A sketchbook is the ultimate accessory for an artist to either carry with them consistently or house somewhere special for when inspiration strikes.
We’ve shored up 10 of the most popular mixed-media sketchbooks and art books to give you the type of inspiration that only those fresh, inviting pages of a new art journal can!
Best Mixed Media Sketchbooks:
1. Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Pad
Consumers who participated in a Canson Mixed Media Sketchbook review focused on their appreciation for the integrity of the paper, with zero to very minimal bleed, depending on the type of media being used.
Artists also appreciate the spiral binding that allows the Canson XL Series pad to take up minimal space, while still offering a large enough page space for most projects.
- This 7” x 10” heavyweight paper pad is ideal for any type of mixed media use.
- This includes basic drawing or sketching, watercolor and ink wash, collaging, standard journaling, and more.
- With 60 sheets of acid-free paper, bound by a convenient spiral, this sketch pad is very high quality.
- The 160-gram paper is durable enough to use close to any media on both sides of the page.
- The Canson Mixed Media Sketchbook reviews show that this particular sketchbook came as a result of artists’ demand for a more heavyweight paper that could be used for a variety of mediums while still maintaining the integrity of the paper itself.
2. Strathmore 566-8 500 Series Hardbound Mixed Media Art Journal
While it is perfect for nearly any type of media project, many consumers who have purchased the Strathmore 500 series art journal praise it for its ability to endure wet media, especially watercolor, thanks to the thickness of the paper. It is also available in several other sizes.
- With 32 sheets of acid-free paper, measuring 8.5” x 11” inches.
- The Strathmore 566-8 500 is ideal for sketching, painting, drawing, and many other mixed-media projects.
- If you choose to use both sides of the pages, you will have access to 64 pages of crisp white, 90lb paper that is perfect for wet or dry media projects.
- The 100% cotton paper is housed in a stately hardbound journal-style binding.
- The outside cover has a light rippled texture that comes in a deep, rich shade of cocoa brown.
- It also has a Smyth-sewn binding that allows the pages to lay flattered while being bound at the inseam.
3. Arteza Mixed Media Sketchbooks
Get your two-pack of ARTEZA Sketch Books today and enjoy the high-quality paper and the thick, heavy-duty backing that provides you with extremely firm backing when you are drawing out in the field.
- Praised by artists as a highly versatile mixed media art pad.
- The ARTEZA sketchbook contains 120 pages that are suitable for all types of dry media and light to medium washes of wet media projects.
- The pages in this ARTEZA sketch pad are medium-weight and 100% acid-free.
- The quality of this paper means that the colors of any media will show up extremely rich and they won’t lose their vibrancy over time.
- The pad is bound by a twin-loop spiral that allows you to turn the page easily.
- Pages are easy to tear out, but will not rip out without a firm pull.
- The ARTEZA sketchbook comes in a 9” x 12” size, which makes it extremely convenient for all your artistic needs.
4. Travelogue Drawing Book, Ivory Black Artist Journal
This Travelogue drawing book is available in six different sizes ranging from the Pocket Portrait size at 5.5” x 3.5” and Pocket Landscape size at 3.5” x 5.5” up to the Grand Portrait size at 10” x 8.25”. However, the square artist journal is extremely popular, as square artist sketch pads are often more difficult to find.
- This 5.5” x 5.5” artist journal is perfect to keep in your purse, travel bag, computer bag, or car.
- It is hardbound with a rich European book cloth cover complete with elegantly rounded corners.
- The bound cover is thick enough to serve as a functional hard surface for creating art, yet the binding still allows the pages to lay decently flat during drawing and creating art.
- This drawing book weighs only 8 ounces, yet has 64 sheets for a total of 128 total pages for your art.
- This book is perfect for toting around wherever you may go and whenever inspiration strikes!
- The paper itself is medium weight and is more of a cream shade than pure white.
- Note: alcohol-based markers will bleed through this paper.
- Dry or light watercolor applied gently will work, but heavier brushwork will bleed through or cause the paper to tear.
5. Canson Artist Series Mix Media Paper Pad for Wet or Dry Media
The paper holds up very well to even very thick mediums, and many artists choose this Canson pad specifically for the paper’s weight and quality. You can do full paintings with acrylics or watercolors on both the front and back of the page in this specific notebook.
- Highly appreciated by artists who work in both wet and dry media, this Canson Mix Media Pad has 30 sheets of paper offering both fine and medium texture.
- Artists appreciate the 138lb acid-free paper that is resistant to smudges and acid-free.
- Coming in at 138lb makes the paper much heavier and much less likely to tear or buckle under even the heaviest of mediums compared to the paper in other artist pads.
- The French-made paper is housed in this durable 5.5” x 8.5” artist’s pad contains wholly smudge-resistant paper.
- A double-loop side spiral makes it a great paper pad to take on the go or when you are traveling.
6. Strathmore 400 Series Mixed Media Pad
Many consumers and artists like this mixed media pad specifically because of the quality of the paper. They appreciate how well the paper holds up to heavier mediums such as watercolor, oil, acrylic, airbrush, and even alcohol-based markers (when not used in a multitude of layers).
- This is a glue-bound art pad by Strathmore that provides heavyweight paper in 15 sheets per mixed media pad that flips over the top as you move through the book.
- The unique glue binding securely holds sheets inside the art pad, but it still allows them to tear out easily and cleanly at the binding.
- This is a larger mixed media pad, coming in a 9” x 12” size.
- The heavy, 184lb paper is perfect for watercolor art, markers, collage, sketching, acrylic, and more.
- Its weight also makes this paper ideal for combining several mediums on a single page.
- Wet and dry media either work well on this specific art book, especially finished art.
7. Stillman & Birn Beta Series Softcover Mixed Media Sketch Pad
This mixed media sketch pad is built for serious use and is built to hold up to the most serious artist’s multi-layered art. It is one of the closest papers you will find to canvas inside of a modern sketchbook.
- The most unique and attractive feature of this sketchbook to artists is the extra heavyweight paper.
- The paper itself comes in at an extremely durable 270 grams per square meter (gsm) and is sized at 5.5” x 8.5”.
- The paper holds up great to heavier washes and multi-layer washes such as glazing with watercolors or acrylics.
- The paper is quite close to pure white, which is something to keep in mind if you prefer a paper closer to a cream or off-white shade of paper.
- The softcover binding on this particular mixed media sketch pad is enough to provide you with adequate support when sketching on the go or while you are traveling.
- However, the binding of this sketchbook is still flexible enough to lay the two-page spread completely flat while working.
- The paper is not only extremely sturdy, but it is free of acid and chloride.
8. Speedball Travelogue Watercolor Book Artist Journal, Large Portrait
This art journal is hand-bound using its signature binding process that includes sewing that allows the book to lie quite flat to take advantage of the front and both of each of the 60 pages (30 total sheets, front, and back). The paper is texturized on both sides to make it ideal for watercolor artists.
- Each piece of paper has a cold-press finish that makes this a great artist journal for any artist working in watercolors or acrylics who travels or works on the go frequently.
- This specific book is available in five different sizes, ranging from the Pocket Panorama at 3.5” x 8.25” to the Grand Portrait size at 10.5” x 8.25”.
- This 95lb/200gsm paper is ideal for watercolor use.
- The paper is exceptionally high quality and comes in a very soft white shade.
9. Bellofy 100-Sheet Sketchpad Artist Pro, Watercolor, Acrylic Art Pad for Sketching
There are 100 total sheets available for mixed media projects of your preference. The Bellofy Sketchpad Artist Pro comes complete with a thick cover and backing, giving you a sturdy surface to use when you are drawing away from a desk or flat surface.
- This spiral sketchbook offers a flip-top, twin-loop spiral that many people prefer over a side-spiral sketch pad.
- Artists enjoy the heavy, 98lb paper in this 9” x 12” notebook that is perfect for creating with most mediums, including everything from ink and colored pencil to watercolor and charcoal.
- The premium paper is acid-free and artists appreciate the smoothness and absorbency of the paper, eliminating any chance of smudges, blotching, and fading.
- The paper is slightly textured, helping to prevent any chance of mixed media soaking through.
10. Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media Sketchbook
- This mixed media pad is appreciated by artists due to its 3.2” x 4.2” size which makes it an ideal “travel size” art pad.
- It is unique in the fact that it is made from 265gsm weight paper that is made of 90% bamboo fiber and 10% cotton.
- The weight and thickness of this paper make it perfect for watercolor works, acrylics, markers, pastels, and heavier mixed media, although it is perfect for standard sketching and drawing as well.
This mixed media sketchbook is perfect for the true mixed media artist because the highly sturdy paper will truly handle most art materials with durability and success. Alcohol marker is one medium that does tend to bleed through a bit, so be cautious if this is your medium of choice.
However, there is typically not any bleed-through or show-through with a regular marker, watercolor, or acrylic mediums. The texturized bamboo-based paper provides you with a nice flow as you work, while still preventing the bleed that frustrates artists so frequently.
These are 10 of the best and most popular sketchbooks that will empower you to create your art, no matter what media you choose to work in. From varying sizes to varying bindings and covers, to varying types of paper weights, styles, and shades of color, there is truly a mixed-media art pad for everyone.
Whether you are buying your first sketchbook, are already an established artist, simply looking to do some work on the go, or are simply looking for inspiration, there is the perfect mixed-media sketchbook out there for you. No matter what media you like to work with, from colored pencils to watercolors, there is the perfect art book for you!
Don’t forget, sketchbooks and mixed media books make very creative gifts. Enjoy the process of creating in one of these fabulous art journals or giving someone the gift of a sketchbook as a medium to bring art to life!