5 best brown paper sketchbooks

The sketch pad is the artist’s go-to choice for sketching ideas on sheets of paper. Not only is a sketch pad great for drawing, but is also great for when you want to use acrylic paint. However, some sketchbooks are plain and boring, providing not much more value than printer paper. So we’ve introduced some brown paper sketchbooks for you to use.

The main benefit of using these kind of toned sketchbooks is that there is no need to add mid-tones to your drawings. Also, the brown/ gray paper naturally fills in your sketches. You can even use a white colored pencil on the toned papers, something you can’t do with regular white paper. A toned sheet of paper also lead to more realistic results. So without further ado, let’s look at the best brown paper sketchbooks to use as an artist. 

Disclaimer: All links placed in this article are affiliate, so we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.


Strathmore 400 Series Recycled Toned Sketch Pad - 11'' x 14'', 24 Sheets, Warm Tan

Strathmore is well known for creating quality sketchbooks that artists can depend on, while providing great value as well. With the warm tan version of this A4 artist’s sketchbook, you can create art pieces that stand out on the paper, as well as practice sketches that will enhance your abilities. They also offer gray paper, but for the purposes of this list, we will stick with the brown. 

The thin pages have enough texture to handle almost any media other than oils when used in moderation. It also contains perforations for when you want to take out pages from the book. The sketch pad is perfect for beginner and advanced artists, and after using this, you will never want to go back to using white sketchbooks again!

Fabriano Toned Paper Pad


Fabriano Toned Paper Pad - 8-1/4'' x 11-3/4'', Sand

This sketch pad doesn’t hold back, with 50 sheets of paper that come in various color options. The brown sand color creates warm mid-toned that will upgrade your works instantly. The sketch pad contains 15% cotton content made with pure cellulose fibers for additional volume and strength, so it will last a long time. The paper is smooth, yet thick enough to resist warping and tearing. The cover also folds back completely flat so that you can draw more comfortably. 

Like other sketchbooks in this list, when colors are applied, even with a white pencil, they pop out and increase the contrast of your drawings, making them look more realistic. It is perfect for making portraits, but can also be used to create various wonderful pieces. If you want to find out how to create portraits using this kind of paper, read our article here.

Hahnemühle Cappuccino Book



Hahnem�hle The Cappuccino Book - 8-1/2'' x 6''

This sketch pad is named after the warm brown color of a cappuccino topped with foam. It has an extremely smooth, super-clean surface that is ideal for adding darker shadows and white highlights. You can use anything from India Ink pens to fountain pens and charcoal. It has a beautiful dark brown cover and an embossed surface that resembles wood, so you can show it off proudly to whoever sees it. 

The pages are firmly placed so that artists can work across the center seam when laid flat. A brown ribbon marker also ties in the whole cappuccino theme, as well as allowing you to find your favourite pieces with ease. This sketch pad holds 40 sheets of 120 gsm acid-free blank drawing paper. It is bleed-proof with most markers and also great for numerous types of dry media. This sketchbook combines utility and aesthetics into one handy product that will make you a better artist.

Clairefontaine PaintOn Mixed Media Pads



Clairefontaine PaintOn Mixed Media Pad - Natural, 9

The selling point on this sketch pad is that it is great for experimenting with a wide range of creative techniques. The pads include 20 sheets of extra heavyweight paper. You can use pen, ink, gouache paint, acrylics, oils and more. So for both dry and wet media, this sketchbook is your go-to, as the paper resists buckling and warping. The eco-friendly, acid-free handmade paper provides stunning quality that will leave you wanting more.

The surface itself is grainy enough to hold the media that you want to apply, such as pastels, without being intrusive and messy. It can take a lot of punishment before it even begins to wear, so even the mad scientists out there can play around with this sketchbook and have fun. Overall, it is a very versatile pad, and is perfect for artistic experimentation.

Borden & Riley Kraft Paper Pads


Borden & Riley Kraft Papers - 12'' x 18'', 50 Sheets

This brown kraft paper is all-purpose and great for quick drawings and sketches on the go. The thick paper stands up to any dry media that you throw at it, and will produce astonishing results. The A4 kraft paper has a solid weight and holds up to pressure well. You can carry this around in your bag and create anything from still life to figure drawings. 

The tan paper contrasts well with the black graphite or charcoal that you may put on it, and has archival quality. If you want a sketchbook that is perfect for bold sketches, or rough drafts, then this is the one for you. It is perfect for those preliminary sketches and scenes that you want to refine later on.

All of these sketchbooks are unique in their own way, so you can choose the one that best suits what you want to achieve. Whether it be experimenting, creating quick sketches, or more refined drawings. These toned sketchbooks allow you to experience a multitude of areas, broadening your horizons. So check them all out and try one for yourself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *