Monday, October 5, 2020

Inspire Me Monday - Water Soluble Crayons


Hello, colorists! Welcome to October! I know for some of you autumn is in full swing! For me, it is still summer-time weather! It is hard to be creative when it's 90+ degrees outside! I am so thankful that we have solar panels and air conditioning! To help put me into the pumpkin spice spirit, I not only colored up this sweet scene from the Boo Cat and Pumpkins digital stamp set, I used a new (to me) coloring supply!

Raise your hand if you have some water soluble crayons in your stash? They go by several names: crayons, pastels, color sticks, aquacolors, aquarelles, and so forth. I confess that I have a few of the Faber-Castell Gelatos brand in my stash, but I have been less than happy with them or with the colors I have on hand. All the uses I have seen for this product are really not in my area of preferred techniques! However...

I recently noticed a number of the folks in my adult coloring groups using a different brand of water-soluble crayons for backgrounds in their coloring books. I decided...yes, I need that art supply! Who wouldn't need to add a new version of a supply they already have but don't really care for?! Well, me, of course!

I ended up buying this set of crayons from a Swiss company called Caran D'Ache. (They make other coloring supplies, too.) The Neocolor II are water-soluble crayons (pastels) that come in sets of 10, 15, 30, 40, and 84. The price point is quite high (the 30 set was just over $42 on Amazon), hence the reason I only got the 30 count set!


I thought the set of 30 colors was enough to give them a try and see if I liked them. There is a good mix of colors in each color family, too. Each crayon is about the size of a standard wax crayon, and they can be purchased singly to replace your favorite colors or add to your color selection.

Now, on to the project and little tutorial on how to use these pretty colors!

I printed my project onto mixed media paper, but I wish the watercolor paper in my stash would have fit through my printer! However, I was happy that my Epson inkjet printer ink did not bleed when wet! A wonderful plus!

You DO need a paper that can stand up to water! The mixed media paper did fine, but I did get to a point where I was afraid to add more water to the project for fear of the paper "pilling up."

I chose a few colors for the larger pumpkin and a few for the stem.

I colored directly onto the paper with the crayons, shading just like I would with colored pencils or alcohol markers. I colored with a LIGHT HAND, just adding enough color, as shown in the first image above.

Then, I added water with a water brush! I was careful to wash the lighter color into the dark to keep the highlights, just like I would with regular watercolors. The result was the most amazing watercolored image! But it was so much easier for someone like me who struggles with water coloring techniques!

If you wish to add a touch more color, you can touch the water brush to the tip (or the end) of the crayon to lift more color. (Note, you can use either a fillable water brush or a standard paintbrush dipped in water.)

When it came time to color the items in the vase, the crayons were just too thick to color into the tiny spaces. I simply scribbled onto a rough surface and picked up the color with the water brush. (I could not find my palette with a rough surface, so I used this scoring tool from my scoreboard! The excess crayon wiped off with a baby wipe!)

I also switched to a detail water brush for the tiny areas.

When the paper is completely dry, you can also add regular wax-based colored pencil to any areas you need to touch up! Once the crayons are dry, they are the same as layers of colored pencil.

I really had fun with these crayons! So much so that the large, 84 set is on my Christmas list!

Thanks for looking! I hope you will give some water-soluble crayons a try and let me know how you enjoyed using them!


cghundley said...

Came out very
pretty and glad
they worked out
for you!
Carla from Utah

Bonnie said...

I haven't had good luck with watercolor crayons, but you have inspired me to try them again. Now to find them!

CherylQuilts said...

Wow, Gloria, what a beautiful card using the watercolor crayons. I still have an old set of Stampin' Up crayons and will have to give them another look one of these days. I love how you show use the steps you've used. Beautifully done and inspiring, sweet friend! Hugs!