I love Moleskine Sketchbooks!
An introduction to Moleskine Sketchbooks
I highly recommend Moleskine Sketchbooks - however different ones suit different purposes and you need to understand the colour wrapper code, which is which and what they can be used for.
This site explains to you about:
- the lilac wrapper - the classic sketchbook
- the pink wrapper - sketchbooks suitable for wet media
- folio sketchbooks - for those who like to have lots of space for their sketches
Why are Moleskine Sketchbooks great?
The main reasons why Moleskines are my sketchbook of choice
I've been using Moleskines for over 9 years. During that time I've tried five different sizes.
My absolute favourites - which can be found in my backpack all the time - are the Large Sketchbook and the A4 size.
The former is often also found in my handbag as it's a good size for sketching in art galleries and cafes in London.
MOLESKINE SKETCHBOOKS ARE GREAT because:
- they're very robust - I've travelled with mine all over the world and they've never ever fallen apart. The black cover never ever seems to get scuffed or dented. The binding never ever comes apart. I've never once had pages come out of a sketchbook.
- the paper is simply fabulous. It's 160 gsm of smooth manilla surface paper. It's the main reason I keep on using them - with the only variation being which size I carry round with me! The paper is slightly creamy which makes it very distinctive and easier on the eye than bright white - which can get very wearing on the eyes in hot climes. If there is one thing I could wish for it is that I wish they did this paper in sheets as well for use when you get back home!* the sketchbooks are thread bound. This means that if you open them up, absolutely no effort is required to get them to lie flat - making sketching across a double page spread absolutely routine for me. PLUS opening them up lie flat in now way causes a problem for the spine and pages do NOT drop out! This one of the two main reasons why I love this sketchbook.
- the paper in traditional Moleskine sketchbooks (lilac wrappers) is particularly suitable for dry media - graphite pencils and sticks, pen and ink drawings (but not ones involving a wet wash) and coloured pencils.
- the elastic wrapper keeps the sketchbook closed when not in use and hence all the pages stay in pristine condition - even if the sketchbook is at the bottom of your bag
The sketchbook comes in different sizes. You can buy:
- a small pocket size;
- one they call Large but I think of as normal;
- one which is A4 size which is very good for routine large sketches.
- Plus the A3 sized one which is one of the biggest sketchbooks made and is certainly the largest Moleskine sketchbook!
The company addressed the problem with the traditional sketchbook paper not liking waterbased media and created a special watercolour sketchbook - with a pink wrapper, which now comes in various sizes
Pastels and Pencils - Travels with a Sketchbook
You can see my sketches on this page on my website . Most of these have been done in a Moleskine sketchbook. CLICK a link in the names of the places to open the portfolios of sketches relating to different places I've travelled to
Places I've sketched using these sketchbooks
I started using them seriously on my travels in 2006 - on two trip to the USA. I filled a 'Large Moleskine' on both occasions with sketches across a double page spread - creating images 8" x 10".
Since then I've taken large and A4 sketchbooks to France for two trips in 2009 and 2011
Plus I routinely use them when sketching landscapes, gardens and parks around the UK and the urban scene and interiors in London.
One of the reasons I particularly like is them is that they work extremely well with pen and ink and coloured pencils which are my sketching media of choice. This also means I can use for them for sketching inside art galleries and museums where people who routinely work in watercolour would not be able to sketch because of the ban on painting inside an art gallery.
Moleskine Sketchbooks for Dry Media
Moleskine Sketchbooks love dry media such as graphite pencils and sticks, coloured pencils and pen and ink (without a wash)
This is the standard size Moleskine Sketchbook used by most people
Monday 24th July: 2,000 miles later - Louise drives the desert with style
This sketch was done in a Large Moleskine which I filled during a three week trip the California, Arizona and New Mexico. It includes sketches done:
- on the road trip between San Diego and Albuquerque - via the deserts during a heatwave
- on my drive down the coast road between San Francisco and San Diego
This one is called "Monday 24th July: 2,000 miles later - Louise drives the desert with style"
The Large Sketchbook is a great size for when you're sketching in a car. I sketched the people driving and the landscape outside the window.
My favourite small sketchbook
My favourite big sketchbook
A sketch across a double page spread of a Folio A4 Moleskine Sketchbook (11" x 16")
A view of the Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Media Used: * Folio Moleskine A4 Sketchbook * Coloured Pencils * PencilYou can read about how this sketch was developed in "Step by step sketch of the Rose Garden, Sissinghurst"This post on my blog - Summer in the Rose Garden, Sissinghurst - is about the finished sketchOne of the reasons for showing you this sketch is you can see how the stitching shows up on some of the double page spreads. That's because the pages are stitched together with thread. That means they never ever fall out of the sketchbook - which is one of the reasons I prefer these to alternatives.
Reviews of Moleskine Sketchbooks
You'll find more extended reviews in the blog posts below.I also write Making A Mark Reviews and I have a particular structure I use for product reviews which you'll see if you take a peek at the ones below
- Making a Mark Reviews: Moleskine Folio Sketchbook - A3 size
Yesterday I came across an A3 size Moleskine Folio Sketchbook - and bought it without a second thought. I've been using Moleskine sketchbooks for the last five years and although I might go out with other makes there's always at least one in my back
- paintings prints and stuff: new large A3 Moleskine - Folio books - REVIEW
Vivien Blackburn (Painting, Prints and Stuff) has reviewed the new large A3 Moleskine. Visit her blog to read her review and see examples of what her work in this new Moleskine Folio Book looks like.
- Notebook Stories: A Blog About Notebooks, Journals, Moleskines, Blank Books, Sketchbooks, Diaries an
So the first question about the new Moleskine Folio sketchbook is “HOW BIG IS IT?” Is it this big?
What do you need to be careful about?
Learn the wrapper codes if you want to get the right type of sketchbookIn smaller sizes:
- lilac means classic sketchbook
- pink means watercolour sketchbook
In larger Folio sizes (A4 and A3)
- brown means sketchbook 160 gsm paper
- mauve means notebook 100 gsm paper - if you buy one of these thinking you're buying one of the sketchbooks you will end up feeling shortchanged!
Moleskine Sketchbooks for Wet Media
You've got to be careful about only using wet media in the Moleskine sketchbooks designed for this purpose. Not every sketchbook likes wet media
A Moleskine watercolour sketchbook in portrait format
A sketchbook for those who like working very big
The Japanese Accordion style
Moleskine Classic Japanese Accordion Notebook
© 2011 Katherine Tyrrell