Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels

This week I have been experimenting with a new medium, and I think I have a new favourite! In my handbag, I carry a travel watercolour set and some oil pastels. I am not overly comfortable with watercolours, but do find the results really pleasing when I do get it right, and the ability to layer can be really useful. It is als easier to work with ink pen over the top which is a technique I enjoy. I like the strong likes acheivable with oil pastels and the intensity of colour, but find they can be quite messy and difficult to blend when away from home. At home they are great used with Zest-it, but I the results can still be quite thick and unwieldy.

I therefore decided to buy a small box of Neocolor II watersoluble crayons. I have discovered that they can be used on wet or dry, used as a watercolour wash and make really good monoprints.

I ook this photo of an aquilegia flower at our allotment, and tried a few sketches based on it. I tried drawing on wet  and dry, and applying brushed water over the top of dry marks.


In this sketch, the yellow flower outline was drawn in oil pastel, then the blue watersoluble crayon drawn on top. Water was washed over the top, and when wet the orange and yellow marks added with watersoluble crayon.

I wanted to explore the crayon used for monoprinting, and by applying a wet page to the dry drawing, a really faithful mirror image can be produced, leaving the original fairly intact. I moved this on by applying the technique to a folded page. In this sketch, the original is on the left, the right was washed with water and folded over. Extra lines were then drawn over the wet paper on both sides.

For this sketch, I used a card stencil which I drew over with the crayon before applying to the page (ie covering the uncut areas). I then applied the stencil to the page and brushed water from the stencil to the open areas. The resulting stencilled image was quite soft, with a strong line marking where the edge of the stencil was. For me it looked similar to an aquatint etching. I then drew into the wet page, rewet, blotted with kitchen paper and redrew in sequence until I was satisfied. I worked this sketch a few times to get the shape right. The final sketch is being gifted to a friend as a greeting card, but I have several similar sketches as a result.The green marks are reflecting the flight path of a swallow.

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