The Specific Use Of Crayon Materials
I will now explain the specific use and nature of these materials,
reserving the various kinds of photographic enlargements and their
special qualities and advantages, for treatment under their different
The easel should be set so that the light strikes the picture at an
angle of 90 deg., and, when working from a side light, it will very
often be necessary to darken the lower part of the window to accomplish
The mahl stick is held in the left hand, and is used as a rest for the
right arm in working. Though a trifle awkward and difficult at first,
its use must, nevertheless, be learned, as the hand will not be steady
without it, especially in portrait work.
The square black Conte crayons are for filling in where there are large
dark places. The No. 1 is used with the black Conte crayon sauce in
making the crayon sauce (to be applied with the ends of the fingers) to
produce a broad effect and to make the stipple effect on the paper
after it has been rubbed with pumice stone.
The crayon points, Nos. 1, 2 and 3, are used in making outlines and
also in putting in the lines to produce the line effect. In general,
they are to be used in free-hand crayons and on silver and platinum
The Hardmuth black chalk points are similar to the crayon points, and,
if preferred, should be used according to the directions given for the
The Hardmuth points are made in five numbers and will, therefore,
produce more shades of black than the crayon points. They are also
twice as long as the latter, without costing any more.
The Conte crayons, in wood, are used for finishing the crayon,
especially the No. 0, its hardness adapting it to that purpose.
The 6 B. Faber's holder, for lead pencil points, is for holding the
Faber's Conte crayon No. 0 after it has become short, the wood being
carefully removed before the crayon is placed in the holder.
The 4 H. holder, with Siberian lead pencil point, is used in the very
finest work on bromide paper, for finishing in the light places. Care
must be employed not to use too much lead on the paper, as, being of a
different color from the crayon, it would show if too freely applied.
It is also used in making monochromes.
Velour crayon is very black. It is only used to produce a velvet effect
and whenever it is necessary to make a very strong dark--that is, a
dark that is deeper than an ordinary shadow.
The Peerless crayon sauce is the same as the crayon sauce made from No.
1 Conte crayon and the black Conte crayon sauce in foil. It is made and
put up in bottles by F. W. Devoe & Co., and can be bought of any dealer
in artist's materials. It will be found more convenient to get it in
this form than to prepare it in the studio; it costs no more and saves
the expense of a mortar and pestle. As it is ground by machinery and
passed through a very fine screen, there are no small hard particles in
the preparation, and its use is recommended.
Black Conte crayon sauce, in foil, is used in making the crayon sauce
to be applied with the fingers.
White crayon, in wood, is for touching up the high lights of white
drapery, and especially for the high lights on white lace; it is to be
used very sparingly.
Tortillon stumps are used in making the face, when it is desired to
produce the stump effect, and also in making the hair.
The large grey paper stump serves to make the broad effect of shade in
the stump effect in the hair and dress.
The Peerless stump is used to produce the same effect as the large grey
paper stump. It will be found far better than the paper stump for work
on the bromide paper, as it is made of softer material and causes the
crayon to adhere to the paper more readily.
The large rubber eraser is to put in the broad effects of light in the
background and dress. The small nigrivorine erasers are used when it is
necessary to remove the crayon, in order to produce small decided
lights--principally in making free-hand crayons and to produce the line
effects over a platinum and silver enlargement. While the stumps are
used for putting on the crayon, the erasers are used to remove it. The
chamois is also used for removing the crayon, to produce broad effects
The cotton is for applying the crayon sauce to the paper and for
rubbing the crayon at different stages in the completion of the
picture. The crayon cannot be removed with the eraser unless it has
first been rubbed with the cotton; and this must be borne in mind, as
the use of the eraser at this stage would only result in making a black
line or spot, when it was intended to produce a white line or spot.
It will also be well to make a chamois block for applying the crayon
sauce, to be worked with the tortillon stump. This is done by tacking
onto a block, four inches long, two inches wide and three-quarters of
an inch thick, a piece of chamois skin, three inches wide by five
inches long, allowing it to cover the top, while it is fastened along
the four edges. This is placed face down in the box of crayon sauce and
rubbed around in it, so that the crayon will adhere thoroughly to the
Emery paper is used to sharpen the nigrivorine erasers and the crayon
The knife, which is a very important tool, should be a good one, always
kept well sharpened. The best for this work is an ink eraser, with a
rounding point, a long edge on one side of the blade and a short one on
the other side, extending about an inch from the point.
The mortar and pestle are for pounding or grinding the Conte crayon No.
1 and the crayon sauce, in making the special crayon sauce mentioned
The paste-board box is intended to hold this special crayon sauce or
the Peerless sauce.
The back-boards are one inch thick, made to fit the back of the
strainer (described in the next chapter), and are used in mounting. It
will be necessary to have three different sizes, the most useful being
11x15, 15x19 and 19x24 inches, to fit, respectively, strainers
measuring 16x20, 20x24, 24x29 and 25x30 inches.
The pliers should be either what is known as shoe-maker's pliers (which
are the cheapest) or the canvas pliers, used in stretching that
material; they are needed to stretch the cloth on the strainer.
The pulverized pumice stone is used in preparing the surface of crayon
paper and bromide enlargements, to produce the stipple effect.
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