art4you Scotland

Sketchbooks – how to choose one?

There are many sketchbooks to choose from and you might need more than one type to cover the variety of your work and techniques.

Sketchbooks are useful tools to

  • Record useful reference material
  • Plan your ideas for painting
  • Improve your drawing skills

Good paper quality is preferable – minimum of 160gsm cartridge paper or watercolour paper of 300gsm are ideal.

Two main points to consider are size and quality of the paper. An A4 sketchbook is not too overwhelming in size, but large enough to develop ideas. A good addition is a pocket-sized sketchbook – A6 – which can be carried in almost every pocket. Use it to jot down those spontaneous ideas, inspirations and ideas.

Many artists find a portrait format sketchbook easier to hold and work in than a landscape one. When wanting to capture something on a larger scale working across a double page works well.

Spiral-bound books have the advantage to open us easily and allow any used sheets to be folded over. Books with a stiff backing cover will provide a firm support to press down on.

To hold a page of the sketchbook in place whilst working in a windy environment a large, strong elastic band proves very useful. Slip it over the page and around the rest of the sketchbook.

The sketchbook is your personal visual notebook. Keep in mind that every sketch will add to your experience and learning. There are no bad sketches – consider your sketchbook as a working record of your thoughts, ideas and experiences. Resist the temptation to tear out any sketches you don’t like. You can also add photos to your sketchbook or other supporting reference material.

Sketching is a great way to help to understand a subject. Want to know more about sketchbooks and drawing classes get in touch.