When I say I love Sketchbooks…
That would be the understatement of the year! I don’t need an excuse to buy a new sketchbook, they are my constant companion, reward and place where I catch and work out ideas. I am particularly choosy about using sketchbooks that will stand up to some real wear and tear, have wonderfully versatile paper and just make me feel great using them.
Here is my Top Ten Pick of my Tried and Tested Favourites
These are my mainstay sketchbook, they are always high quality and are extremely well priced. The paper comes in bright white or ivory, you can stuff stuff them full or tear pages out. They travel well and come in an amazing range of colours and formats. What can I say, I love Pink Pig sketchbooks.
This is my favourite sketchbook for taking on holidays when I want at landscape friendly format. I particularly love the fact it is great for sketching and drawing, but the smooth paper also takes watercolour for on the spot painting too. I keep a rubber band or bulldog clipped to the pages to stop the flying about in the wind. I also stash bits of flotsam that I find whilst on our out door art adventures. Seawhite are a great company based in the UK, their products are widely available through art shop and online.
So, I use the venerable Moleskine for taking notes (whilst looking very official). They are widely loved and followed as they are just so lovely to use – this brand comes in every concievable shape, size and layout with special editions released to tie in with popular films and fandoms. You can get a teeny tiny one and whip it out to look like Poirot too!
Planning a home refresh? Designing your wardrobe? I use this square sketchbook with durable pages to gather ideas and sketches. There is enough space to make notes and glue in colour chips around your ideas. The bow just makes it feel even more special when you open it up to store all of your dreams.
I use the A3 Daler Graduate sketchbook for storing cuttings and references that are in my creative filing cabinet. The larger pages are perfect for pasting in your clippings and there is enough room to add notes, additional ideas and memos for development later.
Why are they all black? I don’t know that but I do know I usually prefer a spiral bound sketchbook for working in except when I just need to get some drawing done. No ripping out pages with this one and I prefer to keep some sketchbooks for drawing only, no writing allowed! I find once I start writing in a sketchbook, somehow the works take over and the sketching gets pushed out. This Windsor and Newton offering speaks to me … “use the force, bethe uber discipliened artist you are”. The only commitment is on page at a time, so I’m all right with that!
This is the sexiest double cream (that’s heavy cream for my US friends) paper waiting for your artwork. If you are looking for the smoothest, brightest, super high quality paper for great reproduction and an absolute joy to work on – this is it. It comes in various weights and has handy symbols to remind you what it is best suited for on the cover, but if your are serious about your illustrations just try it and I bet you will fall in love.
For drawing, this is a fabulous sketch book, add Faber-Castell’s pencils which are simply the best pencils. They don’t snap, they don’t have gritty bits of carbon in their core, they shade beatifullyand they are hexagonal so they don’t slip. They are my brand of choice (I also like Caran D’Ache).
You ever have a painting go curly on you? That’s beacuse the paper got too wet. This sketchbook stands up to your needs and is just making me swoon right now. The Fontaine art pad is 12x18cm and has twelve sheets of yummy cold pressed 140lb / 300gsm 100% cotton, professional quality paper. It’s naturally white without any optical agents added all wrapped up in a classy black (again!) cover. Pair it with the Windsor and Newton travel set and the world is your canvas.
Fistly – not black, in fact, youcan have any colour you love. Yes, it is the humble Filofax (and this is the beautiful Filofax Pocket Malden Organiser – Ochre, I use an A5 size but this one is more portable). If you are like many artists I know, I bet you have a particular paper you love or you’re one who creates unique supports for your work. For speedy hole punching, I use one of these. This is the ideal solution to make art on the go. These personal organisers have useful pockets to keep your supplies in, durable ring binder clips, a world of accessories and you can customise the paper to your preference. It is more like a portable artist’s studio, I am asking, what more could you want?
Thank you for taking the time to read my top ten, check out my Top 10 Items for Artists Found in a DIY Store
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