Pentalic Sketch Book

Last updated date: November 11, 2019

DWYM Score
9.4

Pentalic Sketch Book

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We looked at the top Sketch Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Sketch Book you should buy.

Overall Take

Artists will love the elegant look of the Pentalic Sketch Book, which features a sleek black hard cover. It's designed to lay flat for ease of use. Additionally, the company only uses paper that comes from sustainable forests. The only downside to this sketch pad is that it has less pages than many of its competitors, which means you'll have to replace the pad more often. In our analysis of 75 expert reviews, the Pentalic Pentalic Sketch Book placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note November 11, 2019:
Checkout The Best Sketch Book for a detailed review of all the top sketch books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.6
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
792 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The sturdy, elegant cover features a leatherette texture and keeps your artwork and notes intact while providing a firm drawing surface.
- The Architect's Guide
September 25, 2019 | Full review
These smooth bright white sheets are perfect for colored pencils, taking color well, erasing cleanly, and with minimal press-through impressions to the other side of the page (depending on your drawing style).
- Art Artists at Work
The hardbound spine is specially designed to lay flat while in use and conveniently stands upright on a bookshelf. This book is perfect for sketching, writing, and classwork.
- Top Best Review
March 23, 2018 | Full review
The hardbound spine is specially designed to lay flat while in use and conveniently stands upright on a bookshelf. This book is perfect for sketching, writing, and classwork.
- Top Best Review
March 23, 2018 | Full review
We recommend this for working with watery media or colors because it does not bleed through. Watercolors work wonders on its surface.
- Architecture Lab
March 5, 2019 | Full review
This beautiful sketchbook from Pentalic is considered a “library quality” sketchbook, meaning it will stand upright and look great in your personal library! The leatherette cover looks like real leather and is sturdy enough to keep the pages from slipping and sliding over time.
- Geek Wrapped
The Pentalic Traditional has a strong, embossed leatherette cover that provides tough support to protect its 110 sheets of bright white paper. Plus, its sturdy spine keeps the pages from sliding.
- Wiki EZ Vid
February 16, 2018 | Full review
Ideal for dry media, the Pentalic sketchbook has a textured hard cover with 70-pound paper inside. It is perfect bound yet designed for lay-flat drawing.
- My Modern Met
March 8, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The pages do warp with wet media, and will bleed with alcohol-based markers, but Pentalic is clear that the book isn't designed for that.
- Art Artists at Work
One not-so-good feature about this sketchbook is that it does not accept ink pretty well. When you have to continuously work with ink, it might bleed through.
- Architecture Lab
March 5, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

This Pentalic Hardbound 8.5x11 Inch Sketchbook contains 110 sheets of white, 70 pound (144 gsm), acid-free paper. The sturdy, elegant cover features a leatherette texture and keeps your artwork and notes intact while providing a firm drawing surface. The hardbound spine is specially designed to lay flat while in use and conveniently stands upright on a bookshelf. This book is perfect for sketching, writing, and classwork. Paper is sourced from certified sustainable forests.

Overall Product Rankings

Strathmore 400 Series Sketch Pad
1. Strathmore 400 Series Sketch Pad
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 8
Pentalic Sketch Book
3. Pentalic Sketch Book
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 8
Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Pad
4. Canson XL Series Mix Media Paper Pad
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 10
Leda Art Supply Perfect Premium Sketch Book
5. Leda Art Supply Perfect Premium Sketch Book
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 13
Arteza Sketch Book, Pack of 3
6. Arteza Sketch Book, Pack of 3
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 3
Bellofy Sketchpad Artist Pro
7. Bellofy Sketchpad Artist Pro
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
Elans Journal Personalized Artist Sketchbook
8. Elans Journal Personalized Artist Sketchbook
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 1
Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad
9. Canson Artist Series Universal Sketch Pad
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 7
Master Class Art Premium Spiral Hardcover Sketchbook
10. Master Class Art Premium Spiral Hardcover Sketchbook
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Sketch Books

You never know when your next creative idea will strike, so it’s a good idea to have a sketch pad and drawing utensils handy. Not all sketch pads are created equal, however. So before you purchase one, you’ll want to take into consideration a few important features.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

First, determine whether the company producing the sketch pad takes measures to protect the environment. For example, the makers of the Pentalic Sketch Book only use paper created from certified sustainable forests. They prominently display a sticker with this information right on the front cover of the pad.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Next, decide whether you’d like the sketch pad to have a soft or hard cover.  Soft covers tend to come with a spiral binding, which allows you to quickly flip through the pages. But, they can also be susceptible to damage and tearing when placed in a bookbag. Hard covers protect the pages better, and if you opt for a leather cover, you’ll also enjoy the anti-slip surface.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Consider the shape of the sketch book pages. Traditional pads are rectangular in shape, but now artists have the option of buying square-shaped sketch pads, like the illo Sketchbook Premium 122lb Hardcover Notebook. The benefit to this shape is that it’s better for sharing pictures of the sketches on social media.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

The size of your sketchbook is also important. “Is it something you plan to carry with you and use on the go? If so, think about where it needs to fit,” says art educator Amy Markham. Her podcast “Starling” helps artists develop their creative process. “Will you carry it in a backpack, a purse or a pocket? Some people prefer to have a smaller sketchbook to carry around and a larger one for planning out ideas when they are at home.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Finally, you’ll need to think about what sort of paper is best suited to your needs. “If you are mainly using your book for pencil sketches and the occasional pen, then standard sketchbook paper will work. If you are using markers, inks or some light watercolors, opt for a mixed media paper,” says Markham.  “Sketch paper will not absorb wet media. If you know you are going to be painting often in your sketchbook, go for a watercolor paper sketchbook.”

Don’t forget to check the thickness, weight and absorbency of the pages as well. Thinner pages will leave press-through impressions on the pages behind them.

DWYM Fun Fact

The Oxford dictionary refers to a sketch as “a rough or unfinished drawing.”  Sketches were originally designed to give an artist a way to put their ideas down on paper. People sometimes refer to this as doodling. Later, the sketches would be used as a starting point to create the final masterpiece that the artist had in mind.

Today, however, creative minds often use sketch pads to create work of arts and not just rough drafts. The most commonly used medium for drawing in a sketch pad is the pencil. Did you know that just one lead pencil can create a straight line that is an astounding 35 miles long?

The Sketch Book Buying Guide

  • Check to see if the company has a money-back guarantee policy. This isn’t necessary, but it does add a layer of protection in case the sketch pad doesn’t live up to your expectations.
  • You can frame your favorite sketches and give them away as gifts or use them to decorate your home. If the sketch pad page is not the same size as a traditional frame, you can take it to a craft store and have a custom frame made.
  • Sketching just a few minutes every day is a great way to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • You don’t have to confine yourself to using the sketch pad for drawings only. You can also write to-do lists in them, create calendars or documents your observations when bird watching. Another option is to use the pad as a visual journal, combining your written thoughts with important images that remind you about the day. If you travel, for example, you may wish to draw the Eiffel Tower and then write about the sites and sounds you experienced from the observation deck.
  • Keep your sketchbook away from any liquids. Accidental spills can ruin the pad’s pages.
  • When it comes time to compare sketch pad prices, you need to consider whether the book has a hard or soft cover. Sketch pads with a hard cover, like the illo Sketchbook Premium 122lb Hardcover Notebook and the Pentalic Sketch Book, command a higher price than those with soft covers, like the Strathmore 400 Series Sketch Pad. The Arteza Sketch Book, Pack of 3 contains multiple pads, so you’ll need to divide the number of pads by the total cost to determine the price per sketchbook.