Virginia (charcoal and conte portrait)




9.5″ x 6″ on watercolor paper. This was my first time playing with conté. I expected it to handle more like oil pastels, but it was slightly tacky in application. However, the conté was excellently bright and bold regarding color.

The rouge areas in the image are where I used conté. The dark blacks and distinctive lines are willow charcoal and charcoal pencil, which made a nice contrast. I like the warm colors of flesh, the makeup on her eyelids, and the natural blush of her lips and cheeks. Her eyes are closed, making it hard to show her vulnerability, but using a little color and brightening her feminine features softened her and brought her to life.

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