I have never been one to ask another person what’s their choice then go with just that option. I’m an investigator. It’s in my personality. When I want something a certain way I tend to research and search until I get it the way I want. If they don’t make it, I will! That’s part of what drives my creative side I think.

Anyways, Over the last month I have been pondering and comparing sketchbooks and their various papers. I like different papers for different reasons and so far, I’ve primarily used Moleskine as my daily carry sketchbook and I haven’t really had any complaints.

Moleskine comes in the landscape and portrait formats, both of which I’ve tried. My preference is the portrait orientation though. It also comes with this little paper ruler thing (I never keep or use really, but some may find useful). My preference is the 5×8.25 portrait.

Recently I started working with a lot more water in my pieces and while the Moleskine paper holds up OK, the paper does tend buckle and as you can see, causes the color to puddle. To be fair and if you can try to zoom in and look at each page, I used ALOT of water on the left and considerably less on the right and got much better results.

Overall, it’s still a great sketchbook and holds up well. At 200 gsm,

I also have tried the Speedball Travelogue 5×8.25 portrait Sketchbook in the 5×8.25 portrait size, which is also 200 gsm paper. The paper held up to the water fairly well, but does puddle the pigment still, which is what I’m trying to avoid, but still not too bad and for most of my daily journaling I use the sketchbooks for. I’m thinking this one is better than the Moleskine though. Still on the fence.

Arches! My all time favorite watercolor paper, 300gsm perfection, IMHO. But, alas, they do not make a book! 🙁 They come in pads of various sizes ans well as hot and cold press, both of which I love. I most often choose the cold press for its more textured surface.

I just love the way the pigment settles on this paper better. The paper will still buckle some with heavy water, however, it is really good about not puddling the pigment somehow

So, for now I want to use the Arches, but I want my pages bound. So I grabbed my 365 disc puncher and got some 3/4” discs and got to work. I used mostly cold press, but also added in some hot press sheets in the back. I also included some of my cheaper sheets of cold press i had laying around too.

I added some scrapbook paper dividers and pockets to hold stickers, business cards, etc. I also added my usual photo corners for ‘scratch postcards’ and mt palette sample cards.

I’ll use this as my purse sketchbook for a while. I still don’t really take a position on which is best because they all serve a purpose and will give different results based on how you’re using the, but I hope this was helpful if you’re looking to change books/papers! 🙂