Which book?

First of all, thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment on the blog. It's really nice to know you're our there and dropping in to see what's happening here. I'm sorry if I don't always answer everyone personally, but be assured that I do read them all. One recent comment posed the question 'which sketchbooks do I prefer?'. Ah, my favourite subject!

I have one or two sketchbooks:

This isn't all of them either! I've been working in sketchbooks since I was at school and I've kept most of them. I did sell a sketchbook once. It was back in the day when I felt like a poor student and every sale was a welcome one. Of course I regret it and would never part with another. I've 'lost' one, well I think it might have walked off on its own at an event. I still show my sketchbooks at exhibitions and places like Festival of Quilts. They always seem to attract just as much attention as the finished works do, especially from students. I can understand that, I always love to look through someone else's sketchbook too.

Over the years I've tried lots of different books, different sizes, different paper, bindings, manufacturers. I prefer a stitched binding rather than a spiral one, purely because I like to work right across the double page spread and the spiral gets in the way. I like a hard back book so I can work on my lap if need be, and I like paper that'll take extreme punishment - vigorous drawing, erasing, painting, even dunking in dye. It's going to sound like a horrendous sales pitch but the books that I use now are the ones that Linda and I sell in the DesignMatters Store. We searched high and low for a sketchbook that we could offer to our students that was a good size, nicely made and most importantly was filled with lovely paper.

I work in both the A4 and A5 sizes depending on what I'm doing and tend to keep at least three on the go at once so when pages are wet in one, I can move into another and keep going. I love how the covers bulge when they're packed full don't you! The paper is 130gsm which means you can paint on them as well as draw which is important to me as I like to mix my media. 

If you're going to start a sketchbook just try to look for a book that has the best quality paper you can find. There's nothing more annoying than working on nasty paper. I prefer something that has a bit of a tooth rather than super smooth, but of course that's all down to personal taste. Hope you enjoy working in your sketchbooks as much as I do!

P.S. If you have any other questions then please feel free to post them and I'll do my best to answer them.


  1. Laura, thanks for your review on sketchbooks. I am bound and determined to start drawing/painting daily and your insight is helpful. Thanks!

  2. Hi Laura I to love sketch books. After many trial and errors I found the paper in the Oink books can withstand a good deal of punishment. Only downside is their often spiral bound and I agree it hinders you when you want to expand your image to the next page. I recently purchased a couple of DM books and I'm hooked but then again you know I'm a big fan. Thanks for sharing your tips and advice.


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