Moleskine are famous for producing some of the best sketchbooks for beginners and professionals alike. It is no wonder than the Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and we agree that it’s a really lovely sketchbook and also makes a great gift for an artist. However, is it the best watercolor sketchbook that money can get you? Keep reading to see what we think about it.
Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook Review: First Impressions
Overall, the first impressions of the Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook were positive. This sketchbook benefits from the classical Moleskine design, with a durable black hard cover and an elastic closure that keeps it closed and keeps the corners safe from bending. It’s available in a variety of sizes, from pocket size to A3, and it opens fully flat on a table. This makes it great for watercolor painting on the go, as you can paint right to the binding, as long as you don’t use very wet media. More on that later!
This Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook review covers the A4 sized one, but they all have the same type of paper and perform roughly the same. This sketchbook uses 200g cold pressed high quality paper, which is satisfyingly thick and acid-free to extend the lifespan of your artwork. It has 30 thread bound sheets, or 60 pages, and the binding is on landscape mode. It also has a pocket that can be used to keep notes and papers. This makes this sketchbook very versatile to use for note taking, journaling or watercolor planning on the go. The texture and light ivory color gives watercolor a great contrast and makes them lively.
This sketchbook (as with many other Moleskine products) have a cult following, and looks great as a gift for somebody who enjoys watercolor or dry media, or just want a high quality, good looking sketchbook.
Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook Performance
We tested this sketchbook with a variety of media and styles for this Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook review, and in general it didn’t disappoint. The pages are not see-through at all, so you can use them on both sides and the fact that it opens flat is a huge bonus and makes painting easier.
Dry media such as charcoal, graphite, pencils and watercolor pencils work a treat. If you want to preserve your charcoal drawings for posterity you will need to use a fixative spray but that’s a given with most sketchbooks. The paper has a slight texture, so it will rub away pencils a bit quicker than plain regular paper but it’s not very noticeable.
With wet media, gouache and watercolor, you can generally speaking use both sides of each sheet as long as you are careful. If you really like applying lots of water washes, or have a heavy hand with the water application, it may warp a bit or even transfer to the other side of the sheet. However, for regular watercolor painting it works well.
If you want to do wet on wet, or use multiple washes, this may not be the best watercolor sketchbook for you. The Strathmore 400 watercolor journals are more suitable for wet on wet work or multiple washes.
If you just want to sketch or pain watercolor on the go, just use a light hand and you will be fine. If the paper wrinkles due to excess water it often flattens itself as you close it with the elastic closure. Alternatively you can use a watercolor board to stretch the paper on.
The paper is thick enough to be used on both sides, and you can even use markers on it, though there are better alternative paper for copic markers with a more pure white color and smoother texture. However, if you like mixed art, this watercolor sketchbook can take markers fine.
Due to the way the pages are bound, it can be difficult to remove pages from this watercolor sketchbook. It doesn’t have any sort of cut line, so if you really want to remove a page to frame it you will need to use a razor blade. Unlike spiral binding watercolor sketchbooks, this one lays flat without the spiral getting on the way if you are left handed. However, if removing pages is important for you then using a knife may be a bit too much of a hassle.
Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook Review: Final Thoughts
Have we found the best watercolor sketchbook? People definitely LOVE it. When testing for this Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook review we were impressed by the versatility of this watercolor sketchbook. The durable cover and elastic closure makes it easy to store on a bag without the risk of dog eared corners. However, the pages warped a bit too much when wet painting. It was also difficult to blend, lift or scratch as the paint absorbs really quickly. However, it works great with watercolor pencils and dry painting, and the paper is high quality.