Sketchbook: Grow

This did not go as planned! But I tried to save it as much as I can hehe. I’m still getting used to the kind of watercolor paper Moleskine has. It absorbs the colors too fast for me; I still have to figure out how to paint on it properly. I’ve tried gouache on this though and it was more manageable.

Right now, Moleskine is the only brand I know which has portable sketchbooks with real watercolor paper available in Manila. It’s pricey (easily one of the most expensive art materials I have ever bought, around 800 pesos, or a bit more) but I like the size and portability, and how it’s bound. I’m using the large watercolor notebook. Again, I’m not used to the paper yet so I’m not happy with it yet haha. In the future, though, I’m thinking of cutting up watercolor sheets instead and having them book bound, rather than getting another Moleskine.

I’ve also tried the Monologue sketchbooks. They come in a variety of sizes which range from around 300-800 pesos.They don’t have actual watercolor variations but their paper can hold light watercolor drawings, and are also very good for pencil sketches. The same goes for the ring bound Muji sketchpads. I got one as a present, but I think they cost a little below 300 pesos. They’re okay for light watercolors, and ink also doesn’t bleed as much into the paper grain.

I keep a different sketchbook for my stamp and ink print works because they are much messier and I don’t want my watercolors to have ink all over them all the time. Right now, I’m using a 5.5 x 8.5 in Peter Pauper Premium sketchbook I found in Fully Booked. It has archival paper, perforated pages, and is hardbound. If I remember correctly, it costs more or less 300 pesos. Not bad at all.

I’ve also kept a number of generic Best Buy sketchpads through the years and they work fine if you’re not too keen on paper quality and binding. I use them for pencils, thumbnail sketches, and my five-minute fakes. My best reco for practice sketchpads, especially for ink sketches, are the ones in National Bookstore with the Care Bears printed on the cover! I’m not sure if they’re acid-free (they are probably not), but for practice, I’m really happy with them. The paper holds ink well and doesn’t ugly-bleed (inventing a word here). The last time I checked, each costs only 35 pesos. You can wrap the cover if you don’t like the Care Bears print haha OR you can let the cover grow on you.

What are your favorite sketchbook brands? :) And what are your favorite kinds of paper to draw and paint on?


6 thoughts on “Sketchbook: Grow”

  1. hi ms. fran! I own only one moleskin at hindi pa bumibilili ulit. I think the paper is really good though i still prefer the cheap watercolor paper brand that i’m using., haha. I think ang first pages ng sketchbooks are really meant for trial and error. I put notes din to remind me bakit ganun yung hitsura nung stroke, etc.. anyway, congrats sa award! yay!


    1. Hi Sab~ call me Fran nalang, no more “ms”! Haha. And yey thank you!

      Tippy mentioned on Instagram that it does dry quicker compared to other papers, baka daw kasi for traveling siya. Makes sense! :D Sanayan lang siguro. And about your notes, good idea! Try ko rin. I hope I get to learn to use it properly and not mess everything up haha. Thank you for the advice! :)


  2. …haha sorry am on mobile napress agad yung publish lol.
    Great job, I meant! I love that carebears sketchbook too, makapal papel and mura :)
    I’m also thinking of binding my own, or trying the beautiful Alunsina notebooks, kase ang gandaaaa


    1. Yey thank you so much! ; u ;

      Dream ko rin magkaroon ng Alunsina notebook hnggg! Pero feeling ko pag nakabili na ‘ko tititigan ko lang siya for a long time bago ako magkaroon ng courage magsulat or magdrawing :))


  3. Thank you for the tips on where to find sketchpads! Loving also the Canson Watercolor pads at NBS but so nakaka-oc because the back and front of the paper do not have the same texture. :|


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