1A brush for lifting and removal blending, try also a chamois cloth (not shown)
4Tortillons, a few
5Erasers, block and stylus
6Two portcrayons: one holding the soft sticks and one holding the hard sticks
Conte brand 2340-9, or...
Handmade stick, "medium" recipe
Conte brand 2456-2B
Conte brand 2460-2B, or...
Handmade stick, "hard" recipe
Conte brand 2456-HB
7Portcrayon shown before
tips are protected with duct tape
8Sharpener for factory made chalks, or (not shown) single edge razor blade for either factory or handmade
9Not shown: a clean chamois
Ruscombe Laid-- "endpapers" or, "book papers." 2 of their Cotswold Colours are perfect: Barnsley Blue (once known as Queen Anne Pamphlet Blue, or Deep Blue) and Selsley Sugar Bag (once known as Queen Anne Strong Granite Blue, or Mid-granite Blue). Selsley Sugar Bag may only be available in wove now. Still, it might be worth giving it a try, because of its beautiful color and toughness.
Available from Talas, 568 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Store phone: (212) 219-0770, Fax (212) 219-0735
Or, try visiting Ruscombe's website in France.
Hahnemuhle (German) Ingres; color: 036 Blue Green
If you are in the US and have trouble locating this paper, call Atlantic Papers at 1-800-367-8547.
They will provide you with a list of stores that you can order from.
Portcrayons were in wide use when Prud'hon was making his academies. There is little doubt that he used them. Paintings from this time invariably show artists wielding these two headed tools, loaded with white in one end and black in the other. I can attest to the improved control these handy grips offer. You should use them.
The gripping brass tines of currently available portcrayons are burred, and score the chalks. This will nick and break the handmade sticks, so I recommend that you find a way to pad the inside grip. I have used duct tape (shown here), but dipping rubber works better. It's best that you do something to coat the tines even for the Conte sticks. Beware that the "soft" handmade stick will always break in the portcrayon, so just hold it with your tender fingers.
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Rebecca Alzofon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
This page updated July 16, 2003
1999 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.