Here are sketchbooks I have used and am using. Click the picture for more information and my subjective views.

Sketchbook with blue linen cover

PrintUrchin Sketchbooks

For a visit to Shetland in summer 2021, I used a sketchbook from Wendy Roberts, who trades as “PrintUrchin”. Paper: Arches Aquarelle NOT 300gsmSize of pages: 10 inches by 7½ inches (25.5cm x 19cm) ( a slightly larger “Octavo” size)Number of signatures: 6Number of sheets per signature: 2Total number of sheets: 6×2=12Number of pages: 22 … Continue reading “PrintUrchin Sketchbooks”

Wyvern Sketchbooks

The Wyvern Bindery made some sketchbooks for me. Paper: Arches Aquarelle NOT 300gsm from JP Purcell Size of pages: 10 inches by 7 inches (25.5cm x 17cm) “Octavo” size Number of signatures: 2 books have 7 signatures and 2 books have 8 signatures Number of sheets per signature: 2 Total number of sheets: 2×7=14, or … Continue reading “Wyvern Sketchbooks”

Sketchbook “Haydn’s Creation”

This is a sketchbook I made from Arches Aquarelle 185gsm, using covers from a 19th century music score. Size of pages: 10 inches by 6 and five eighths inches (25.5cm x 17cm) “Octavo” size Number of signatures: 5 Number of sheets per signature: 3 Total number of sheets: 15 Number of pages: 30 Number of … Continue reading “Sketchbook “Haydn’s Creation””

No. 8 Sketchbook, homemade

This is an Octavo sized sketchbook with Arches Aquarelle 300gsm paper. It is made out of an old score. See this post for a description of how I made it. Here is this sketchbook in action:

Jackson’s Watercolour sketchbook 17x24cm

This is Jackson’s Watercolour sketchbook, hardback, 17×24 cm, 6.5×9.5inches. I used this sketchbook for urban sketchbooks 4 and 5. It works really well.It’s thick: 2.4cm, which means a bulldog clip only just goes round it. The paper is proper watercolour paper, cold-pressed. It cockles a bit on very wet washes but I found it fine … Continue reading “Jackson’s Watercolour sketchbook 17x24cm”

Stillman & Bern Gamma series

This is the Stillman & Bern Gamma series, hardback, 14cm x21cm or 5.5 by 8.5 inches. The description says “Dry media, Light wash, Ink”. I’m using it for quick watercolours. The pages crinkle a bit, which troubled me at first, but I got used to it. They straighten out if I clamp it with bulldog … Continue reading “Stillman & Bern Gamma series”

Etchr "Perfect Sketchbook"

This is my Urban Sketching Sketchbooks numbers 6 and 7. It’s 10″ by 7″ (26cm x 18cm), which is a bit smaller than A4. The paper is Fabriano Artistico, with deckled edges. The cover is a sort of leather-look man-made substance. It is tough and damp-proof. The bulldog clips leave an indentation in it, see … Continue reading “Etchr "Perfect Sketchbook"”

Khadi sketchbooks

I have used various Khadi sketchbooks. Here’s the hardback one. It is about 8inches by 10 inches, 20cmx25cm.   The paper is soft and absorbent, a friendly surface. It’s not so easy to draw on with a fountain pen. The pen tends to pick up little bits of paper, and snag on the surface. But … Continue reading “Khadi sketchbooks”

Carnet de Voyage – Arches

I bought this a long time ago in a sale at the marvellous Stuart W Stevenson on the Clerkenwell Road. The surface is smooth, the paper is substantial, and the shape is unusual: long and narrow 15cmx25cm, 6″ x 10″. Here’s a picture in the sketchbook.

Jackson’s Watercolour Pad 7.5″x11″

This is a spiral watercolour pad. The paper is “NOT” or “cold pressed”. Here is an example of work on this paper:

Seawhite Watercolour Notebook, A5 landscape

This is the Seawhite Watercolour Notebook, also called the Seawhite Travel Journal. It has 60 pages 200gsm watercolour paper. It works well, the covers are firm, and the paint doesn’t show through the pages. Here is the book in use:  

Traveler’s Company B5 Watercolor Sketchbook

I bought this sketchbook from the Exchange Art Gallery in Penzance. It has a spiral binding but a “notebook” feel to it. The paper is smoother than “cold-press” but has a satisfactory tooth to it, a bit like cartridge paper. This is the one with “watercolor paper”. They do “notebooks” too, with thinner paper.

Stillman and Bern Delta Series

  This is a luxury item. It is slightly less than A5, at 5½ by 8¾ inches. The paper is ivory watercolour paper, cold press, thick and stiff and totally opaque. The book opens out flat and has good solid covers. I somehow find the paper a bit boring to use: it has “tooth” rather … Continue reading “Stillman and Bern Delta Series”

Seawhite Artists Journal

This was my first urban sketching sketchbook type. I used this for sketchbooks 1, 2,and 3. The pages are cartridge paper, smooth and strong. The pages and cover have rounded corners, which looks neat. Sometimes it was a bit irritating when scanning a drawing that the corner is not square. But in general I like … Continue reading “Seawhite Artists Journal”

Heather Dewick small watercolour sketchbook

This was an impulse purchase from The Vintage Paper Company. It’s a small, beautifully bound sketchbook, with real watercolour paper. The maker is Heather Dewick, @heatherthebookbinder on instagram. It is a little less than 6 inches by 4 inches inside. The paper is Saunders Waterford, watermarked on some pages and deckle edged. This is relatively … Continue reading “Heather Dewick small watercolour sketchbook”

Jackson’s watercolour sketchbook 17x24cm

I used this type of sketchbook for urban sketchbook numbers 4 and 5. It is from Jackson’s Art Supplies in Dalston and by mail order online. It is 9½ inches by 6½ inches and about an inch thick. Inside is proper watercolour paper, a very slightly off-white. It has a texture, but not much: “cold … Continue reading “Jackson’s watercolour sketchbook 17x24cm”

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