Most art teachers and experts agree that sketchbooks are necessary, especially if you want to evolve as an artist. In fact, whether it is a notebook-sized sketchbook for acrylic paints, or a small drawing pad that can easily be slipped into a pocket or purse, many never leave home without one because, of course, inspiration can strike at any time.

Sketchbooks are not only perfect for practice, but they are launchpads for new ideas and trying different techniques, experimenting with different color palettes, or just free-drawing. You can use your sketchbook for whatever purpose you choose, and the incredible factor is that no matter your choice, it will still benefit you tremendously in your artistic journey.

Before You Begin
Selecting the proper sketchbook for your particular focus and purpose is key. An improper book can lead to paint leaking through pages and other mishaps. Try to match the texture of the paper to the tools you plan to use. You can find sketchbooks that are designed specifically for all types of mediums, ranging from pencil art, colored pencils, charcoal, and pastels, to felt-tips and other pens, watercolors, acrylic paint, and more. Books with perforated pages are ideal for gifts or framing. The Canson XL Mixed Media Sketchbook and Strathmore Watercolor Sketchbook are two popular choices that have been well-received.

Tips for Your Sketchbook
Date Your Pages, or at least when you start the book, and then when you complete it, not only to keep your work organized for future reference but also to visually chronicle your progress. You will be able to flip through and see just how much your skills have grown.

Sketch Often
Practice, practice, practice! Use the sketchbook as often as you can. Even when you are not feeling inspired, you can take a look around and draw what you see in the real world, or simply just let your pen, pencil, or brush move across the page whimsically and discover what transpires.

Set a Schedule
Set aside a specific period of time to use your sketchbook if you are having difficulty fitting it into your day.

Do Not Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Sketchbooks are perfect places for “mistakes.” If you cannot morph them into something else, you can always use sticky notes to cover the area and give yourself a fresh new layer.

Take Notes
Everything is a work in progress, so take time to look back at your work, reflect on it, and take notes right on the pages or on separate sheets.

Try Online Challenges or Create Your Own
Artistic exercises and challenges are fantastic opportunities for improvement. They are easy to find online and simple to create on your own.

You can find more tips on using sketchbooks, along with a plethora of information about the painting, illustrating, and basically anything related to art, readily available online, 24/7.