Three Things to Know Before Buying a Sketch Pad

Mastering the art of the perfect paper.

Woman drawing on sketch pad.
Sketch, draw, paint—the medium doesn’t matter, as long as you’re creating art.Unsplash

Some research suggests that just 45 minutes of creative activity like drawing or painting relieves stress and boosts self-esteem, even if you’re not exactly Van Gogh. So what are you waiting for? All you need to get started is a little imagination and the right sketch pad.

Strathmore 455-3 400 Series Sketch Pad, 9"x12" Wire Bound, 100 Sheets
Multipurpose paper with perforated pages.Strathmore

Heavyweight paper is ideal for wet media, like paint and ink, because the paper won’t fall apart or let color bleed through. Lightweight paper is better for drawing with pencil, charcoal or crayons. Hoping to dabble in both wet and dry media? Think about getting a medium- to heavyweight sketch pad.

U.S. Art Supply 9" x 12" Premium Spiral Bound Sketch Pad, (Pack of 2 Pads) Each Pad has 100-Sheets, 60 Pound (100gsm) (Pack of 2 Pads)
Standard-weight paper with top binding.U.S. Art Supply

Nothing’s more frustrating than spending time on your art and then accidentally smearing it as you move on to a different section of the page. So, consider which hand you’re going to use to make art. Left-handers will probably be more comfortable using a bound sketch pad with a top spiral, while right-handers can use a side or top spiral. And if you’re ambidextrous, color us impressed.

Canson XL Series Mix Paper Pad, Heavyweight, Fine Texture, Heavy Sizing for Wet and Dry Media, Side Wire Bound, 98 Pound, 7 x 10 Inch, 60 Sheets, 7"X10"
Ideal for painting and inking.Canson

Let’s say you create a masterpiece. Now what? If you’re hoping to display your work or give it to somewhere (or someone), consider buying a sketch pad with micro-perforated sheets for clean and easy removal.

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