Conté Crayons

My wife didn't know what they were. (And she found them pretentious.) I'd only read about them in art books. But this week, I started working on a project using Conté Crayons. I like them.

They have much the same effectiveness as charcoal, thought they are a wee bit waxier (only a wee bit). ...I find they blend a little darker when pushed around, so it's difficult to gauge how much to put down to achieve the proper tone... but (and here's what I like most) they erase a little more easily than charcoal. ...Not entirely, of course, so it's foolish to think you can get really white tones if you've put down any Conté at all... but still, it comes up nicely otherwise. Other than that, I just seem to have a little more control with it than charcoal... and the tones and textures just appeal to me more.

The project we're working on is huge. The idea is simple: just a tool. But we're drawing it on two sheets of 20x30(ish) paper, making the total size (if mounted horizontally, as I've done) 20x60. This is enormous! My tool is a simple pair of pliers, somewhat old and beat-up. I've worked four hours on it so far, and have only shaded one of the jaws and outlined the second. (As well as blocking in the entire tool.) It's a lot of work...

But I am enjoying it. ...More than charcoal.

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