Review: Mondo Llama Sketchbook

I’m always on the lookout for low priced sketchbooks. While I like to have my young artists make their own, there is a certain amount of seriousness and implied meaning to gifting a young artist with a big ole sketchbook of their own. When I saw the hardcover Mondo Llama sketchbooks on display at Target’s Back to School Sale for $6, I was skeptical but hopeful. I picked up one on my own dime after touching the pages and feeling a smooth but toothy surface.

The hardcover is covered in textured paper and available in a light teal blue and salmon color. The texture is nice and makes the covers ready to be personalized. The covers if not personalized will attract dirt and water will leave swell marks. The packaging is a simple band around the front cover.

Inside the book are 112 sheets or 224 pages of smooth bright white sketch paper. Each page is perforated, which isn’t my favorite. I cannot find any information about the weight of the paper but it feels like 24lb ish. It is significantly lighter weight than my 2 favorites- the Talens Art Creations and the HandBook Travelogue series. The sheets tear out to 9×12 inches, a great size if you want to sketch a bit larger. The micro perfs do seem to stay put.

The paper is smoooooth and nice with gel pens and brush pens. It will accept the lightest of light ink washes. It will cockle and buckle a bit but seemed to settle back down once it dried. My usual wet and sloppy watercolors won’t fly here. I like this paper for sketching with gel ink, pen and ink, and pencil. It’s smooth enough my pens are skipping and jumping all over the place, and they didn’t feather or bleed through. The lines stayed where I wanted them to be. The bright white paper means colors look good on the page.

Because this is a 224 page hardcover sketchbook, it weighs a ton. Like most classic sketchbooks there is an overhang from the covers all around. I know for some people this is a deal killer, I don’t see it as such. The point of the overhang is to protect the edges of your paper from fraying and damage. It does have a ribbon place marker but lacks a pocket and elastic.

The sketchbook is a great deal at $6. I like it enough that I’m going to use it despite the perfed pages! 

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