Best Sketchbook for Ink: Visual Journals for Your Inking Journey

Best Sketchbook for Ink: Visual Journals for Your Inking Journey
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Have you ever bought a sketchbook and some new pens to work with only to get home and find that the ink bleeds through the paper? Wave goodbye to half your sketchbook in that case! Or worse still is that the colors bleed into each other so your once beautiful ink sketch now looks like something your child might have brought home from school!

Good quality art materials can be quite expensive, so making the wrong purchase can be quite a costly mistake. Ensuring that you buy the right paper for the right artist's medium is of great importance.

Hence, if you’re on the lookout for the best sketchbook for ink, then you’re in the right place. Here are our top picks.

Best Sketchbook for Ink: The Three Options

1. ZenArt Supplies Sketchbook Journal

ZenArt was founded on the principle that these days, most people wish to escape the fast-paced digital environment and return to their simple passions. With each sale of quality artists materials, ZenART donates to UNICEF’s “Art in All of Us”, which helps inspire children across the globe to connect through art to promote tolerance and understanding.


The first sketchbook we wanted to feature in this “best sketchbook for ink” list is a beautiful, soft, and leather-bound sketching journal. It is B6 in size, measuring five by seven inches, making it ideal for carrying around with you when inspiration strikes.

It’s handmade with biodegradable and recyclable materials that while being kind to the environment. Don’t compromise on quality with its acid-free pages, which resist color fading over time.

Inside the stunning cover, you’ll find 160 pages (80 sheets) of smooth 120gsm, blank ivory paper upon which you can pour out your ideas and develop and practice your inking techniques. While this sketchbook is perfect for ink and marker sketches, you can also use it for light watercolors.

The premium thick pages will withstand a large amount of erasing and shading should you wish to practice your hand at pencils too. Since the pages are smooth, though, if you like to dabble with charcoals and pastels, then, this may not be the best choice.


  • Leather-bound
  • “Lay flat” binding
  • Biodegradable and recyclable
  • Smooth, acid-free paper
  • Includes inner pocket, bookmark, and elastic closure
  • Money-back satisfaction guarantee


  • Not suitable for all “dry” mediums
  • Limited color options for cover

2. US Art Supply Premium Hardbound Sketchbook

With over 40 years of experience in the market, US Art Supply is committed to providing products which respond to the needs of their customers. As innovators in color, quality, and service, they strive to forge long and mutually beneficial relationships with legendary service and products.


The second product we felt worthy of making it to this list was the two packs of spiral-bound, hardcover sketchbooks from US Art Supply. Each sketchbook measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches and contains 160 pages (80 sheets) of 110gsm, acid-free paper.

The hard front and back covers will protect your sketches from folds and creases, but unfortunately, they don’t have an elastic closure that can be used to hold the book shut in a slightly larger bag where it may fall open.

These sketchbooks are missing many of the great extra features offered by the ZenArt sketchbook journal such as the bookmarks and handy storage pocket. They do offer fantastic quality paper that is ideal for ink work, at a remarkable price. In fact, it works out almost two for one when it comes to the number of sheets you get!


  • Most paper for your money
  • Acid-free paper
  • Can be laid flat


  • No elastic to hold the book shut
  • Spiral binding reduces the size of sketch space to five inches

3. Speedball Travelogue Artist Journal

Speedball prides themselves on looking after their employees so that artists can enjoy knowing that their materials were created by people who care. They are dedicated to supplying art supplies that are consistently top quality with superior service to boot.


This is another beautifully presented sketchbook with finely woven European book cloth laid upon a protective and durable hardcover. Measuring 5.5 by 5.5 inches, this sketchbook has an elastic closure that ensures all the contents are kept snug and secure within the hardcovers while you carry them around.

It has quality signature binding to keep the sketchbook pages intact and has rounded corners which give it a classy look as well as increase its durability. You also have a choice of four different colored covers, and each contains a handy bookmark.

It contains the least amount of paper (128 pages or 64 sheets) out of all the sketchbooks on this list, but the pages you do get are of the highest quality at 130gsm. Rather than having a smooth finish, the paper in this sketchbook has a medium tooth. It is ideal for almost any medium, from pens and watercolors, charcoals and pastels, through to any grade graphite.

Also, with a great texture, it is easy to build color and shade. Additionally, its thick enough page can withstand substantial amounts of revision and shading, and hefty amounts of ink without bleeding.


  • Highest quality paper
  • Medium-tooth, acid-free paper
  • European woven book cover
  • Classy, rounded corners
  • Includes an elastic closure and bookmark
  • Four color choices


  • Least number of sheets
  • Smallest in size


We love the fact that you get so much paper for your money with the two-pack sketchbook from US Art Supplies, but our overall best sketchbook for ink has to be the Travelogue Journal from Speedball.

The sketchbook from ZenArt came close, but the heavier paper used in the Travelogue Journal really bodes well for ink users with much less chance of color bleed and page bleed through, even after relatively heavy inking sessions.

We love the fact that the sketchbook comes with an elastic closure to protect and keep all of the pages together when on the move, and the quality binding will ensure that they don’t fall out easily. The cover is really beautifully made as well and with a choice of colors, will look great on your bookshelf in years to come, as a reminder and keepsake of your creative processes and hard work.

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