The 5 Best Sketchbooks for Markers in 2024

Best Overall

Crescent RENDR Lay-Flat

Sketchbooks for Markers1
The top choice for marker artists, featuring a lay-flat design for seamless sketching.
Best for Alcohol Markers

Ohuhu Marker Pad 

Sketchbooks for Markers2
Ideal for alcohol markers, offering vibrant color display and bleed-resistant pages.
Best Budget

Canson XL Series Mixed Media

Sketchbooks for Markers3
An affordable, versatile sketchbook perfect for markers and mixed media use

When we think about mediums that have revolutionized the art world, markers might not be the first ones to come to mind, however, these originally “writing tools” have slowly revolutionized the way art is created in many sketchbooks, schools, homes, and art studios. From beautiful anime and manga illustrations to graffiti art and industrial design, makers have carved out a special place in the hearts of many artists around the world.

However, it’s not all about the markers, the surface you use them on matters just as much as the type, quality, and brand of markers you chose.  

Just like with any other medium, you can’t simply grab any sketchbook from the art store and hope for the best, although most mixed media sketchbooks will handle markers relatively well, most will spread, bleed, and even tear when applying multiple layers or trying blending techniques.

If you’re wondering which sketchbooks are best for the many different types of markers or which paper you should look for, then keep reading! In this guide, we’ll learn about the different types of markers, which paper suits them best, and what to look for when buying a sketchbook for markers. 

We’ll also present you with a curated list of what we believe are the best sketchbooks for markers in the market today, for every type of marker, every artist, and every budget. 

Let’s get started!

Types of Markers

Alcohol-Based Markers

Alcohol markers are, well, made with ink and alcohol. They’re great for illustration, graphic design, architecture, fashion design, and comic work. Known for their vivid colors, excellent blendability, and high price, these markers are the dream of every artist. 

These markers work best on smooth, bleed-proof paper, avoid watercolor paper and paper that weighs less than 200 gsm.

Water-Based Markers

Water-based markers are the ones we’ve all used and know the best. Great for coloring, lettering, calligraphy, and illustration, they are less likely to bleed through paper and are often washable, making them great for beginners or children. 

They’re also widely available in different stores, but we must say that these markers don’t blend very well (they don’t blend at all) and despite being water-based, they’re not meant to be used with water (like watercolors). You can use them on pretty much any paper, however, to avoid bleeding, we recommend a medium-weight paper with a bit of texture.

Watercolor Markers

As their name says, these are markers that can be used as watercolors. They are made with watercolor pigments that don’t dry as quickly as the usual pigments on water-based markers and can be diluted and blended in like watercolors. They offer a new level of control to watercolor artists and are very compact and easy to carry around compared to a watercolor set.

Watercolor paper is ideal for these markers since it’s designed to handle wet media and allows for effective blending and layering of watercolor ink.

Paint Markers

Paint Markers as their name says, are made with paint, sometimes water-based, sometimes mixed with some kind of solvent. This paint is very opaque, dries fast, has super vivid colors,  and can be applied to a variety of surfaces like paper, cardstock, metal, glass, etc. Some are washable and some are permanent once they dry. Heavier paper like cardstock or mixed media paper is ideal for these markers, as it can withstand the weight and sometimes oily nature of the paint.

How To Find the Best Sketchbooks for Markers

When selecting a sketchbook for marker art, various features need to be taken into account to ensure the best results. Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects to consider:

Paper Weight and Texture

Heavier papers are more durable and can handle the paint, ink, or pigment load better without bleeding or buckling, for markers, papers that weigh around 150-250 gsm are typically the best.

Regarding texture, a smoother paper is generally preferred for alcohol and paint markers to get clean, sharp lines, however, some level of texture can be beneficial for certain effects, especially with water-based and watercolor markers.

Another crucial factor to consider when buying a sketchbook for marker art is how bleed-proof a sketchbook is. Look for high-quality, bleed-proof papers, which are designed to prevent ink from seeping through to the next page, which is very common when using alcohol markers and water-based markers.


There are different types of binding, however, when talking about sketchbooks, we must consider four: 

  • Hardbound Sketchbooks: Hardbound Sketchbooks are the ones that look like books, these tend to be sewn and glued together, or even sewn together again to ensure maximum durability. They are preferred for their aesthetic look, durable cover, and the level of protection they offer, however, it might be a bit hard to work on them due to the nature of the binding that prevents them from lying flat.
  • Softbound Sketchbooks: Same as hardbound sketchbooks, these are pages sewn together, however, they have a thin, soft cover instead of a thick had cover. These sketchbooks are designed to lie flat to some extent, they’re also more affordable, but the pages might get damaged if handled wrongly.
  • Spiral-Bound Sketchbooks: These are the most popular among beginners, bound by a set of rings or a spiral, these sketchbooks can lie completely flat, but you won’t be able to work on two-page spreads since the pages are separated by the rings. They’re also bulkier and some find them uncomfortable to use since the hand will constantly bump with the spiral while drawing and painting. 
  • Glued Sketchbooks: Glued sketchbooks are much more affordable, they can lie fully flat and it’s quite easy to remove pages. However, they might lose a page here or there if the glue is not strong enough. 

Size and Portability

Sketchbooks come in different sizes, small sketchbooks (From 3 x 5 inches) are great to carry around in your bag or your pocket, do some painting from life, urban sketching, and putting down ideas on the go. They’re easy to fill and very convenient, however, some might find that the space is very limiting and uncomfortable to work on

Standard sizes (From 5 x 5 inches) are the middle ground, perfect for both beginners and professionals, they fit in any bag, and are also easy to carry around but not as limiting as smaller sketchbooks. They look great on shelves and come in different presentations.

Large-size sketchbooks for markers are quite rare since it’s more common to find paper pads or paper sheets of those sizes, however, they do exist and are great for commission work, studio, and gallery work. The size you choose depends on your personal preference and the nature of your work, while larger sizes provide more space for detailed works, smaller sizes are more portable and beginner-friendly.

Marker Compatibility 

Not all sketchbooks are made for every marker, different papers absorb ink in different ways, so when looking for a sketchbook, you should go for a paper that showcases the marker’s true color without unnecessary absorption that can dull the color intensity. 

Another especially important factor for alcohol-based and watercolor markers is that the paper should allow for smooth blending and layering without damaging the surface and bleeding to the other side to the point where it stains the next page, bleed-proff papers are usually advertised and labeled to make it easier to pick, make sure to check the reviews as well to get a better idea on how the paper is going to perform with your markers. Additionally, making sure the paper is resistant enough is also important. Remember that papers that cause less feathering and bleeding also help extend the marker’s ink life.

Best Sketchbooks for Markers in 2024

  1. Best Sketchbook for Markers Overall — Crescent RENDR Lay-Flat Sketchbook
  2. Best Sketchbook for Alcohol Markers —- Ohuhu Marker Pad 
  3. Best Budget Sketchbook for Markers — Canson XL Series Mixed Media
  4. Best Watercolor Sketchbook for Beginners — Montana Cans Sketchbook
  5. Best Sketchbook for Markers for Beginners — Arteza Hardcover Journal Pack

1. Best Sketchbook for Markers Overall — Crescent RENDR Lay-Flat Sketchbook

Selection Criteria

  • Paper Weight and Texture: 180 gsm, Smooth Surface.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Bleed-through resistance: Fully Bleed-proof
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Binding: Softcover, 64 pages.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Size and Format: 8.5 x 11 Inches, Portrait.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Price: $24.51
    • Our Score – 8/10

About the Crescent RENDR Lay-Flat Sketchbook

Born from the need that most marker artists had to use both sides of their sketchbook pages, the Crescent RENDR sketchbook is the first sketchbook with patented paper that is fully bleed-proof. 

Yes, although the paper of this sketchbook is on the lighter side, it doesn’t bleed no matter how many layers you use. It has a nice texture, smooth enough for detailed illustrations but textured enough so you don’t lose control of your markers.

This second edition of the RENDR Sketchbook has a nice lie-flat feature, that allows you to work on two-page spreads, scan your work easily, and use the full page without discomfort.


  • Bleed-resistant pages.
  • Lay-flat design.
  • Durable construction.


  • Higher price point.
  • Limited size options.

2. Best Sketchbook for Alcohol Markers — Ohuhu Marker Pad

Selection Criteria

  • Paper Weight and Texture: 200 gsm, Smooth, flat Surface.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Bleed-through resistance: Medium resistance.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Binding: Hardcover, 156 pages.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Size and Format: 8.3 x 8.3 inches, Square.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Price: $21.99
    • Our Score – 7/10

About the Ohuhu Marker Pad

The Ohuhu Marker Pad is the first sketchbook Ohuhu released specifically designed to work with markers. The paper is thick and resistant, made to reduce ink feathering and bleeding. It comes with 78 sheets which are more than the usual, and a plastic sheet that you can place between the pages to fully prevent bleeding in case of heavy layering and blending. 

This sketchbook has a very unique texture that works wonderfully with markers, pencils, and other dry media. Although the paper of this sketchbook is designed to not bleed, excessive use of ink will cause some slight bleeding.

Ohuhu has already proven to be a trusted alcohol markers brand, even competing with Copic and other professional brands, and this sketchbook is up to the high-quality standards that Ohuhu has set.


  • Alcohol marker compatible.
  • Smooth surface.
  • Affordable price.


  • Thinner paper.
  • Limited paper variety.

3. Best Budget Sketchbook for Markers — Canson XL Series Mixed Media

Selection Criteria

  • Paper Weight and Texture: 160 gsm, Smooth Surface.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Bleed-through resistance: Low bleed resistance
    • Our Score – 7/10
  • Binding: Spiral-Bound, 120 pages.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Size and Format: 5.5 x 8.5 Inches, Portrait.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Price: $10.90
    • Our Score – 10/10

About the Canson XL Series Mixed Media

Canson has been producing the most affordable, reliable, easy-to-use, and high-value sketchbooks for a very long time. The Canson Mixed Media XL is the preferred mixed media sketchbook of many students and hobbyists as well as professional artists. The paper has a smooth texture perfect for ink and markers, it can handle quite a bit of layers, is great for paint markers as well as alcohol and water-based markers, and is not expensive at all, making it perfect for practicing and learning.

The paper is lightly coated and very strong, however, it’s not bleed-proof so make sure to use a plastic sheet to prevent staining the next pages, especially when using alcohol markers.


  • Versatile media use.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Heavyweight paper.


  • Not marker-specific.
  • Possible bleed-through.

4. Best Watercolor Sketchbook for Beginners — Montana Cans Sketchbook

Selection Criteria

  • Paper Weight and Texture: 120 gsm, Smooth Surface.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Bleed-through resistance: Medium Bleed-proifed paper.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Binding: Hardcover, 144 pages.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Size and Format: 12 x 8.5 Inches, Landscape.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Price: $13.98
    • Our Score – 10/10

About the Montana Cans Sketchbook

The Montana Cans Sketchbook is the perfect choice for paint marker artists and graffiti lovers. Made by one of the best spray-paint companies, Montana Cans, this sketchbook features thick paper that resists bleeding and smudging. The paper’s weight and texture are specifically designed to mimic the feel and absorbency of a typical urban canvas, like concrete walls or metal surfaces, providing artists with a realistic experience as they plan out and practice their designs. Additionally, it includes a range of blank and grid-lined pages, offering versatility for both freehand drawing and more precise planning. 


  • High-quality paper.
  • Sturdy construction.


  • Thinner paper
  • Limited sizes.

5. Best Sketchbook for Markers for Beginners — Arteza Hardcover Journal

Selection Criteria

  • Paper Weight and Texture: 175 gsm, Slightly textured.
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Bleed-through resistance: Medium Bleed-through resistance
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Binding: Hardcover, 100 pages (200 total)
    • Our Score – 8/10
  • Size and Format: 8.3 x 11.7 Inches, Portrait.
    • Our Score – 9/10
  • Price: $24.64
    • Our Score – 9/10

About the Arteza Hardcover Journal

The Arteza Hardcover Journal is an exceptional choice for sketch artists and journal enthusiasts. Made with high-quality materials, this journal has a sturdy hardcover that provides durability and protection for your art. 

The paper is of premium quality, thick enough to prevent bleed-through, which makes it suitable for a variety of mediums including pens, ink, watercolors, and markers of any kind. This pack includes two hardcover sketchbooks making it great for beginners who need a surface to practice on and fill without guilt or fear.


  • Beginner-friendly.
  • Durable hardcover.
  • Multi-pack value.


  • Mixed paper quality.
  • Possible bleed-through.
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