View Full Version : Conte question...

08-16-2004, 04:49 PM

this may seem like a really odd question, so just keep in mind that i am new to pastels. I have been investigating different pastel brands and have managed to come up with a fair bit of information on many of the professional quality brands. I have been trying to dins out more about Conte crayon sticks, but am coming up surprisingly short.

Perhaps someone here can shed some light. How are they in comparison to most soft pastels? Do they blend nicely? Are they nice to work with? Do they apply smoothly? Can they be used the same as soft pastels?

Some of these may seem like stupid questions, but hey - I'm a newbie! I can't be blamed :P

Thanks in advance for any info y'all can give!

08-17-2004, 02:05 AM
Ha! You seem to have stumped the audiance :) ...From what I understand, the validity of which is questionable (lol), Conte is a brand name for a type hard pastel known for its earthy colors... warm reds, browns and white..and used mainly for 1 and 2 color drawings....I believe the term for this chalky pigment is sanguine. I personally don't own any conte crayons but have in the past used them minimally....I don't even remember their consistancy compared to Nupastels, :confused: but they are definately harder than the softies.

Not sure if this helped..perhaps someone else can provide more enlightenment.

08-17-2004, 03:52 AM
Not odd at all - in fact, quiet common!

The Conte sticks are considerably harder than the schminke/sennelier soft pastels nas slightly harder than rembrants. Not sure how they compare to Nupastels. They can be used in conjunction with the softer pastels. A lot of people use the edges for fine detail or for filling in small spaces. I tend to sharpen the ends of them to pecil sharpness and use them for sharp lines, especially for figure work (hence the strong availability of earth colours) and initial sketching.

Hope that helps,


08-17-2004, 06:00 AM
Ditto all above but they are available in a wide range of colours not just the earthy ones. Since we can get a rainbow of Conte colours here in Oz, they must be widely available in the US.

I use them for initial drawing for a soft pastel painting and then use them later for detail that is too small for the fatter softies. I also use them for studies when we have a life drawing class.

08-17-2004, 11:26 AM
Thanks so much to you all! This has been quite helpful! I had been looing at them a bit and thinking that they might be a good solution to defining some edges in a pastel painting that keep getting lost in the blending. Now I definitely think they will do the trick.

Guess I'm off to the supply store tonight...I can see how this pastel thing can become a bit of an addiction. It's been less than a week and I am enjoying myself so much!

Thanks again!