I love the look of Old Master drawings and as I was researching “classical drawing” I came across the Conte Sepia pencil on a supply list. (Search “Juliette Aristides supply list or click here.)
This pencil is somewhere in between a pastel pencil and a charcoal pencil, leaning more towards the former. Maybe it is technically is a pastel pencil? I don’t know, but it has nice pigment (good coverage) and can be manipulated nicely with a chamois, kneaded eraser, or my fingers.
It’s one of those pencils that’s nice to use all by itself for drawing, or instead of a charcoal pencil for an alternative to grayscale. I’m even starting to use it for underdrawings in my pastel paintings.
On toned paper (Strathmore Tan in the 400 series), I created a line drawing, paying close attention to angles and relational shapes in the basic bird form. After that I shaded and blended (fingers and chamois) to create landmarks on the subject to follow before adding more detail. At this stage, I made preliminary feather markings, too.
Then it was a matter of deepening shadows, pulling out highlights with a kneaded eraser and white pastel pencil, adding feather patterns, etc.
I’m very pleased with how this turned out. It was a very satisfying project, and I look forward to working with the Conte Sepia pencil more!