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.
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I love art, and though I am no professional, trying out various materials and learning new techniques is one of my favorite hobbies. That being said, strolling through an art store leaves me overwhelmed and anxious, which is why SketchBox is perfect for me. Receiving a box filled with mindfully chosen supplies that can be used together to create an entire piece is exactly what I need in my life, and this month I had a lot of fun with it. See what I received below.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines 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 a beginner like me, or if you just need a little inspiration. I didn't check out the school link this month as I had a design in mind after taking a look at the supplies but do love the time and effort they put into that aspect of the box.
Also included is a card with a drawing by the month's featured artist. For December we received a piece done by Michelle Anderst. I love, love, love butterflies and moths, so this brilliantly pigmented card was a definite win for me. Because our family raises monarch caterpillars into butterflies in the summer, I am definitely going to be hitting up her Instagram page to see if she has one of that particular species. Just look at that beautiful specimen!
Each month they also send a sticker that fits the theme of each box. This month we received a cute little sticker of the No Show Thru Paper pad. Unique and fun - perfect for my pencil box.
Copic Sketch Blending Trio #4 - Retail Value $17.55
At first, when I opened these alcohol-based markers, I wasn't all that impressed with the colors. I have a stash of Copic sketch markers in more brilliant hues, so I didn't appreciate these muted tones as much as I should have. From previous experience, I found these markers to be amazing. They glide across the paper blending perfectly while leaving a fantastic pigment that is permanent and looks professional. These are not your kids' Crayola's. With dual tips, you have the versatility to use these for just about anything. In the end, I found myself loving these autumn tones, and found them to work really well with the art idea I had brewing.
Tombow ABT Pro - Poppy Red - Retail Value $5.99
Red is my favorite color (so much so that I chose it for our house color) and this poppy red shade is second to none. Again with the due tip, you have the ability to use this in brush form or chisel. Alcohol-based as well, the handle of this particular marker is thinner and easier to grasp than the Copic markers, but pretty similar in impact. I was very happy to add this to my stash, and couldn't wait to add the red details to this month's artwork.
Derwent Chromaflow Pencils - Scarlet and White - Retail Value $4.16
Colored pencils are probably my least favorite art supply, but these ones may have changed my mind. With a velvety smooth stroke, these pencils were great for highlighting and adding depth to this month's creation, gliding effortlessly on top of the Copic and Tombow marker ink.
Kuretake Keicho Fude Pen - Retail Value $5.79
Brush pens are one of my go-to's in art supplies, and a dual-color, dual-tip version is pretty dang awesome if you ask me. Because this pen is water-soluble, you can dilute it to create soft gradients, but I just used it to outline. Loving both the black and grey shade, this quickly became one of my favorite items in the box, as it is insanely versatile, and makes a very fancy-looking grocery list!
Custom RendR Drawing Pad- Retail Value $11.00
I have noticed that SketchBox tends to send paper pads that are custom-made for their boxes. I tend to like creating on smaller scales, so this is a fun size for me, but do wish they would change it up once in a while. That being said, this paper boasts about being "no show thru" and impressively, that is exactly accurate. I used a variety of markers, pens, and inks on this month's drawing, and the backside looked brand new and unused. Pretty amazing all things considered, making it perfect for postcards!
With a color palette like this, the opportunities are endless! I couldn't wait to give them a go in this month's project.
SketchBox December Project
With Christmas still on my brain, I decided to see just how "no show thru" this month's paper really was. Charlie has been begging to take cold lunch to school so he can get a customized note in his pail, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get started on that little piece for his lunch. Inspired by the Christmas village adorning my cabinet top, I went for a cartoon cottage and was pleased with my results.
To start this month's lunch box note, I sketched out my Christmas cottage on the RendR paper. Using the Copic marker I painted the house yellow. Applying the Tombow poppy red marker, I went through and added pops of red for the curtains, bows, poinsettias, and candy canes. Because I decided to add trees and garland I needed to dig into my home stash for a green marker (I typically only use the items in the box with each creation, but for this, I just couldn't resist) and colored in my trees, bushes, and shutters. At this point, I used the Chromaflow pencils for a bit of shading on the curtains and highlighting on the roof. Using the black side of the Kuretake Keicho Fude Pen, I outlined the entire drawing for the final touch.
Using every item in the box (and the green markers that weren't included) I created a cozy Christmas cottage, creating a cute postcard to stick in my sweet 6-year-olds lunch box.
Before bedtime, Charlie wanted to join in on the fun. Using the paper and a pencil, he created his own Christmas cottage, and even drew a picture of our elf 'Sven'. While he had time to try out the Tombow and Kuretake markers, it was tooth brushing time, so he will have to finish up another day.
After a super fun watercolor month in November, I wasn't sure what to expect from Sketchbox this month but found myself pleasantly surprised. I loved the curation of this box and found it really exciting to use. The tools were all very versatile and worked well together. I enjoy the tips and background the content card includes, and plan on checking out the school video for more techniques and tricks. Not only is this a great box for me, but it is really fun to share it with my kids as well. I can't wait to see what next month's theme will be!
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To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, order now to receive the December box while stocks last.
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 $44.49 (not including shipping). Since this box costs $40 after shipping, you are saving almost $5 by purchasing this as a subscription. Honestly, I tend to be cheap and am always looking for a bargain, but the small savings, thoughtful curation, video tutorials, and overall box quality is right on par, making the price fair. Of course, I would love to see additional materials included to bring value, but all in all, I can't complain. What do you think they will have in store for January?
What do you think of SketchBox?