco-friendly notch by adding the Canson ecopledge (PDF) to their products.

In addition to creating the XL series of recycled content papers, every Canson artist pad bears the Canson ecopledge, a symbol of their commitment to doing business responsibly. And while their logo may be new, the promise they make is not. They have long adhered to the stringent European environmental standards and have followed sustainable practices in their pursuit of manufacturing the highest-quality, long-lasting papers.

These are the pledges they have made:

  1. All of their paper is made from sustainably managed forestry
  2. They have reduced energy consumption
  3. To keep air and water emissions low
  4. They pledge to use a limited amount of harmful chemicals
  5. Canson pledges to recycle waste materials

So what do you think? Can recycled paper compare to regular paper when you need high quality, thick, textured, or smooth bright white papers? I think Canson proves that it can.

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About the Author

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book. She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible. Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including PlentyMag.com, EthicalWeddings.com, MyEcoChicWedding.com, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and Life123.com.



  • http://www.celebrategreen.net Lynn

    So happy to see an art supply company beginning to step it up. I’m disappointed that these pads are only 30% recycled, but you have to start somewhere. And of course, the pledge also is a great leap forward. Next step? Increase the percentage of recycled paper. Thanks for letting us know about this.

  • http://www.katedolamore.com/wordpress Kate

    Awesome! Yay Canson! For many years I’ve been using Strathmore 400 series recycled paper sketchbooks which are 30% as well. They also have a wind powered series that is 30%. They are the same weight and quality paper as the non-recycled and for the same price– so I honestly don’t know who would want to buy the non-recycled one! why bother even selling it? And yet, sadly, I know because I work at Michaels, that people still go for the non-recycled MORE OFTEN THAN NOT!! argh!

  • Thomas

    Thanks for the product info.
    I’ve been using the Canson XL 18 x 24 sketch paper pads for a few months. I really like the grain of shading that comes from the side of a piece of charcoal or Conte crayon on a smooth, flexible surface. (newsprint is my ultimate favourite, still)
    Something I find in the Canson Sketch sheets is sporadic `glitches’ in the paper, where it seems like some fibres snag extra charcoal in pinpoint spots when shading with the side of a chalk.
    Have others experienced that?

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  • Dave

    Where did you find the information regarding all Canson papers being acid free (a meaningless term – newsprint could be buffered to test “acid-free” – for a little while), lignin free, and chlorine free? I’d like to believe it but I’ve checked every Canson site I can find and they seem extremely reluctant to divulge the information. In fact, this is the ONLY site I’ve seen that purports to know.

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