Friday, 21 July 2017

Conte a Paris Crayons

Conte a Paris Crayons are square 'carre' sticks which are made using a combination of pigments, clay and binder. They are harder than pastels and charcoal, and can be applied with the corner for fine lines and the flat edge to make larger strokes.

square pastel sticks
Conte a Paris Crayons
These crayons with their 6x6mm cross-section offer a range of 84 bright and balanced colours, that make up various sets of assortments. Conte offers sets specifically selected for portraits, landscapes, sketching and still life, and crayons can also be purchased individually.

6mm pastels
Conte a Paris 6mm Pastel Crayons
Manufactured with natural pigments (iron oxide, carbon black, titanium oxide), clay (kaolin), and a binder (cellulose either). They are extruded and dried, then baked. The degree of baking varies the grade (hardness: H/softness: B) of the black and white crayons. Two special tints were recently developed to enhance the Conte sketching range, Rose and Brown. Crayons are produced from a highly rigorous choice of pigments.

Ever since Nicolas-Jacques Conte perfected the quality and manufacturing of the coloured leads in 1795 (used by artists in the 14th century), many artists and grand masters used his pastels due to the selection of pigments, lightfastness, and purity of the colours. Conte crayons are famed for how easily they blend, their softness and how they offer control for detail.

Pastels on coloured paper
Bright Luminous colours of Conte a Paris Crayons on Coloured Paper
 The pastels look best when used on coloured paper with plenty of tooth (such as Canson Ingres Sheets or Canson Mi-Teintes Pastels Paper), as the colour of the pastels will be more luminous, and the tooth will grab hold of the pigment. To create a non-absorbent, grease free surface on materials such as wood, canvas or paper, we recommend you apply a primer (such as Schmincke Pastel primer). When dried the surface will be opaque and rough enough to provide a good hold for pastel colours.

Whilst drawing you can use the corner of the crayon for fine lines, allowing you to sketch and structure the piece. The flat edge can be used for thicker lines, and by applying greater pressure you can create a denser colour. As the Conte crayons are soft they blend easily, which helps to create dimension in your artwork. Conte crayons allow you to produce thick, dynamic lines that can be used to suggest movement. These techniques can transform an initially mundane subject into something intriguing and extraordinary. 

To preserve your work, apply a pastel fixative before framing behind glass.

If you are interested in buying Conte a Paris Crayons, click here to see the products available on our website.

A close up of Conte a Paris Crayons
A closer look at Conte a Paris Crayons
images and text by Kyra Quinn

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Welcome to Kyra from George Weil

Kyra has joined us for work experience this week where she's learning the in's and out's of how a business is run. Today Kyra has learnt about the steps for how orders are processed and packaged, as well as how businesses keep track of sales and profit. She's even had a sneak preview of our new and improved website, and had a summary of how it all gets coded.

"I'm currently studying Fine Arts at Sixth Form, and I hope to pursue a creative career where I can incorporate my creative talents."

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Nail Art with Pearl Ex Pigment Powders

Jacquard Pearl Ex pigment powders are made from fine particles of glistening mica. The varying sizes of the coloured particles produce pearlescent and metallic effects. These ultra fine powders can be combined with any viscous material such as glue, resin, paint, varnish, or brushed onto tacky surfaces such as wax candles or modelling clay.

This exciting art material can be used in so many other creative ways. The finer powders can be added to screen inks for screen printing, while Gum Arabic makes an excellent carrier for making watercolour paints. The Jacquard Textile Colourless Extender can be used for making Pearl Ex paint for fabric.

Cara's Toes!

The Pearl Ex powders have been used to great effect by our colleague Cara to decorate her toe nails for a mermaid costume she will be wearing soon. Scroll down to read how Cara achieved this look.

"I did this by painting turquoise nail varnish onto my nails, but you can obviously use any colour nail varnish. When it was dry, I rubbed a small amount of the Pearl Ex on top of the colour and then covered with a clear top coat. I used the Interference Violet and a bit of the Interference Green Pearl Ex for this."

"I then used silver and black nail art pens to draw the scales on top and then another clear top coat again!"

Pearl Ex Pigment on Polymer Clay

The same Pearl Ex Interference colours were used on this piece of moulded polymer clay. You can see from the image that the colours are very effective on dark coloured materials. After the clay in baked in a domestic oven at 130°C, the colours remain stable and unchanged. In fact, 17 of the 49 colours (the Interference Green and Violet included) have been tested in a glass kiln and shown to withstand temperatures between 590°C - 925°C!

Happy Feet!

Visit the George Weil website to see the range of 49 colours available in Jacquard Pearl Ex Powders