July 2017 Sketchbox Grab Box

So, here is a special treat for you. I received the Grab Box. Now because I am new to Sketchbox, I am not sure how often they release Grab Boxes, but according to the website, it sold out in a matter of days last time, so I pre-ordered mine. Boy was I surprised when it showed up. It was heavy and you could tell it was packed with a lot of great products!

Usually, I do my unboxing straight on the camera, but because this was a special box, I wanted to make sure I did my research on the products. I’m happy that I did open it because there was no product description card. So, let’s go through everything that came inside. The box cost $49.00 and I didn’t pay to ship.

Cretacolor Oil Pencil Pocket Set-6pk – $16.55

Zig lean Color Real Brush Pens, Deep Color Set, 4pk – $11.22

KUM Wedge Sharpener – $4.13

Spectra AD Twin Marker – Tan (087) – $9.67

Generals Charcoal – 2pk – $4.83

Derwent Blender & Burnisher – $9.73

2 Zig Art & Graphic Twin Markers – $13.26 ea

Ironlak – Permanent Marker 0.4mm – $4.00

Fabriano Ecoqua Notebook – $7.76

Tombow Color Pencil Set Recycle Tin – 12pc – $14.99

Prismacolor Scholar Kneaded Eraser – $5.12

Faber-Castell Eraser Pencils 2pk – $6.00 (Blick)

TOTAL = $120.52

Now, something I should mention is that I priced all of these items according to Amazon.  The only thing I couldn’t find on the Amazon Website was the Faber-Castell Eraser Pencil pack at the bottom of the list. With these prices, I saved $71.52 on art supply products of high quality. This is a great deal for anyone who wants to try something new and challenge themselves to use new products. You never know if you are good at the different mediums if you never try them. Ok, let’s go through each product now.


Cretacolor Oil Pencil Pocket Set – 6pk – $11.55

I have never used Oil Pencils so I will have to research how they work before I can give you a review. But according to the information, they will not smear and are effective on multiple surfaces. The six colors that came in this pack are classic white, sanguine, sepia light, sepia dark, nero-soft, nero-extra soft.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens, Deep Color Set, 4pk – $11.22

The colors that came with this set are Dark Pink, Deep Blue, Olive Green and LIght Brown. I have tried these only to show the colors. I did notice that they did not bleed through the Fabriano Sketchbook that also came with this box. These brush pens claim to be blendable, but I have yet to blend them.

KUM Wedge Sharpener – $4.13

This sharpener is not like the average sharpener you get for everyday pencils. The feel of this is so nice, as well as the fact that it comes with an additional blade screwed into the side for when the initial one gets dull. This sharpener is made of magnesium alloy and made in Germany.

Spectra AD Twin Marker – Tan (087) – $9.67

This product looks like a Copic marker in that the barrel is shaped with flat edges to prevent it from rolling off the table. It claims that the cap matches the ink closely. When I tested this ink out on the Fabriano Sketchbook included in this box, the ink bled horribly onto the back side, I am not sure if this pen requires a different type of paper or if it just drops a lot of ink. Until I have a full set and can experiment with different types of paper, I can’t be for certain.

Generals Charcoal – 2pk – $4.83

Let me put out a disclaimer to let you know that I have never used charcoal before, however, when I used them to test them in the sketchbook, I found that they act just like I would think charcoal would. It smeared and smudged and ended up all over the side of my hand, but the color was smooth, rich and intense. The two I got were 2B and 6B, but it comes in HB, 2B, 4B and 6B.

Derwent Blender & Burnisher – $9.73

I tested the blender out with the color pencils that we will mention below and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how rich the color pencil was after using it. I haven’t used the Burnisher and if you know exactly how I would love to know in the comments below.

2 Zig Art & Graphic Twin Markers – $13.26 ea

I got two beautiful colors. Sky Blue and  English Lavender. These look like they are going to be fun to use. I thought about using them in my bullet journal because I thought that maybe with the muted colors, it would be pretty, but when I tried them out, they showed a little darker than I thought they would. These will require more testing before I can really let you know what I think.

Ironlak – Permanent Marker 0.4mm – $4.00

I used this in the sketchbook and it bled through. This reminded me a lot of a Sharpie, the way it bled through the paper, and yet it was very rich in color. I did not really see anything that sets this permanent marker from any of the others on the market.

Fabriano Ecoqua Notebook – $7.76

Let me tell you, I was so skeptical of this sketchbook. I thought for sure that everything would bleed through the pages because they seemed thin and very smooth. I received the Rasberry Color, 40 pages, 5.8″x8.25″, 85gsm/60lb plain sketchbook. It was made in Italy. After using all the different products, which I will show you in my art supply review, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the pages stood up against the testing. The pages are extremely smooth and I used mixed media to create a full art piece.

Tombow Color Pencil Set Recycle Tin – 12pc – $14.99

Beautifully crafted with recycled cedar wood and finger joint technology which reduces waste and conserves our environment and forests. Lead is hard and dense for precise details and sharp lines, strong pigment for deep color saturation, blending and layers. Set is packaged in a reusable metal tin. Even though Tombow is a Japan-based company, these were made in Vietnam.

Prismacolor Scholar Kneaded Eraser – $5.12

I have seen a lot of artists using kneaded erasers, so I was excited when I saw this in the box. Kneaded erasers can be molded and shaped in any way so that you can erase fine lines or wider lines. It can be used with chalk, charcoal, pastels and color pencils. Once you have used the eraser, all you have to do is knead it like clay for it to clean itself. Therefore, these erasers tend to last a while. Eventually, you will have to replace it, but really the price is so low, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a few.

Faber-Castell Eraser Pencils 2pk – $6.00 (Blick)

So I get the concept of this and I have always wondered why there wasn’t an eraser that was just as fine as the line you were drawing. Well, now there is. I watched a video where the artist claimed that these erasers were amazing for him because he worked with very fine details. He claimed that although he had several kneaded erasers, they just didn’t get as fine as these did. These erasers are ideal for erasing graphite, ink, India ink and ballpoint pen. It is soft for smear-free erasing. I could not find these on the Amazon website, but Blick does have them for the price mentioned above.


So, there you have it! A detailed description of all the items that came in July 2017 Grab Box. Be on the lookout for the next one as they sell out quickly. I know I will be purchasing the next one when it comes available.  All in all, I feel like this box was very much so worth the price. Everything in this box is something that I will use in the future.  If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbox, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.

May 2017 Premium Sketchbox

Every month, I receive a Sketchbox. This month, I have the premium box for $35 plus $5 shipping. The basic box is $25 plus $5 shipping. When you look at all the products inside, they all retail for around this. Now there are things that come every month, this includes; Sketchbox Sticker, Artist of the month box, Artist of the month tile, and a product description card. I will go through each of these items in detail below so that you can see what you get for the price. Now I did the unboxing on YouTube, you can find that here.  Even though I did a visual unboxing, I am going to go through everything that was in the box.

In every box you get a special inspiration piece from the featured artist of the month. The artist creates something from everything that is offered in the box each month. You can read more about the Artists of the month by clicking here. This month we received this gem:

Ok, let’s get started on everything you get in the box and I will have pictures to give you a good look at each product. First off, let’s take a look at everything you get.

May 2017 Premium Sketchbox

Derwent Watercolor Pencils 12pc Set – $25.99

Caran D’Ache Fiber Tipped Water Brush – $9.85

Zig CNKC 2200 Double Ended Marker – $3.46

YUPO Mini Pads (Bonus Items)

Total Retail: $39.30 + Bonus Items

Derwent Watercolor Pencils 12pc Set – $25.99

“These professional-quality, water-soluble pencils offer the freedom to switch from drawing to painting in an instant, with no change in tools. Use them to shade on dry paper, then quickly wash over with brush and water to get a blending effect. Create a dry pencil palette and use the included fiber tipped water brush to lift color.” – Product description card

I am very excited about these watercolor pencils. I have heard great things about them and have watched many YouTube videos about different ways to use  them.  When I write my art supply review, I will update this page to link to it so you can see exactly what can be done with them.

Caran D’Ache Fiber Tipped Water Brush – $9.85

“The fiber tip on this water brush makes it truly unique. It’s perfectly suited to handle the dry watercolor pencil medium. Use it to blend across colors, or add color directly to the tip with a watercolor pencil. This high quality water brush uses a push button systems to bring water to the tip in a very precise manner” – Product description card

This water brush is essential for watercolor in general, I can’t imagine how it will help with watercolor pencils. I can’t wait to do an art review on this brush as well. The one thing I will tell you is that the feel of this pen is very nice. I enjoy the fact that there is a push button to deliver the amount of water that you need. It also has a syringe type canister that allows for easier filling.

Zig CNKC 2200 Double Ended Marker – $3.46

“We included this double ended marker to allow you to fill in parts of your completed piece with the brush end or add line work and detail with the bullet end. Use it to add a polished look to your piece.” – Product description card.

I don’t know too much about this marker. I have actually never even heard of the brand. I have a few tests that I like to complete when I do an art supply review. I think until I can complete this I shouldn’t make any assumptions. However, It looks like it does specifically mention manga, which I have no knowledge of.

YUPO Mini Pads (Bonus Items)

“What sets sketchbox apart is the ability to compare an entire range of a brand’s offering – not just one item. This month we included the full range from Legion’s unique multi-media paper. Painting or drawing on the ultra-smooth surface of YUPO is different from regular watercolor or drawing paper, and will require some adjustments by the artist. YUPO is a synthetic (polypropylene) substrate with a non-porous surface that repels water so you can create, re-create, wipe clean, and start again if you’d like. It’s a truly unique take on watercolor paper and perfect for this month.” – Product description card.

The one thing that I will note with this is that a full pad of YUPO paper is well over $50 each. I haven’t ever heard of this paper but I do want to note that this paper brand is “tree-free”, as is mentioned on the front of each of the notepads there. This is a huge bonus because you can’t find these mini pads anywhere. I love that we are able to receive exclusivity on some art supplies. I will do my best to do some research on these paper types and try to do a quality review for them. When I complete it, I will update this post.

If you would like to get your hands on this sketchbook, or any in the future, please use this link so that I can get a credit to use towards next month’s box.