Figure Drawings with Conte Crayons

This past week, I was introduced to a medium that I really enjoy! In my figure drawing class, we spent the week drawing our model using only conte crayons, an oily, pastel-like stick that can be found in a range of colors. I chose sanguine.

I thought that it was a breath of fresh air from always using charcoal, and the consistency of the the crayon was not as soft as the vine or compressed charcoal that we have been using so it posed a new challenge in gaining control of that media.

When I approach my drawings, the size of the paper can often feel overwhelming and a little bit scary, especially when trying to decide where to put the first mark on the paper. I usually begin by shading lighting and creating almost a silhouette or one big shape of the subject to sort of shape my composition. After doing this, it is easier to define where the darkest and lightest shapes are and go from there.

Overall, it was fun to be able to use a different medium in the class and experiment with a different drawing tool but I can also see why charcoal is often preferred because it is much easier to manipulate.

One thought on “Figure Drawings with Conte Crayons

  1. Exploring conte crayons in my own figure drawing class offered a refreshing change from the usual charcoal medium. The slightly firmer texture of the crayon presented a new challenge in achieving control.

    When approaching drawings, initially, I find the scale of the paper can be daunting, but starting with shading for light and silhouette-like shapes helps me guide the composition. While experimenting with conte crayons was enjoyable, it’s clear to me that charcoal’s malleability remains my preferred choice for its ease of manipulation.

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