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Thread: Good, affordable sketchbooks?

  1. #1
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    Good, affordable sketchbooks?

    I've been trying to find some affordable sketchbooks that don't smear badly, rip easily and are some what a little smaller then a regular ringed sketchbook.

    The prices I come across at my local Walmart and Barns n' Noble sell them for outrageous prices. I mean even if it's just a little less then paying $20-$30s for a sketchbook I'm down.

    The $5 sketchbooks you can get at Walmart are as thin as the paper in the bible and smear really, really badly.

    Maybe I'm being a cheapskate, maybe the books Im finding are the cheapest ones.

    My Sketchbook!. Please stop by and critique the living hell out of it. All opinions are welcome.
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    http:///www.amazon.com (look up the reviews)

    http://www.dickblick.com (look at reviews too).

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    I use the moleskine folio: here

    I dunno if you've used moleskine but I personally like the smooth, thick paper quality. This is basically like the regular ones except A4 size. They're about 20 bucks, pretty affordable. Only issue I have is that it smells pretty awful when you first upwrap it lol but moleskine in general has that signature weird smell.

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    Keep an eye out for sales and stuff. I have a stockpile of maybe 8 daler rowney hardback skecthbooks that I buy in packs of 3 for 10 euro when a local bookseller puts them on special offer.

    Last edited by megaten; August 31st, 2011 at 06:32 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Borders bookstore is going out of business, so if they're still around you can see if they have them discounted to clear their shelves.

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    Barnes & Noble sells fairly cheap sketchbooks that can fit comfortably in a cargo pocket. The paper's pretty good for the price, thick and smooth and takes dry media well.

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    I usually get 9"x12" Strathmore books at Daniel Smith in the 10$ range-- they have a website.

    Barnes & Noble sells Canson hardback books in the same price range.

    "Pen & Ink" sells a pretty good knock-off moleskine for about 2/3 of what Moleskine charges. I get these at the University of Washington Bookstore. (I'm pretty sure they have a website).

    "Michaels" is an arts & craft store throughout the U.S. that is kind of gouge-y, but if you snag their Sunday newspaper coupon from the Starbucks "community basket," before some other poor bastard, their sketchbook prices aren't so bad.

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  11. #8
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    Or buy some paper you find good and bind your own sketchbook. It may not look that pretty but it shouldn't matter that much since it's for drawing, not for looking pretty.

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    I get the black hardcover acid-free ones at the local art store. The 5x8" ones where you get twice the pages for half the price of a Moleskine. Can't remember the brand name because the first thing that goes is the sticker on the front. Maybe it's Cachet?

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    Honestly, I had a couple of sketchbooks, but really didn't like the spiral binding or the fact that the book didn't lay flat.

    So, I just bought a large ream of heavy stock printing paper. Using a clipboard, it works fine for me. Once I've done a drawing that I'm happy with, I then put it in a 3-ring binder.

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    I know I picked up this brand at cons before.

    They end up selling them 3 for the price of 1

    http://amzn.com/B003EWGBNG

    http://amzn.com/B001R1QROE

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; September 7th, 2011 at 09:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Hoppes View Post
    Honestly, I had a couple of sketchbooks, but really didn't like the spiral binding or the fact that the book didn't lay flat.

    So, I just bought a large ream of heavy stock printing paper. Using a clipboard, it works fine for me. Once I've done a drawing that I'm happy with, I then put it in a 3-ring binder.
    I do this too, for nice sketchwork I prefer to use grey cardstock from staples and haven't had the time or money to buy large enough paper and bind my own. The clipboard method works fantastic for me, I just make sure to include the date on it if I want to keep them in some sorta order.

    ETA
    I should also mention, in my pocketbook I carry around a 8X8in flexi-sketch brand book for my more spontaneous sketching that's more for the method than the outcome. It's extremely inexpensive for the amount of paper, though it's not as good as a nice sketchbook. When I'm sketching at lunch etc. I sketch in ballpoint pen which means I don't have to worry about smearing.

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    My favorite cheap sketchbooks are used ones. Especially if the pages are already filled in. Then it's like, I already did my figure studies bro.

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    A few options I use are these multimedia heavyweight wirebound canson sketchbooks.
    or alternatley tear up some paper bags and make that into a sketchbook

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  19. #15
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    I use a combination of store bought and handmade sketchbooks.

    As a general pocket one, I like a landscape orientation 3.5 x 5.5 in. "hand•book".
    http://www.globalartmaterials.com/travelogue.html. It runs at about $8 though, which is somewhat steep for a sketchbook that size.

    For cheaper ones, I'll chop things up with a paper cutter and bind them with prong fasteners or binder clips. It's good for unusual paper types or aspect ratios.

    Also, you don't get much cheaper than paper on a clipboard.

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    Last edited by SmallPoly; September 14th, 2011 at 08:35 PM.
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