Added 2 new A* pages:My Canson bristol paper arrived today! And I used it for these two latest pages--I don't know if you noticed, since I tidy things up in Photoshop after scanning anyway, but the lines are smoother and the whole thing is cleaner. Why? For one thing, the Canson bristol (I just realized I don't have to capitalize "bristol" :P, even though it gets its name from the city of Bristol, England for some reason) is much smoother than the "Smooth" version of the Strathmore 300 bristol I used for the previous three pages, as perhaps you can see in this little comparison done with a Tombow Mono 4B pencil:|
The smoother surface means the lines get broken up less by the paper's texture, and consequently come through much more cleanly when scanned into the computer.
Also, although you can't really tell from the photo, Canson's bristol is a brighter white than the Strathmore 300, which actually scanned light gray in some areas rather than pure white--that meant that with the Strathmore, I had to shift light grays to white in Photoshop to clean up the scan, which unavoidably resulted in some loss of detail and line integrity. Canson's bristol, by contrast, scans pure white, so no additional processing of the artwork is necessary.
(Strathmore does have two pricier lines of bristol, the 400 and the all-cotton "archival" 500, but when I felt them up at the art supply store yesterday, the 400 didn't feel any smoother than the 300, and the 500, which *may* have been a smidge smoother than the 300, was a much darker color that would make for an even muddier scan.)
Finally, Canson's bristol doesn't have the oddly squeaky, rubbery surface the Strathmore does, so drawing on it is a much more pleasant experience, and the eraser doesn't stick to it like it does to the Strathmore; in fact, my 4B pencil marks just erase much more easily and cleanly from the Canson paper.
So huzzah! The Canson bristol is everything I'd hoped it would be, and has none of the problems that were bothering me with the Strathmore--and my A* pencil work should look much cleaner from here on out. :)