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Sketchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2017

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Box Exterior

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 Basic Box June 2017 Review - Box Exterior

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.

Sketchbox Basic June 2017 Review & Unboxing

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.

Check out all of our Sketchbox reviews and the Craft Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Intro Card

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!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Featured Artist

The featured artist of the month is Francis Esenwa, and Sketchbox includes a postcard including her work.

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Graphic Pens SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Graphic Pens

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!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Graphic Pens SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Graphic Pens

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:

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Pigma Graphic Swatch

These can also be fun for practicing calligraphy and other lettering; they’re a really solid pen with a lot of different uses.

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Koi Pens

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).

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Koi Pens SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Koi Pens

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).

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Sakura Koi Swatch

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.

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Stabilo PointMax Pens

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!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Stabilo PointMax Turquoise Pen SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Stabilo PointMax Lilac Pen

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.

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Stabilo Point Max Swatch

Here they are swatched!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Kuretake Twin Pen

Kuretake Zig Art & Graphic Twin – Retail $3.58 (Available at Dick Blick for $2.87 each)

This was my surprise favorite of the box!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - 0020 Kuretake Twin Pen

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!

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Kuretake Zig Swatch

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:

SketchBox Basic Box June 2017 Review - Finished Sketch

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!

What do you think of Sketchbox?


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Written by Lacey Volk

Lacey Volk

Lacey’s introduction to the world of subscription boxes was Julep Maven, but she quickly moved on once she discovered there were subscriptions for cooking, coffee, and art supplies. Current favorites include Crate Chef and Ecocentric Mom, and she’s looking forward to trying more.

Posted in SketchBox Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: sketchbox | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. The coupon code you are providing no longer works as of July 6, 2017. It says that coupon code has been used too many times. Is there a different coupon code that works instead?

  2. For $30, I expected a WHOLE lot more than a few markers. My son was completely disappointed. I paid for my box on May 24, received my box on June 26. Cancelled right away. At least they got that part right.

    • What time of markers? Copic?

    • Subscription boxes like these are pretty clear in their descriptions, you get a few high quality items for a bundled cheaper price than you would buying them individually. These supplies aren’t geared towards children.

  3. This looks like quite a fun box. I’ve never played around with drawing with markers, they didn’t exist when I was in college. I’m quite out of practice but I’d really like to take the time to get back into it. Sometimes I tend to collect art supplies and not set aside time to use them.

  4. I love how your sketch turned out!

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