My Favourite Sketchbooks for “On The Go”

Field Notes. Daler Rowney Sketchbook. Midori Traveler's Sketchbook.

This week I thought I’d tell you about the variety of sketchbooks and notebooks I like to use when I’m “On the Go” or travelling, or at work actually.

I’m really fussy about my sketchbooks, some might say snobby in fact. It’s not that I don’t like cheap sketchbooks, that’s not really the case, I just don’t like cheap paper. Teaching art in a college means I get to look through loads of different makes or brands of sketchbooks and I can tell you right now the worst ones seem to be made from recycled paper pulp and it is horrible!

Here are the ones I like to use, what I use them for and why I particularly like them.

Midori Traveler’s Sketchbook (No. 12)

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This one comes top because it’s the one I use most when I’m out and about. It’s part of my traveler’s journal with my diary and Webster’s Pages Notepad inserts that I use to record trips and events.

The paper is lovely and thick, it’s cream in colour and a little textured. I don’t like very textured paper as I find the soft pencil I like to use tends to smudge easily and I draw “on the go” more than anything else. The edges are perforated so you can remove the pages if you like. I have also used this to do brush lettering in with watercolour and the pages did not warp and the paint didn’t bleed through.

Field Notes 

Field Notes New York Edition

Field Notes New York Edition

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I keep these little squared paper notebooks in my backpack for a variety of reasons. I have one to fill with patterns and doodles, the paper isn’t thick enough to avoid bleed through so you can’t use both sides of the page if you use markers. I like filling these up and having a stack of patterns archived in notebook form.

I use another one for keeping notes about ideas and products I’m interested in trying out or want to buy.

The last one I use for practising brush lettering on a small scale as the squared paper is really useful when trying to practise drawing the same size letters.

Daler Rowney A5 Stapled Sketchbook

Dale Rowney A5 Graduate Sketchbook

Dale Rowney A5 Graduate Sketchbook

These guys are so great if you know you’re going to be drawing a lot but don’t want to take a big sketchbook. When I’m home I like to work in ring bound A5 or A4 sketchbooks from Paperchase but they can be quite heavy so I like these thin chaps if I know I’m going to meet a friend for a drawing date or I’m going somewhere and I want to draw there. They’re super cheap too! I picked this one up for £1 in Sainsburys!! Buying art supplies while grocery shopping is win win surely?

Let me know your favourite sketchbooks for when you’re out and about, I love to try new things!

Papergang August Subscription Box

Papergang Subscription BoxI love a subscription box, I mean who doesn’t love post? Well parcels, not bills.

A good subscription box brings you a collection of goodies you have selected but based on a theme you’re interested in. The fact that you don’t get to choose the contents means you try items you perhaps wouldn’t choose to spend your money on and you discover exciting new things. In this case, paper goods! And man do I love me some paper goods.

Papergang is the creation of Ohh Deer. These awesome guys work with illustrators and collate their work onto a fabulous website where you can buy products by interesting and talented people. Every month the Papergang send out a selection of paper based goods and stationery that you can’t get anywhere at all until they go live on the Ohh Deer website.

This month’s box, and my first, came in a sturdy box with a beautiful marble slip cover. On the back is a template to turn your slip cover into a cardboard stegosaurus!

Inside the goods are wrapped in tissue, to make it feel extra nice and you get a great big notebook, some tape, a greetings card and a calendar card.

Papergang Copper Tape

The tape is a shiny copper coloured paper tape. I actually already have some copper tape that was gifted to me by @intwosandthrees  and is actual metal tape (safety warning: I cut my finger on a squished up piece of it! but maybe that’s just my clumsiness) but this is very much paper tape that is easy to tear and is very shiny! I have been disappointed by non-shiny metallic tapes in the past but this is good quality. 

Kris Tate Card and Envelope

You also get a greetings card with artwork by Kris Tate. It’s got quite a Native American feel to it with the patterns and colours used though those are deer not moose as I mistook them for originally! I love the mixture of photographic elements and bright illustrated patterns in this card and the good thing is it isn’t necessarily for any occasion. I like cards that I can just send to friends for no particular reason. The card is sturdy too so feels good quality, it isn’t cheap and glossy at all!

Kris Tate Card

Here’s a close up of the deer. I love the coloured lines coming out of his mouth and on his fur, they’re fun, bright coloured and add a feel of the handmade, you can tell they have been made by the artist, not computer generated so they look all the same.

Papergang Marble Notebook

The biggy in this box is this hardbound marble notebook. It has a fabric spine which is nice and wide, strong thick covers and a lovely gold inlaid frame on the front so you can personalise it.

Papergang marble notebook

It also has copper edged pages! Copper is a bit of a theme of this month’s box if you hadn’t noticed! This edging definitely adds another touch of luxury to this notebook. It’s so nice I want to save it for something worthwhile.

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The pages are lined, but only on one side which is quite unusual and also continues with the feel of it being for something special. I guess you could use it to sketch on the plain side but you may be able to see the ink on the other side depending on which kind of pen you used. I’m not testing it, this book is staying pristine until I find a good use for it!

All of the items in this month’s box are things I will easily be able to use, especially the copper tape. I’m going to keep my subscription for another month at least to see what I get next time. I have seen images of more paper goods in previous which I’m keen to see. This big notebook was a pretty special item so I’m looking forward to seeing other products like small notebooks and stationery.