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Sketchbooks are an artist’s playground, perfect for capturing scenes, playing with colors, developing new ideas, and experimenting with subjects and techniques. The notebooks we mention below hold up under both wet and dry, giving you more opportunities to try new tools and play. Find your best fit below.

Best for experiments: Canson XL Series Mix Media

Versatile And Large-Format

It’s a little too big to be a daily carrier, but perfect for an evening of figure drawing or collage at home. Amazon

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The Canson XL comes at a generous 7 x 10-inch size, with micro-perforated paper in a spiral-bound notebook. Tear out pieces as you need. A paperweight of 98-pound, 160 gsm—grams per square meter—is friendly for most media: pencil, ink and wash, markers, acrylic, and crayons. It will hold up under light watercolor, and with 60 pages and a low cost, it’s perfect for spontaneous experiments.

Best to-go option: Travelogue Drawing Book Artist Journal

Travel-Ready In Multiple Formats

Personalize it with paint-inspired covers in black, cadmium green, vermillion red, and ultramarine blue. Amazon

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The Travelogue Handbook journals boasts a buff-colored, 130 gsm paper hidden inside a European cloth-bound sketchbook in a variety of formats and sizes. Go for pocket-sized portrait or landscape journals for sneaky subway sketching, larger sizes for standard travel journaling, or the versatile square journal for the best of every world. The elastic closure keeps the journal safe during travels, and an interior pocket inside the back cover will let you save scraps and inspiring papers. The paper holds up under light watercolor and less intense mediums.

Most durable: Strathmore 500 Visual Mixed Media Journal

Can Take Wet And Dry Pigments

Cardboard cover doubles as a stand when you’re drawing on the go. Amazon

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The Strathmore’s Visual Mixed Media journal comes with a hardy 190 gsm paper, which works well for wet and dry media including pencil, pen and ink, gouache or watercolor, and acrylics. The heavy-duty spiral binding won’t come apart on commutes. 34 sheets are plenty for daily sketching—and the journal comes in standard 5.5 x 8 or 9 x 12-inch sizes.

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