My Sketchbooks

Since I post so much from my sketchbooks I thought it might be worthwhile to talk about the types of books I have. As mentioned in other posts, I used to not be a sketchbook person. I thought this was odd given you always hear of artists keeping sketchbooks. But I would obsess over the book thinking everything in there had to be beautiful or some other tale we tell ourselves. And they seemed clumsy to carry around, at least the ones I came across. Just the thought that I was supposed to carry it around was even a problem.

During the pandemic, when I indulged a well buried passion for stationery, I started to investigate different types of sketchbooks, as well as the multitude of supplies you can use with them that I never knew about: Paint brush pens? What’s that? Paint markers? What are they? So down the rabbit hole I fell into this wonderful new world. The sketchbooks I keep fall into two categories: Doodle books and Themed. (I also keep a bunch of notebooks, but that is another topic for another time).

A doodle book is just that – doodles. It is something I sit with in front of the TV or at my desk and draw faces, shapes, designs in my head, just whatever comes to mind. I have filled whole pages with circles, lines, puffy cloud shapes, etc. They are just for fun. If I am at my desk, I often become a bit more adventurous and break out collage materials and messier paint media. Often, ideas develop from these doodles. I think Harriet started as a doodle. Now she has taken over my life! Below and above are samples from my doodle books and I believe I have posted many images from my doodle books over the past few years. Some links for the curious: Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

Themed books are sketchbooks I have featured often on this blog. They usually deal with a particular theme regarding subject (such as the Gees Bend Paper Quilts) or strategy (the Black paper sketch book). I have lots of these books going and will be sharing more in the coming weeks. There is a brown paper book, a minimalism book. I have also already posted images from a large (9″ x 12″) heavy paper sketchbook that I use for paintings. Here are some example from that: Link 1 Link 2 Link 3

So at this point, you may want to stop reading. However, if you are a stationery nerd like me, below I have listed some of the books I use for my doodles. I have tried many but my favorites are listed here.

Travelers Spiral Ring Notebook: This is a wonderfully slim book that fits nicely on your lap or slips into a bag. It has 100 sheets of paper (200 surfaces) and is filled with Midori paper which takes a light wash as well as many types of pens. It is an excellent buy at about $15 given the number of sheets and the quality of the paper.

Canson XL Mixed Media Sketchbooks: These come in a variety of sizes and the sheet number can vary as sometimes Canson slips in some bonus sheets. These can be found at any major art and craft store and price can vary between $12 – $15. The heavier slightly toothed paper can take all types of media, including heavier acrylic and thick collages. I use the spiral bound ones and what I particularly like are the perforations, should you want to remove a sheet, but also with this brand, if you have a 6 x 8 notebook, the perforated area is not included in that measurement which is great. I use a 9 x 12″ one of these for my painting book and a smaller one for doodling.

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