Hi All, I find it difficult to determine the differences between Conté crayons, pastels and colour pencils... was hoping someone could educate me a bit better. Is there a difference, or is the terminology interchangeable? My difficulty is that when I order art supplies online, I'm expecting it to behave a certain way (I prefer oil based/waxy feel) based on how it is either described, or possibly the brand name (hello, Conté a Paris?!) but I guess this is incorrect because often it's a chalky medium instead. My basic understanding is that crayons are either a rectangular bar or cylindrical shaped form of pigment which is either chalk based (soft pastel) or oil based. Does 'Conté crayon' simply describe the rectangular shape, and it can be both chalky or oily? A coloured pencil basically a wood encased crayon, it can be either oil based or chalk based...How do you determine which is which if you were ordering something online? Do you just watch Youtube reviews, try to find one in a local art supply store and test one out? At the moment, I've been enjoying drawing portraits with Staedler Lumocolor permanent pencils. I would love to be able to use a refill for my clutch pencil, but they only do the non-permanent version. Does that mean it would likely be chalky instead of oily? In Brevelliers Cretacolor set of 6 artist leads, would you expect the "Sanguine Oil" to have an oily feel but the White Pastel, Sepia light, and Sepia dark to be chalky? (I know what to expect from charcoal and graphite, so they're not under discussion here...) Thanks in advance! Sonya
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Hello missinglee, in my experience somewhere on the product box it says what type of binder that medium contains. On the other hand, I am one of those who go to the supplier and talk to a vendor, and if I can, try the tool on the spot. Anyway, your curiosity aroused mine and I did a quick search for information (mainly wikipedia) about Conte crayons, Pastels and pencils. As for the Pencils, I read that they are the most varied in that the lead can come in many varieties of materials, drier or more oily. The Conte crayon describes them as something more similar to graphite or charcoal, which I think are more dry than oily, I don't know, I have some at home I should try them. And as for Pastels, the same thing happens with Pencils, there is everything. My conclusion and advice is that you visit a supplier and consult him, or if the only option is to buy online, see the products that interest you and then visit the website of the producers and see what information about their construction they provide you. Here I leave the wikipedia links, there is quite interesting extra. Conté - Wikipedia -é Pastel - Wikipedia - Pencil - Wikipedia -
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Christopher Beaven
Wow lots of questions! This is exactly how I've felt for 40+ years of doing art. I've finally found what I like and keep returning to it but that was after constantly experimenting. As far as all these options I've seen them all chalky and oily. Oops! dinner time, sorry I will try and help more later. Keep experimenting!
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Thank you, it's reassuring to hear I'm not the only one confused... looking forward to any further thoughts you might have!
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