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.
This is a review of the $35/month Premium box. SketchBox also offers a $25/month Basic box.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $5 off your first box!
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.)
I love art, and though I am far from a professional, I love experimenting with all kinds of supplies and techniques, which makes SketchBox a perfect choice. This is my first month reviewing this particular art box, and I am beyond thrilled. Read below to find out what I discovered this month.
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!
What's Inside the Box
Each month, SketchBox includes a detailed list of each product included and why it was chosen. Also featured is a link to SketchBox School, which is the perfect place to go if you are beginner like me, or if you just need a little inspiration. I checked this out as I was unboxing and found it very helpful and informative.
Also included is a card with a drawing by the month's featured artist. This month we received a piece done by Rhodora Jacob whose whimsical style was really inspiring!
Each month they also sent a sticker that fits the theme of each box. This little dandy depicts a paintbrush and watercolor brush pen. Cute!
Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen in 'Rose Red' and 'Pink' - Retail Value $3.50 each
I love using watercolors, and have a bit of experience with watercolor brush pens, but not this particular brand. Totally digging the see-through cap and clip, this sleek brush can be used to create fine lines or bold streaks. The pigment is beautiful and I love how it looks brushed out with a bit more water. I was happy to receive two coordinating shades, and will definitely get a lot of use out of them.
Akashiya Sai ThinLINE - Retail Value $4.95
This ThinLine brush works similarly to the ones above, but with a lot finer tip. Filled with beautiful pine green pigment, this too coordinated with the red and pink pens to create some beautiful florals. Brushed out with water, it looked gorgeous and was really quite simple to use.
Pentel Micro Brush - Retail Value $4.99
Once upon a time I reviewed the Paletteful Packs box and I remember receiving these brush markers at one point. Perfect for thin lines and expressive marks, this brush was just what I needed to add the center to my flower (seen below) I found the tutorial extremely helpful and learned a few different techniques on how to use these.
Winsor & Newton ProMarker - Retail Value $5.99
I have a small collection of watercolor markers but have not had the pleasure of trying out this particular type. With one brush-like end and one smaller nib, this marker is extremely versatile and pigmented. The content list suggests storing this marker horizontally to avoid the settling of pigment. I was impressed with the smoothness of this marker and have big plans for this guy.
Faber-Castell Watercolor Marker 'Indian Red' - Retail Value $5.05
Similar to the Winsor & Newton ProMarker, we received a Faber-Castell watercolor marker with dual nibs. The beautiful Indian red pigment is brilliant and bold and easily glides across the paper. I was able to create large washes of color with the bigger nib while focusing on finer details with the smaller one.
KingArt Inkline Pen Brown - Listed Value $2.99
I have to say, I am impressed with the variety of markers and pens! Again, though I previously reviewed Paletteful Packs for almost two years, I have never come across this pen. With a chisel-shaped tip, it was suggested to use for initial sketches or on top of watercolor pigment. I found this pen to be fun to use and a great addition to my art box.
SketchBox Signature Mop Brush - Listed Value $6.30
Exclusive for this month's SketchBox, we received a 3/8" fluffy brush to use while working with our collection of new markers and pens! The instructional guide shows a few techniques in using this and even recommended adding pigment from the markers right onto the brush itself.
Hahnemuhle Harmony - Listed Value $9.50
I am a bit of a paper hoarder but have shared quite a bit with my kids recently, so I was happy to try out this hot pressed, 4 X 9-inch paper. I was impressed with the absorbance value and how much water this can take on. I added quite a bit of pigment and water and still the edges did not curl, plus the unique size is kinda fun!
After watching the video tutorial for this month's box, I utilized the tips and followed all of the suggestions for my color swatches. Aren't the pigments fun? I am extremely impressed with the variety and color combos!
SketchBox September Project
For my project this month, I decided to use my new stash of watercolor pens to create a floral piece that was inspired by a Nippon chocolate pot I recently snapped up at a flea market. First sketching out with a pencil, I created my shapes, followed by a light wash of color with the pink marker. Utilizing the brush, I washed that out a bit and lightened up some areas while keeping some dark. Filling in with the Indian Red marker I added more dimension, eventually tracing the edges with the red watercolor pen. When dry, I added the dots to the middle of the flower using the Pentel Micro Brush. Filling in the scroll, I used the KingArt Inkline Pen and brushed it out a bit using a small amount of water. Every supply was used in this little painting, and I had a lot of fun creating it!
This is my first month of SketchBox and I am in love! As an amateur artist, I was a little worried when opening the box of supplies as I wasn't sure what I might create, but with the help of the video tutorial and "school" video I learned so much and was inspired to create my own little project. Eight out of the nine items were completely new to me and my art collection, and have been welcomed dearly to my collection.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, order by September 20th to receive the October box.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $5 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: After totaling retail values, if I were to purchase these items separately it would cost about $46.77 (not including shipping). Since this box costs $40 after shipping, you are saving over $6 by purchasing these supplies as a subscription. The fact that you receive a totally awesome curation, an optional set of video tutorials specific for each box AND a savings on each individual item, I find this to be not only a great way to add to your art supply collection, but a great overall experience. I can't wait to see what next month's theme might bring!
What do you think of SketchBox?