Review: Grandluxe Etcetra Sketchbook

This is the Grandluxe Etcetra Sketchbook. It's a hardcover with 80 pages of 180gsm watercolour paper. The cover is clothbound and comes in various colours: blue, green, black, pink. It also comes with an elastic band closure.

It has only landscape orientation and comes in sizes 5.8 x 8.3 inches (about A5), and a smaller size of 4.1 by 5.8 inches.

This was the sketchbook I brought to Cambodia for an intensive sketching trip.

The thing about clothbound sketchbooks is they can get dirty easily. Mine's already quite dirty because I had to put it on the ground sometimes. The clothbound does feel nice to the touch though. But I would prefer non-clothbound sketchbooks in the future.


The actual binding of the sketchbook actually does not attach to the hardcover spine.


This sketchbook uses the glue-type binding. As such, it's not very durable, and in the worst case scenario, the inner cover can actually come off from the glued spine. That's exactly what happened to mine, so I guess I'll have to glue it back again.

In another scenario, if the single pages actually comes off, then it will be quite difficult or even impossible to glue them back.


The pages can open flat and that's great if you like drawing across the gutter for a double page spread.


The paper is 180GSM so it's good enough for watercolour. It absorbs water well and the watercolours looks good.

There's some wrapping when too much water is applied but it's not a big issue. I would not have too many glazes because of the thickness of the paper.


Ink on paper might feather depending on the usage. If you leave your pen tip on the surface for too long, the paper will absorb the ink and feather. If you use brush pen for inking, or apply a larger amount of ink other than drawing lines, then it's going to feather also. So the techniques to prevent feathering with this sketchbook is to always keep your pen moving, and not to use pens that deposit a lot ink — fountains pens are fine but not those that have bigger tips.

Overall, the biggest downside is the glue-type binding that does not hold up to intensive or longtime use. This sketchbook is good for casual or watercolour practice, but if you want something lasting, I would recommending checking out other sketchbooks.

The Grandluxe Etcetra Sketchbook is available on Amazon.com.

Check out other sketchbooks reviewed at http://www.parkablogs.com/content/list-of-art-products-reviewed

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