Hahnemühle Grey Book Review

Introduction to the A5 Hahnemühle Grey Book

DISCLAIMER: I was given this book for free by Hahnemühle in exchange for a review.

Hey everyone, some exciting things have been happening in my life lately (to be covered in another blog post), but I’ve been sketching a lot in the Hahnemühle Grey Book and have a review!



Handbook Travelogue 3.5 x 5.5 and Hahnemühle Grey Book A5
Handbook Travelogue 3.5 x 5.5 and Hahnemühle Grey Book A5

A5 is an interesting format. It doesn’t have the pocketability of A6 or 3.5 x 5.5, but it’s large enough to have lots of space compared to the smaller ones. The Hahnemühle Grey Book in A5 is small enough to easily bring out around town, compared to my 9 x 12 ones, which now seems massive by comparison.

Grey Book Texture
Grey Book Texture

The cover is nice and has an interesting texture. It’s like a wood grain.

Ribbon Fray
Ribbon Fray

Unfortunately, the ribbon frayed rather quickly. I’m not sure what happened, but it’s a minor problem.

Although it isn’t advertised as a watercolor sketchbook, it takes watercolors, gouache, and casein fine, with buckling proportional to the amount of water used, as expected. If you tape off your borders, you’ll be pleased to learn it won’t tear the paper when you take it off.

If you lay down ink heavily with a fountain pen as I tend to do, sometimes the ink can bleed over to the other side, so you need to be careful with that.

White Highlights on Grey Paper

Grey sketchbooks are always fun to work with and this one is no exception. White highlights really pop on the paper and the default tone makes it easier to judge value when painting opaquely on it.

Finally if, you bend it back a little, it can lay down flat reasonably well.


I like this sketchbook a lot for a couple of reasons: the grey tone, it’s not too big or small, takes paints and ink reasonably well, and the cover texture is pleasing to hold and look at. If you work in fountain pens and tend to lay down gobs of ink, pushing into the paper, you’ll get bleeding, but it’s manageable under most circumstances. As a general toned sketchbook for graphite, ink, and light painting, the Hahnemühle Grey Book is a great choice.

The Grey Book and other Hahnemühle products can be found at:

Flax Art & Design (Recently renamed as California Art Supply CO.)
3600 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403

Wet Paint Inc
1684 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

DaVinci Artist Supply
Store 20
132 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011

Finally, if you’re interested in more of my reviews, I have also reviewed the A6 Watercolor book here!

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