By Helen South
Bliss. Fabriano's paper-bound artist's journal contains a range of Ingres laid papers in neutral tones including Warm White, Hazel Brown, Ash, Flet Blue, light Green and Ivory. An ideal sketchbook for those who favor charcoal drawing (try carbone pencils, which won't make such a mess when you travel), as well as Trois Crayons technique and pastel. These do have mixed reviews - some criticism of the quality control and the stiff glue binding.
If you like to tear the occasional page out to give to a friend (or file in the trashcan!), then a wirebound book is a good choice. I'm not personally keen on them, as I don't like the wire spirals against other books on my shelf or in my bag, but many artists prefer them. The spiral binding allows them to lay open or with the front pages flipped behind the back, which is useful when working outdoors - hence the name Field Sketchbook. It has 80 pages of acid-free, 65 lb / 96 gsm paper, with a robust board cover and double wire binding.
HandBook Journals are really beautiful, a definite favorite. With gorgeous buff-colored paper and curved corners. They are somewhat similar to a Moleskine, but with much heavier 130gsm paper, which has perhaps a little more tooth, and suitable for pencil or pen-and-ink drawing. Available in a range of colors, formats and sizes, 128 pages, cloth bound. I particularly like the landscape format.
A simple, functional sketchbook, the Carnet de Voyage contains 15 sheets of Arches 140lb / 300 gsm Cold Pressed (rough) watercolor paper. This is a true watercolor paper, thick enough not to require stretching, and robust enough to withstand heavy washes. The landscape format is perfect for outdoor sketching. Although, as I said, I'm not a fan of spiral bindings, the luxurious feel, quality and servicability of this sketchbook make it a personal favorite.