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SketchBox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 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. Save with longer 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 July 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. There is also a link to SketchBox School, a video they release each month showing you how to use your items and demonstrations, too! If you are new to art, these are really great, and even if you aren’t, they are filled with helpful knowledge and smart tidbits.

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 sepia themed.

There was also a large SketchBox box sticker.

 

Tom Norton Walnut Drawing Ink, 60 mL – Buy 70 mL for $9.81

So this ink isn’t actually made of walnuts (they are super acidic!) but the color is certainly a natural and beautiful brown. This ink is lightfast which is important if you want your work to last for years and years. Some of mine might be better off fading into oblivion, but that is another issue. You can use this ink for writing, sketching, or treat it like a watercolor. It is very sheer but builds easily.

This pretty brown would be ideal for trees and shadows.

 

Faber- Castell PITT Artist Pen Set – Retail Value $13.60 (found here for $10.25)

I love pens and I love getting pens sets even more! This set is ideal for sketching, especially under watercolors or wet mediums due to it being waterproof when dry. The four pens inside span brush tips from 0.3 to 0.7 and also a bolder brush tip.

You can see how it would be easy to create a wide variety of lines and textures from this set!

 

Copic Ciao Marker in ‘Caribe Cocoa’ – Retail Value $5.49 (found here for $3.90)

I have avoided letting myself get too involved with Copic markers because they are pricey!! I see why so many people love them though. They are some of the finest markers I have ever used in terms of tip quality and coverage. This marker is double-ended with a brush tip and also a harsher chisel option. This particular shade is stunning! It is like this magical soft brown with a creaminess and peachiness to it.

One of the prettiest browns ever!

 

Cretacolor Artist’s Pencil Set – Listed Value $7.75

Chalk pencils are a great way to practice quick sketching without the mess of chalk. Sure, there is still a bit of fallout with these (it varies depending on your paper) but that feeling of aggressively laying down bold lines is pretty incredible. These are very bold without a lot of pressure and they easily blend with your fingers or a chamois. This set of black, brown, and white are basically all you need to create some really dynamic sketches.

Left to right: Black Chalk, Brown Chalk, White Chalk

 

Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 0.5 mm – Retail Value $2.90

Why am I so obsessed with black pens? I mean, if this was a BoxyCharm review and this was a black eyeliner I would have no real enthusiasm. But black pens? Give them all to me!! This baby is waterproof AND Copic marker proof, making it versatile in any application. The nib is slightly flexible and it deposits loads of ink easily.

Hello!

 

Silverbrush Silverwhite Round 4 – Retail Value $9.90 (found here for $5.51)

Much like good black pens, you can never have too many nice detail brushes. This little round number is great for all sorts of delicate applications and detail work.

 

Fluid 4 x 6 Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper – Retail Value $7.76 (found here for $5.84)

Our surface this month is a smaller watercolor block with really nice paper inside. I tend to work larger, but these 4 x 6 pages would be really nice for postcards or smaller paintings.

I do have a book this month to share, but it isn’t exactly a traditional art or artist’s book:

It is actually a Gundam model book I have had since I think before high school or during. Inside are loads of models, illustrations, and other info.

 

Even if you aren’t into this sort of thing, models are really useful for working through tough geometry and shapes. Because most of the photos inside are of hard plastic models, it’s a really wonderful resource for learning how light hits smooth objects, in round and cylindrical shapes especially. I also like challenging myself with drawings like this because my style is naturally feminine and organic, leaning itself to swirling and curving lines and subjects. Gundam are all straight planes, hard shapes, and man-made surfaces.

 

The Verdict: SketchBox was SO much fun this month. I loved all of my tools and supplies! Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t have bought these things on my own. That has been pretty consistent across most of my SketchBox reviews. But that is also why I love it! It forces me out of my comfort zone to experience different mediums. I had never even heard of that walnut ink before! All of the pens and pencils were so much fun to try out and really help add even more functional basics to muy rather large supply hoard. The only criticism I ever seem to have with this box is that the drawing surfaces are always small (I mean I guess they do have to fit into the box…) and I prefer larger surfaces. Maybe I need to branch out in that regard too, though!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Order by August 20 @ 5pm PST for the September 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 7 items has an average 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!

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

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 | 16 comments

Comments (16)

  1. Awesome job on your drawing Megan! 🙂 For some reason, I think those chalk pencils are really cool too… I really like how they drew in your swatches.

    • Thanks Luna! They have a really fun texture.

  2. You are SO right about the cost of Copic markers. I love making cards, and occasionally invest in one or two, but I can’t imagine trying to buy a set. LOVE your coloring and crosshatch work!

    • Thank you Beth! I wish they were more affordable. There legit needs to be a Copic subscription!

  3. Wow!

    I love these reviews, and you did an amazing job with this month’s materials.

    I’m no great artist, but I find it so relaxing to do something creative as often as I can – especially in these unusual times, it’s great for helping my anxiety.

    • I have found myself totally leaning more into my art and doodles this year for the same reason Sparker. Hope you are finding solace in your creations like I am ❤️

  4. The Gundam robots are not my style at all, but I LOVE your final product! I agree with the others; you are incredibly talented. I always look forward to this review. One of these days I’m going to gift it to my sister.

    • Thanks Amy! It was out of my wheelhouse for sure, but super fun. I bet your sister will LOVE this sub.

  5. Fabulous!

  6. Impressive!

  7. I find this review weirdly meditative. In a good way.

  8. That picture came out so nicely, Megan! I never thought about using robots to work on shapes but they really are ideal for that.

    • Thanks Caroline! I thought this exercise was super helpful for me. You know when you have been drawing for a long time you almost quit looking at your subject because subconsciously your brain already knows what it looks like so you end up drawing more from memory than sight? You totally can’t do that with a robot! Really helpful for learning to view a subject again!

  9. Your picture is awesome!!

    • I agree!!!!! You’re SUPER talented!!!

      • Thank you both!

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