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 and soft-tip colored pencils like the Prismacolor Premier.
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 Watercolor
Table of Contents
- Best Sketchbooks for Watercolor
- Best Watercolor Sketchbooks Comparison Table
- Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s the list of the 5 best watercolor sketchbooks.
1. XL Canson Pads – Best for Mixed Media Artists
- 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 them environmentally friendly. These amazingly textured sketch pads comprise 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 make 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.
- Micro-perforated sheets
- Allows the use of mixed media
- Only 60 pages
2. 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro – Best for Beginners and Professionals
- The Mind Is A Powerful Thing - Always looked for...
- Pencils, Watercolors & More For You - Mixed Media...
Not everyone who paints is a professional artist. Some of us are just doodlers or amateurs learning how to draw. For such people, drawing material also becomes essential as it allows one to develop and nurture their interests. Sketchpad Artist Pro 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 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.
- 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
- Plain white pages not exclusive to any drawing material
- Not textured
3. Global Art Material – Travelogue Watercolor Book – Best for Travel Companion
- 95LB / 200 GSM WATERCOLOR PAPER JOURNAL - Start...
- 30 SHEETS/60 PAGES - You'll love that both sides...
This beautiful lightweight 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 the 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.
- Easy to travel with
- Environmentally friendly
- Linen binding compromises durability
4. Leda Art Supply Sketchbooks
- JUST THE RIGHT SIZE: This custom 7 x 10 inch...
- PREMIUM QUALITY: With 160 pages of smooth,...
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 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 for 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.
- Soft texture
- More pages
- Good dimensions
- Bigger size compromises with portability
5. Pentalic AF Aqua Journal
- DURABLE COVER - the Aqua Journal provides maximum...
- ABSORBENT - the European-milled high tooth paper...
Exclusively catering to watercolor artworks, Pentalic brings in a certain variant of paper that comes straight from 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 paintbrush (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.
- Ribbon bookmark included
- Has a dedicated pen holder
- Only 48 pages
Best Watercolor Sketchbooks Comparison Table
|Product||Material||Paper Finish||Paint Type||Sheet Size||Product Packaging||No. of Sheets|
|XL Canson Pads||Heavyweight||Watercolor||Acrylics,Acrylic,Watercolor||7 x 10″||Side Wire||60|
|100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro||Mix Media Paper||Smooth, Watercolor||Acrylic Watercolor Oil Graphite||9 x 12″||Top Wire||100|
|Global Art Material – Travelogue Watercolor Book||Paper||Watercolor||Watercolor,Watercolor Paper||8-1/4 x 8-1/4″||Bound||30|
|Leda Art Supply Sketchbooks||Paper||Matte||Watercolor||7 x 10″||Thread Bound||80|
|Pentalic AF Aqua Journal||Paper||Watercolor||Watercolor,Watercolor Journal||5 x 8″||Bound||48|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a difference between a watercolor sketchbook and a regular sketchbook?
Yes, there is a difference between a watercolor sketchbook and a regular sketchbook. While regular sketchbooks are designed to be used with pencils and other dry mediums, watercolor sketchbooks are specifically designed to hold watercolor paints and paper.
What type of brushes should I use for watercolor sketching?
Watercolor brushes are the most common brushes used for watercolor sketching. Different sizes and shapes of brushes can be used depending on the desired effect and preferences.
What is the best type of paper to use in a watercolor sketchbook?
The best type of paper to use in a watercolor sketchbook is a heavy-weight, archival-quality paper that is specifically designed for watercolor painting.
How do I keep my watercolor sketchbook from warping?
To prevent warping, it is important to ensure that your watercolor sketchbook is kept in a cool, dry place and not exposed to excessive moisture. Additionally, you can use a blotter sheet or heavyweight paper to protect the pages from warping.
These sketchbooks offer artists and enthusiasts a diverse range of features and experiences while creating their masterpieces. From 5 watercolor sketchbooks, here are the top three expert recommendations:
XL Canson Pads is an ideal option for those who wish to work with mixed media. Its heavyweight, acid-free pages provide a fantastic texture and prevent paint from soaking through. With 60 sheets, it offers plenty of space for creativity while remaining easy to carry at just 3.93 pounds.
100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro is a good option for both beginners and professionals. It features 100 pages of heavy, thick paper suitable for different drawing and painting media. Its unique spiral flip-top design is perfect for left and right-handed artists, and micro-perforated pages allow for easy blending and clean separation.
Global Art Material – Travelogue Watercolor Book is the right choice for artists on the go. This lightweight, landscape-style sketchbook with 60 sheets is bound in a durable and aesthetically pleasing natural linen cover. The acid-free, soft pages enable great blending and work well with both water and oil-based paints, while a transparent envelope inside the cover provides storage for loose materials.
In this article, we have reviewed the best sketchbooks for watercolors overall yet other sketchbooks have been reviewed as well on Architecture Lab; here you can also find the best paper for acrylics, the best sketchbook for architects, the best sketchbooks for markers, and the best sketchbooks for ink, cast a glance and fuel your dreams with epic tools!
11 thoughts on “5 Best Watercolor Sketchbooks Reviewed in 2023”
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.
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
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.
If you have good art-supplies, you might paint or draw some professional artworks.
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.
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
My daughter is into water color painting. She will be very happy if I give her a good quality sketchbook. Thanks for the recommendations.
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.
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.
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
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.