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/month Basic box.
The Subscription Box: SketchBox
The Cost: $35 + $5 U.S. shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: 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 May 2021 Review
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, Kat McPhee.
There was also a super cute SketchBox box sticker. This month, it is in the shape of a pastel stick!
Holbein Oil Pastels in 'Oxide of Olive', 'Indian Red', and 'White' - Retail Value $6.00 each
I am thrilled that this month is oil pastel-themed because this is a medium I really love. This trio of square sticks is a great kickoff to this box! Each arrives in a protective plastic case (super important because these are soft!) and each color boasts some impressive color payoff. They are super smooth and feel like drawing with butter.
Left to right: Oxide of Olive, Indian Red, and White.
Sennelier Oil Pastels in 'English Grey' and 'Coral' - Listed Value $4.90 each
As if the trio above wasn't enough, this duo arrived and they are possibly even smoother. They are a little softer too and the texture on paper is a freaking dream. While I don't think I would have named that bolder blue "English Grey" it makes me wonder how I can mix it to create different great shades and I am sure I am going to have a lot of fun with both of these. A side note about these pastels: they were created upon request on behalf of Picasso! He was already a Sennelier fan and wanted a medium he could use on a variety of different surfaces that wouldn't flake or crack.
English Grey and Coral.
Derwent Lightfast Oil-Based Colored Pencil in 'Wild Lavender' - Retail Value $5.09
I continue to be a big fan of lilacs and lavender shades right now and this pencil is a very pretty shade indeed. The core is oil-based and the texture feels like a colored pencil/oil pastel hybrid. The color is well pigmented and super smooth.
It feels like a very spring shade to me.
Caran d'Ache Pablo Pencil in 'Charcoal Grey' - Retail Value $2.80
This is the grounding color in our palette this month. Much like the other pencil, it is super smooth and soft while still being bold.
SketchBox Signature Color Shaper - Listed Value $8.00
This is a great addition to our box this month because the silicone tip is perfect for mixing and moving around oil pastel on paper. You can create textures and lines too!
3 Pack 4x8" Fredrix Can-Tone Canvas Panels in Gray - Listed Value $8.50
I am a huge fan of toned papers and surfaces and while I will likely use these boards for oil painting, I don't love super toothy textures when I use pastels. I feel like I end up wasting a lot of the medium itself and I find that pastels already have a great texture on their own. While this will totally differ from person to person, I like a smoother surface.
While I don't love canvas textures with my pastel work, I do really think there is a lot of value in using a toned paper, especially if you get a little bit of anxiety looking at a blank white page (same!). I decided to grab a pad of toned paper from my stash to use for this so you can see what the pastels look like on top of the grey paper and how that color can fill the middle values of your work.
Pastels really speak to the sort of impulsive art I enjoy. I can never take myself too seriously with this medium because the textural lines feel so much like play. It is a great medium for someone wanting to let loose.
The Verdict: This month's SketchBox was perfect for my current art vibes. AKA, kind of stuck and uninspired. It is hard to not create SOMETHING with pastels on hand. They practically beg to be used and were perfect for sparking some creativity. The colors selected this month were perfection and I can see subscribers using this palette for anything from landscapes to portraits.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, order by June 20th to receive the July box.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $5 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: Since this box costs $40 after shipping, each of the 6 items has an average cost of $6.67.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of SketchBox?