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I’ve been curious about Russian sauce and its use in drawing. I see that some artists enjoy applying washes of this medium on their drawings. Is there any advantage of Russian Sauce when compared to washes made with powdered soft pastels or watercolour? And what’s the best brand of Russian Sauce? I only seem to find Yarka and no info about lightfastness? Thank you
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Russian Sauce is similar to conté crayons although many artists who use genuine Russian sauce swear it is superior and believe it to be one of the best drawing tools available.
The ingredients are based on a traditional recipe that was secretly held by the former Soviet artists materials company, Черная река (Black River). After Perestroika the company was split into several private commercial firms. Some of the managers of Черная река took the formula with them. One firm, Yarka, founded in 1993, makes sauce which is distributed by the U.S. company, Jack Richeson. Whether their sauce is based on the original formula, I do not know.
I do know one of the former managers of Черная река who has promised to show me how to make the original Sauce. Perhaps someday we will produce it in the U.S.