DRAWINGS BY JEAN VINCENT

CONTE CRAYON COMMENTS BOARD

CONTE CRAYONS - MORE TIPS

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TIPS FOR USING CONTE CRAYONS

HOW TO AVOID MAKING A MESS WHEN USING CONTE CRAYONS

HOW TO AVOID A MESS WHEN STORING CONTE CRAYON PICTURES

HOW TO MAIL CONTE CRAYON PICTURES

HOW TO CLEAN UP DIRTY PASTELS EASILY

CORRECTING CONTE DRAWINGS

THE FOLLOWING TIPS ARE ON
THE FIRST PAGE OF TIPS

WHAT I KEEP MY CONTE CRAYONS IN (STORAGE)

WAYS TO HOLD CONTE CRAYONS

SMOOTHING OUT AREAS OF COLOR

THINGS TO TRY WHEN YOU'VE BUILT UP
TOO MANY LAYERS OF CONTE CRAYON


THE FOLLOWING TIPS ARE ON
THE THIRD PAGE OF TIPS

BLENDING COLORS WITH CONTE CRAYONS

SHARPENING CONTE PASTEL PENCILS


THE FOLLOWING TIPS ARE ON
THE FOURTH PAGE OF TIPS

CONTE CRAYONS TIPS FROM ROBERT SLOAN


There are lots more pages about Conte Crayons on this site. Click here or scroll down to page list near bottom of this page (and it is on all of the pages, either at the top or near the bottom).



HOW TO AVOID MAKING A MESS WHEN USING CONTE CRAYONS

SEND SUGGESTIONS!

Actually, I don't know all the answers to this, though there are some basic suggestions below. If you have more suggestions, I will be glad to add them here. Here is a fact: Conte crayons can make a mess. In fact, they do, always, make a mess when I use them. If you can draw with Conte crayons without getting your fingers, your clothes, and everything nearby dusted with particles of colors from the crayons, then perhaps you have a vacuum cleaner going at all times, or else you're just a lot neater than I am. Actually, you probably are neater than I am, as I'm not the kind who wears a surgical gown and works like a lab technician.

SOME THINGS I MYSELF DO

Here are some things I do about this problem:

WEAR OLD CLOTHES

- I wear old clothes that I'll never wear away from the house. It would be very intimidating to have to draw with Conte crayons while wearing "good" clothing; I might as well just draw on my clothes and get it over with, because it would only be a matter of minutes before I ruined them anyway -- and then I could relax.

USE A LIQUID SOAP DISPENSER - AND A WORN-OUT TOWEL

- I have a large dispenser of liquid soap by the sink. It's the kind that you press down on the top of, and it squirts out the soap onto your hands. I wash my hands several times while I'm working on a drawing, even if it's only for half an hour, as I wash them every time I pick up a different color. I also have an old, worn out towel I use for drying my hands, as drying your hands so often can ruin a good towel in a hurry (it also ruins hands, but that's another subject). I get plenty of exercise while working on a picture, as I'm always going into the other room to wash my hands.

BLOW OFF EXCESS CONTE PARTICLES OUTSIDE

- This is probably unnecessary to say, but when I blow off the surface of the picture (when the Conte crayon is getting thick), I do it outside the house where the particles won't settle onto anything that needs to stay clean.

SUGGESTIONS FROM OTHERS

PUT A CANVAS "RUG" UNDER YOUR EASEL WHILE YOU'RE DRAWING

- Here's a suggestion from a visitor to these pages:

....."Invest in a big piece of loose canvas. You can buy it by the yard, off the role, at a lot of art stores. You can lay it down like a rug under your easel. You could use a sheet or blanket for this too. I like the canvas because, it's thick and keeps particles from working through it's fibers. It is heavy enough not to flip up and knock the dust onto the carpet if you have a fan going/cats playing/clumsy feet/etc. It is also thin enough that it doesn't tend to bulge up into a tripping hazard like a blanket can. Sheets are great for protecting book shelves though, from the inevitable loose particles that accumulate on their surfaces. (I've usually had to work in a corner of my living room or some other, functional, living space with furniture in it). All of these can be folded up afterwards to contain the dust, taken outside and shaken out between uses."

HOW TO CLEAN PASTEL DUST OFF CARPET AND CLOTHES

- Article on Richard McKinley's "The Pastel Painter's Blog" (January 20, 2009)

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HOW TO AVOID MAKING A MESS WHEN STORING CONTE CRAYON PICTURES

YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE REQUESTED!

I could use your suggestions on this subject, too, if you've had experience with storing or mailing Conte crayon pictures.

THERE'S ALWAYS FIXATIVE

Of course, you can always spray your pictures with fixative, but I have found that there can be problems with this. For one thing, no matter how I shake the bottle, try it out first on something else, hold it at the "proper" angle, or etc., the picture often ends up with spots on it after being sprayed. For another thing, the picture is still capable of spreading Conte particles even after it's sprayed, if not as much as before.

TIPS FROM SOMEONE
WHO READ WHAT I WROTE
ABOUT USING FIXATIVE

"I DO USE Fixative. I do. You wrote you did not have much success with it, but maybe the difference is in HOW we apply it? Maybe a brand adds to that difference too? I have a bottle of MATTE one, "GRUMBACHER" Mystom workable for pastels, charcoal and pencil. After shaking the bottle, I apply it ONLY on vertically held paper, and always in several coats (usually 2-4), but not closer than 12 inches (usually far than that). I wait 5-10 minutes between coats. Never notice spots. One thing I noticed: as we all try to avoid breathing that stuff, most of us get outside to use fixative, right? The temperature is crucial. Fixative will not make a smooth coat if it is cold outside. Knowing just a bit of physics gives a simple answer why. So, before applying fixative outside, assure the temperature is warm enough (just common sense)." - Rina Polyakova

STORING - THE POOR MAN'S (OR WOMAN'S) WAY

Here's how I store my pictures: I stack them (I presently have two stacks) face up, with ordinary white paper (the kind you probably use in your printer) between the pictures. Of course, this is far from a perfect solution, as once you remove a picture, you will see that some of the Conte crayon particles have come off onto the white paper that's lying on top of it. Then you have to replace that white paper if you put the picture back again.

WAXED PAPER (DON'T USE CLINGY PLASTIC WRAP!)

If I could afford it, I would put sheets of waxed paper between them, as it would be less likely to absorb the particles of Conte crayon. I would never put "plastic wrap" (the "clingy" kind) between them, as that kind of plastic actually pulls the particles out and onto itself.

TIPS FROM SOMEONE ELSE ON STORING CONTE CRAYON PICTURES

"I have been using a roll of glossy and shiny type of Christmas paper since day 1 on all my drawings using lead pencils and successfully extended it on my experiments with chalks and pastels. I am not an artist, and just purchased my first set of Conte crayons, but I found this method of fixing a layer of this very smooth, almost aluminum kind paper (but very flexible), working on Conte crayons as well.

"One of the advantages of using that kind of shiny Christmas wrapping is that the width is quite a lot larger in the first place, almost twice as large as the common wax paper, and a few times cheaper at the same time. And besides, if one side of the wrapping paper is attached (I use a thin layer of tape to attach it) at the edge of the back of your drawing (in such a way that when you flip it over, the shinier part covers the entire drawing) and another side of the wrapping paper is attached on the back of your drawing the opposite way, leaving it just a bit loose, the crisps do not develop on both edges of wrapping paper, and the surface of your drawing is not in such close contact with the wrapping paper, which it would be if you were to place a layer over the drawing or attach it on only one side with a crisp. The wrapping paper should be fixed on both sides to prevent 'sliding.'" - Rina Polyakava

HOW TO CLEAN UP YOUR DIRTY PASTELS, BY DICK ENSING
5 MINUTES, 28 SECONDS

Click gently, twice, in middle of video to begin.


HOW TO CORRECT A CONTE PORTRAIT

Follow this link to the Art Academy site where they have an article on this subject. The article is called "From Hell to High Water: How to correct your Conte portrait drawing when things go awry."

There are five pages in the lesson, with plenty of illustrations. At first you may think there's only one page. You have to scroll down past the ads at the bottom of the page to get to the "Next page" link.

MAILING CONTE CRAYON PICTURES

Here is what I do: The picture is placed right-side up on cardboard, which is cut to the same size as the picture, then the picture is covered with waxed paper which is taped to the back of the cardboard; then another piece of cardboard is put on top and the top and bottom pieces of cardboard are taped together, with the picture(s) sandwiched between; then all this is put into either a large padded envelope or a box to send (if you have more than one picture, they do not need to have cardboard between them as long as each is covered with waxed paper and there is cardboard under the stack of them as well as on top of the stack). You can use a simple box of the type you mail clothing in, and put foam "peanuts" under the cardboard, to the sides, and on top of the cardboard that covers the top picture.

GLASSINE - BUT NOT PLASTIC WRAP

I understand that you can use glassine (a kind of paper that I have yet to see other than in pictures) instead of the waxed paper, but the waxed paper is easy to find in a grocery store, and glassine is not. One thing you can't use, though, is "clingy" plastic wrap -- That will pull the particles right off of the picture.

SAVE BACKS OF TABLETS, ETC.

I save cardboard pieces, such as backs of tablets, or I even cut cardboard off of boxes. There is waxed paper in the house and it's used for mailing (even though not for storing pictures, just because of the cost -- Waxed paper isn't very expensive, but I draw a lot of pictures, so the cost adds up).

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Desperation provides an opportunity to try things that are inexpensive and possibly radical and scary, but you find out what works (and what doesn't).

YOUR TIPS - PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

If you have any tips, or even have some experiences that tell you what's a really bad idea to try, please let me know, and I'll add them to the part of this page where they fit in. I could use all the tips and thoughts you have about it, and I'm sure others will be interested, too. Let me know - You can write to me at

Let me know if I can use your name (or initials) when I add your comments here. - Jean

FIRST PAGE OF TIPS

THIRD PAGE OF TIPS

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THIS PAGE - MORE TIPS ON USING CONTE CRAYONS


OTHER CONTE CRAYONS PAGES

FIRST PAGE OF TIPS - CONTE
CRAYONS & DRAWINGS

THIRD PAGE OF TIPS

FOURTH PAGE OF TIPS

WHERE TO BUY CONTE CRAYONS

WHERE TO BUY INDIVIDUAL CONTE CRAYONS

CONTE CRAYON COLORS AND SETS

PAPER

THE RUMOR ABOUT NOT MAKING
CONTE CRAYONS ANYMORE

NICOLAS CONTE AND
THE INVENTION OF CONTE CRAYONS

CONTE CRAYONS WITH DIFFERENT NAMES
ARE THEY ALL THE SAME PRODUCT?

LINKS TO WEBSITES WITH CONTE DRAWINGS

CONTE CRAYON MISCELLANY

CONTE CRAYON COMMENTS BOARD

CONTE VIDEOS - SAMPLES OF CONTE
CRAYON DRAWINGS BY JEAN VINCENT

MORE PASTELS VIDEOS

TERMINOLOGY

CONTE CHARCOAL PENCILS

CRETACOLORS

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