Over the years I have used various sized sketchbooks for different situations — for studio or plain air sketching, close to home, sometimes the bigger the sketchbook the better.
When I travel, I like a smaller sized book, one I can tuck inside a coat pocket or the small of my back. I finally broke down and bought a Moleskine® sketchbook. For a long time I avoided buying one thinking it wasn’t worth the cost. Boy was I wrong. I’m now a convert and moleskine is almost, the only sketchbook I travel with.
There are several makes and models of Moleskine® but, the one I like is shown above and is the the Moleskine® Sketchbook; 104 heavy acid-free, off-white (natural) pages.
When buying paper the higher the pound number the thicker the paper. I would guess this sketchbook at a good weight of 80 lbs or more. The sketchbook paper is opaque, meaning you can’t see through the sheets and can draw, paint, and paste on both sides without bleed through with most drawing utensils (more about what I draw with to prevent bleed through in another tip). Some say only draw or journal on one side of the page and not the other for various reasons. I do both sides and the hight opacity of the pages allow me to do that. To me this is a book and a documentation of my travels.
The 5” x 8.25” pages are Acid-free and sturdy enough to allow the use of acrylics and light water color washes. The pages will buckle a little bit but not bad.
For me this is a perfect size. It’s large enough to do a decent sized drawing or put several thoughts on a page. If I want a larger sized image I span my drawing across both pages of the open sketch book for some dramatic effects.
On the inside of the back cover is an expandable inner pocket where I can tuck away small items such as ticket stubs, post cards, plants, etc. 2. I usually empty this daily back at the tent or hotel so I can start all over again the next day.
It has a hardcover and is perfect bound with a band to keep it closed and a built in book mark. It’s the little things. The hard cover protects and allows for a certain amount of rough use. Even though its perfect bound it will lay fairly flat to allow for easy painting, sketching and journaling. Its a book that, when filled up with your travels, will look good on the bookshelf.