Conte crayons come in oblong sticks and in a limited number of grades from soft to hard. The conte crayon is a very traditional material and is made similarly to compressed charcoal. It is a finely ground powder that is mixed with a binder and formed into long sticks. It is more solid than compressed charcoal, and this characteristic makes it very different to charcoal in that it is not as atmospheric in nature. Conte crayons lend themselves more easily to mark making and a technique called frottage.
The marks made with the conte crayon from 1to 16 are controlled marks that imply textures. Using marks we can imply surfaces that are rough, smooth, soft, hard. We can suggest through mark making the illusion of wood, metal, string, sponge, and so on. Once one has found a method of utilising mark making, the drawings themselves tend to become a technical process rather than to do so much with the creative act. However, as with perspective the results of this type of drawing can be impressive.
1/ 2 Marks that imply a woven or knitted surface.
3/ Marks that imply a wooden surface.
4/ Marks that imply a carpet or grass.
5/ Marks that imply a woven pattern (a candle wick bed spread).
6/ Marks that imply a woven pattern like a straw hat.
7/8/ Rope and string implied marks.
9/10/ Honey combed or circle patterns.
11/ Marks that imply the bristle of a brush.
12/ Marks that are implying a sharp hard surface.
13/ Marks that imply tufts of grass.
14/ Marks that imply the nature of leaves.
15/ Marks that imply moving water.
16/ Marks that imply rippled water.
All these marks are just to set an example of what you can achieve. So be prepared to make your own contribution to this glossary. So experiment with your medium and make a whole new series of marks, as all this will add to your fundamental drawing experience that will enable you to express your ideas with confidence
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