Conté crayons are a classic dry sketching and drawing medium made by the Conté company, which was established by Nicolas-Jacques Conté in 1795. The crayons are smooth, dry square sticks similar to soft pastels but slightly harder. The pigments are finely ground and mixed with a binder.
The traditional colours of Black, White, Sanguine, Bistre and Grey are made from carbon, chalk, iron oxide, soot from beech wood, and sepia. Conté also has a range of 48 vibrant colours.