Skip to main content

Great sketchbooks to help you chronicle your life through art

a person sitting at a table with a cup of coffee: Practice your skills with the right tools. © Provided by Popular Science Practice your skills with the right tools.

Many of the world's most recognizable and beloved works of art started with a simple sketch. A quality sketchbook allows artists of any level to perfect lines and gestures, work on control and coordination, and explore bold ideas before committing paint to canvas or stylus to tablet. When choosing the right sketchbook for your creative practice, you'll want to consider the binding, overall size, and the weight and suitability of the paper for watercolors, pencils, or ink. Here are our top picks.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Where will your imagination take you? © Provided by Popular Science Where will your imagination take you?

The 9 inch by 12 inch dimensions of this classic 100-sheet sketchbook offer plenty of room, whether you want to take up a whole sheet with a figure study or do a series of quick drawings of people in the park on a Sunday afternoon. The 89 gsm (grams per square meter) acid-free paper works with dry media from graphite pencils to soft pastels and charcoal. If you find bound sketchbooks frustrating, the spiral binding makes it easier to get sheets to lie flat, and each sheet is also micro-perforated so you can tear out your work to crumple or frame, depending on the day.

Portable portraiture. © Provided by Popular Science Portable portraiture.

If you love to take your palette outdoors to work on plein air paintings, this compact square sketchbook is the perfect companion. It's just four inches by four inches in size, but the paper is an impressive 200 gsm and can hold watercolors as well as ink. The faux-leather binding contains 40 sheets of paper (80 pages if you use both sides), but you will have to take more care with this little book than something that's spiral-bound.

a close up of a device: Your year, in pages. © Provided by Popular Science Your year, in pages.

If your artistic practice includes written word and drawings in pen, marker, graphite, and other dry media, this stylish 96-page sketchbook is a good choice. The paper is 165 gsm and the book measures an A4-sized 8.25 inches by 11.75 inches. Moleskine's signature elastic and binding is designed for travel and daily use, so tuck this into your backpack or messenger bag for impromptu documentation of your thoughts and surroundings. When you dedicate your book to a specific project or period of time, it can become a definitive artwork all on its own.

a close up of a device: Inspire yourself. © Provided by Popular Science Inspire yourself.

This UK-based company makes beautiful and colorful notebooks that evoke creativity before you even touch your pencil to the page. At 8.85 inches wide and 12.4 inches in length, this sketchbook is more generous than A4 sizing and has 96 pages of bright-white 180 gsm paper ready for you to fill with dry media. Choose solid colors from army green to orange and azur to distinguish each project you're exploring, and keep track of where you've left off with the elegant ribbon bookmark.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Inspire yourself.

Inspire yourself.

© Amazon


Popular posts from this blog

History of Art Timeline

The historical past of art is usually told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a narrative of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On any other hand, vernacular art expressions can even be integrated into art historic narratives, called folk arts or craft. The more intently that an art historian engages with these latter sorts of low culture, the much more likely it is that they will determine their work as analyzing visual culture or cloth culture, or as contributing to fields associated with art historical past, akin to anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases, art gadgets may be called archeological artifacts. Surviving art from this era comprises small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made gadgets appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe Adriatic Sea, Siberia Baikal Lake, India, and Australia. These first traces are generall

‘A boiling point’: UC Berkeley art community calls for institutional change

Amid ongoing national unrest, college communities continue to call for change by challenging institutional practices, racism and social justice issues. Over the past few months, the UC Berkeley art community has questioned the responses and actions of campus administration. In a letter sent to the faculty and administrators of UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice in June, alumni and students demanded acknowledgment of the Black Lives Matter movement and a commitment to remove white supremacy from art institutions, among other demands. "There is a heavy hypocrisy in the silence and inaction of institutions that pride themselves on values of inclusivity and diversity, claim to prioritize marginalized voices, and borrow from radical decolonial practices of BIPOC," the letter states. During the same month, senior faculty from the department responded with a letter stating their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and their commitment to reparative work wit

Bob Gibson was not just best pitcher of modern era, but during time of strife, mastered the art of fear

For a lot of successful athletes, winning in competition is about winning their own internal battles between anger and fear. One can be generated by the other. One can also be erased by the other. Those who effectively use anger, even if they must fabricate it, can overcome their fear and simultaneously instill it within the opponent. This statement covers a lot of competitors and a lot of time, so I don't issue it carelessly. But in all my years, I've never seen an athlete channel fear in the opposition more effectively than Bob Gibson. He was the young Mike Tyson of baseball, way before Iron Mike. And unlike him, Gibson didn't flame out in his prime. He was not only the best in the business during a 5-year span in the mid-'60s (1964-68), he won his second Cy Young in 1970 at age 31 and threw a no-hitter the next year against the best hitting lineup – and it turned out, best team – in baseball that season, the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. I saw an old fan on