MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

SketchBox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2020

Sketchbox Premium January 2020

SketchBox is a monthly subscription box for art supplies. Each month, they’ll send you 4-9 art supplies (often full kits) 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 $35/month Premium box. SketchBox also offers a $25.00/month Basic box.

About SketchBox

The Subscription Box: SketchBox

The Cost: $35 + $5 U.S. shipping, 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

My SketchBox January 2020 Review

Before we jump in, I have to mention that this box was my pick for my MSA Team’s 2020 Resolution Subscription Box pick! Is this the only resolution I have kept so far? I will never tell.

Their info card includes a list of the products and why they were chosen for the box. This box contains 4 different watercolors, so I am pretty pumped!

You also get a card with a drawing by a featured artist, plus information about them. It looks like this month’s artist actually used the same supplies to create this art as we received in the box.

There was also a cute sticker.


M. Graham Water Color in ‘Titanium White Opaque’, 15 ml – Retail Value $14.65 (currently $8.79)

I was glad to see a larger tube of white paint inside a box that arrived with black paper! This means I can create really interesting and milky sheer layers on that dark base. This paint does indeed remind me of milk when I use it. It has a foggy sort of coverage that is downright dreamy as it creeps into the textures of watercolor paper.



Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors Lemon Yellow Hue, 8 ml – Retail Value $5.19 (currently $3.11)

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Intense Blue, 8 ml – Retail Value $5.19 (currently $3.11)

I absolutely love watercolors. I own quite a few, though I tend to work from dry pans instead of tubes, so this was a nice find for me in this box. When I was in college getting my super useful art degree, I remember hating watercolors because they were rather unpredictable and sheer. Those reasons are exactly why I love them now! You can build up blends between colors and those weird patterns and textures that form organically are so wonderfully charming. We received a bright blue and a lemon yellow in our box, which means we have two primary shades which can be used to blend out loads of green, teal, and aqua tones. These are both great quality (which I expected from Winsor & Newton) and beautifully pigmented.

Here are some swatches on the black paper that also arrived this month. I really love how these colors look against the black base.


SketchBox Exclusive Color: FineTec Metallic Watercolor in Dark Teal – Listed Value $7.99

Metallic watercolors are so fun to use because they just shimmer and twinkle as the water moves them around. It is almost meditative. This dark teal shade is a SketchBox exclusive shade and it is a real stunner, especially on black paper. The dry pan format is one I am much more familiar with so I am excited to try this out.

On top of the black paper it looks like velvet glitter with a thin coat, but you can build it up for a chrome effect. Coverage is really great with this paint, so you don’t have to work hard to get a lot of payoff.


Silver Brush Crystal 3/8 Angle Short Brush – Retail Value $5.30 (currently on sale for $2.65)

I didn’t realize until I opened this box, but I really don’t own a lot of angled brushes, nor do I often reach for the ones I do have in my collection. I actually don’t know why, as these sharp lines are wonderful for snatching lines into your paintings and creating distinct areas of interest. I guess a part of me didn’t think such a defined angle would even really work with the mellowness of watercolors, but that is actually really incorrect, especially if you are laying down a thicker mix or working on top of dry media or dried paints that won’t mix with your paint.


Marvy Uchida Reminisce White Gel Excel Pen – Retail Value $4.83

Pen marks are a huge part of my drawing and sketch style, so I was relieved to see a white pen. This allows me to make some details pop and will add some sharpness to my work. I also just feel much more expressive when I can leave loads of speckles, crosshatching, and other delicate little textures.

Here is a writing sample!


Legion Paper Stonehenge Aqua Coldpress in Black, fifteen 5 x 7 sheets – Listed Value $12.99

I am a paper snob… I don’t take pride in this, but it is true. This paper is DREAMY. Pure night black with a divine texture for watercolors, I already want to buy more. The weight is also perfect for these paints because the paper is thick enough to handle watery paint without warping or bubbling.

This texture! It feels gritty which grabs onto the paint as you apply it, creating different effects as your watercolors dry. This teal shade was created with all three of the paints from our watercolor tubes. I love how it POPS against the black paper and looks almost neon.

I recently caught up on Project Runway Season 15 (I am behind, ok?) and I haven’t been able to get Erin Robertson’s banana looks out of my head. I have been sketching bananas, eating bananas, and really wanting to design a cute banana pattern.

Since this box arrived with a cheerful yellow and a metallic paint, I decided to… go bananas.

I call this painting Future Banana Bread.

I utilized every single item this month, as well as a black marker pen for some outlining.

The Verdict: This was my first SketchBox and I am very pleased. One of my favorite teachers in school always liked to remind us that we are often at our most creative when we have a self-imposed limited palette in terms of colors or supplies. That is easier said than done, because when I pop into any art supply shop I tend to go a little nuts then get home and have no idea of what to do when I look at my blank paper or canvas. This box provided a little curation of products, a lot of inspiration, and a launching point for me to jump back into creating art, just for my own enjoyment. It felt like its own really lovely exercise in creativity, which was exactly what I was hoping for when we signed up. In addition, the supplies themselves were of excellent quality, and they are items I am happy to add to my stash for future use.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Order by February 19 @ 4pm PST for the March box!

COUPON: Use code SKETCH5 to save $5 off your first box!

Value Breakdown: Since this box costs $40.00 after shipping, each of the 7 items has an approximate cost of $5.71

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!

What do you think of SketchBox?


How do subscribers rate SketchBox?

Created with Sketch.

Never miss a post: get email alerts about SketchBox!

Enable notifications () to get the latest SketchBox spoilers, reviews, deals, and news delivered to your inbox.

Written by Megan


I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in SketchBox Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: sketchbox | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Fun stuff! We appreciate your art degree in giving us your professional review. If you have some of your work posted somewhere, I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in seeing.

    • Hi Joan! I am currently just a lover of art supplies. And a hoarder of them! School kind of turned me off for a few years and I actually haven’t been super serious about art again until recently, which is why I thought a sub like this might jumpstart me back into it. I have attended a few live model sessions in the last few months which have been really wonderful, though not the sort of thing I could probably post on MSA haha! Thanks so much for leaving me a comment and reading <3

  2. Great title!

  3. I love that banana! Serious Warhol vibes…

  4. Awesome review and I love the banana!

  5. This is a fantastic box. I’m completely into art and love this.

  6. Megan, you’re a woman of many talents!

    • Thanks JMM! Gotta put that art degree to some use, right?

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.