For a bit of variation, I searched through the different types of paper I have tucked away, came up with a sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes in a lovely shade of slate blue, and started in.
Cool Conte Bear
Conte pencil on paper
Artists will tell you that sometimes a piece will just seem to fall onto the paper effortlessly, and this was one of those glorious times. The Conte pencils had aged gracefully, were fabulous to work with, and didn't bury me in mountains of choking dust. But it was the paper that made the difference this time. The texture held the pastel nicely, and the best part was that I didn't feel like I was fighting the white of the previous papers. The blue was such a great compliment to the bear I didn't have to gob up the entire background just to cover it up.
Ahhh. Time to crack open a celebratory Diet Coke, laze on the back porch with the dogs, and watch the rain go by.