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: Get 50% off your first box of a 3, 6, 12 month subscription
Art is my escape, and while I am not a professional, I find myself perusing Pinterest for new techniques and inspirations. I do tend to get overwhelmed when looking at art supplies, so SketchBox is a perfect fit for me by sending specific supplies and sharing inspiration through their website. This is my second month of reviewing this art box, and I couldn't have been more pleased. Read below to find out what I discovered this month.
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.)
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 after I did my 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 Dennis Brown. I really appreciated this dark and Halloweeny raven piece, adding it to my fridge for a bit of autumn décor.
Each month they also send a sticker that fits the theme of each box. I was pretty excited to see they sent us a sticker version of my favorite item from the box. I am starting to build up quite the sticker collection, any recommendations on where to stick these?
Faber-Castell 9000 2H Pencil - Retail Value $2.00
Oddly enough, my favorite writing tool is a pencil. I work at a school and while I obviously could never give up my Sharpie Pen that is glued to my hip for documentation purposes, you will never find me without a pencil. Now, this Faber design is a bit different, as it does not have an eraser, is of a brilliant emerald color, and doesn’t smudge quite as much as a regular #2. I really enjoyed sketching with this particular utensil as it fits in my hand and felt more substantial than most, but I really did miss the inclusion of an eraser.
Kuretake Bimoji Fude Brush Pen - Retail Value $6.23
Navy is one of my favorite colors and in art land, I always seem to find it gets a little lost among black. I loved this particular brush pen as it was easy to hold, came complete with a little hanger on the top, and was brilliantly pigmented. The brush could be held to the side for a wide, significant line, or used for smaller details. I also utilized this as a watercolor pen, adding a bit of water to create a light look in my art project this month. Love this inclusion!
Kuretake Futaho Kabura No. 30 - Retail Value $8.44
This black brush pen is dual-tipped and can be used as a brush or a fine liner. I preferred the fine liner for my project but loved the writing style the brush created. These pens are so versatile and I always enjoy adding more to my stash!
Sennelier India Ink - Retail Value $7.40
I have dabbled with India Ink in the past, but don’t use it very often. I was excited to give this another try and loved the richness the ink added to my notecard. I didn’t dilute it out for my project but plan on playing around with this technique in the future.
Speedball Copper Ink - CUSTOM Estimated Value $3.00
Now, this is ink I have come to adore! This was a custom item and I am in love. The metallic bronze/gold color flowed onto the paper in thick, shimmery strokes and I couldn’t have been happier. This reminded me of a crazy good quality gel pen material, but way more fun to use with a brush. I need to get more of these!!
Princeton Angle Shader ⅜ - Listed Value $5.20
I am a sucker for paintbrushes, as I have a vast amount of hobbies that require the use of one. This blue angled brush has an angled tip, sucking up paint well and creating lovely strokes. I also found it created beautifully thin lines with the tip making it very versatile. Sorry kids, this one is going in the secret stash!
GellyRoll Medium White Gel Pen - Listed Value $1.27
Speaking of gel pens, this month we received one! In medium white, we received this quality pen that glides across the paper. I used this to add small details to my creation, but it could also be used for adding thin lines or correcting edges. I love the light it brings to the paper, and the pop of brightness it adds to contrasting colors.
Custom Arnhem Cotton Paper Pad CUSTOM - Estimated Value $6.98
In all honesty, I am much more comfortable working on smaller scales than larger ones. Big canvases intimidate me. I love this 4 X 6” paper pad because it is thick and absorbent and really holds ink well. The size is perfect for postcards or little notes to stick in my kids’ lunch pails, and if I mess up, I have 11 more!
Aren't these varying pens and brushes fun?! I love the color selection and the versatility of all of these supplies.
SketchBox October Project
This month I took to Pinterest for inspiration and came across a lovely Bible verse ladened with a floral wreath. The colors were not even close to what came in this month’s box, but I could envision this wreath created with the metallic copper ink and navy florals, so that’s what I decided to try.
Using the 2H pencil, I sketched out a rough design of how I wanted my wreath to look. I used a cup to get a perfect circle and added in the greenery and verse. Once my sketch was complete, I used the Kuretake brush pen’s flatliner side and traced out my writing along with the circle marks.
Diving into the florals, I used the Bimoji brush pen to add my color, using the brush dipped in water to drag the color out. For added detail, I used the brush side of the Kuretake brush and added a bit of contrast to my blooms.
My favorite part was using the brush dipped in the copper ink and painting the leaves. They turned out so shimmery and beautiful, the photograph just doesn’t do it justice! Using the India Ink with the paintbrush I added stems and contrast throughout the wreath and flowers. For the finishing touch, I used the GellyRoll pen to brighten up a few of the dark areas on the florals and on the leaves.
I was quite happy with how this month’s project turned out and found the verse to be soothing for times like these. I have placed my project on my desk and look at it when I’m starting to feel my anxiety creep in. I can’t wait to make more postcards like this, as it didn’t take a ton of time and was really fun to make.
I was really impressed with Sketchbox this month. I felt that the curation and quality of items were spot on and fun. Last month I did use the inspiration videos and received a few pointers and tips, but this month I went for it all on my own. Had I not subscribed to this box, I wouldn’t have known about most of these items, and just discovering the Speedball Copper Ink was a life changer for me! I can’t wait to see what I discover next month!
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? Unfortunately, no but order by October 20th to receive the November box.
ACTIVE DEAL: Get 50% off your first box of a 3, 6, 12 month subscription
Value Breakdown: After totaling retail values, if I were to purchase these items separately it would cost about $40.52 (not including shipping). Since this box costs $40 after shipping, you are saving less than $1.00 by purchasing these supplies as a subscription. While the savings aren't quite where I like to see it, I do have to say the curation, video tutorials, and overall box quality is sound and put together, making the price worth it to me. Would I like to see a few more added materials to up that value? Absolutely! So hopefully next month we will see more bang for our buck. What do you think the theme might be?
What do you think of SketchBox?