Sketchbooks. Something that we all need yet something that none of us invests time in searching for. And there is no doubt why we don’t – living a hectic lifestyle, you don’t even have time for self-care and family, never mind researching what sketchbook is the best for your needs.
That is why we have decided to make the process easy for you and provide you with a few of the best, as well as a buyer’s guide and an FAQ section to make sure that you are buying exactly the right book for you. The market is diverse, but there are still certain points and features that allow us to see which is the best sketchbook out there. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and take a look.
Manufactured by a renowned brand, this sketchbook is a great pick from the Moleskine Art collection. Whether you are an illustrator or a writer, this kind of sketchbook will provide you the best quality for on the road or at home. And if you are a professional artist, you are going to appreciate the ivory pages even more.
Similar to other Moleskine notebooks, this one comes with an elastic thread bound cover that will last you for years to come. While being flexible on one side it provides great convenience on the other as the sheets are protected from any kind of crease, especially given the elastic closure.
Now, when it comes to what this sketchbook has got on offer, we can say that the main feature has to be the heavy ivory paper that is not something you often get to see.
Being acid-free, any kind of art will stay in optimal condition, and you can be sure to get 100% use out of it given the great thickness of each page. This means that there will be no watercolor or marker residue bleeding onto the next page, and you will not have to worry about sheets wrinkling after using equipment that is not considered as dry media. This sketchbook is perfect for travelers, office workers, and artists.
First and foremost, the design of this sketchbook is phenomenal and it is safe to say that it might have one of the best hard covers out there. Along with that, the ivory papers are the shining star of this sketchbook and excellent for any kind of dry media, as well as for marker use.
Last but not least, it is convenient to carry and do work while you are on the go.
On the other hand, there are a few cons that have to be mentioned. The paper doesn’t seem to be as smooth as described and along with that, it doesn’t absorb gel media very well.
While the markers might not bleed through, inadequate use (without a junk piece of paper below), you may get residue bleeding through when using watercolors.
Once again, the ARTEZA brand proves to be among the top when it comes to the sketchbook market. With a pack of 3 high-quality sketchbooks for an amazing price, it is an excellent option for beginner artists, kids, office workers, and freelancers.
What is amazing is that for a reasonable price, you will get three sketchbooks, which means 300 sheets in total. That is a lot, isn’t it? And no matter how creative you get, it will take a long time till you go through all of those.
The page size is 5.5 x 8.5 inches, which is adequate for most people to enjoy. Due to the fact that the paper is perforated, the size of the sheet will remain the same even once you remove it.
These sketchbooks are the perfect choice for a dry media artist as you will not have to worry about pencils, sharpies, charcoal, or pastels bleeding through.
As the paper is acid-free and thick, the times where you were removing half of the sheets because of content bleeding from one page to another are long gone. One of the biggest advantages of this sketchbook is the great spiral bound cover which will protect the papers from creasing while also offering easy removal.
Along with that, the papers are lightly perforated so you will not have to worry about the sketchbook falling apart after you have pulled out a few sheets. Last but not least, as always ARTEZA offers a satisfaction guarantee which means that in case of any damage once you receive the product or shortly after, you will be able to send it back and get a full refund.
I love the fact that you get 3 sketchbooks for the price of one, and that it is spiral bound and durable. The paper is heavyweight and bleed-proof for most drawing media, and the design is convenient whether you are on go or in an office environment.
The sketchbooks aren’t perfect for markers and ink. Gel media isn’t that well absorbed either. Although the paper quality is high, there are still certain improvements that could be made.
Ideal for dry media artists, it includes 80 sheets of cream-colored paper that will pair beautifully with your art. Produced by the high-quality brand Leda Art Supply, you can expect nothing less than a durable and solid sketchbook.
First and foremost, unlike the above mentioned two, this one comes with a stitched thread-bound cover, and while it may seem weaker, believe us it is not. Whatever the storing and carrying conditions are, this cover will be able to protect your work from creasing and wrinkles – unless it ends up in a flood of course.
The paper is dense (81 lb.) and is best suited for work using dry media such as charcoal, pencils, and ink. If you spend a lot of time on the go and enjoy having a sketchbook by your side (to catch your great ideas), this is a great choice. Plus, the size of 7 x 10 inches is just right.
Along with that, it offers a lay-flat surface, which means that even if there is no table around you to put it on, you will still get an opportunity to get your creativity out. Not to forget, the Leda Art Supply always tries to make environment-friendly products and such is the case with this sketchbook as well.
It is hard not to like this Leda Art Supply product. With a convenient and elegant design, it stands out from the competition and it will make your art stand out as well. Why? Because it features cream colored papers that accent your dry media work.
The inside binding doesn’t seem to be as tough as hoped and the cover seems to wrinkle after heavy use (although it still protects the paper).
If you thought that the 81-lb. paper in the previous sketchbook was dense, this Beta Series comes with almost an archival paper that stands at 180 lb. and has a cold-press surface. It is best for artists that use dry media and can work great for all other people that enjoy keeping their doodles and plans on one place.
While it may contain fewer sheets than the previously mentioned three sketchbooks, it still offers more than enough space to work with 26 heavy-duty sheets. The white colored paper will keep its quality for a long time.
Why? Because it is pH neutral and designed without any lignin, chlorine or acid.
It has sewn binding and while it is flexible and convenient for on-the-go use, you can still be sure that the cover is rugged enough to protect it from certain weather conditions. Apart from being a great dry media sketchbook, you will be able to use it with light watercolors as well, and ink seems to be absorbed just fine.
The size is 8 x 10 inches, which is a regular sketchbook size and perfect if you are always on the go. Probably one of its highlighted features is the fact that it lies flat no matter on what page you open it to – and that is something that an artist knows to appreciate.
Although the paper is white in color, it still accents your art and this kind of a sketchbook is the one you will want to use when presenting your work to family and friends.
While there are many advantages to this sketchbook, I would say that the archival paper and the cold-press surface are the two main features you should be excited about.
It is a durable sketchbook that will last you a long time, and you can be sure that your art will look as good as new even after a few years have passed.
Maybe the biggest disadvantage of this sketchbook is the fact that inner binding could have been done better. Certain customers have been claiming that it falls apart after you remove a few pages.
And while the manufacturers don’t say that sheets are perforated, they could have still done a better job to prevent such an outcome.
This sketchbook may have one of the most durable covers out of all that we have mentioned. And while the binding is spiral, you can be sure this Masterclass Premium sketchbook is going to last you for more than a few years. Plus it is suitable for most media use – both dry media and watercolor paintings.
Physically touching this Masterclass Premium sketchbook is a pleasure – from the first touch you can see that the cover is made of the highest-quality material and that nothing will stop it in its goal to protect your artwork.
It consists of 100 sheets that are all acid-free and perforated, perfect for your artistic needs. While it is ideal for dry media use, the paper should be able to handle the use of markers and light watercolors without bleeding through.
The paper is much lighter than the previous sketchbooks, being 60 lb., but it is smoother as well which will allow for better absorption. As to its size, it is perfect to pack for on the road work and you will be making a statement with it given its fancy design.
One of the best things about this Masterclass Premium sketchbook is the fact that you will be able to draw on a flat surface even if there is no table around you – no matter what page you open the surface is going to be adequate for your drawings and sketches.
Last but not least, by buying this sketchbook you will be contributing to The Wounded Warrior Project.
Apart from beautiful design and high-quality cover that will protect your art no matter what, one of the most important features is the flat-surface it offers. Along with that, there are more than enough pages to draw on (100 sheets) and with adequate maintenance, it should last you for a long time.
It is one of the best sketchbooks for dry media and you will not have to worry about paper bleeding through.
This sketchbook may not be the best choice if you are an artist using hard markers and heavyweight watercolors as well as gels. This is mostly due to the fact that paper is lightweight and transparent, and any kind of heavier media might bleed through.
When searching for the right sketchbook, you need to know what you should on the lookout for. This buying guide will assist you in the key features you need to consider.
One of the most important features to look for in a good sketchbook is the adequate size. Most of the sketchbooks are well within a range of 8 x 10 inches and that seems to be the best size given its convenience.
Your goal is to get a sketchbook that will be easy to carry and take on when traveling, while still including sheets that are big enough for your art.
Along with that, it is the weight that matters for almost the same reason. When considering the weight, you should look both at the weight of the sketchbook itself and the density of the specific paper.
The more a paper weighs, the better will it handle heavy media. As with the example above, archival paper seems to work better with inks and waterproof colors than thinner paper.
Of course, binding is important for a few reasons, especially the inner binding. The binding feature is mostly connected with how durable your sketchbook will be in the long term – if the binding is weak, it will fall apart after a few sheet removals. That is why you should look for a sketchbook that has double wire binding or is thread bound.
The cover plays a crucial role in protecting your artwork. And while most of the offered sketchbooks come with a hard cover, those with a soft cover don’t have to lack on quality either.
As long as it features a rugged design and it is water resistant, you should be able to remain stress-free while your work is protected.
While the design of the sketchbook itself doesn’t play a huge role in terms of its durability, it is still an important point consider especially if you plan to show off your work directly from the sketchbook.
Our best recommendation is to go either for faux-leather designs or elegant artistic ones like a Moleskine mentioned above.
Last but not least is the type of paper a sketchbook includes. There are two points to consider – its weight and its color. Its weight is important mostly because that determines the type of media you will be able to use – a heavier paper will prevent markers and watercolors from leaving any residue on the next page.
Along with that, while for some people the ideal paper color might be white, we think that a cream colored paper will accent your artwork much better.
Well, if you enjoy DIY work and think you can make a unique sketchbook, go for it. In the end, it is not that hard. There are a few things you will need: 20-30 drawing papers, patterned paper, cardboard, glue, thread, a ruler, and a pencil.
First, you should put your papers together and poke the binding holes through. Be sure to put the patterned paper as the first and last pages.
Once you have threaded through the papers, you should glue the cardboard (which will act as cover) to the patterned paper at both the front and back, and you are good to go.
The answer depends on what kind of work you enjoy doing. If you are an all-round artist, we recommend that you go ahead and do a bit of everything.
Start the first few pages by sketching, then move on to oil painting, and do some charcoal art as well. Let your mind roam free and enjoy the process.
There is not much science to it. Open it and draw, doodle, sketch, or whatever makes you relaxed. If you have decided to buy a sketchbook for outlining and planning purposes, then go for it – make it your journal where you will keep the records of all important stuff that has happened or is about to occur.
It is a pad of thick paper that can be used to doodle, sketch, draw, write, or illustrate – whether you are a student, office worker, or an artist, a sketchbook is something that allows you to keep your work in one place, and present it if you choose.
Whatever you feel comfortable with – just be sure that it is according to the manufacturer's recommendation. What do we mean?
If it is recommended to use only dry media, don’t experiment with watercolors and markers or you might risk damaging the sketchbook you love so much.
While choosing a sketchbook is not quantum physics, it is still something you should invest a bit of time into. By making the right choice, you will have an excellent sketchbook that will allow you to draw, write, and illustrate to your heart’s content.
Plus, you can later show your work to family and friends. Along with that, it will come in handy for those times when you are traveling and want to keep a journal about what is happening.
We did our best to make it an easy process for you, and now it is up to you to make a final decision.
Don't forget to also read our article on the "Best Sketchbook For Markers of 2019 Complete Reviews with Comparison".