working with water soluble crayons

Feb 20, 2012

A few weekends ago, I picked up a set of water soluble crayons at an estate sale for $1.  They are the Neocolor II crayons from Caran d'Ache.  I've been a fan of Caran d'Ache's oil pastels for over 20 years now, so I was curious to see how the aquarelle crayons compared. 

When applied dry, the crayons act a lot like wax crayons, except they are denser and richer in color.  The magic happens when you add water.  Just look at the vibrancy and easy blending of color when a wet brush is applied! 

The Neocolor II crayons work beautifully on canvas panel, and I've used them on wood panel, too.  Here is a work in progress.  I used the water soluble crayons for the yellow moon.  I like that I can layer other mediums on top, which is a little trickier to do with oil pastels. 

I keep my crayons sorted in a metal slide storage box that I found at the estate sale.  I already added some new colors to my collection. 

Aquarelle crayons are a wonderful material for kids, too.  My daughter used them to make her valentine's card design. 


Kerry said...

Interesting. How do you find them as far as the ability to control the colour? Do you think they're better for less precise sweeping backgrounds or abstract work?

Laura C said...

Hi, Cathy. I enjoy your art so much. A question came up in an article about Pinterest that questioned whether one should pin original works of art to one's Pinterest boards. I pinned one of your works and I did state that it was done by you. If this is not okay, let me know, and I will remove the pin. I respect your status as an artist and want to honor it correctly.

Cathy said...


I do use the crayons for just background work. I tend to use acrylic ink and a fine brush for details. However, I recently purchased a few water soluble colored pencils (Caran d'Ache Supracolor) that I have yet to try out.


I'm happy to hear that you enjoy my art : ) As long as my work is credited on Pinterest, I am totally fine with you pinning my art. I really appreciate you asking.

susanna said...

I had not heard of those crayons before. It's interesting to see how they work and to read your review of them. It's always good to learn of a new art medium! Thank you.

Susan said...

Oh I have those crayons too, somewere bought them one for a sketchexcursion to Český Krumlov but never used them. At least not there. I found they didn't give me enough detail, never thought of using them to make backgrounds.. I'm gona dig in my artstuff some time soon and try them out again.

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