Strathmore 440-1 400 Series Watercolor Pad
Last updated date: October 8, 2019
Why Trust The DWYM Score?
DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.
We looked at the top Watercolor Pads and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Watercolor Pad you should buy.
In our analysis of 32 expert reviews, the Strathmore Strathmore 440-1 400 Series Watercolor Pad placed 9th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note November 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Watercolor Pad for a detailed review of all the top watercolor pads.
Expert Summarized Score
User Summarized Score
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
What experts didn't like
From The Manufacturer
STRATHMORE 400 SERIES WATERCOLOR - 140 lb. intermediate grade watercolor paper is popular with watercolorists of all levels. This versatile, felt finished paper is ideal for mastering watercolor techniques or finished pieces. This item is manufactured in United States.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Watercolor Pads
If you’re an artist, you know the importance of the materials you use. High-quality paints are essential for creations that jump right off the page. But the surface you’re painting on comes into play, too. For artists using watercolor pads, the paper inside those pads can either help or hinder your journey toward creating your next masterpiece.
Unfortunately, higher-quality paper can be on the pricey side. That can make it tempting to save a few bucks by buying one watercolor pad over another. But it’s important to make sure the paper will properly absorb your colors. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed in your results.
If you use pencils, you’ll also want to make sure you choose a paper that can stand up to your eraser. Look for papers made from long fibers that will erase cleanly. Acid-free, cold-press paper can handle multiple washings. Thicker, high-quality paper will also better soak up the pigments in your paint.
As you’re pricing around, keep in mind not only quality but quantity. It can be easy to be drawn in by a lower-priced pad, only to realize later that it only comes with a small number of sheets. A much thicker pad will last longer, saving you the inconvenience of having to go back to the art store.
Perforated pages can also come in handy when you’ve finished your piece of art. If you want to extract it from the notebook to display or give away, pages that rip out won’t have that smooth edge. A perforation will give you a handy page that you can show off as the piece of art it is.
For some artists, sustainability is also an important factor. Some watercolor pads are built with the environment in mind, so you can definitely narrow your list by looking for that feature. You can also find watercolor pads that are made in the U.S., if that’s a priority for you.
DWYM Fun Fact
Watercolor paintings have been found that date all the way back to cave paintings drawn between 10,000 and 15,000 BC. Artists during that time tended to depict the world around them, and those paintings serve as historical documents today. Pigments were combined with either animal fat or spit to create paint, but over time, artists learned to combine water with the pigments. Ancient Egyptians painted on tomb walls, but they also used scrolls as a canvas. The first manmade pigment is attributed to Egypt, where a pigment called Egyptian Blue was invented around 4,500 BC. In the 1800s, scientists found a way to recreate this especially bright color of blue using chemistry, as Egyptians did.
The Watercolor Pad Buying Guide
- When it comes to paper, it’s the little things that make a difference. The Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad uses long fibers in its page construction, which means it holds up well while working. If you’re also using your pad for pencil drawings, you won’t have to worry about wearing down the paper fibers when you erase.
- The paper of the Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad is acid-free and cold press, which ensures it will last through even repeated washings. It’s also heavyweight, 140-pound paper with plenty of texture to help it soak up the pigments in your paint.
- The paper in the Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad is also a 140-pound weight, with a felt finish to help soak up watercolors.
- Art professors helped develop the Canson XL Series 98 lb. Mix Media Paper Pad, designing it specifically for the needs of art students. The perforated, true-size sheets are perfect for neatly removing the pad to display. It holds up well whether you’re using pencil, charcoal or watercolor. It isn’t quite as absorbent as competitors, though, which means you’ll have to allow your drawings a little more time to dry.
- The pages of the Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad are soaked in pure natural gelatin, then air-dried. That process enhances your paint, giving it a luster. It also helps keep tearing and lint to a minimum.
- When you’re comparing prices, keep in mind the number of pages you get for that cost. The Canson XL Series 98 lb. Mix Media Paper Pad gives you the most, with 60 sheets of 7 X 10-inch paper. The Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad comes with 30 sheets, while both the Arches 140 lb. Watercolor Paper Pad and Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad provide only 12 sheets each.
- If the environment is important to you, it may help to know the Canson XL Series 140 lb. Watercolor Pad is made using sustainable processes.