Friday, December 7, 2012

Classical Woman, bistre on cream laid paper

The Conte crayons and pastel paper pad came in - I messed with them a bit today and was surprised to find conte crayons aren't the way I remember them. The ones I used to use years ago were more waxy - these are essentially just small very hard pastel sticks in the same range of colrs (Sanguine, Bistre, black and white). The older ones were like a cross between these and the Specialist square Cray Pas sticks. Did a frnezied bit of googling - apparently Conte was bought out by some massive corporation who was bought out by a bigger fish etc etc, until it's now all owned by BIC, who also owns Elmer's now? Crazy corporate world we live in.

After my initial few lines and the shocking discovery that the beautiful waxy (not messy, dusty or easily breakable) conte crayons of my youth are only a memory now, I decided to go back to work and actually discovered I like these quite a bit. Slightly messy, yes, but nothing like chalk or charcoal! Just a bit of dust when you're really bearing down for solid darks.

It's done from a video cap of a YouTube vid - her face had a quality that instantly reminded me of something drawn by Leonardo or Durer.

It might be apparent now from some of the drawings on this blog that the dry drawing media are my forte. I learned everything I know with a pencil in my hand, and it's the foundation of all my skills in art.

Apparently some people use these hard conte sketch sticks to draw on the canvas for an oil painting - interesting. I don't know about putting solid dense darks down like in the hair above, but everything else should be fine (maybe even the darks if I brush off any excess and maybe fix it - not with skim milk thank you!) This looks a lot like a burnt umber underpainting (bistre is like burnt umber, sanguine like burnt sienna) - but no waiting overnight for it to dry.. I like that!!

Now - about something that handles similarly to the Contes I remember so fondly - the closest thing I can think of would be Prismacolor sticks maybe..

Here's the updated version after a bit more drawing (and a better picture, more well-lit) :

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