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CRAYON (Fr. craie, chalk, from Lat. creta), a coloured material for drawing, employed generally in the form of pencils, but sometimes also as a powder, and consisting of native earthy and stony friable substances, or of artificially prepared mixtures of a base of pipe or china clay with Prussian blue, orpiment, vermilion, umber and other pigments. Calcined gypsum, talc and compounds of magnesium, bismuth and lead are occasionally used as bases. The required shades of tints are obtained by adding varying amounts of colouring matter to equal quantities of the base. Crayons are used by the artist to make groupings of colours and to secure landscape and other effects with ease and rapidity. The outline as well as the rest of the picture is drawn in crayon. The colours are softened off and blended by the finger, with the assistance of a stump of leather or paper; and shading is produced by cross-hatching and stippling. The art of painting in crayon or pastel is supposed to have originated in Germany in the 17th century. By Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) it was carried to great perfection, and in France it was early practised with much success. Amongst the earlier pastellists may be mentioned Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), W. Hoare (1707-1792), F. Cotes (1726-1770), and J. Russell (1744-1806); and in recent years the art has been successfully revived. (See Pastel.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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