Sketchbooks Gallore! choosing the right book for you
I have made it my personal mission to find my favorite watercolor sketchbook. I feel like I've bought them all at this point and I'm excited to report I have found my personal Forever Sketchbook! And some other good ones along the way. I'll share my pros and cons. And these reviews and rankings are based purely on what I have tried - there are still many books I don't know and haven't tried. Iv'e split these into 2 Main categories Cotton paper sketchbooks and pulp paper sketchbooks. I'll add a video walkthrough soon when I get to town for better WIFI!
COTTON Watercolor Sketchbooks
1. Hahnemule 100% cotton
A5 size, 5.8 x 8.3" on
Price: $ 29 on DickBlick
All I have to say is it is incredible. Colors are vibrant and sharp, the paper has a tad bit of texture, so it's still nice enough to use pens and fountain pens without them getting clogged up like on most cotton paper. The cover and binding feels high quality and beautiful. I don't have any cons for this book except it is on the pricier side, but that is not bad for the quality in my opinion compared to some of the other books.
2. Kilamanjaro Wire-bound Sketchbook ** Budget Pick
5.5 x 10" wire-bound, hard cover, $14.99 Cheap Joe's
20 sheets (40 pages front/back)
I like the paper, most similar to Arches. It comes with sketch paper between each of the watercolor pages which I find distracting, so I often tear them out. The paper can differ a little from the front to back, but find both are paintable. This book isn't bookshelf fancy, but functional and a great price.
there is a fancier black version. for $19.79
3. Etchr Watercolor Sketchbook
A5 5.75 x 8.25" Landscape and Portrait options
$28.49, Cheap Joe's
On Jerry's Artarama there is a Winsor and Newton spiral bound 5x7" cotton watercolor notebook for $12.50. I have not tried it but reviews are good.
Pulp (non-cotton Sketchbooks)
1. Visual Journal Strathmore 140lbs wire-bound
A5 5.5x8" Portrait
$8.00 on Amazon (I tried to find it in other spots)
2. Hahnemuhle Watercolor Book
available between $20-30
3. Moleskine Watercolor Book
A5, portrait and landscape options
between 17-30 depending where you find it
4. Stillman and Birn Beta Series
$18 on Jerry's Artarama
Tell me what you like and what you have tried! I love learning about new sketchbooks.