• Home  / 
  • Reviews
  •  /  Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad, 5.5″X8.5″ Side Wire Review

Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad, 5.5″X8.5″ Side Wire Review

Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad, 5.5
Spread the love

In the field of art, one must rely on two factors – his or her own talent and sufficient equipment. Talent is just the source of the final masterpiece, whereas the equipment is the best means to channel that talent.

One underrated, but very important piece of equipment is the paper on which the artwork will rest. For practice, it’s essential to have a useful and quality sketch pad, in order to hone your craft.

Our Top Pick For Caricature Drawing

Draw Caricatures Quickly and Easily!

Learn More

In fact, many comic book artists and cartoon designers credit their success to having a proper sketch pad.

What should an ideal sketch pad look like? Well, for starters it should have a type of paper which is able to turn your idea into reality most accurately.

One such sketch pad is this Canson Artist Series model, as it is fit to be every artist’s best friend. We’ve been able to get our hands on it and test it extensively. Let’s see how did it fare. One common problem we find with sketch pads is the differing response to different drawing media.

For instance, one pad can respond differently to charcoal, pens and thick pens. The Canson Artist Series sketch pad has been surprisingly consistent with all drawing materials. We’ve tested it by drawing images that require the use of both ball-point pens, pencils, and charcoals. The differences were non-existent.


You would think that the main characteristics of every sketchpad would be simplicity. However, that statement can’t be more wrong.

Creating an ideal sketch pad is a fine science that has been more and more efficient. Let’s see what kind of punch does this Canson sketch pad pack.

  • Due to a fine texture, you can color for an extensive amount of time
  • The paper is heavy and sturdy, which allows for maneuvering
  • Perforated paper for an easy removal from the side wire
  • Makes due with both light and thicker pencils and doesn’t alter the desired result


  • Sheets are easily removable and never rip due to the heaviness of the paper
  • Even though it’s good for a variety of dry media, it can withstand a moderate amount of watercolors, too
  • It’s very thick and contains 100 pages, which is pretty much a bargain at this price
  • Even pastels and charcoal don’t get smudged easily, which is a rarity in the sketch pad world


  • Some distributors are known to send it slightly used or package it without care
  • It’s not all that great when it comes to bigger projects, as the size is not all that much


This Canton sketch pad is excellent for artists of pretty much every experience level. If you’re a novice, you can get the best contrast options out of pretty much every high-grade sketch pad.

Even similar colors show distinct differences due to the paper texture. Even though we were supposed to test it only on dry media, we couldn’t help but test it with watercolors a bit.

The outcome was quite amazing, even though the pad wasn’t meant for that kind of endeavor. The color didn’t show on the other side, which is a great thing.

If you’re a pro and you’re looking for a thick and sturdy sketchpad, this might be the choice for you. 100 pages is a lot and it may prove to be the continuity factor you were searching for. You can even rip the pages if you want.

Another good feature is the side wire. It allows you to remove the paper from the pad if you wish to do so. The paper is recycled and very heavy, making it resistant to any kind of rupture.

Smudges are also at an all-time low due to the paper texture. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out what amazing features this sketchpad hides.


If you’re not sure about purchasing this sketchpad, fear not. We’ve prepared two excellent alternatives that may fit your requirement. Bienfang provides you with an excellent alternative to the already proficient Canson model.

Many artists have complained about the heaviness of the paper. It’s not a bad thing, but some really do prefer a lightweight version.

This is the only alteration in comparison to the Canson sketch pad. The Bienfang one also contains 100 pages, with a stable and strong side wire. There are also three sizes you can choose from, if you wish.

If you like the Canson pad, but you’re looking for something that can provide you with space for bigger projects, this may be the solution. Strathmore has shown in some cases that it is much better with HB and B pencils in comparison to the Canson pad.

The increase in size can help you test your talent on a bigger scale than you usually would. It is also very sturdy and can withstand being thrown around in a backpack for a while.


If you’re looking for a great pad for professional drawing, Canson just might have the solution. It can be good for freestyling and more complicated things.

We’ve also tested it on some architectural sketched. It responds very well to various different materials. It should be noted that charcoal is almost immune to smudges on this surface.

It’s due to a large number of small holes that provide an excellent basis to the already quality texture.

The size may be a problem if you’re looking for bigger projects, but it is good for many different sketching and drawing styles. When it comes to combining different material on the surface, they don’t manifest such drastically different lines.

It unifies the whole concept, unlike many other sketch pads. If it doesn’t prove to be the ideal match, you can try out any of the two alternatives. They come at the same page number, with a paper that’s bigger and more lightweight.

The 100 pages provide you with a great outlet for creativity and continuity for bringing your craft to perfection. Select one of your choice and start sketching!

Our Top Pick For Caricature Drawing

Draw Caricatures Quickly and Easily!

Learn More

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: