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SketchBox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2020

Sketchbox review April 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: The U.S. for $5, Canada for $10, International for $15

My SketchBox April 2020 Review

Before we jump in, I have to mention that this box was my choice for MSA Team’s 2020 Resolution Subscription Box round-up! 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 a ton of pens, so I am ready to jump in!

You also get a card with a drawing by this month’s featured artist, Nikoli Shaver, plus information about them. It looks like this month is calligraphy themed!

There was also a very cool branded sticker.


Uni EMOTT 0.4 mm 5 Pen Set #8 – Retail Value $13.99 (found here on sale for $11.76)

This set of 5 colors is gorgeous! The shades included are Straw Yellow, Apple Green, Blue Green, Iris Purple, Red Wine. The tips of these pens are really durable (no splitting over time!) and create a 0.4 mm line. As someone who tends to use loads of expressive lines in her sketches, I love a thinner point.

From left to right: Red Wine, Iris Purple, Blue Green, Green Apple, and Straw Yellow


Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen in Bright Blue – Retail Value $3.19

Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen in Alice Blue – Retail Value $3.19

I love double-ended markers so much! And how striking is this pair of blues? One end is a big brush style, perfect for paint-like markings or long and graceful swoops. The other is a smaller, more precise tip for linework.

Left to right: Alice Blue and Bright Blue


Kuretake Fudegokochi Pen – Retail Value $4.25

This is a great pen. It has a flexible felt tip that allows for widths from 0.4 mm – 1.8 mm depending on your pressure.

I actually really like the imperfect edges on the marks of this pen. They feel wonderfully organic.


Karin Brush Marker Pro in Neutral Grey 3 – Retail Value $2.92

Karin Brush Marker Pro in Almond – Retail Value $2.92

Karin Brush Marker Pro in Copper Brown – Retail Value $2.92

Karin Brush Marker Pro Blender – Retail Value $2.92

So pleased to see even more brush-tip-style pens in this box. I guess that does make sense with the calligraphy theme… This is a great assortment of neutrals that give me slight desert vibes! I think I might save these for some drier landscape sketches. There is also a clear blender marker that I – admittedly – haven’t had the best luck with yet. I am awaiting a shipment of heavier papers, so hopefully, it becomes more useful on a higher-quality surface.

Left to right: Neutral grey, Copper Brown, and Almond. You can see my attempt at using the blender in a few of the curves, but I think I need much more substantial paper. The blender seemed to destroy the texture of my regular run-of-the-mill sketchbook sheets.


Karin Decobrush Metallic in Red Gold – Retail Value $3.51

This is a metallic pen, much like the ones above. While it isn’t super metallic to my eye, the color is great and the lines have the weird little fades and features that speak to me.

Although I totally wouldn’t really consider this a metallic finish, I do love how it kind of has an ombre effect through the loops.

If you read my last SketchBox review, you know I have been trying to incorporate one of the art books from my collection in each review each month, but that just didn’t happen for April. Things have been more than a little chaotic in my space while I try to set up a proper office (and studio!) and most of my books are packed up in the guestroom while I move everything around. I hope to come back to that sort of format for the May review (hint hint, it’s watercolor themed)!

This month has been such a freaking whirlwind (how is that even possible when you don’t often leave the house?) so I decided to share some of my warm-up sketches this time. I absolutely found these pens a joy to use.

I know this month is all about calligraphy, but frankly, I have terrible handwriting and the attempts I have made at calligraphy are… sad. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these colorful pens though and immediately started rough sketching a few random things on my desk. I used the 5 pack of EMOTT pens and the two blue Tombow double-ended marker pens. I also used the Brushmarker Pro blender on these too.


Sometimes these silly little sketches are the most freeing. Here I captured a sage bundle, a bottle of perfume, and a tiny tub of body cream.

The Verdict: SketchBox is honestly just the best thing. I love this box so much. It would be really easy to just kind of shut down creatively right now (and, I kind of have for the last few weeks) but how can I remain turned so far inward when such gorgeous pens arrive? No kidding, I placed an order for different papers, oil pastels, a wet palette, and like a million more supplies after wrapping up the demos for this box just because it made me feel like playing with some mixed media pieces. It was like the kick I needed to make even more of an investment in my studio space too, and I hope to wrap that up soon. Long story short, even if you have only 5 minutes and a handful of pens, inspiration is waiting for you. See you next time!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Order by April 20 @ 5pm PST for the May box! Also, SketchBox is currently fully operational during COVID-19.

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

Value Breakdown: Since this box costs $40.00 after shipping, each of the 5 types of items has an approximate cost of $8.00. If you are breaking the cost down per pen, the cost ends up being around $3.08.

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?


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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 Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: sketchbox | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. Thank you for the nice review! Doodling is one of my favorite things to do also….These colors and textures of pens are some I would be interested in adding to my collection. If I could have this box I would order one. Alas, not possible.

  2. I would totally buy a print of that sage bundle! I feel better just looking at it.

  3. You are very talented. The colors are so appealing to me. I’ve been asking around on my neighborhood app about local art supply stores that might be open, but none are allowing people to come indoors. It’s impossible to place an order without an online catalogue. I think I’ll subscribe to this and enjoy a surprise. It looks like they have an eye for the same colors that I enjoy working with…not the media, but the colors, so this will be fun.

    • Thank you so much h. The color combos this sub manages to pull together are always gorgeous, and worthy of a palette all their own. I actually tried to walk into a Micheals yesterday because I had a store pickup and I was surprised they had to actually bring it to my car. I am glad they are staying safe but I also miss so much the feeling of wandering the aisles and handpicking my favorite brushes and paints. Hopefully we can get back to that soon.
      The fun part about this sub is that most of the items I have gotten I don’t know if I would have bought on my own, mostly because they are unfamiliar. I will say the limited tools and new things makes for a massive creative boost. I hope you enjoy this sub as much as I do!!

  4. I don’t really draw (except doodles) but I find that looking at these pens and markers has a really calming effect.

    • Doodles are one of my favorite types of art tbh! <3

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