I have reviewed till now various sketchbooks but I want to make an honourable review to my Neochart sketchbook.
Honourable because Neochart is a local paper company that produces mainly various school paper stuff.
Its watercolour ( and drawing ) sketchbooks is a relatively new addition to their collection and of above average quality ( especially for a first try and from a company that isn’t specialized particularly on such products).
So I think that they deserve a review, though I don’t know if they export these sketchbooks abroad. They are available though in local market in very affordable prices.
I bought mine from this store in A4 size, just from curiosity, to check this sketchbook too. These sketchbooks are available in other sizes ( A5 and A3) and with soft covers too. Below is my sketchbook that is an ( actual) A4 hardbound.
I contacted the company to ask for information and they told me that the watercolour sketchbooks are made of acid free paper at 220 gsm.
They didn’t give me though further details about which paper is bound in their sketchbooks. I think ( a guess based on my experience) that the paper is some kind of Canson paper. It is definitely NOT a 100% cotton paper. ( but personally I don’t have any issue if it is or not – especially at such a price).
The paper has two distinctive sides. One CP and one HP.
The sketchbook is bound in such a way that CP sides are matched with the CP ones and HP matched with the HP ones.
The binding is very strong but allows the book to open wide flat. I have abused my sketchbook for 8 months now and I have already used the 2/3 of this sketchbook and the binding hasn’t become loose or something, though my sketchbook had a …crash landing too.
Bellow are two photos of the sides of the book.
How it looks like with almost 2/3 of it filled with watercolour sketches.
and below the spine of the book after almost 8 months of hardcore use with the damage that got after falling from my desk on its upper corner.
The paper has a nice rather bright white colour. It tends to buckle on very wet washes but not that much to be unworkable and it dries relatively flat, which means that the pages tend to make some sort of wave on the edges, when the sketchbook is closed but look flat when the book is opened. But this wave thing is something that several sketchbooks of similar paper weight have the tendency to do, so I don’t consider it as a very serious disadvantage.
The doesn’t peel or leave residue even after multiple washes and holds the colours in place without sucking them or keeping them on the surface. As a result I was able to sketch and paint there very detailed sketches, with multiple layers of colour on both sides of each page.
The paper works also nicely, without bleeding on the under sides with gel pens, dip pen and ink, while the CP surface works also nicely with pencils. ( and probably colour pencils).
Below are some photographs and scans of the sketches I have made in my book. I photographed them in order to be able to see that I have worked in both sides of its pages.
How would I call this sketchbook?
Easy going, affordable and more than decent in its quality for its price. It doesn’t have the top quality of watercolour paper, but it is strong and predictable and can withstand considerable abuse. All the above made it a book that I used, and I’m still using, a lot.
Give it a try (if you detect it somewhere.. I honestly don’t know if Neochart exports its sketchbooks). Its a more than decent deal.
Thank you for reading this review too.