Sketchbooks are a great way for artists to practice and experiment with new techniques.
In this post, we'll discuss the different types of sketchbooks available and what each type is best suited for.
We'll also provide some tips on how to choose the right sketchbook for you. So, whether you're an experienced artist or just getting started, read on to learn more about sketchbooks!
Hardbound sketchbooks are typically made with a hardcover and heavy-duty paper pages.
Because of their durability, hardbound sketchbooks are great for artists who like to travel with their sketchbook or who want to be able to erase and redraw without damaging the paper.
However, hardbound sketchbooks can be more expensive than other types of sketchbooks, and the pages aren't usually as thick as those in a spiral-bound sketchbook.
A spiral-bound sketchbook has pages that are held together by a spiraled wire binding.
This type of binding allows the pages to lay flat when the sketchbook is open, which makes it easier to draw on the entire page.
Spiral-bound sketchbooks also typically have thinner pages than hardbound sketchbooks, which makes them lighter and easier to carry around.
However, because the pages are thinner, they may rip more easily if you erase and redraw frequently.
Pad sketchbooks are similar to spiral-bound sketchbooks, but they have perforated pages that can be easily removed from the binding.
This feature is great for artists who like to scan or photocopy their drawings, or who want to frame or mount their sketches.
Pad sketchbooks also usually light and easy to carry, and they often have thinner pages than hardbound or spiral-bound sketchbooks.
However, like spiral-bound sketchbooks, the perforated pages of a pad sketchbook can rip more easily if you erase and redraw frequently.
Mixed Media Sketchbooks
A mixed media sketchbook is one that is made with heavy-duty paper that can stand up to wet media like watercolors as well as dry media like pencils and charcoal.
Mixed media sketchbooks are great for artists who like to experiment with different mediums or who want to use their sketchbook for finished pieces as well as sketches.
However, mixed media sketchbooks can be more expensive than other types of sketchbooks, and they may be too bulky or heavy to carry around with you everywhere you go.
Specialty Media Sketchbooks
Specialty media sketchbooks are those that are made specifically for use with a certain type of medium, such as watercolors, charcoal, or pastels.
These sketchbooks usually have heavy-duty paper that is either coated or textured to provide a smooth surface for the chosen medium.
Specialty media sketchbooks can be a great choice for artists who want to focus on perfecting their use of one medium, or who want to use their sketchbook for finished pieces.
However, like mixed media sketchbooks, specialty media sketchbooks can be more expensive than other types of sketchbooks.
Sketchbook paper comes in a variety of types.
There are different paper weights, colors, thicknesses, and surfaces.
The type of paper you choose will depend on the medium you'll be using, as well as your personal preferences.
Toned paper is a great option for artists who want to add depth and dimension to their drawings.
The subtlety of the color can help create shadows and highlights, and it can also be used to great effect with white charcoal, colored pencil, or chalk.
Lighter paper is better for dry media like pencils and charcoal, while heavier paper is better for wet media like watercolors.
Heavy-duty, thick paper is a good choice for artists who use a lot of watercolors or who like to experiment with mixed media.
This type of paper can stand up to a lot of wet media without warping or buckling.
However, thicker paper can also be more expensive than other types of paper, and it may not fit in a standard sketchbook.
Surface texture is another factor to consider when choosing paper for your sketchbook.
Some artists prefer a smooth surface for their drawings, while others prefer a more textured surface.
Rough surfaces can be good for charcoal or pastels, as they can help the medium adhere to the paper.
Smooth surfaces are better for colored pencils and ink, as they allow for cleaner lines and less smudging.
Coated papers can be a good choice for mixed media, as they can help prevent the paper from warping or buckling.
When selecting your next sketchbook, consider the paper weight because it impacts how your medium will react on the page.
Tips for Choosing the Right Sketchbook
Now that you know more about the different types of sketchbooks available, here are a few tips to help you choose the best sketchbook for you:
- Consider what type of medium you'll be using most often.
If you're going to be using pencils, a spiral-bound sketchbook with thin pages may be a good choice.
If you'll be using watercolors, a mixed media sketchbook with heavy-duty paper may be a better choice.
- Consider how much you're willing to spend.
Hardbound sketchbooks can be more expensive than other types of sketchbooks, but they're also usually more durable.
If you're just starting out, a cheaper sketchbook may be a good option.
- Consider how portable you want your sketchbook to be.
If you want to be able to take your sketchbook with you everywhere you go, a small sketchbook may be a good choice.
If you don't mind carrying around a heavier sketchbook, a mixed media sketchbook may be a better choice.
- Consider what you'll be using your sketchbook for.
If you're only going to be sketching in it, a spiral-bound or pad sketchbook may be a good choice.
If you want to use your sketchbook for finished pieces, a mixed media or specialty media sketchbook may be a better choice.
- Read reviews of different sketchbooks before you buy one.
There are many different types and brands of sketchbooks available, and it can be helpful to read reviews from other artists before you choose one.
This will help you get an idea of the quality of different sketchbooks and which ones may be the best choice for you.
Finding Your Next Sketchbook
The best sketchbooks will depend on your needs as an artist, and there are many varieties for you to choose from.
Consider what type of medium you'll be using, how much you're willing to spend, and how portable you want your sketchbook to be when choosing the right sketchbook for you.
No matter what your artistic style or preference is, there's a type of sketchbook out there that's perfect for you.
So, grab your art supplies and get started filling up those empty pages!
Want to learn more about different sketchbook types? Check out Windy Iris Art's video!
Interested in adding some new sketchbooks and paper to your art supplies?
Check out some of our other articles: