Yesterday I reviewed the first of the subscription art supply boxes I ordered in December. Today the second one arrived, so I thought I might as well review it as well. This is a SketchBox and it comes from America.
Here’s what it contained:
Along with a SketchBox sticker, it contained two cards: One with some beautiful artwork on it by Alex Dakos and one with a list of all the products contained in the box. Unlike the Scrawlrbox item list, this one also includes the price of all the items (in USD) so you know what you’re getting in terms of value.
The first item I pulled out of my box was the Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen. I didn’t have one of these but I often see watercolourists and other illustrators use them for white highlights over dark areas, so it will be a good thing to add to my collection. I did a test scribble on some black paper and the ink was quite opaque and went on smoothly.
Next was a Kuretake Zig Gold Brush Pen, with a wonderful brush nib for making calligraphy effects and strokes with the metallic gold paint. I do have various gold markers but none with a brush tip, so it’ll be interesting to try.
Third was a packet of two Magnetips. These are coloured fineliners (in green and light blue) with magnets in the tips. Kind of fun to play with but not a feature I’d go out of my way to pay money for.
Fourth was a Copic Wide. I used to have a set of the normal Copic markers but ended up selling them as I could never get them to behave how I wanted (they always seemed to bleed and run horribly, even if I used them on paper specifically designed for markers). I’m not sure I’ll get much use out of it, but I was happy that I at least got a dark blue one; the colours vary from box to box and I’ve seen other people who got theirs saying they got ugly colours or colours they aren’t likely to use in large areas, defeating the purpose of the wide nib.
Finally there was a set of 12 SketchBox Signature Fineliners. Along with a black and some greys, there are a lot of pinks and purples, greens and blues. They all have 0.4mm nibs and their smooth matte barrels make them quite comfortable to hold. I don’t really use fineliners for much (aside from black for outlines) so I’ll have to come up with a way to use these in some art.
Here are some swatches from all the items in the box.
With subscription ‘mystery’ boxes, you never know whether you’ll get something you love or something you don’t care for; the surprise is half the fun. However, as this box focused heavily on pens and markers (which I’m generally not that interested in using), I was a bit underwhelmed by it all. I was also disappointed that it didn’t come with any card or paper samples to draw on. On top of this, it has the same issue the Scrawlrbox had; if you don’t live with in the country it ships from, the postage (and possibly currency conversion) is really going to hit hard. The items in this box worked out to cost about $43 USD, but I paid $48 USD, which was almost $70 AUD at the time. While I can see how some people would love SketchBox and would get a lot of value out of them for the money, I am unfortunately not one of those people, and I doubt I’d subscribe again.