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The Largest Ever Moleskine Sketchbook!

Updated on December 14, 2015
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Katherine investigates and reviews different types and brands of art media and equipment - including paints, drawing materials and papers.

Have you ever dreamed of being able to sketch in a really large good quality sketchbook?

I recommend the Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A3 if you have. However there's one or two things which are worth knowing first.

The first is it's really important not to confuse this sketchbook with another Folio product which looks almost identical but is actually a notebook and has 100gsm paper. That works fine as a notebook - but it's not the quality of the usual Moleskine Sketchbook!

So look for two key indicators that you've got the right product:

  1. Sketchbook
  2. 160gsm - this tells you have definitely got the sketchbook as only the sketchbook has this quality of paper

Moleskine A3 Sketchbook - PROS

  • the paper is wonderful - I keep wanting to buy whole sheets of it! It's a very heavyweight paper (160gsm acid free) which means there's no chance of you going through the paper or sketches on one side being seen from the other side of the page
  • The paper is particularly well suited to the use of pencil, graphite sticks, pen and ink and coloured pencils. However you need to remember this is a very large sketchbook and you might want to review what type of media you use with it.
  • You get 96 plain pages in each book which is ideal for a sketching journal for a project or if you're travelling
  • all the paper is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified
  • It has the usual Moleskine cover - which means it's robust plus you have the nice stretchy elastic band to keep the sketchbook closed - which avoids getting pages scuffed and dog-eared when being carried
  • the spine is threadbound which means this sketchbook will lie completely flatwithout any effort
  • One sheet of paper in this book gives you an image size of 16.5" high by 11.75" wide.
  • That means you get a double page spread which is an awesome 16. 5" high x 23.5" wide!
  • It's great for doing a compilation of sketches on one topic, subject or place on one double page spread.

Moleskine A3 Sketchbook - CONS

  • It's VERY VERY BIG! This is a sketchbook which is NOT going to fit in your pocket! In fact you'll need a pretty big bag to take it. I find it easiest to use a big backpack or just to carry it.
  • You'll also find that you need to use it on the ground or a table as it's a bit too big to hold comfortably and steadily on a knee - unless you're just using one page rather than a double page spread.
  • This sketchbook will not accept water based media. You're fine with pen and ink - just don't expect to be able to do a wash. Watercolour paints are out too!

Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album, A3, Black, Hard Cover (16.5 x 12) (Professional Folio Series)
Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album, A3, Black, Hard Cover (16.5 x 12) (Professional Folio Series)

If you want to use water-based paints or inks then you will find the watercolour notebooks work better. Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbooks always have a shell pink wrapper. If you want to use a large sketchbook then you need to buy this Watercolour Album with individual pages of 16.5" high by 11.75" wide.

Sault and the Lavender Fields
Sault and the Lavender Fields

Sault and the Lavender Fields
16 ” x 12”, 29cm x 42cm, pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in
Moleskine A3 size Folio Sketchbook

Here are more reviews of this sketchbook

This is a review of the watercolour version

This uses 200 gsm (25% cotton fiber) cold-pressed paper (see above in the suggestions for alternative Moleskine sketchbooks)

Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Pocket, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) (Classic Notebooks)
Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook, Pocket, Plain, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) (Classic Notebooks)

If you actually do want a sketchbook which you can fit in your pocket then this is the one to go for Classic Moleskine Sketchbooks always have a lilac wrapper - this denotes the use of the smooth 160gsm paper.


© 2014 Katherine Tyrrell


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