Best Sketchbook of 2021 Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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If you are in need of a sketchbook for your upcoming artwork project, you have landed on the right page. Here we will share with you all the essential information which you should consider when buying a sketchbook.

Although a sketchbook isn’t an expensive purchase, you should pay attention to its basic features because a sketchbook offering low-quality paper won’t allow you to draw a perfect sketch; if a sketchbook isn’t capable of assisting you while drawing a beautiful sketch, there is no need to buy it.

To help you buy a suitable and proper quality sketchbook, we have created a comprehensive review of some of the best sketchbooks on the market. Here, you can analyze and judge all these products depending on their features and specifications. So let’s get right to it, shall we?

Best Sketchbook Reviews

Comparison Chart

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Moleskine Art Sketchbook, Hard Cover, Large (5″ x 8.25″) Plain/Blank, Black, 104 Pages
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Pentalic Sketch Book, Hardbound, 8-1/2-Inch by 11-Inch
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Art Alternatives Sketches in the Making Very Big Hardcover Sketchbook-Giant Sketchbook-600 pages ( 300-sheet)-Black Cover
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Strathmore 455-3 Drawing & Sketch Paper, White (3 Pack)
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Leda Art Supply A4 X Large Sketchbook for Artists (8.25 x 11.5 inches) 160 Tear Resistant Pages for Professional Ink, Pen, Graphite and Colored Pencil Drawing

Moleskine Art Sketchbook

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The Moleskine Art Sketchbook is manufactured with superior quality paper, which is heavy and ideal for feeding your sketching passion. With this sketchbook in your hand, you can create sketches while on the go.

Product Highlights

Just like any other Moleskine product, the Moleskine Art Sketchbook is thread bound. Its cover is made of cardboard, which provides added protection for this sketchbook. The corners are also rounded for protection against drops.

Besides the good-quality paper, Moleskine also uses acid-free paper. The sketchbook comes with an elastic closure and a bookmark. Moreover, it has an expandable pocket located on the inner side, which also contains some text about Moleskine’s history.

No doubt, Moleskine is a renowned name in the field of art. This brand offers sketchbooks, watercolor notebooks, music notebooks, and sketchpads. They always use heavy paper, which adds more depth and clarity to your sketches.

Talking about the cover, it is also made of durable material. Additionally, with the provision of the durable elastic closure and cover, you can securely store your notes and completed projects.

The inner storage folders and closure band prove handy on every occasion. When it comes to the appearance of this Moleskine Art Sketchbook, it has a classic leather look.

The cover is thick and offers the required protection for the contents of this sketchbook. Moreover, the ivory paper is appropriate for writing with fountain pens.

The deluxe quality thick and ivory pages of this Moleskine Art Sketchbook can retain the sketches for longer than the usual length of time.

The paper is durable yet soft. It won’t cause any trouble while making sketches with a soft pencil. This sketchbook is made of acid-free paper, which renders it be an environment-friendly product.

Its expandable inner pocket and the matching bookmark are additional features. The sketchbook is capable of lying flat, which makes it the ideal sketchbook for just about any project or idea.

As a whole, this Moleskine Art Sketchbook serves the purpose well for which it was built. In addition, another noticeable feature of this product is its affordability; therefore, it’s an ideal option for both amateur and professional artists.

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The Good

Moleskine products are known for their durability and quality. This brand is committed to serve artists and promote culture. With this sketchbook in your backpack, you can enjoy your traveling, convert your imagination onto paper, and create a personal art book.

The Bad

It might be difficult for you to use both sides of the paper, as some inks may bleed to the other side. The sketchbook is also large, which means you will need to designate a specific place among other luggage.

Pros

  • Compatible with different media
  • Hardcover for extended durability
  • Comes with rounded corners
  • Elastic closure secures the content
  • Soft and heavy ivory paper

Cons

The ink may bleed through to the other side

Pentalic Sketchbook

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The Pentalic Sketchbook is a stylish and traditional hardbound product, which is perfect for both sketching and writing. Its strong binding protects the contents of this sketchbook for a more extended period.

Product Highlights

The high-quality pages of this sketchbook invite you to fill them with your imagination. The hard binding allows you to preserve your artwork for longer than you would normally expect. Its sturdy construction protects the pages from sliding out of the cover. This is because the spine is engineered in a way, which allows the user to lay this sketchbook completely flat.

This sketchbook comprises of 220 pages or 110 sheets. The paper appears to be bright white in color. Moreover, it weighs 70 grams approximately, and is constructed without using acid.

The embossed texture on the cover gives a unique and artistic feel to the sketchbook. Besides its appearance, this sketchbook is an ideal option if you are looking for a top-quality product.

It proves to be excellent for writing, classwork, and sketching. The Pentalic Hardbound Sketchbook is secured with sturdy and elegant cover, which helps to keep your notes and artwork intact for an extended period.

Apart from this, it also provides a firm platform or surface for drawing or sketching. The hardbound spine is particularly designed to allow it to stand upright on the shelf.

As a result, you can store this sketchbook without securing a specific place for it. The paper used for this sketchbook is sourced only from forests that are certified to be sustainable.

It’s a suitable option for types of dry media. As a whole, this sketchbook by Pentalic is an excellent option if you are fond of sketching or writing.

The Good

The good thing about this sketchbook is its durable and robust construction. When it comes to paper quality, you will get a premium feel, which renders it as one of the best sketchbooks within this category and price range.

The Bad

Erasing the pencil is difficult. Therefore, when sketching, you need to be careful, otherwise, you may damage the page while trying to erase the sketch.

Pros

  • Looks good and feels good
  • Paper is thick paper
  • Hardcover for better structural integrity
  • Prevents the ink from bleeding through
  • Smooth texture for a luxurious feel
  • Offers lay-flat binding structure

Cons

It’s hard to erase the pencil completely

Art Alternatives Hardcover Sketchbook

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The Art Alternatives Hardcover Sketchbook is an over-sized blank sketchbook. It is so welcoming that you can’t help but immediately start your artwork in this sketchbook.

Product Highlights

This large sketchbook by Art Alternatives contains a total of 300 sheets and 600 pages, and the weight of each paper is 75 grams. Moreover, the color of the paper bright white and is manufactured without using any kind of acid.

Furthermore, it’s an environment-friendly product, which is manufactured by using a paper that comes from sustainably managed forests; each sheet of paper measures 12.5″ h x 10.75″ w.

While lying on your coffee table, the blank pages of this sketchbook would entice you to fill them with the artwork. You can also give this sketchbook as a gift to your family or friends.

The size of this sketchbook is perfect for all types of sketches and drawings, including small or large-scale sketches. You can also use multiple media while creating your artwork.

The availability of 600 pages offers you enough stock. As a result, you don’t have to limit your passion for sketching and artistic creations.

Overall, this particular sketchbook by Art Alternatives is a great product to meet most of your drawing and sketching needs.

The Good

This sketchbook is designed in a way, which makes it easy to store it, among other books. Due to its large size, you can also create a lot of sketches and even use multiple media.

The Bad

The most noticeable drawback of this book is its weight. This sketchbook is heavy, which lowers its portability.

Pros

  • Maximum number of sheets
  • Hard yet soft paper
  • Durable cover offers desired protection
  • Made of acid-free paper

Cons

Relatively expensive sketchbook

Strathmore ANST455-3X3 455-3 Drawing & Sketch Paper

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Strathmore ANST455-3X3 455-3 Drawing & Sketch Paper is the medium weight and general-purpose sketch paper. With this sketchbook, you can improve your sketching techniques. It’s a lightweight product, which makes it highly portable.

Product Highlights

This heavyweight sketchbook from Strathmore gives you the opportunity to explore the artist within you. The paper offered in this sketchbook is ideal for graphite pencils, charcoal, colored pencils, soft pastels, and sketching sticks.

The fine and smooth surface of the paper makes it easy for you to sketch. Moreover, you can also practice or explore new techniques. When it comes to the size and design of this sketchbook, it’s a 12×9 inch side spiral-bound sketchbook.

There are 100 sheets of 60-gram, acid-free paper. Moreover, the paper is lightly textured, offering you the ideal surface for sketching.

Apart from being good for beginners, this sketchbook is equally popular among advanced artists. The harder surface makes your sketches more prominent and defined.

This is the reason the Strathmore 400 Series papers work with a wider variety of styles and media. Its double-spiral binding ensures durability and ease of use.

The backside of this sketchbook binding is made of heavy chipboard. The sheets are micro-perforated, which allows you to tear out the desired sheet without damaging the others. This particular feature isn’t available with hardbound sketchbooks. The surface of the paper is fine-tooth, which easily grabs and retains the dry media. It can withstand repeated erasures, allowing you to work on the same page.

The material used for the construction of this paper is free from any type of acids. Therefore, the paper offers a longer life and doesn’t change its color too readily.

The Good

This is an all-purpose sketchbook, intended for perfecting techniques and experimenting with new or unique art forms. It comes in a packing of 3 pads, each consisting of 100 sheets of paper.

The paper is lightly textured, which allows you to draw sketches that are more refined. It offers the freedom to use multiple media and express the artist within you.

The Bad

Apart from all the features and advantages mentioned above, there is a drawback associated with this product.
As compared to other available options on the market, this sketchbook is quite expensive. This aspect may affect the purchase decision for some buyers.

Pros

  • Durable and heavy paper
  • Ideal for all types of media
  • Lay-flat design for ease of use
  • Backed by strong chipboard
  • Easily grabs dry media

Cons

Expensive compared to similar options

Leda Art Supply A4 X Large Sketchbook

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Leda Art Supply is a renowned name when it comes to sketchbooks and other artwork accessories. The paper used within this sketchbook is of top quality. This means that you don’t have to compromise the overall appearance of your sketches.

Product Highlights

The paper in this sketchbook has a smooth feel with a slight tooth. It allows you to draw sketches without stretching your pencil. As a result, you can easily draw more sketches without straining your fingers.

If you are looking for a premium-quality sketchbook, think about Leda. The provision of dense and soft paper renders it a perfect platform for charcoal and pencil.

The drawings created with either pen or pencil will look amazing. Furthermore, you can use a variety of media to complete your artwork.

The unique and durable cover offers protection to the contents of this sketchbook. Its all-weather construction protects the pages from dampness and water. Therefore, you can also use this sketchbook in outdoor settings. Moreover, it also feels good when you are holding this book in your hand. It also offers a pocket for keeping your notes and finished artwork.

In addition, you can also utilize its back pocket for storing your pencil and pens. The elastic strap will help to keep the sketchbook closed when not in use.

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The Good

It is an ideal sketchbook for pen, pencil, charcoal, and pastel. It can also support light watercolor media. The paper isn’t too thick or thin, making it lightweight yet durable. This makes it a perfect choice for drawing on both sides.

The Bad

Just like most of the other sketchbooks, markers tend to bleed through to the other side of the paper. Although you can use a small tip marker for diminishing the chances of bleeding, it still won’t offer better results.

Pros

  • Perfectly designed for all types of media
  • The cover protects the paper against dust and moisture
  • Allows to sketch while standing
  • Paper with ideal density
  • Offers extra-large surface
  • Feels and looks good

Cons

Doesn’t prevent bleeding through of the ink

Buyer’s Guide

No matter whether you are a professional artist or a beginner learning to sketch, what you need is the perfect sketchbook. However, you can’t just rely on just any of the available options.

To help you in this regard, we have compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide, which will guide you. So, without any delay, let’s take a look at the essential aspects to consider when buying a sketchbook.

Size

Talking about the size of a sketchbook, it depends on your preference. If you want to draw sketches while sitting in your study room, you can think about using a large sketchbook.

On the other hand, if you are in love with nature and want to draw plants and animals, you should go for a small-sized, more portable sketchbook. Although the small sketchbook offers a limited number of pages, it is quite easy for you to carry such an option. If you choose a large sketchbook, it would be challenging for you to sketch while standing.

Weight

The weight of a sketchbook depends on the number of sheets and the weight of the paper used. Usually, artists prefer sketchbooks with less weight and a reasonable size.

This allows the artist to carry the book along with other stuff easily; when you are going out into the wilderness, rely on a reasonably sized and lightweight sketchbook.

The reason for this preference is to keep the weight of your overall luggage at its minimum. However, if you need large and heavy paper, it would be appropriate to go for a heavier sketchbook.

Binding

When it comes to binding, there is a wide range of sketchbooks that you can buy. For instance, there are certain options, which are available with a hard binding. On the contrary, you can also find a sketchbook with a soft or ring binding.

Although the hard binding adds more weight to a sketchbook, it gives the required strength to it. So if you want to use your sketchbook both indoors and in outdoor locations, choose a suitable binding.

On the other hand, if you are using a ring binding, it would be much easier for you to fold the book and use it while it is lying flat.

Cover

Sketchbooks come with both the soft and hard covers. It all depends on your preferences as to whether you opt for a hardtop or soft-top sketchbook.

When choosing a sketchbook, make sure to keep in mind the purpose for which you are buying one. If you need it to create notes or write down the memories while traveling, you can choose a softcover. However, when the sole purpose of buying a sketchbook is to create sketches and drawings, settle only for hardtop books.

Type of Paper

When it comes to the overall quality and strength of paper, you should rely on the best possible option. Especially for sketching, you need a specific type of paper that offers a perfect blend of texture and rigidity.

The paper should be capable of reducing the chances of ink or colors bleeding through to the other side of the page; this will allow you to use both sides of a page. Similarly, opt for a paper which is also capable of performing well with watercolors, if that is your chosen medium.

FAQ

What is a sketchbook?

It’s a type of a special pad or book, which offers a sufficient number of blank pages for sketching. Normally, artists use sketchbooks to draw sketches and drawings, to practice, improve their creativity, or create memories of places as they travel.

The best part of these sketchbooks is being able to keep your artwork in one place. These sketchbooks serve the purpose well when taking notes and collecting specific data.

How to choose a sketchbook?

When choosing a sketchbook, the first thing to consider is the quality of the paper. If the paper isn’t appropriate for sketching, it won’t serve the job. Also, it would be better to choose a sketchbook with a sufficient number of pages.

Moreover, you also need to choose between a hard or soft-top cover, which usually depends on the usage. When you need a durable and sturdy sketchbook, go for a hardcover sketchbook.

For instance, if you are a traveler and note down your memories on a sketchbook, choose a small and lightweight sketchbook.

How to use a sketchbook

You can use a sketchbook in multiple ways. Some people use these books to keep a record of their essential information. On the contrary, frequent travelers use sketchbooks for writing down their travel experiences.

However, the most common way of using a sketchbook is associated with drawing and sketching. A lot of artists (both amateurs and professionals) love to draw and sketch in these books.

What to draw in a sketchbook

There is no limitation when it comes to drawing in a sketchbook. In fact, it’s up to you that what you want to draw. Usually, artists draw nature and the things they see in their surroundings.

Moreover, you can also use different media for drawing sketches; therefore, you can draw anything that grabs your attention. You can also study and practice different techniques.

Final Verdict

After taking a look at the sketchbooks mentioned above, it should be much easier for you to choose one for you. All the products mentioned above are specifically designed to meet the needs of artists.

Therefore, if you are looking for a particular sketchbook, the above list should give you enough examples to make your choice, or act as a starting point for further research.

Most importantly, the buyer’s guide section makes it possible for you to identify the essential features of a good sketchbook. By taking into account the aspects discussed in this guide, you can easily identify a quality product from a cheap one.

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