Moleskine Sketchbooks Kind of, Well, Suck

For the record, I like Moleskines a great deal.  They are great little notebooks for writing.  They are relatively durable.  They have a great marketing story (yes, folks its all marketing – Davinci did not use the same “moleskine” that you buy in Barnes &  Nobels).  And they look cool.

But their sketchbooks, suck.  The paper is too smooth for any kind of wash and doesn’t take ink very well in my opinion.  I’ve had limited success, but not much, with watercolor washes.   High Resolution scans reveal that the ink doesn’t ad hear well to the paper.  Finally, the paper is almost yellow.  This leaves sketches looking a bit dingy in my opinion.

Now, the moleskine watercolor books are in a different class and I like them a lot.  But when it comes down to sketching, I think I prefer the journals from Hand Book Journal Company – except that their paper is just a tad bit thin and I can see my lines from the reverse side.

Maybe I’ll never be happy with a sketchbook…

4 thoughts on “Moleskine Sketchbooks Kind of, Well, Suck

  1. I rather agree, bro. Tho the paper in the hand book journal company is a bit fibrous, imho.

    I really like bristol, ultra smooth. But it doesn’t make a good notebook, doesn’t bend well.

    I like Arches for watercolor, but it can be cost prohibitive. I only buy it in the sheets, the blocks are ridiculous. I found a cheap watercolor pad that wasn’t too bad, had a very light texture.

    Also, Moleskines are way over priced. And don’t try to engrave their vinyl covers with a laser: it emits chloride gas.

    I’ll have to make you a handmade sketchbook with a variety of papers, when I have a chance.


  2. I had the same thoughts and kickstart-ed a sketchbook made with artist grade 100% cotton paper. Expensive process but i hope to at least make a damn good sketchbook out for people who are serious about their sketchbook art.


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