5 Best Watercolor Sketchbooks Reviewed in 2023

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

Here’s the list of the 5 best watercolor sketchbooks.

1. XL Canson Pads – Best for Mixed Media Artists

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.

Material: Heavyweight | Paper Finish: Watercolor | Paint Type: Acrylics,Acrylic,Watercolor Sheet Size: 7 x 10″ Product Packaging: Side Wire No. of Sheets: 60

2. 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro – Best for Beginners and Professionals

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.

Material: Mix Media Paper | Paper Finish: Smooth, Watercolor | Paint Type: Acrylic Watercolor Oil Graphite Sheet Size: 9 x 12″ Product Packaging: Top Wire No. of Sheets: 100

3. Global Art Material – Travelogue Watercolor Book – Best for Travel Companion

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.

Material: Paper | Paper Finish: Watercolor | Paint Type: Watercolor,Watercolor Paper Sheet Size: 8-1/4 x 8-1/4″ Product Packaging: Bound No. of Sheets: 30

4. Leda Art Supply Sketchbooks

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.

Material: Paper | Paper Finish: Matte | Paint Type: Watercolor Sheet Size: 7 x 10″ Product Packaging: Thread Bound No. of Sheets: 80

5. Pentalic AF Aqua Journal

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.

Material: Paper | Paper Finish: Watercolor | Paint Type: Watercolor,Watercolor Journal Sheet Size: 5 x 8″ Product Packaging: Bound No. of Sheets: 48

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

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!

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