Canson Universal Wire Bound Sketch Book

Last updated date: October 19, 2020

DWYM Score

9.3

Canson Universal Wire Bound Sketch Book

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We looked at the top Sketch Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Sketch Book you should buy.

Editor's Note October 23, 2020:
Checkout The Best Sketch Book for a detailed review of all the top sketch books.

Overall Take

This sketch book is filled with erasable paper that is ideal for dry media. It provides 100 pages for everything from doodling to creating detailed drawings. The spiral binding makes it easy to turn to any page and still lay the book flat on a table or drawing desk.


In our analysis of 66 expert reviews, the Canson Canson Universal Wire Bound Sketch Book placed 3rd when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

This paper pad features a versatile surface for a variety of dry media and fine texture. This package contains one 12 by 9-inch spiral sketch pad with 100-sheet of 65-pound paper. Acid free. Made in USA.

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
1,920 user reviews

What experts liked

What experts didn't like

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.

An Overview On Sketch Books

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 hard cover.  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. Hard covers 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 sketch book 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.

The Sketch Book Buying Guide

  • 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 documents 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 soft cover. Sketch pads with a hard cover, like the Leda Art Supply Perfect Premium Sketch Book, command a higher price than those with soft covers, like the Zenacolor Spiral Bound Sketch Book, 2-Pack. The Arteza Sketch Book, Pack of 3 contains multiple pads, so you’ll need to divide the number of pads by the total cost to determine the price per sketchbook.