How to Choose a Sketchbook That Fits Your Artistic Style

By Alina Bradford

To increase drawing skills, an artist should sketch every day in their sketchbook.  If an artist buys a sketchbook that doesn’t meet their needs, the artist will become frustrated and won’t use the sketchbook, sacrificing valuable drawing practice. So, there are several important things that should be considered when choosing a sketchbook.


The usefulness of a sketchbook is how well it fits into everyday life. The artist needs to be able to carry their sketchbook everywhere so that it can be handy when inspiration strikes. So, the artist needs to consider the size of the sketchbook project management collaboration tools. Answering these questions will help to figure out the best size of sketchbook:

  • Does it need to fit inside a purse? Laptop bag? Backpack?
  • Will sketches be big and expressive or thumbnails?
  • Will the artist be recording written ideas as well as drawn?
  • Will some of the pages be used for drawing finished works of art?
  • What type of medium will be used?

The type of paper that is in the sketchbook should be chosen to match the medium that will be used for the sketching. Here are several paper choices:

  • Watercolor paper- There are sketchbooks that come with watercolor paper for those that like to add color to their sketches. These come in cold press, hot press, rough and a mixture of the three textures.
  • Rough drawing paper- This paper for those that like texture in their drawings and sketching.
  • Smooth drawing paper or vellum paper- This choice is for those that like to do detailed drawings.
  • Variety packs- These sketchbooks that come with a variety of paper choices for artists that like to use different mediums or techniques.

Please read Paper Terms and Uses to learn more about paper choices.


Structure is often a feature that is simply a personal preference. Some artists like spiral bound sketchbooks because they can be folded and they stay open during sketching. Some like the durability of book-style sketchbooks. The spine and the ridged cover protect the sketches better than a spiral bound sketchbook.


No matter what type of sketchbook an artist chooses, it should always contain high-quality, archival paper.

Archival paper is acid free or has a balanced PH. Acid will make the paper brittle, yellow or fade. Take a look at the packaging or sticker on the cover to make sure that a sketchbook is archival.

Once the perfect sketchbook is chosen, the artist will be inspired to use it over and over again.

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