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SketchBox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – August 2020

Sketchbox August 2020 unboxing and review

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 August 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 pastel themed.

There was also a super cute SketchBox box sticker that looks like a blue pastel stick.


Rembrandt 5 Half Pastels in ‘Earth Reds’ – Retail Value $9.95

I have tried these pastels before and honestly, didn’t love them. Something about these colors really gives me pause though! I love colors like this and this 5 shade instant ombre is delightful. Pastels by nature are messy and dusty. But I have been using them wet more and more and they are really growing on me.

I know these are called ‘reds’ but they lean more purple and mauve in a truly gorgeous way.


Schmincke Pastels – Buy each for $5.12

Ok, these are fancy lady pastels for sure. They came in their own protective box and are pretty expensive per piece. They also have such outstanding color payoff and are buttery soft while still being very dry. I am glad SketchBox included a yellow and blue to complement the other tones in the box this month and make them feel more versatile.

Top, Titanium Yellow. Bottom, Cobalt Blue Tone.


Caran d’Ache Pastel Pencil in ‘Bismuth White’ – Retail Value $4.40

I like to keep white pastel pencils around for most any works on paper I create. It is an easy way to drop in blendable highlights without much trouble. Caran D’Ache is one brand I really love because their pigments really pop! Sure, you can’t see this on white paper. But trust me!


Bruynzeel Pastel Pencil in ‘Black’ – Retail Value $2.63

The mirror to our white pastel pencil arrived to make sure I can also drop in delicate and soft lines. This pencil doesn’t create nearly as much fallout as our other pastel options this month.

Lots of fun texture here.


Sofft Tools Oval and Flat Knife Set – Listed Value $4.40

I am all about these knives! I really hated charcoal sticks and pastels in school. They were SO messy. I always avoided them. Now I don’t care about messes at all, but it’s still nice to be able to blend without getting my hands dirty. I would have loved these back in college. The removable heads are a porous foam that feels a little like skin. It is awesome for blending the pastels included this month. There is an oval as well as a flat head in this kit, along with removable foam covers. I am cheap so I will wash mine between uses and reuse them as much as I can, but it’s nice to have a generous number of backups!

Here are our Earth Reds blended.

And here are my yellow and blue!


Hahnemuhle Velour Paper Custom Sample Set – Listed Value $13.00 (Buy different colors and sizes here!)

I misread this paper as ‘vellum’ (which I thought was an odd choice for pastels) so I was startled when I touched this paper. It is actually VELOUR, not vellum, and it feels furry like velvet! I am already into it! The pastels perform beautifully on it and the texture of this paper catches a lot of the dust that would normally be everywhere. This set included 8 different tones to play with!


UART Sanded Pastel Paper Custom Sample Set – Listed Value $4.00 (Buy different colors and sizes here!)

Our last item this month is a pair of sanded papers. They legit feel just like sandpaper! I didn’t expect to like this because I thought it would just make the pastels more messy, but it actually grabbed onto them a lot better than I was thinking it would.

No book this month! I have been absolutely obsessed with clouds lately. This is the time of year where I often describe them as “Painterly Clouds” because all I want to do is paint them! We have had some really stunning colors in the sky over this last week, including my favorites: the lavender-colored clouds! The shades that arrived in this month’s box reminded me a lot of these colors that have been bringing me a ton of happiness lately, so I figure I would demo them with some quick cloud sketches from my window.


Here are some of my favorite cloud shots from this year!


Anyone else out there cloud obsessed? I can’t be the only person with hundreds of cloud images on her phone. 😅

The Verdict: As usual I am obsessed with my newest SketchBox. As we begin the slow slide to fall and winter, I am really pleased to be beefing up my supplies with this subscription, especially since art is one of the main things I do when it’s too cold or snowy to venture outside. I am not the most proficient pastel user but these colors were so pretty that I found myself really excited to play with a medium I usually don’t reach for. I also loved that a new tool (new to me!) was included as well as some of the most unique papers I have ever touched! Very cool! This is one of those boxes that are perfect for both beginning artists (Yes! You are an artist too!) or people who have been creating things for years.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Order by September 20 @ 5pm PST for the October 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!

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 | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. I love pastels! So much fun! I really enjoyed your review and art piece.

  2. I’ve gotten so many pastels in art subs this year. I used to love them as a kid but as an adult I tend to wonder why. 😂 Your picture came out so nicely though! Never would have thought to make clouds with those colors.

  3. Such a cute photo of you and your pup. Excellent review too!

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