Tips - Choosing a Sketchbook

Todays tips are about what I take into consideration when choosing a new sketchbook. Apply these next time you head to the Art Supplies Store to get a new sketchbook.

1. Paper Weight- When choosing you book it's important to consider the different weights of all the options. If you just want to stick to dry medias, you're fine with a lighter weight. 60 lb. is a popular sketchbook weight for dry medias. If you want work with ink in the book than you need a 70 lb. or heavier paper wight. If you want to paint, than 120 lb. or heavier is a good weight.

2. Binding- How do you want your book bound? Spiral bound is the cheapest, but falls apart the easiest. Tape-bound sketchbook are good if you're hoping to tear out your masterpieces, and book-bound ones are the sturdiest and hold up the best. It really depends on how much you plan to abuse your book (personally, I take my sketchbook all over and fill it with things I've picked up for inspiration, so mine gets pretty worn).

3. Paper Texture- Different books will have a larger or smaller tooth on the paper. If you are inking, you want a paper with not much tooth. If you are watercolor painting, you want a bigger tooth. Look into the amount of tooth you need for your art form and use what you find to guide your decisions.

4. Size- How big do you want your book? If you like to do large, scrawling, gestural drawings than you want a fairly big book. if you're thinking of something more portable, like a field sketchbook, go for smaller. Look at all different sizes at the store to get a feel for the size that best suits you.

So I hope these tips help you when picking out your sketchbook. Remember, it's your artwork, so don't feel pressured to choose a specific size or weight because somebody told you it was the best. This is about your preference. You want to be comfortable with your sketchbook.

Also, whenever I get a new sketchbook I write my name, the date I started it, and the number sketchbook it is (I keep track of how many sketchbooks I've had) in the corners of the cover. You might want to consider sticking a return address sticker on it, or writing your address out by hand, so that it could be returned if you misplace it.

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