View Full Version : Experiment with neocolor II's and pumice gel xpost

10-30-2015, 05:33 PM
This is cross posted to the watermedia subforum.

So last night I decided that I wanted to see what would happen if I used my neoII's with some golden fine pumice gel to create more layers and texture. I learned quite a lot in the process that I thought others might find useful. I had a 14"x18" sheet of watercolor paper that I couldn't identify that I used as the support. I think it was Arches 160lb cold-press but who knows. I didn't set out to make anything in particular, I really just wanted to see what would happen when I put acrylic gel on top of neoII's and this is how it went.

This is the pumice gel as it sat drying on top of the neoII's.

I started off by drawing in a bunch of big general shapes of color but didn't add any water to them because I wanted to see how much the pumice gel would turn the crayon liquid by itself. The answer as it turns out depends quite a lot on how much of the neoII you already have on your paper and how much you work it around into the pigment. I had less crayon in lots of places around the edge of the paper and it basically never washed out leaving spots of ugly off-white paper behind while in other places the crayon became liquid with only a little work.

I used a palette knife to apply the gel straight out of its container without mixing it with any other colors and moved it around with big vigorous motions at first. That mixed up a lot of different colors and became a muddy mess pretty quickly so I ended up applying much smaller dabs of the gel, less than a tablespoon at a time, and mixing it into specific areas until the whole surface was covered and I let it dry. I didn't really like how the colors or composition looked at this stage at all but I really liked the texture of the gel from the knife so I decided to keep playing with it.


I added more neoII in spots all over the page in search of a more interesting composition and then used water and a brush to paint out most of the new shapes and get the pigment into the tooth of the gel.


I thought that there was some inherent movement in the relationships between the colors at this point so again I drew over the top of the previous layers utilizing a lighter touch so that the bottom layers continued to show through seeking to emphasize that movement while using the texture I had created in the gel. I like how it turned out and I will definitely be doing more experiments like it in the future!

I hope you enjoyed :)

10-31-2015, 10:48 AM
Matt- this kind of experimentation and sharing is exactly what this Forum is about. So glad to see new (to us) talent showing up!

I do not work in the mediums you discuss, so I have no experience with the products, so I just enjoyed the way this experiment evolved.

thanks for sharing this with us
or as they say 'round here:



10-31-2015, 11:03 AM
Very cool. I like it. I am not familiar with the products, either. What is NeoII, a kind of crayon?

10-31-2015, 11:15 PM
Thank you David and Greggo, I'm glad you liked it! I'm excited to post some work here for the first time; it was seeing the art people were doing here that really encouraged me to start doing more abstract experiments like this and it has been very freeing personally.

These (http://www.dickblick.com/products/caran-dache-neocolor-ii-artists-crayons/) are the crayons I used and they are pretty cool. They have strong, lightfast pigments with a water-soluble wax binder which makes them super versatile. I take 15-20 of them with me everywhere I go along with a paintbrush, bottle of water, and a sketchbook with mixed-media paper so that I can always get in some painting even if I'm doing errands or whatever.

And this (http://www.dickblick.com/items/00628-1025/) is the gel I used which is acrylic medium with ground pumice that when dry provides a transparent surface like really fine grit sandpaper that really grips pencils, pastels, etc. I usually use it to produce supports for soft pastel that have extra texture in places like folliage. Lately though I've been trying to think outside the box with what I can do with it. Right now I've got a layer drying on a small glass jar and we're gonna see if that's interesting to draw on.

10-31-2015, 11:44 PM
Thank you for the explanation and links. I keep a set of crayons in my briefcase. Maybe it is time to upgrade to the Neocolor II' s.

11-01-2015, 12:06 AM
You're very welcome!

I can't recommend them enough, especially if you can grab a handful from open stock. I didn't really like the colors in the sets personally but the store down the street from me was selling them for a couple of bucks per so it was easy to grab exactly what appealed to me without sinking a bunch of money in to them. They last forever too; I've had the same 20ish in daily use for months now and the most used sticks are only maybe 1/3 of the way through.