5 Best Watercolor Sketchbooks 2021 – Expert Reviews & Buyers Guide

Do you know about the best watercolor sketchbooks 2021?  A watercolor sketchbook consists of a book or pad with several white pages, depending upon the price. These sketchbooks are used for drawing and painting as well. Moreover, people also use them for various purposes.


There are many other papers used for watercolor painting and sketching purposes. But a sketchbook feels less daunting as compared to other papers. Moreover, the affordability of the sketchbook allows beginner artists to start with less expensive sketching papers. A sketching book is a perfect tool to test the watercolors for different amounts of water, drips, and runs.

Quick Pick


                                                             ARTEZA 9×12″ Expert Watercolor Pad 



                                                                Moleskine Art Watercolor Album 



The watercolor sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes and qualities, depending upon its price. You can use the different types of pencils on them depending upon their quality. Moreover, these pencils include graphite pencils, colored pencils, charcoal pencils, watercolor pencils, sketching stick, marker, soft pastels, mixed media, and oil pastels.

If you are looking for the best watercolor sketchbook, you are in the right place. We are going to list down the best watercolor sketchbooks in each price range. So, you can easily choose the best one according to your need and range.

List of Best Watercolor Sketchbooks


1. ARTEZA 9×12″ Expert Watercolor Pad

ARTEZA-9x12-Expert-Watercolor-PadARTEZA expert watercolor pad comes top on the list with high-quality features for watercolor sketching. It is a good deal with 64 sketching sheets for watercolor. The cold-pressed, acid-free papers provide you a perfect surface to sketch. You can easily use these versatile sheets for watercolor techniques and mixed media. Moreover, the 100% guarantee of these sheets provides you the maximum comfort of mind during purchase. Let’s see some other features of this watercolor pad.

9×12 inches size

This sketching pad comes with 9×12 inches sketching sheets. It is a perfect size to use for multiple sketching tasks.


This watercolor pad has dual-sided features to provide you the two different surfaces for multiple tasks. It’s one side smooth, and the other side is textured. This will provide you the maximum flexibility in your creation.


It is a versatile sketching pad that can be used for both dry and wet media. You can create any medium of your choice with this versatile sketching pad.


The acid-free feature of this sketching pad is perfect for any kind of work. It doesn’t let the colors fade. The quick water absorption feature keeps your painting look vibrant. Moreover, your painting will not bleed through.


It is a perfect durable sheet to provide you a long-lasting sketching pad. Each sheet in the pad is perfectly bound in the pad with glue. You can easily remove your masterpiece from the pad without any damage.

Dimension and weight

The package has dimensions of 12.2 x 9.13 x 1.5 inches and 3.43 pounds in weight.

                                                                         Here are some Pros & Cons of this Product

  • 9×12 inches size
  • 64 sheets
  • Acid-free
  • Glue-bound
  • Dual-side
  • Maybe little high price


2. Arteza Watercolor Sketchbooks, 5.5×5.5-inch

Arteza-Watercolor-Sketchbooks-5.5x5.5-inchWe have selected this watercolor sketchbook again from the brand Aretza comes due to the variety of watercolor sketchbooks in different price ranges. This set of watercolor sketchbook set consist of 132 sheets. You can easily use this watercolor sketchbook as a travel journal and a mixed media pad. The strong and durable cover of these sketchbooks is perfect for the long life of the sketchbook. The elastic band of this sketchbook helps the artists to securely close the book. A page locater ribbon helps the artists to keep track of the next page. Moreover, the 100% guarantee of this sketchbook provides you the great satisfaction of mind. Let’s see some other features of this sketchbook.

5.5×5.5 niches size

5.5×5.5 inches square shape sheets of this sketchbook are perfect for different purposes. This perfect size is ideal for an impressive landscape, still life painting, and detailed sketches.


Each page of the sketchbook is dual-sided and provides you the maximum sheets for your artwork. Each side of the page has a different texture. One side is smoother, and the other side is slightly textured cold-pressed.

Natural lined bound

It is a perfect sketchbook to do the artwork securely. The natural linen-bound sheets are perfect for saving your work for a longer time.

Dimension and weight

The package has a dimension of 5.9 x 5.8 x 2.7 inches and 2.05 pounds in weight.

                                                                         Here are some Pros & Cons of this Product

  • 5.5×5.5 inches size
  • Dual-sided
  • Lined bound
  • 132 sheets
  • Small size sheets


3. Moleskine Art Watercolor Album

Moleskine-Art-Watercolor-AlbumMoleskine art watercolor album comes in the list with perfect sheets and covers in a good price range. The hardcover of this watercolor album is perfect for the durability of this sketchbook. Moleskine provides you a variety of notebooks for different art-related activities. The hard book cover comes in different colors; you can choose between black, red, blue, green, and brown covers. It’s a perfect album for daily journaling, writing, and sketching. It is a perfect gift-quality notebook for anyone. Let’s see some other features of this watercolor album.

5×8.25 inches size

5×8.25 inches rectangular size of these sheets are perfect for a different kind of artwork. This art watercolor album is consisting of 72 sheets. You can easily use these sheets for multiple tasks.

Deluxe quality pages

The thick deluxe quality pages of this art book are perfect for holding the artwork for a long time. The perfectly textured paper is good for a ballpoint pen, fountain pen, or pencil.

Elastic closure band

The elastic closure band and inner storage folders make it very easy to use this album. Leather-like, the classic cover of this book makes it perfect for daily use.

Dimensions and weight

It has the dimensions of 5.25 x 0.63 x 8.25 inches and 11.4 ounces in weight.

                                                                         Here are some Pros & Cons of this Product

  • 5×8.25 inches size
  • 72 sheets
  • Elastic closure band
  • Deluxe quality pages
  • Less width


4. Illo Sketchbook, Large, Square, Sketch Book

illo-Sketchbook-Large-Square-Sketch-BookIf you are looking for a square watercolor sketchbook with a large size, this can be the best choice for you. There are few watercolor sketchbooks that come in a square shape, and this is one of them. This premium quality comes with the hardcover to provide you a durable sketchbook for a longer time. The thick sheets of this sketchbook are perfectly laid flat for good artwork. The ribbon marker in this art book makes it very easy to use this sketchbook. Moreover, the soft touch, anti-slip, and PU leather are very friendly. If you are looking for a high-quality sketchbook at a fair price, this can be the best choice for you. This perfect sketchbook is suitable for all kinds of mediums. Let’s see some other features of this sketchbook.

8×8 inches size

It is an ideal 8×8 inch square size sketchbook to use for multiple purposes. You will get an ideal painting on square shape pages. You don’t need to crop or resize your painting to share on social media. Moreover, the 122 pages are suitable for long time use.

Heavyweight pages

Heavyweight pages are considered the perfect choice for different kinds of artwork, especially for watercolor painting. You can easily use this paper for pencils, pens, inks, pastels, and markers as well.

Dimension and weight

It has a dimension of 8 x 1 x 8 inches and 1.3 pounds in weight.

                                                                         Here are some Pros & Cons of this Product

  • 8×8 inches size
  • Heavyweight pages
  • 122 pages
  • Hard cover
  • Not acid-free


5. Strathmore 455-3 400 Series Sketch Pad

Strathmore-455-3-400-Series-Sketch-PadStrathmore series sketch pads are the perfect choice if you are looking for a good sketching pad in a low-price range. The 100 sheets of this sketch pad are perfectly bounded with a squirrel wire. This micro-perforated sire holds the sheets perfectly. You can easily use this paper for practice, quick studies, and preliminary drawings with any dry media. These are the acid-free sheets for perfect smooth artwork. The additional sizes of this are also available. The toothy surface of these papers is very helpful to grabs the dry media. So, we can say it’s a perfect quality paper for advanced artists in a low-price range. Let’s see some other features of this sketchbook.

9×12 inches size

It is a perfect bigger size in a low price range. You can easily use these papers for multiple purposes with this size.


This versatile paper and design are good for different types of art tools. You can use graphite pencils, colored pencils, charcoal sketching stick, marker, soft pastels, mixed media, and oil pastels on these sheets.


It has a perfect heavyweight sketch paper for multiple art tasks. The thicker page of this sketchbook provides you the maximum durability. The thin pages sketchbooks are not suitable for watercolor, that’s why this thick sketchbook and provides you a wonderful experience.

Dimension and weight

The package has the dimensions of 11.6 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches 1.69 pounds in weight.

                                                                         Here are some Pros & Cons of this Product

  • 9×12 inches size
  • 100 sheets
  • Versatile
  • Heavyweight
  • Nor good for sharpie pen


Important sketching tips

Sketching tips are important to get the perfect results. You need to follow certain tips with some proper steps to obtain the desired results. Get your paper and pencil ready to learn the sketching tips. If you know about the different below tips, you can simply jump to the next one.

Know your pencil

The first and important thing is to know about the pencil. A right pencil for sketching is essential to get the perfect results. You can easily see the hardness of the pencils from the indicated sidegrades. B on the side of a pencil indicates a softer pencil while the H indicates the harder pencil. There is further classification in the hardness and softness of the pencil-like 4B and 4H, etc. But the recommended is B and H for starting.

When you are learning to sketch, you can also use mechanical pencils with traditional pencils. Mechanical pencils are usually more precise and accurate as compared to traditional pencils. Most of the mechanical pencils come with HB pre-inserted for the middle range of work.

Take control of your pencil

There are different styles to hold the pencil with different strokes and preciseness. If you are going to hold the pencil from near the lead, you will get more control and preciseness, but it will heavier the stroke. If you grip the pencil away from the lead, it will give you less control and preciseness with a lighter stroke.

Try different mark-making methods

There are plenty of mark-making methods to get different styles and effects. These methods include the hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, scribbling, small circles, and finger blend. It’s important to experiment with all of these and choose the best one which suits you.

Vary your lines

Use the various lines to get different results. All lines are not equal. A little different in the width and darkness can create a completely different drawing. It’s a little bit tricky to control the width and darkness of the lines as a new artist. But with the practice, you can easily learn to control the lead width and darkness.

Avoid smudging

You can use an extra paper underneath your hand during shading. It is a perfect way to minimize smudging. If you are right-handed, you can start from left to right, and if you are left-handed, you can simply move from right to left. You can also use anything below the hand; some people use a tissue paper to get the job done.

Control your edges

Edges are very important to give a perfect look to any sketch. There are different sketching techniques available to control the edges of the sketch. An edge can be divided into four types, thin, hard, lost, and undefined. A solid border can be achieved by thin and hard edges.

Use a blending stick

A blending stick is a perfect option for the shading purpose of the sketch. We can create smooth and blending effects with pencils. So, you don’t always need watercolor for creating shades on sketchbooks or on a paper. You can do this task with a blending stick. For example, if you want to show the sky in your sketch, the shading will be less sketchy and smoother. Sometimes the artists use the big swatch of soft graphite or charcoal pencil. After that, you need to use a blending stick to pick up the soft dust of graphite or charcoal to use on the image. You can keep using this stick until you get the desired results.

Apply 70/30 rule

You can also follow a 70/30 rule for simplicity. For example, you need to fill the 30 percent of your sketch with focus and the remaining 70 percent with filler. The 70 percent area directly grabs the attention toward the focus of the artwork.

Make it symmetrical

Symmetrical drawing is always recommended by the artists, but sometimes it looks a little boring. So, it can be a good practice to add subtle changes and only make the general lines symmetrical instead of all the smart parts. Some asymmetrical parts are good to avoid the boring sketch.

Differentiate the different textures

Different textures in the sketch are very important to grab the attention of the viewer. But you need to properly differentiate the different textures. You need to simply change your technique for this purpose. Don’t shade the skin in the same way as metallics or fur. Both have unique properties that will elaborate on your drawing.

A good starting point is also considered if the texture is rough and smooth. Texture can be divided into reflecting and smooth texture.

Master realism, then Try something more stylized

Although the sketches are not much realistic, it’s vital to try creating realistic sketches. For this purpose, artists can consider different elements such as lightning, values, proportions, and anatomy. These are some important elements that can be considered before going for more stylized work. When you master the realism, it’s a good time to go for more stylized.

Make the characters readable as silhouettes

Have you ever observed that all the sketches are an animated character in the shadow alone? This magic is known as silhouettes. A perfect and strong silhouette is interesting to recognize the characters that will remain clear in the memory of the viewer for a long time. If you want to check that either your sketch is perfectly silhouettes or not, you can simply put a piece of paper over your sketch and fill the around space with a pencil and ask the friend about the sketch character.

Create contrast

Contrast is another good technique to attract the viewer. Usually, people consider the contrast as the difference in the lighter and darker areas in the sketch. But contrast can also be achieved in hue, saturation, shape, texture, edges, and proportion.

Flip the image with tracing paper

It is the best technique to find the error in the sketch. Sometimes artists spend too much time to locate the error in the sketch. If you are also spending too much time on this, you can simply use a tracing paper. It’s the best way to see how the drawing looks from the reverse angle. So, use the tracing paper to get the advantages of this.

Make gradients work for you

A well-placed gradient is good to visually please the eyes of the observer. It’s good to grab the attention of the viewer to a specific area. A gradient that covers the whole drawing will influence the viewer’s look, and the smaller gradients are good to add a pop of detail and contrast.

Add imperfections

You also need to think about how to make the drawing distinctive. Some quirks and imperfection make your viewer explore the drawing.

Arts on watercolor sketchbook

How can we buy a perfect watercolor sketchbook?

It’s always a challenging thing to buy a perfect watercolor sketchbook. It’s due to a variety of sketchbooks in the market. We need to understand that all the sketchbooks are not good for watercolor. We need a perfect heavyweight sketchbook for watercolor. Only a strong and thick paper can absorb the water in the watercolors. If you buy a normal quality sketchbook, it will not bear the watercolor. So, if you are looking for the best watercolor sketchbooks, you can choose any from the above list. But there are some general points which can lead you to the perfect watercolor sketchbook. Let’s see these general points.

  • Firstly, decide your budget range if you are price restricted.
  • See the different available sketchbooks in different price ranges.
  • Check the thickness and quality of the sketchbook.
  • You should avoid the low quality and thin papers, as it will not absorb the watercolors.
  • Check the dimensions of the sketchbook, which must match your needs.
  • Try to choose the best one according to your need and work.

These are some general points that will help you to go for the best watercolor sketchbook in any case.


From all the above discussion, we can conclude that different types of watercolor sketching books are available. These books can be used for multiple purposes depending upon their features and price. But if you are looking for a watercolor sketchbook, you always need a high-quality sheet that can bear the watercolors. So, make sure to buy a sketchbook with thick and high-quality papers. You can simply choose any from the above provided watercolor sketchbooks in each price range.

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