How to Draw a Still Life With Colored Conte Crayons

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When drawing still-life pictures with Conte crayons, make sure to start with the darkest and softest colored pencil. Draw still-life pictures with colored Conte crayons with tips from a professional illustrator in this free video about learning to draw.

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Video Transcript

I'm Jay French from, and today I'm going to teach you how to do Still Life with Conte Crayons. Now a good way to start is with your darkest, softest pencil. We're just going to do a little mountain range here, and a lot of times if you're doing Still Life, you're probably working from a photo or from life and you're doing something exact. But that doesn't mean, Still Life isn't necessarily limited to that. You don't have to, you can work from your mind, and we're just going to get some dark areas in here. So basically what you're working with when you're working in Still Life, with this material is that you want to look at, what are your darkest areas, what are your deepest shadows, and get those first. Get, maybe get the outline of your subject, but essentially, you want to concentrate on what is, what is darkest first. This will define the object, the shape and depth of the object, and is an important starting when you get a, so I don't smudge so much. Which is something to watch out with Conte Crayons, they're very easy to smudge, you got to be watchful of that. Once you get your darkest areas in, go in with a slightly harder pencil and get some medium areas, get some here, and this is where we really start to get the depth. In the case of mountains, they're, they're much harsher, they're tough edges for the most part, you're going to get some fades, some soft parts, but for the most part they're pretty hard edges. In a lot of Still Life, you know, the major light source you're working with is sunlight, which is usually pretty intense but, rather omnipresent. It is directional, but it's not sharply directional, since light is the major tool. Some may even argue, the only toll in Art. That's an important thing to keep in mind, especially when working with Still Life. Now you can go and actually fill in a whole area, but these mountains are probably actually not literally white on this side unless they're snowcaps. Even if they're snowcaps they're going to have some depth underneath. In which case if you're working in color, you want to accent snow with a little bit of a pale blue, mixed with gray perhaps, blended. If you're working in color you're probably going to have more than just grays on a mountain. Now of course this is just about general Still Life, but you're working in color, you probably don't want to use absolute blacks. When you start out with that, first getting your dramatic darkest areas first. Unless what you're looking at has some blacks to it, you probably just want to work with a dark tone of that object, and if you have several objects, such as, you know, a bowl of fruit, get your dark tones on your apple first. Once you have your outline, get your dark tones on the apple, get the dark tone on the orange, get the dark tone on the banana, the dark yellow, the dark red, the dark orange, get those in first, so you're not necessarily going to be working in black. If there are blacks, if it's a harsher light, say you're working in candle light, then you can go ahead with some blacks first. But that's a good rule of thumb for starting, when you're working with color, and of course in black and white, odds are you're going to want to want some absolute blacks, just to really get that depth, and that's you're basic first lesson on how to do Still Life in Conte Crayon.

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