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The Best Sketch Book

Last updated on January 21, 2024
Best Sketch Book

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Sketch Books

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Artisto Microperforation High Absorbency Sketch Books, 2-Pack

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Microperforation High Absorbency Sketch Books, 2-Pack

You'll get not one, but two premium sketch books when you opt for this set. Each measures 9 inches by 12 inches and features a total of 100 sheets. The paper is nice and thick, allowing for a variety of mediums, including charcoal, gel pens and sketching sticks.

Overall Take

High-End PairThis sketch book is spiral-bound and made with pages that can be removed and added to a portfolio.

 Runner Up

Pacon UCreate Premium Spiral Sketch Book, 75-Page


UCreate Premium Spiral Sketch Book, 75-Page

This sleek black sketch book fits easily in any bag for drawing and doodling on the go. There are a total of 75 pages, which are perforated for easy removal. With the sketch book, you can create everything from a beautiful butterfly to a stunning city landscape.

Overall Take

Removable SheetsThis sketch book is also available in 12 inches by 9 inches if you prefer a larger size.

 We Also Like

Moleskine Art Leather-Like Sketch Book, 104-Page


Art Leather-Like Sketch Book, 104-Page

Artists will love this sketch book's durable cover, which is constructed using an elegant leather-like material. Inside the book, you'll discover an inner folder and thick, ivory paper pages that work well with ballpoint pens, fountain pens and pencils. Since the sketch book is such high-quality, it makes for a great gift for the artist in your lif...

Overall Take

Protective PickAn elastic closure keeps the contents of this sketch book safe when traveling.

 Strong Contender

Spark Drawing Crayon-Friendly Sketch Book, 120-Page

Spark Drawing

Crayon-Friendly Sketch Book, 120-Page

The multi-color cover on this sketch book really stands out. Inside, you'll find large 8.5 by 11 inch pages for creating beautiful portraits or landscape drawings. The paper is able to accommodate light fine tip markers, crayons, colored pencils and watercolor paints.

Overall Take

Most AffordableYou'll find this sketch book comes in at half the price of similar models.

Buying Guide

You never know when your next creative idea will strike, so it’s a good idea to have a sketch pad and drawing utensils handy. Not all sketch pads are created equal, however. So before you purchase one, you’ll want to take into consideration a few important features.

First, determine whether the company producing the sketch pad takes measures to protect the environment. For example, some brands only use paper created from certified sustainable forests. They prominently display a sticker with this information right on the front cover of the pad.

Next, decide whether you’d like the sketch pad to have a soft or hardcover.  Soft covers tend to come with a spiral binding, which allows you to quickly flip through the pages. But, they can also be susceptible to damage and tearing when placed in a bookbag. Hardcovers protect the pages better, and if you opt for a leather cover, you’ll also enjoy the anti-slip surface.

Consider the shape of the sketchbook pages. Traditional pads are rectangular in shape, but now artists have the option of buying square-shaped sketch pads. The benefit to this shape is that it’s better for sharing pictures of the sketches on social media.

The size of your sketchbook is also important. “Is it something you plan to carry with you and use on the go? If so, think about where it needs to fit,” says art educator Amy Markham. Her podcast “Starling” helps artists develop their creative process. “Will you carry it in a backpack, a purse or a pocket? Some people prefer to have a smaller sketchbook to carry around and a larger one for planning out ideas when they are at home.”

Finally, you’ll need to think about what sort of paper is best suited to your needs. “If you are mainly using your book for pencil sketches and the occasional pen, then standard sketchbook paper will work. If you are using markers, inks or some light watercolors, opt for a mixed media paper,” says Markham.  “Sketch paper will not absorb wet media. If you know you are going to be painting often in your sketchbook, go for a watercolor paper sketchbook.”

Don’t forget to check the thickness, weight and absorbency of the pages as well. Thinner pages will leave press-through impressions on the pages behind them.

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham  
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

What to Look For

  • You can frame your favorite sketches and give them away as gifts or use them to decorate your home. If the sketch pad page is not the same size as a traditional frame, you can take it to a craft store and have a custom frame made.
  • Sketching just a few minutes every day is a great way to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • You don’t have to confine yourself to using the sketch pad for drawings only. You can also write to-do lists in them, create calendars or document your observations when bird watching. Another option is to use the pad as a visual journal, combining your written thoughts with important images that remind you about the day. If you travel, for example, you may wish to draw the Eiffel Tower and then write about the sites and sounds you experienced from the observation deck.
  • Keep your sketchbook away from any liquids. Accidental spills can ruin the pad’s pages.
  • When it comes time to compare sketch pad prices, you need to consider whether the book has a hard or softcover. Sketch pads with a hardcover, like the Moleskine Art Plain Sketch Book, 104-Page, command a higher price than those with soft covers. Some sketchbooks that contain multiple pads, so you’ll need to divide the number of pads by the total cost to determine the price per sketchbook.

More to Explore

The Oxford dictionary refers to a sketch as “a rough or unfinished drawing.”  Sketches were originally designed to give an artist a way to put their ideas down on paper. People sometimes refer to this as doodling. Later, the sketches would be used as a starting point to create the final masterpiece that the artist had in mind.

Today, however, creative minds often use sketch pads to create work of arts and not just rough drafts. The most commonly used medium for drawing in a sketch pad is the pencil. Did you know that just one lead pencil can create a straight line that is an astounding 35 miles long?

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