It's about time I review these. Strathmore sent these to me almost 10 months ago. Oops.
I've heard and seen these products on Amazon but wasn't attracted to them because I feel they are very niche products. They are marketed for pattern drawing and meditative art. You mean this sort of art can't be drawn on other type of paper? Or does the square format make it more conducive to draw patterns? I'm not sure.
The Strathmore Artist Tiles are available in 4x4 and 6x6 inch sizes, and they are available with different types of paper, namely: bristol vellum, off-white, toned-gray, toned tan, coldpress watercolor, and black. Each paper has its own characteristics, such as paper weight and surface.
The black paper that I have is more like cartridge paper, but it's 160gsm thick. The bristol has 270gsm paper with vellum surface — it's smooth.
There are only 20 sheets for bristol and 30 for coal black paper. Both acid-free.
Bristol is excellent with pen and ink.
I've used Copic markers for this sketch.
While 270gsm is thick, I can still see some marker bleeding over to the next page. Alcohol markers if they are very juicy can bleed through. Water-based markers will have no problems.
Using watercolour on it is like using it on cartridge paper. The paper is certainly thick enough to handle water medium without much buckling. As with cartridge paper, it's difficult to get flat washes.
The coal black Artagain paper is best used with dry medium. Oil based pencils do not perform as well compared to dry pencils, pastels which has more covering strength. I don't see any problems using it with coloured pencils.
The square format is interesting. If it's just for pattern drawing, it's definitely feels limited. These paper can certainly be used for many other purposes. Overall quality is good, predictable.