Conté drawing of the Virgin Mary after Leonardo da Vinci

I just recently started messing with Conté crayons and tried drawing this Leonardo piece a few times. This one is 8 x 10 inches, conté crayons on lightly textured paper:

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

The Virgin Mary in conte crayons, after Leonardo da Vinci

I like using Conté! It’s not as messy as I first thought, and I think it’s really well-suited to these classical-style drawings. Being able to add highlights is important to me, and is something that I miss when drawing with pencil. I also like being able to blend with my fingers and re-work areas many times. On the drawing above I toned the paper first with sanguine Conté and blended it with a paper towel.I’ve found that I need to work in a larger scale than I normally do, and that the paper texture really matters. I definitely plan on doing a lot more with these and am happy I have a new medium to play around with 🙂

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