Materials for Color Temperature Drawing (Aux Quatre Crayons)

Getting Started: Materials


The type of pencil I prefer to use for black,white, and red ‘chalk’ drawings are technically labeled as ‘pastel pencil’. After fairly extensive experimentation with a variety of pencil/paper combinations (such as vine and compressed charcoal, conte pencil, carbon pencil, varieties of colored and water color pencils etc.) I’ve settled on the Faber-Castel Pitt Pastel pencils. They have a good pigment/binder ratio, allowing the artist to work broadly/push the material around and layer while still yielding the control needed when working specifically. I’ve also found them to be a good approximation of ‘Old Master’ chalk drawings. If I were to do a Prud’hon master-copy for example, these pencils would be my first choice.

Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil

The specific pencils I used for this drawing were as follows:

#199 black

#192 Indian Red

#177 Walnut Brown

#101 White

Technically this drawing would be considered ‘Aux Quatre Crayons’, as it makes use of a 4th inbetween color (brown), but the principles are the same nonetheless. You’ll want to sharpen these pencils in the customary ‘classical’ manner of carving the wood away with a razor and sharpening with sand paper. While carving the wood away, take care to not break the lead (this takes some getting used to). These pencils are too soft to use in an electric sharpener and still break easily when using a hand held sharpener. Sharpening them in the manner described above allows the artist to turn the lead on its side for broader strokes, as well as keeps a point longer.

Below are the materials used in this drawing:

Materials used for this Drawing (click to enlarge)

The brushes from left to right are: #6 Robert Simmons Sapphire s67 synthetic filbert, #2 Princeton round sable, and (brand unknown #2 flat sable). The brands of the brushes aren’t very important, but you will want to use synthetics and/or sables or faux sables of varying stiffness. Bristle brushes tend to be too rough. The other items above are a kneaded eraser, stump, razor, and sand paper.

In terms of paper, with these drawing materials I prefer to draw on papers that are smooth but not overly hard, and have a warm color temperature that is approximately a value 3-4 on a scale of 1-9 (1 being white). Stonehenge Fawn is a good option, and can be found at many art stores. Another option, which is the paper used for this tutorial, is ‘Dur-O-Tone paper, Newsprint Aged color’. This is a paper made by French Paper Co., and can be ordered at http://www.frenchpaper.com/dur-o-tone-paper.html .

Let’s begin with the drawing! Click here to proceed to Part 3 of the tutorial.

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