Concept

Conté

Résumé
Conté (kɔ̃te), also known as Conté sticks or Conté crayons, are a drawing medium composed of compressed powdered graphite or charcoal mixed with a clay base, square in cross-section. They were invented in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté, who created the combination of clay and graphite in response to the shortage of graphite caused by the Napoleonic Wars (when the British naval blockade of France prevented import). Conté crayons had the advantage of being cost-effective to produce, and easy to manufacture in controlled grades of hardness. They are now manufactured using natural pigments (iron oxides, carbon black, titanium dioxide), clay (kaolin), and a binder (cellulose ether). Conté crayons are most commonly found in black, white, and sanguine tones, as well as bistre, shades of grey, and other colors. Colors sets are especially useful for field studies and color studies. Some artists create entire paintings with them, using them more like pastels than like a drawing medium. They
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