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Best Sketchbooks for Artists (Buyer’s Guide and Recommendations)

A sketchbook with different art supplies on the table (Best Sketchbooks for Artists)

Finding the best sketchbook will depend on your own different requirements like preferred size, texture, and medium choice.

Sketchbooks for artists can be made with different mediums in mind like graphite, ink, watercolor, or even paint.

After considering the medium you plan to use with your sketchbook you then can think about what type of paper would work best for it. For example, charcoal pencils and pastels are more suited for paper with more of bite and more texture whereas graphite pencils and ink are better for smoother paper.

Some main factors to keep in mind when considering the best sketchbook for you are:

  • Prefered Medium Type
  • Paper Type
  • Binding Type
  • Size

We will break down the best sketchbooks based on these factors as well as further exploring a variety of other sketchbook features.

There is something undeniably beautiful about an organized (or disorganized) sketchbook that contains all of an artist’s scribbles, ramblings, and sketches. 

So hopefully with this list and guide you can find the best sketchbook for you and your artistic endeavors. 

Which Sketchbook Is Best? – At A Glance

Best Sketchbook for beginners: Moleskine Art Sketchbook

Best Affordable Sketchbook: DSTELIN Blank Spiral Notebook

Best Small Sketchbook: B6 Small Sketchbook for Drawing 

Best Large Sketchbook: Fuxi 9” x 12” Spiral Bound Sketchbook 

Best High End Sketchbook: Arches Drawing Pad  

Best for Pencil Drawing: Strathmore 400 Series 

Best for Pencil Charcoal: Strathmore Paper 500 Series 

Best Sketchbook for Ink: Canson C400100928 

Best Sketchbooks for Mixed Media: Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks 

Best Sketchbooks for Graphic Designers: Articka Note Hardcover Sketchbook 

Table of Contents

    Why You Can Trust Our Reviews

    These reviews are based upon over 20 hours of research which were used to scour reviews on top art sites, Google Shopping, Reddit, and Amazon. These recommendations represent the culmination of our team’s work in finding the top-quality sketchbooks that we fully stand behind. 

    Using first-hand, personal experience with these sketchbooks whenever possible, we have made it our mission to consider the pros and cons of each sketchbook and provide an unbiased, detailed look at everything they have to offer. 

    Best Sketchbook For Artists In 2023

    Moleskine Art Sketchbook 

    Moleskine Art Sketchbook in black

    The Moleskine Art Sketchbook has a smooth surface and is ideal for sketching with various dry media, such as pencils and charcoal.

    Its acid-free and heavy premium paper are the sketchbook’s most outstanding vital qualities. It is an excellent option for artists interested in keeping their work over time, and it also provides a sturdy surface for sketching and does a decent job of preventing bleed-throughs.

    Also, the sketchbook sizes and elastic closure are perfect and convenient for your quick sketches or portrait ideas. 


    • Has a hard cover, elastic closure, and an expandable inner pocket
    • Has a perfect size for on-the-go drawings 
    • Thick and sturdy 


    • Not good for alcohol-based mediums
    • Hard to work with watercolor

    Strathmore Medium Drawing Pad 

    Strathmore Medium Drawing Spiral Paper

    The Strathmore Medium Drawing Pad is a part of the brand’s 400 series of drawing pads, designed to provide you with the best surface for your creative projects. It is offered with a medium-textured, smooth surface that is always durable.

    The surface has a medium tooth that works well with graphite and colored pencils, charcoal, and even paints, and the drawing paper has a cream color, making it ideal for finished artwork. This sketchbook is a must-have for everyone who wants to improve their technical drawing skills and put those into practice.


    • Spiral-bound
    • Acid-free
    • Thick and smooth paper
    • Can withstand repeated erasing


    • A bit pricy 
    • Few sheets

    Fuxi 9″ x 12″ Sketch Book 

    FUXI Top Spiral Bound Sketch Pad

    If you are looking for bright white paper, this Fuxi Sketchbook is for you. The drawing paper of the Fuxi sketch pad has a rough texture, perfect for dry mediums, and is thick enough not to cause bleeds.

    The cover and the back are thicker and harder and can be used as a drawing board. It is also very portable and simple to carry around.


    • Spiral-bound
    • Acid-free and non-faded
    • Thick paper
    • Can withstand repeated erasing


    • Not for watercolor and markers

    Premium Black Sketchbook 

    Premium Black Sketchbook

    The Premium Black Sketchbook is a high-quality sketchbook that features 96 sheets of heavyweight, finely-textured archival drawing paper, providing a sturdy drawing surface and preventing any bleed-through from the opposite side.

    It features a surface that is well suited for working with colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, and pastels while being sufficiently smooth for use with ink.

    All in all, it is perfect for your daily sketching or practice drawing.


    • Sturdy book bound
    • Fine surface
    • Easy page removal (micro-perforated)


    • Not for markers and watercolors

    Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks 

    Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks

    Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks are popular among artists because they can work with dry media and light washes of wet media. The paper quality is also excellent, with medium-weight sheets with a smooth texture perfect for most mediums. 

    This sketchbook is highly recommended for beginners.


    • Spiral-bound
    • Acid-free Thick paper
    • Can withstand repeated erasing


    • Not for markers

    Articka Note Hardcover Sketchbook 

     Articka Note Hardcover Sketchbook

    The Articka Note Hardcover Sketchbook features a hardbound cover with high-quality, durable bright white paper. Even though it contains 120 pages, it is portable, allowing you to avoid the inconvenience of carrying a huge and bulky sketchbook.

    It works well with dry media and as well as light wet media. Also, if you use markers, it surprisingly works well.


    • Has a hard cover and elastic closure
    • Thick paper and sturdy
    • Easy erasability
    • Perforated pages


    • Not good for alcohol-based mediums
    • Does not have much tooth on it (might be good for people who love smooth paper)

    Canson Artist Series Watercolor Pad 

    Canson Artist Series Watercolor Pad

    For artists who use watercolors, this sketchbook is for you, the Canson Artist Series Watercolor Pad. It makes use of heavyweight, cold-pressed French watercolor paper.

    The surface can endure being scratched, erased, and washed repeatedly and does not deform or change shape when dried. But of course, be mindful not to wet your brush too much, as it might just stay above your paper surface. 


    • Spiral-bound
    • Acid-free
    • Thick paper
    • Great for wet mediums
    • Withstands frequent erasing


    • Not that much absorbent 

    Leda Art Supply

     Leda Art Supply 160 Pages Softbound Cover Sketchbook

    If you are looking for a good-looking sketchbook for all-around use, Leda Art Supply Sketchbook might be for you. For beginners, you might also want to consider this for your everyday practice.

    Using this smooth, cream-colored acid-free paper pad, you may preserve your artwork’s beautiful colors and markings for checking your progress. It also comes with a waterproof cover for more protection.


    • Perforated pages
    • Acid-free
    • Ideal for mixed media


    • Not for markers

    Some of our picks are found in this video review:

    Other Types of Sketchbooks

    Best Sketchbook Brands

    Here is a list of some other Best Sketchbook Brands: 

    1. Speedball 
    2. Royal & Langnickel
    3. Canson
    4. Pacon
    5. Blick
    6. Hahnemühle
    7. Articka
    8. Strathmore
    9. Arteza

    If you are looking for affordable ones, you can go for Speedball, Canson, and Arteza.

    You can go for Strathmore, Pacon, and Blick if you want the best quality papers.

    Best Sketchbooks on Amazon

    Here are some of the best sketchbooks available on Amazon:

    1. Moleskine Sketchbook
    2. Strathmore 400 Series Sketchbook
    3. Arteza Sketchbook
    4. Canson XL Series Sketchbook
    5. Pentalic Wirebound Sketchbook
    6. Ohuhu Sketchbook

    What Qualities to Look For When Buying a Sketchbook

    A woman sketching on a sketchbook

    As an artist, your sketchbook is your creative sanctuary, a space to explore your ideas, thoughts, and emotions freely. And so, paying attention to the qualities when buying a sketchbook is crucial. 

    The following are some of the qualities to look for when buying a sketchbook:


    Depending on your preferences and planned use, consider the sketchbook’s size. Small sizes are portable and great for quick sketches, while larger ones allow more detailed work.

    Here’s a guide to some of the most common sketchbook sizes:

    Sketchbook SizeDimension (in inches)
    Pocket2.5 x 3.5
    A64.1 x 5.8
    5 x 75 x 7
    A55.8 x 8.3
    6 x 86 x 8
    8 x 108 x 10
    A48.3 x 11.7
    9 x 129 x 12
    11 x 1411 x 14
    A311.7 x 16.5

    Note: some sketchbooks may have slightly different dimensions than those listed here.

    Binding Type 

    The binding type determines how the pages are held together. 

    A Wire binded sketchbook makes turning of the book pages simple and useful for sketching and painting.

    Stitched binding is more durable than other binding types and is suited for frequent usage.

    Tape binding is more inexpensive, but it is not as sturdy.

    An Unbound sketchbook provides you with the ability to personalize each page.

    Hard/Soft Cover

    Consider how you want to use your drawings and the level of protection they need. Hardcovers provide superior protection for your artwork compared to softcovers, which are more portable and do not weigh as much. 

    And because of that, hard-covered sketchbooks might cost more than soft ones.

    Paper Type

    • Watercolor Paper – has a textured surface and is ideal for wet media. 
    • Bristol Paper – is typically made from a high-quality blend of wood pulp and cotton fibers, so it has a smooth surface, which is excellent for dry media.
    • Acid-Free Paper – prevents yellowing and damage over time.
    • Tracing Paper – is excellent for copying and moving pictures since it is translucent.
    • Smooth vs. Textured Paper – Smooth paper is best for fine details, but textured paper adds to your work’s depth and dimension.
    • Recycled Paper – paper that has been made from previously used paper products, which makes it eco-friendly. It is usually available in a white paper.

    Paper Weight

    Paperweight is measured in GSM (Grams Per Square Meter). It determines how thick the paper is and how long it will last.

    And so it means that the higher GSM, the thicker it is and less likely to bleed through or tear.

    Other Features:

    Some sketchbooks have an interior pocket to store art supplies or an elastic band to close the book. 

    Also, perforated pages allow for easy removal of your sketches.

    Your drawing surface can make a lot of difference to your drawings. Choosing the right notebook may open up unlimited possibilities for your creativity

    Best Sketchbooks for Artists –  Conclusion

    Choosing the right sketchbook is vital for artists at all skill levels. A good sketchbook can enhance your skills and may open up unlimited possibilities for your creativity

    We have provided a comprehensive list of some of the best sketchbooks available on the market, ranging from affordable options for beginners to high-end choices for professionals. Our recommendations are based on quality, versatility, and value for money.

    If you still have questions, consider booking a discovery call with us. We’ll do our best to help you find the perfect sketchbook to fit your artistic goals and budget.

    Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

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