June 2016 ArtSnacks Vs SketchBox Basic

Thanks to Denise Hillburn (my mother) for the gift of ArtSnacks for the year!  SketchBox Basic subscription purchased by me out of personal funds.  If you would like to help support this blog, and continue posts like this, please consider donating to my Paypal, or contributing to my Patreon.  Future unboxings and reviews will be unlocked to the public at the $15 level each month, but backers have access regardless of funds raised.  

This post was just about written when Blogspot had a hiccup, deleted my post, and then saved over that, erasing all my hard work for good.  Since I'm already behind on this recap, and since I just lost about 7 hours of very boring linking, formatting, and rehashing things stated in my video, I'm going to do this as cut and dry as possible, since most of this content is covered in the videos.  If you find this absolutely unforgiveable, and the videos don't make up for the written content, I apologize.  Rewriting this post entirely would put me behind a massive amount, and I'd rather just focus on moving forward and getting to July's Unboxing goodness. 

Special May Thanks To:

Andrew Benedict
Wayne Norris
Michael Suriano
Ella Dee

Previous SketchBox Vs. ArtSnacks
January- Winner: ArtSnacks
February- Winner:  SketchBox
March- Winner: ArtSnacks
April- Winner: ArtSnacks
May- Winner: ArtSnacks

SketchBox: $25mo/$240 yr
ArtSnacks: $20mo/$200 yr



June 2016 ArtSnacks Unboxing-Becca Hillburn
Video includes unboxing, card reading, going over materials.


June 2016 ArtSnacks Overview-Becca Hillburn
Video includes prices, total, and demonstration of materials, including a few side by side comparisons.


Spectra AD Marker
$2.85 on Carpe Diem Markers
$2.99 on Art Supply Warehouse 
Color chart: https://www.carpediemmarkers.com/media/catalog/category/colorchart/Spectra
Spectra AD Marker video
Alcohol based
Twin Tipped
I haven't had a chance to review these yet, but I plan on remedying that soon.

Kuretake No 7
$6.95 on Amazon 
$7.00 on JetPens 
I have not reviewed this brush pen yet, and look forward to checking it out.

General's Layout Pencil No. 555
A review of the General's Layout Pencil No. 555
Package of 12, on DickBlick $5.39
$1.59 openstock on Cheap Joe's Art Stuff 

Fibralo Brush
15 color assortment on the Caran d'Ache site- $33.75  ($2.25 per marker)
15 color set on Amazon with Prime- $35.71
15 piece set on DickBlick- $27.07
 (these look different- did Caran d'Ache change the body a bit?)  ($1.80 per marker)
Owings Art video review:
Yet another product I haven't had a chance to review yet, Fibralo markers have been on my radar for about a year, but this is my first opportunity to play with one.

Denik Custom Mini SketchBook
Denik doesn't really offer anything in this mini size in their usual lineup (there are notebook+phone case combos, but those are limited, and most are on sale), so it's difficult to determine a price for this mini sketchbook.

The closest I can find are the Phone Case and Pocket Notebook Combos (http://denik.com/phone-cases-pocket-notebooks/green-aztec), which are on sale for $15.00, and normally sell for $29.95.
Their larger 5.25"x 8.25" softcover books (http://denik.com/shop/succulents) are $11.95 each.
I estimate that these little books are worth between $3-$5, especially considering this company donates a portion of their profits, and this tends to mean the products cost a bit more.

MSRP: $20.15
Total Lowest Retail Value: $18.64
Box Cost: $20, shipped

Fibralo Brush
These are some of the most expensive consumer grade waterbased markers I've come across, but I've heard really good things about these markers, so I'm excited to get the chance to play with one.

Kuretake No 7

Waterbased ink
felt tipped
can also use the No 8 cartridge


Insert video here

This video includes process from start to finish, as well as the demonstration of several techniques.  Because this month's box did not really speak to me, I included many materials from my own studio to complete this piece.

Inked image is available for purchase through GumRoad.


I didn't feel particularly inspired by this box, and felt like the included goodies weren't cohesive enough, so I've augmented the June ArtSnacks heavily from my own collection of materials.

Used Layout Pencil for initial sketch, inked over with a Sailor Mitsuo Aida.  Erased pencil after 24 hours- severe ghosting, even with a Mono Eraser.  This is NOT a good pencil to ink over if you want clean inks with no digital manipulation.

The Salmon colored Chartpak Marker is more fluroesent than originally thought- and when layered it's more of a hot orange than a salmon or pink.  It's quickly neutralized (almost to the point of non existence) with any addition of blue

I really used the materials mostly as inspiration- a combination of waterbased and alcohol based markers, and I tried to play that up throughout the challenge, adding in Spectrum Aqua waterbased markers, a variety of Copic markers and alcohol ink sprays.  Not all of them play well together- the dye based inks (Spectrum Aquas, Fibralo) reactivate when water is added, which can make layering difficult.  It was also difficult to build up washes of color with the Fibralo ArtSnacks provided this month.

SketchBox Basic


SketchBox Basic Unboxing- Becca Hillburn
Video includes unboxing, reading cards, showcasing materials.


June 2016 SketchBox Basic and Premium Overview-Becca Hillburn
Video includes prices, total, and demonstration of materials, including a few side by side comparisons.
SketchBox June Basic- Pastel

Pan Pastels (2)
"This exclusive color pack is brought to you by a partnership between SketchBox and PanPastel"

$5.29 each at Jerry's Artarama 
$5.45 each at DickBlick 

Marvy LePen Brush
Pigmented Ink
Also available in .1, .05, .03, .8, .5, .3
Review via The Pen Addict 

$1.59 at Jetpens 

Conte a Paris

$1.84 openstock on DickBlick 
$5.99 on Amazon with Prime for 2 

Sofft Art Sponge Set
These are REALLY similar to inexpensive makeup sponges sold at Walmart and Dollar Tree

Site does not list an MSRP, does have authorized dealers, I selected shops from that list.
$3.19 at Cheap Joes 
$2.61 at DickBlick 

High end total: $17.52
Low end* total: $16.62

*Not counting bulk and wholesale rates.



June 2016 SketchBox Basic and Premium Challenge- Becca Hillburn
Video includes using the materials to create a coherent illustration, demonstrating several techniques, as well as commentary on the materials inside the box.


The Premium Box

This is the unboxing video.  For totals, please watch the overview video linked above.

The Verdict

Although I appreciate both boxes, I feel that this month, SketchBox Basic had the more coherent box.  Although I am not a pastel artist, and am not very experienced with handling pastels, I really enjoyed using the Pan Pastels, and I quickly found inspiration for a piece.  The ArtSnacks box for this month was far less coherent, and although I was delighted to receive two products I hadn't had an opportunity to review yet, it was difficult for me to decide on a Challenge topic.

That said, June's Basic was woefully anemic, a trend that seems to plague SketchBox Basic month to month.  This does not change my overall recommendation that A: SketchBox beef up their Basic boxes with SOMETHING and B: ArtSnacks is still the best value for your dollar, subscription-box wise.

The Winner: SketchBox

If you enjoy reviews like this, please take a moment to share it on the social network of your choice, using the handy links below.  By sharing my content with your friends and fellow enthusiasts, you're helping me out in a big way-word of mouth is some of the best advertising I can get.  A larger, enthusiastic audience will help me build the art education community I've dreamed of having, give me ideas for new reviews, tutorials, and demonstrations, and will attract art companies interested in partnerships.  If you'd like to take our relationship to the next level, consider joining my small but growing community over on Patreon.  Backers get access to behind the scenes in progress photos, free comics (of the mini and Kara variety), and Backer Exclusive Livestreams, where I answer questions, demonstrate techniques, and sometimes even draw your characters. Your support, in any form, is always greatly appreciated, and necessary to keeping the wind in my writing sails.


Popular Posts