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Old 02-03-2012, 01:10 PM
stess73 stess73 is offline
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soho urban artist pastels

Hello everyone!

I saw that Jerry's Artarama are selling new Soho urban artist soft pastels. They claim that they are buttery and high quality. I am wondering if one of you have ever tried this brand of soft pastels and if so, how did you like them?

Thanks!

Sophie
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:11 PM
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Hi Sophie I am fairly new to pastels and I have never heard them mention on this site in the last year anyway
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:55 PM
stess73 stess73 is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Hi David! thanks for your answer. You are right,there is not that much info about them on the forum...
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:37 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Sounds like they're new. I got a whole lot of Soho Urban Artist products in my big bag of review supplies right before I moved - still need to get to the 24 color packs of oil paint and acrylics in relatively small tubes. Prices are quite low on some SoHo products and not on others.

SoHo Urban Artist colored pencils rated as artist grade by how they handled. I got the 72 color set back in Arkansas and while it's still back there, I was happy with them. They're good "House brand" pencils.

SoHo Urban Artist Premium Gouache is good sized plastic jars at a very cheap price rather comparable to Yarka Gouache and a real cost-cutter. They handled well. I did test and review those already.

I wouldn't expect SoHo Urban Artist Pastels to be on a par with something like Unisons. My guess is that they're machine extruded decent pastels in a category with Rembrandts or something like that for texture or like the Mungyo Artist Rounds, or they are loony cheap big square sticks more comparable to the nicer student grades. Which may not make them bad, I liked my Loew-Cornell loony cheap student grade pastels.

Checked the page and prices.

48 half sticks $19.99
90 half sticks $36.99
120 half sticks $49.99 surging to Price Leader for 120 Half Sticks by 50%
48 sketching squares $12.99 on description these are the SoHo Urban Artist semi-hard pastels.

"Not as soft as the soft pastels but just as richly pigmented." Yep. The sticks are thinner too. 46 colors with an extra black and an extra white. No mention of fadeproof or lightfastness, just a comparison to "some of the best European brands." Uh huh. I'd do a home lightfastness test, they're looking at brands like Nupastel (not European) and figuring you don't care about lightfastness if you get good colors and a nice texture in a hard pastel. Polychromos, Mungyo and Cretacolor claim lightfastness, even Conte doesn't say "all the colors are lightfast."

I might try these. They're cheap enough, they'd be fun to review and if I don't like them I'll give them to a student.

Unlike Mungyo, there's no mention of "NonToxic" and there is the word "highly pigmented." So I'd guess some are lightfast and others not and they use real pigments ground coarse to save costs.

Now let's have a look at the description on these Price Leader Half Sticks.

Oh hello, these have "High Degree of Lightfastness" claimed unlike the sketch sticks. I guess they don't realize some of us use hard pastels for detailing in finished paintings. Extruded highly pigmented lightfast soft pastels that measure 1.3" long by just under 1/2" wide - saved some money by shaving the size of a half stick to provide artist grade value.

They'll probably be like the colored pencils - standard type of artist grade but nothing spectacular like the hand rolled and other splendid super pastels, you get what you pay for. SoHo Urban Artist does good student grade on some supplies and basic artist grade on others at price-fighter prices per quality. Their student grade stuff is cheap even for student grade. They did beat Sennelier On Sale by 50% for a 120 half stick set so if they're any good at all this might be a really good set for a beginner who's not sure if they are going to like pastels.

Any of the sizes of sets really because 48 is a decent range to just try them. 120 includes great convenience unless they're like the Richesons for having lots of near duplicates and not enough tints.

The hard pastels had a photo of the 48 color range, it looked a bit heavy in some color areas and jumpy in others for a 48 color set but that might be the photo. The half sticks which are probably like Mungyo Soft Rounds or Rembrandt, that type of texture, machined rounds, don't have photos of the box open with 120 half sticks. You have to trust them that those 120 colors are sufficiently different in hue and value that you're not banging half the box into the "spares" bin.

I should try them. Maybe Jerry's will send me some to write up if I email them and ask nicely, even though I haven't finished testing everything in the Great Big Box they sent yet. These didn't exist at the time or they would have been in the box.

There we go. I just emailed them asking for review supplies on both products. I'll see if I get some to try out. They look very interesting.
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Last edited by robertsloan2 : 02-03-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:00 AM
stess73 stess73 is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Hello Robert,

Thanks for that answer. They look great as you said, but you are right, they might be more like Mungyo round sticks. These are decent but nothing compared to Sennelier, of course. So you think they are more like student or beginning artist grade? Have you ever tried Dick Blick home soft pastel brand ?

Sophie
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:26 AM
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RebeccaJFleming RebeccaJFleming is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

I know this is a fairly old thread, but I ordered a set of these SoHo pastels recently when Jerry's had a big discount coupon going. Haven't received them yet but I'll post about them when I do.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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RebeccaJFleming RebeccaJFleming is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Hi all... My SoHo Urban Artist pastels arrived today

Here is a photo of the 120 set. Sorry about the quality; I had to use my iPod camera as my actual camera has decided to see what the afterlife is like... (if I can persuade my old man to let me borrow his camera, I can maybe post a better photo later)


I'll try to post more about them later (have to go run some errands) but after having a quick play with them, I am very happy with these pastels, and glad I got the full set. There are maybe a couple of near duplicates but not many; and since these pastels are slightly smaller than standard half sticks, you'll probably burn through the duplicates fast enough anyway (as far as I know, you can't buy these pastels open stock). The half sticks all have little paper labels, which is unusual for half sticks, but there's no pigment information or colour name on the label; all it says is "SoHo Soft Pastel", "Non-toxic" and something about conforming to ASTM standards.

I got out my Rembrandts and did a few fast test scribbles on a piece of cheap watercolour paper. First impressions are that pigment load in the SoHos is excellent, comparable with the Rembrandts; there may be a slight difference in some colours but if so it is negligible. The SoHo pastels also feel slightly softer and creamier than the Rembrandts; not substantially so (I doubt they'd come anywhere near Senneliers or Schminckes etc), but enough to be noticeable.

Also, you know that hard plasticky coating a lot of Rembrandt pastels have when you first get them? Before I could use my Rembrandt pastels, I had to sand at least two thirds of them to remove that hard coating. Well, so far I have only encountered one SoHo pastel (out of about 13 or so that I scribbled with) with that problem, and it didn't affect the whole pastel, just the end.

I'm really looking forward to playing with these
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:27 PM
Grinner Grinner is offline
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Thanks so much for sharing - I didn't know about these!
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:56 PM
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

Okay, managed to get a slightly better photo of the SoHo Pastel full set (still with dodgy iPod camera, just slightly better lighting):


I haven't done a proper drawing with these yet - the dog dislocated my knee again on Saturday so I haven't been able to focus on much - but I did manage to do a colour chart for the whole set:

As I mentioned previously, there are some near duplicates (my scanner has flattened some of the colours slightly; there's a bit more variation when viewed in person). This is most noticeable in the blues, greens and flesh/earth tones. If you already have a large collection of pastels, you might be better off with just a smaller SoHo set, but if you're a beginner, the 120 set might be a good starting purchase to give you a solid selection of colours with a few spares just in case. If you're heavily into portraits, the duplicate fleshes/earths will come in handy, likewise for the blues/greens for landscape artists. I would have liked to see a few more tints, as well as a few more darks... Is it just me, or do all sets seem to lack a good selection of lights and darks? Is it a marketing ploy to try to force us to spend more on larger sets or on pastels from open stock?

Like I said earlier, these pastels are very soft; as soft as or slightly softer than the Rembrandts. They also well and truly live up to the name "dusties"

I have covered half of each swatch and stuck the charts in the window so I can test how lightfast these pastels are; will report back as results come in.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:11 PM
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Re: soho urban artist pastels

greens look nice but blues look very similar to each other i mean no very dark blues for example. and based these pics i think there is no much warm reds. but as we know almost shops own brands (i which i understanded this is) are not best for wide colour range.
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