Soho Urban Artist
About the company
Soho Urban Artist is a brand of Jerry's Artarama. Soho Urban Artist Colored Pencils are made by Cretacolor of Austria. They come in 72 colors, in a dry pencil form. In close comparison with Cretacolor's regular colored pencils, the Karmina, the Soho Urban Artist appears to be basically the same pencil. The color names have changed slightly between brands for some pencils, but the colors look the same with the exception of violet. The cores appear to be the same thickness, and the same degree of softness. The pencil numbers are essentially the same if you drop the first 2 digits of the Cretacolor Karmine number.
While the Soho Urban artist pencils appear to be just a redesign and rebranding of the exterior of the Cretacolor line, they have twice the number of colors in the new Soho line. Cretacolor Karmines only had 36 total colors, and Soho Urban artist has 72. These are a very good pencil for the money, and have a nice design. The cores are coated so that they do not slip out or break easily, something found in much more expensive brands like Faber-Castell.
The Soho Urban Artist pencil comes in the standard tin that Cretacolor uses for virtually everything. That 'generic' tin is wrapped in a cardboard wrapper, which was impossible to slide off without tearing it up in the case of one of our sets. The removable tray in the 72 set is made of the most flimsy, thin plastic to be found. It makes it very easy to spill the entire top tray of pencils with the large amount of buckle. They use a thin paper 'lifter' to help, and this thin paper can slide away from the tray very easily.
The pencils are hexagonal in shape, and the flat black exterior is very elegant looking. Endcaps match the color of the core. The color names are printed on the pencils in an easy to read white font, instead of the usual difficult to read metallic font.
The Soho's go down on paper well, and blend very well. They do not seem to have a problem with hard streaks, and they do not crumble on the page.
These would make very good 'workhorse' pencils for the first few layers in particular, while you save your better pencils for the upper layers.
For smaller sets, you can match the colors with the Cretacolor water-soluble pencils.
The outer cardboard wrapper
The tin containing the pencils
Soho Urban Artist- 36 color set
Soho Urban Artist- 72 color set
Soho Urban Artist (top) and Cretacolor (bottom)
We did a quick comparison chart for the set of 12 Cretacolor Karmines vs. the Cretacolor SoHo to see if this was indeed a totally new product. Other than the Violet, they colors looked and behaved essentially the same. The left contains the Cretacolor Karmina color (they all start with a 27) and to the right of that is the Soho color.
Soho Urban Artist 36 Color Set