Sketchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2017
Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for art supplies. Each month, they’ll send you 4-6 full-size tools plus a piece of art to inspire you. The items included are for 2D media, such as pens, markers, pencils, paints, etc.
Sketchbox runs an ongoing contest to put a subscriber’s artwork on the lid of their box each month. There’s information on how to enter their monthly contest on the info card!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This is a review of the $25/month Basic box. Sketchbox also offers a $35/month Premium version that includes higher end art supplies.
The Subscription Box: Sketchbox
The Cost: $25 + $5 U.S. shipping = $30 per month, with savings on longer length subscriptions.
COUPON: Use code SKETCH5 to save $5 off your first box!
The Products: A selection of hand-picked art supplies, plus an art print to inspire
Ships to: U.S. for $5, Canada for $10, International for $15
Good to Know: They donate a portion of sales to provide art supplies to schools in need.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Their info card has a lot of great and useful tips! They outline every item selected this month, plus a little bit about why these tools were chosen. June is all about blendable markers!
The featured artist of the month is Francis Esenwa, and Sketchbox includes a postcard including her work.
Sakura Pigma Graphic Pen Set – Retail $8.69 (Available on Amazon for $6.04)
I used to draw frequently but have really lapsed in the last few years. I was thrilled to see these when I opened this box; they are one of my favorite tools and I could definitely use a refresh!
There are three pens in the set with different nib sizes. The chiseled tips are perfect for making fine or thick lines, as shown in this swatch below:
These can also be fun for practicing calligraphy and other lettering; they’re a really solid pen with a lot of different uses.
Sakura Koi Watercolor Brush Pens – Retail $14.94 (Available on Amazon for $26.58 + Shipping)
This set is custom for Sketchbox and includes a lighter blue pen than the normal set (to make it easier for you to layer and blend).
I’ve never been great with markers, and brush pens especially are tough for me. I do, however, love watercolor pencils, and Sketchbox pointed out that these can be blended with water (or a transparent marker specifically designed for blending).
Here you can see them swatched with a few examples of how you can layer colors and diffuse the edges with water. They definitely blend, but they don’t completely soften like watercolor pencils do.
Stabilo PointMax Pens – Retail $1.55 each, $3.10 total (Available on Amazon for $6.97 each)
I love the old-school look of these pens, and those jewel tones are pretty great!
These are definitely something that I think you could use to add a little more color and dimension to your sketching, or just use them on their own. The nylon tips are supposed to be stronger and keep their point for longer than other types of markers.
Here they are swatched!
Kuretake Zig Art & Graphic Twin – Retail $3.58 (Available at Dick Blick for $2.87 each)
This was my surprise favorite of the box!
I think I’ve had one of these before, years ago, but never in such a pretty color. The soft green is really pretty and layers really well. Plus, the dual-tip action on this marker is pretty cool!
You can see the different shades of green I could get with the swatch above. It’s a big washy kind of marker and I wish I had more in different colors already!
Since I haven’t drawn with markers in a really long time, I took a little bit of time to experiment a bit first, then dug into making a full drawing of a plant I spotted on Instagram:
I really loved the watercolor-y effect from layering different markers, and adding some outlines with the finer point pens included. I was pretty happy with this quick sketch!
Verdict: This was my first Sketchbox and it was a lot of fun. For $25 + shipping, we received about $30 of items this month– but as you can see in the review, retail prices for art supplies are all over the place, with some being available cheaper and others being way more expensive! (I know if I bought all these items at my local art store I’d have spent more than $30.)
All the products included were of good quality from my point of view; even though this is the “basic” subscription level, these items aren’t cheap or lower quality at all from tools I’ve used in the past. And as someone who gets a little overwhelmed with possibility when I walk into an art supply store, I like the idea that they’re doing the curation for me. If you’re likely to use these types of items in your artistic practice, Sketchbox might be worth a look!
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