Every artist needs a sketchbook so they can draw on the go and quickly write down ideas. But choosing the right sketchbook can be hard because there are so many options. Also, different sketchbooks excel at different things (charcoal, toned paper, markers).
You should get the Pentalic Sketch Book with a spiral bound spine if you just need to draw in it. All the pages are about the same size as A4 paper, and they’re all perforated so you can cut out any sketches you want to keep. Also, the hardcover covers can be used to draw anywhere. Sketchbooks are great for going outside. You can take one with you when you go to the park or on the train to draw. There are different kinds of sketchbooks, so you should know that not all of them are the same
Pentalic is a good choice for someone who just wants to sketch. But what if they want to finish their drawings? Chalk or ink? If you want to learn more about sketchbooks, this guide is for you. I’ll show you how to choose the best one for your needs.
What To Look For
The first thing you need to think about is why you need a sketchbook and how you’ll use it. There are a lot of things you can do with markers, like draw pictures and color them. Or do you want to paint with watercolors, as I did? Tones may work better on a certain background. Different sizes, brands, and paper kinds make it easy to find the right look for you. There are so many different styles to choose from. Most people who start out as artists just need a simple sketchbook with white paper that works.
In this case, the Pentalic that was mentioned above is great.
But let’s take a look at the different things you could do:
Spinebound or hard bound:
Softcover or hardcover: Which one should I get?
It’s the way things are set up when you buy (landscape or portrait)
The type of paper
How many pages in the book?
It should be enough for you if you just want a simple sketchbook. The A4 size should be enough. But if you want to make full drawings, you might need something bigger to show off your skills. I always prefer spiral-bound to hardbound because it’s easier to sketch on the go. Because the spirals can raise the book, it can tilt to one side when drawing at a desk or on a board. When you flip to a new page, you can always change the orientation of your sketchbook. There are a lot of things to think about, like where the binding is and if it will get in the way of sketching. There are a lot of things that can make you crazy if you’re just learning how to sketch.
However, as you get better, you’ll learn a lot about paper types and other types of art. In this lesson, you’ll learn which sketchbooks work best for you and which don’t work at all. To help you save time, I’m going to show you how to choose the right sketchbook for any situation. You can see my top 10 picks here, but if you have other ideas, feel free to share them. We might add them to the list.
Pentalic Sketch Spiral Bound
The first thing I want to show you is my favorite for both new and experienced artists. There are 160 pages in the Pentalic spiral-bound sketchbook. The paper is thick, so you can draw thick and dark without it bleeding through. In that case, you’ll need another book. They can also be written on with ink, colored pencils, or even very light markers, but these pages are very durable (probably not markers like Prisma). It’s the standard A4 size of 8.5 inches by 11 inches, so it should feel like drawing on copy paper. Each page is also very smooth, so it does feel like copy paper if you’re used to that.
In this case, the hard covers are very strong and will not bend or break, which could damage your drawings. Makes a great place to lean against when you don’t have anything else. You get a lot of pages for the price. My favorite sketchbook is this Pentalic one, because it’s strong and can be used for a long time. You can start sketching right away! For finished work, it isn’t very good. If you want, you can bring some drawings to a complete render and make it look like it’s done.
Moleskine Art Plus
The Moleskine Art Plus is a favorite of artists, designers, and writers of all kinds. It’s a sketchbook that everyone likes because the brand is well-known and the quality is clear. The Art Plus sketchbook is small, but it can be used for many different things, too. So you can take this with you almost anywhere. It’s 5 inches by 8.25 inches. It’s a great sketchbook that you can take with you when you’re on the go. They use thread to keep each of the 104 pages together. You can find this all over Moleskine notebooks, which is why people love them. This is a hardback sketchbook that I think is great for artists. The paperback sketchbooks are also there, if you prefer that type of paperback book. This is what I think: I think hardback is better for resting your palm on and keeping the inside pages free of crinkles. It’s not very hard, but it’s strong enough to stand on its own.
You’ll get white paper that can hold ink and pencil. Plus, the book comes with an elastic band to help you keep track of where you left off. If you don’t want to flip around to find the next blank page, this is a good thing. Overall, this is a great sketchbook or notebook for any project. Moleskine is great, but if you don’t mind having a spine that looks like a book, the Art Plus is a great choice.
Leda Art Supply Sketchbook
Another big company that makes sketchbooks for artists of all kinds is called Leda. They make their own sketchbooks for artists of all kinds. You can get this model in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. The small one is 3.75 inches by 5.75 inches. You can fit a lot into this size. It’s great for when you’re on the go. Because it’s so small, you can’t draw as much as you’d like. As long as you’re a fairly skilled artist, you can use both the medium and large sketchbooks. They both have a lot of space on which to draw. They all have the same cover, paper, and number of pages (160 total).
These pages are very thick, so they can hold graphite, ink, or charcoal very well. You can bend this book because it is made of soft paper. Great for storing things, but not so great for keeping your pages in the right order. And the Leda sketchbooks have a sewn binding that is much more durable than any glue or adhesive could be, so they last a long time. It’s a real sketchbook for artists, writers, draftsmen, animators, and pretty much anyone else who likes to draw. As good as Moleskine is, Leda’s quality is just as good as well. The softcover binding and the more pages are the main advantages here, but they’re not the only ones.
Canson Artist Series
In terms of good brands, Canson has to come up. These people make some of the best art supplies and paper goods in the whole world. The company has a whole line of Artist Series Sketchbooks that have perforated pages, a spiral binding, and a soft cover design. These sketchbooks come in four different sizes, so you can choose the one that fits your needs best.
5.5′′ x 8.5′′
9′′ x 12′′
11′′ x 14′′
18′′ x 24′′
Really big: It’s two feet wide. The 18′′ sketchbook is the only one with a landscape orientation, so if you want a very long sketchbook, this is your best bet. Portrait orientation is used for all the other sizes. All of them have the same spiral binding, too. Some people might not like the cover. It uses bad Canson branding with splash art to try to get people to buy. Most artists (myself included) like the color black in its pure form.
Besides, this is just a mark that looks good. It doesn’t affect how good the pages are at all. Each sketchbook has 100 full pages and can be used with graphite and charcoal. Because Canson is a well-known brand, they should be your first choice for a long, landscape-oriented sketch pad.
Strathmore Field Sketch
It is one of my favorite things to use. I’ve been using the Strathmore Field Sketcbook for a long time. Neither too thick nor too small. 70 pages are all that it comes with. Even though each piece of paper is made out of recycled paper, which is good for the environment and can help artists sell their work.
Grittiness is found on the pages. They have their own “tooth,” as well as a different “feel,” to them These pages aren’t flat, so they can be good for making things look better (although it is sketchbook paper). The front and back are both hardcover, which is great for artists who like to draw on the go. The spiral binding doesn’t get in the way when the book is on the table. A spiral-bound sketchbook that can lay flat is one of the few that does this (or close to flat). My favorite field sketchbook is made by Strathmore. It’s good for both beginners and more experienced artists. It doesn’t have a lot of pages, but each one is made from recycled paper and has a nice texture to make it feel less flat.
Pro Art Spiral Bound
A spiral-bound sketchbook called Pro Art is yet another A4 8.5′′ by 11′′ choice for artists. People don’t know this brand very well, so it costs less than other things because it isn’t as well-known.
This sketchbook looks and works just like any other bound sketchbook. The paper quality is the same, and it works the same way. However, there is one big problem with the amount. Even though you only get 80 sheets of paper instead of 160, it’s still a lot. But each sheet is cut and has a little texture as well. This is thick paper that can be used with ink, pencil, and charcoal. Probably won’t be able to use watercolors, though. All in all, it was a good deal for the money. It’s not very special, but it does give you a good sketching experience from start to finish.