7 of the Best Sketchbooks for Watercolors in 2018

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If there is one thing you can say about art, it’s that it is never easy. You do not just take a pencil and paper at random and start sketching.

A lot more factors other than that are involved in the whole art-making process. This includes the type of paper and the supplies too. For example, handmade papers are fantastic for doing pencil sketches while the other types go better with water and oil-based paints.

That is why it’s important to choose your sketchbook carefully depending on the kind of supplies you use for drawing and sketching.

If you’re a beginner or someone who’s looking to try out different options available in the market, worry not.

Here is a list of some best sketchbooks for watercolor that you can choose from depending on your sketching needs.

Best Sketchbooks for Watercolors in 2018

  1. XL Canson Pads

Sale
Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Pad, Heavyweight, Fine Texture, Heavy...
  • Use for: sketching, drawing, light washes of ink...
  • Erases well and blends easily

XL Canson Pads are very suitable when you are looking for something that allows you to work with mixed media. The pages of the sketchbook provide fantastic texture, which means that both pencil sketches and oil-based work look amazing on these. The texture is such that it is also effortless to clean.

The papers are heavyweight and hence, do not easily let water or oil based paints soak through. This makes it easy for you to use any paint like acrylic, watercolors or simple sketch pens. The acid-free nature of the sheets also makes it environmentally friendly. These amazingly textured sketch pads comprise of 60 sheets which allow the paints to blend easier.

The sheets are around 18 x 24 inches in size. All these qualities, along with the presence of the micro-perforated sheets makes for a brilliant creative experience for any artist. You can use Canson Pads for light sketching, ink-based painting, journal and collage making, and as a base for other dry or wet media. Each pad is of mere 3.93 pounds’ weight, making it easier to draw and carry around.

Pros
  • Textured
  • Micro-perforated sheets
  • Allows the use of mixed media
Cons
  • Only 60 pages
  1. 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro

Sale
Bellofy 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro, Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad...
  • Premium Artist Paper - This heavy, A-4 fine art...
  • Mixed Media Use - The premium surface makes our...

Not everyone who paints is a professional artist. Some of us are just doodlers or amateurs learning how to draw. For such people, the drawing material also becomes essential as it allows one to develop and nurture their interests. Sketchpad Artist Pro of the offers these artists exactly the creative space they need to get better. The heavy and thick papers of the sketchbook work with different drawing and painting media.

The stark white pages of this sketchpad are easy to draw in. This makes the brand an ideal companion not just for beginners, but also the professionals. The sheets are made of recycled material and are acid-free. Sketchpad Artist Pro also comes with a unique spiral flip-top design which makes it perfect for both left and right-handed artists.

The micro-perforated pages of the sketchpad enable easy blending while the heavy material doesn’t let the paint seep through easily. The book comes with 100 pages that work well with sketch artists as well as people who are into drawing comics and manga.

Pros
  • Heavy pages that don’t let colors spread
  • Suitable for mixed media
  • 100 pages that are usable on both sides
  • Ideal for usage by both left and right-handed artists
Cons
  • Plain white pages not exclusive to any drawing material
  • Not textured
  1. Global Art Material – Travelogue Watercolor Book

Global Art Materials Travelogue Watercolor Book, Square, 8-1/4-Inch by...
  • 60 acid-free, soft-white sheets, 95lb/200 gsm
  • Durable cover with elastic closure, clear envelope...

This beautiful light-weight sketchbook makes for a very good travel companion. It is a large landscape-style sketch pad with soft sheets that make sketching and coloring easy. Travelogue watercolor book has about 60 sheets that you can use to unleash your creativity. The sheets are also acid-free and environment-friendly.

The cover of the sketchbook is very durable and is bound in natural linen, which also makes it aesthetically pleasing. It has a transparent envelope inside the back of the cover to carry loose materials and paper.

The pages of Travelogue sketchbook allow for a fantastic blending. So, if you prefer water or oil based paints to pencil or pen sketches, you can go for it without thinking twice. You can also experiment with your artwork freely as the heavy pages won’t let any paint seep through and will soak up the extra bit of paint, thus making your work dry faster.

Pros
  • Easy to travel with
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Light
Cons
  • Linen binding compromises durability
  1. Leda Art Supply Sketchbooks

Leda Art Supply 160 Pages Softbound Cover Sketchbook for Artists
  • PERFECT PAPER: Dense 81 pound sketchbook paper is...
  • LARGE: 7 x 10 inches just right sketchbook size.

If you are looking for premium quality art journals, Leda is always a good choice. This Xtra Large one, for example, comes with several unusual perks. It offers you around 160 pages’ worth of fantastic quality and durability, where you can unleash your artistic creativity.

The pages are thick, but not a lot. So it’s not heavy. And when you are using water or oil paints, it will soak up the extra paint, thus letting your creation breathe and dry easier. Also, it’s good enough to use on both the sides. That means you get double the number of pages a sketchbook usually provides.

Further, the ample amount of space provided by its 8.5 x 12 inches’ dimensions makes it an ideal option, not for just sketching but also jotting down regular notes. The papers are smooth so that you could use conventional media like pencils and watercolors, as well as charcoal and pastels.

As for the binding and outer look, the pages are secured with an elastic band while the back cover comes with a pocket that you can use to store loose papers, cut-outs, stickers and other art materials.

Pros
  • Soft texture
  • More pages
  • Good dimensions
Cons
  • Bigger size compromises with portability
  1. Bellofy 50-Sheet Watercolor Paper Pad

Sale
Bellofy 50 Sheet Watercolor Paper Pad - 130 IB/190 GSM Weight - 9x12...
  • COMFORTABILITY: 130 lB / 190 GSM Coldpress sheets,...
  • GLUE BOUND: All pages are glue bound for the...

While mixed media sketch pads allow you the space to show your versatility, it often compromises with the quality that pages can provide. That’s why it is often better to go for sketch pads dedicated to a medium specific for particular art only.

This sketchpad by Bellofy is dedicated to watercolor-based paintings and provides the pages ideal for that specific art-style. Bellofy’s pages are pretty durable and made of an acid-free material that has been fully recycled. These pages are bound together by glue that allows you to detach and reattach pages with ease.

The makers have enough confidence in their design even to offer a 90 days’ worth of money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your paper pad. They boast of being able to protect your art from getting ruined at all costs.

And finally, while this one book makes for a fantastic watercolor art experience, it can also be used without any worries for sketching and other ink-based artwork.

Pros
  • Made of recycled material
  • Glue makes detaching easy
Cons
  • Not very good for mixed media
  1. Field Artist Rectangle Watercolor Journal

Field Artist 4 in. x 6.5 in. Rectangle Watercolor Journal, Hardbound...
  • RECTANGLE FORMAT 4 in. x 6.5 in.(10 cm x 16.5 cm)...
  • 80 PAGES - 33% MORE PAGES than popular...

This sketch pad beautifully combines quality with portability. It is rectangular and comes in a size that fits comfortably right into a pocket. There is also an option to work in this pocket-sized pad or go for the bigger landscape ones, owing to its choices with dimensional differences.

The first one is 4 x 6.5 inches in size. The bigger, landscape one has a longer side. It comes up to 4 x 13 inches in size. The cover is hardbound and comes in this soft grey leather material with a logo embossed on it. The paper quality, along with the pretty cover makes it a bang for the buck.

On the other hand, elastic is used to fasten the pages while the thickness of the sketchpad keeps the leakage in control even after you have painted on several papers. These 80 pages of stark white goodness are made of recycled material and cold-pressed to a fine finish. And not to forget the bright silk ribbon bookmark, which is a classy addition to the product.

Pros
  • Hardbound
  • Cold pressed pages
  • Elastic-bound
Cons
  • Size could be too small to achieve detailed work
  1. Pentalic AF Aqua Journal

Exclusively catering to the watercolor artworks, Pentalic brings in a certain variant of paper that comes straight from the European mills. It is acid-free and stands as a pretty amazing option for watercolor artists, with a width of about 140lb. These aqua journals have been bound in a way that you can hook your paint brush (specifically, a Kolinsky Sable Travel Brush) on the elastic holder at the top.

The journal is bound in a landscape format with six signatures so that the users can lay it flat. Also, you can keep your paintings and notes safe, owing to its elastic band which helps to keep things secure.

While the look of the journal alone is just picture perfect, its ribbon marker only adds to its overall aesthetic. This ribbon can act as a bookmark while the elastic closure will help you keep the journal intact.

Pros
  • Ribbon bookmark included
  • Has dedicated pen holder
Cons
  • Only 48 pages

Conclusion

Although an artist is definitely the soul behind any artwork, the art supplies they use might make or break their whole work sometimes. While this does not seem like a significant factor to a layman, most professionals still like to stick to their favorite brands of art supplies for a reason. It works well with them and reflects who they are as an artist.

That’s why it’s crucial to go through what various brands have to offer when you’re considering to buy a sketchbook that best works for you.

SaleBestseller No. 1
SaleBestseller No. 2
Global Art Materials 5-1/4-Inch by 8-1/4-Inch Travelogue Watercolor...
  • 60 acid-free, soft-white sheets, 200 gsm
  • Durable cover with elastic closure, clear envelope...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Pad, Heavyweight, Fine Texture, Heavy...
  • Use for: sketching, drawing, light washes of ink...
  • Erases well and blends easily

11 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for the wonderful review and giving me choices for the best sketchbooks! Looks like I’ll be buying the best sketchbook. It was really tough for me to choose and pick for one and I’m really thankful that I saw this blog.

  2. I love xl canson. I started using it when I was just starting out and it’s been 4 years and I still haven’t tried any other pad

  3. This post gave me great ideas, I definitely want the XL Mix series, its also very afordable, I can only hope now that they can deliver it to my country but I would love to purchase it. Maybe you could make an article about the best watercolors marks too.

  4. i have the Leda sketchbook and it fits with my backpack so I have no problem with the portability. I’m gonna try the Pentalic journal next. That looks like it’ll fit in my smaller messenger bag.

  5. I love artwork and its supplies and wouldn’t mind learning about them.Field artist rectangle water color journal will be the best bet for me.I like the elastic bound feature

  6. My daughter is into water color painting. She will be very happy if I give her a good quality sketchbook. Thanks for the recommendations.

  7. I couldn’t agree more. My brother does art and the texture of the paper really makes a difference sometimes when we he working with vigor or not. The tools help the artist a lot in letting the creativity flow.

  8. This is a very timely post. I have been searching online for a good quality sketchpad for my niece. You provided me well detailed information. I like the 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro. I like how this pad allows artists or beginners to paint and draw. This is what catches my attention… “The book comes with 100 pages that work well with sketch artists as well as people who are into drawing comics and manga.” My niece she really loves to draw comics and manga. This is a good opportunity for her to hone more her skills using this pad.

  9. i have always liked ledas. i like the paper and the booklets honestly, they’re the right size and i dont normally like to carry them around too much

  10. Since school is coming soon this can be given to kids. I may give it to my son even since he likes sketching books so much.

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