The best sketchbooks for artists in May 2023

Three of the best sketchbooks for artists on an orange background
(Image credit: Future / Moleskine / Leda Art Supply / Strathmore)

The best sketchbooks for artists vary depending on your style of art and personal preferences. Our own reviewers – artists themselves – have tried out a wide range in order to compile this pick of our favourites, including the best sketchbooks for beginners.

Our reviewers have tested the sketchbooks in the list below to find the best choices for different mediums, from pencils to markers and watercolours. We've also evaluated them for quality, binding and their practicality in terms of size. 

See the section at the bottom for pointers if you're not sure how to choose. For more tools for your art, see our pick of the best art supplies and the best pencils. In the meantime, these are the best sketchbooks we can recommend. 

The best sketchbooks for artists available now

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

How do I choose the best sketchbook for me?

The best sketchbook can be different for each artist. Different paper is different for different mediums: you'll need thick, heavy paper for markers and watercolours, and lighter paper for dry media. You'll also need to consider the 'tooth' or 'texture' of the paper. Pencils and inks work best with smooth paper, whereas charcoal and pastels are well suited to paper with more bite, as the pits and grooves hold pigment. 

The binding of the sketchbook is also worth considering. A spiral-bound sketchbook will lie flat when you work on it, whereas some hardbound sketchbooks can be more tricky to use. Lastly, there's the question of size. For sketching on the move, a smaller hardcover sketchbook is handy as it fits into a bag or pocket and protects your work. Large-format sketchbooks will offer more space and freedom on the page.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Creative Bloq's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)

With contributions from