View Full Version : Water soluble crayons
08-15-1999, 03:05 PM
I saw some of these for the first time in a local supply store. The brand was "Neocolor". They are solid sticks, not pencils, look like regular wax crayons, and feel fairly slick, much like good old Crayolas http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif However, they claim to be water-soluble, which doesn't seem to mesh with the waxy / oily feel of the thing.
Does anyone have any experience with these? I assume they're meant to be used much like watercolor pencils, to convert some shading into wash or soften lines.
08-15-1999, 09:28 PM
I use these all the time. I have used them for over 14 yrs now.I relly like them .They are simular to pastels for me, because I use them mostly dry. However, they are not as forgiving as pastels. I like their unique way of blending. I have also used them wet. I think I am kind of different in this. I haven't heard of too many other artists who use them. I can also remember a tiem when pastels were not well received...Scott came to my studio one time and I think I even let him experiment with some. Do you know Scott Burkett?
08-22-1999, 04:36 PM
I haven't met Scott, no.
I picked up a trial set of the Neocolor II (water soluble) crayons to try them out, so here's my initial impression.
They have a fairly slick feel going onto paper, more like oil pastel than chalk ones. I never could really get into colored pencil, at least not the waxy Prismacolor sort, but I liked the Derwent watercolor pencils I tried better, as they seem to blend better, and you can take care of the graininess with water. (I like the ability to wash the background, and come back and get texture after the paper dries. It's like drybrushing, without having to be quite so good at it.) These crayons seem to go even further in that direction. They take care of the biggest problem I had with the pencils, which was getting a lot of color down onto the paper to avoid really weak, pale washes. They seem even more responsive to water, which has pros and cons; you'll need a deft touch and a merely damp brush to avoid mud or float a second layer. I liked to draw onto wet paper with the Derwent pencils, which makes nice bold strokes, though it does feel a little odd having the lead melt out from under you. The crayons in this application again show their extra solubility, just exploding out onto the paper. I'll probably have to learn to judge how much to let the paper dry to control it, but that's watermedia for you.
The labels were fairly unhelpful as to pigments. Neocolor is part of Caran D'Arche's "Classic" line, which seems to lie between their "Artist" and "Junior" lines, so it's hard to say how good the materials might be. I tried their website, but there's no information on lightfastness.
It always sort of bothers me when companies don't provide this sort of information. It makes it look like they're not serious about their product -- and if they're not, why should I be? Luckily, I don't have to worry about using them professionally, and can just have fun. And it does look like they'll be a pleasure to use.
09-09-1999, 10:12 PM
About their holding up_ I first started using them about 10 years ago..They seem to be holding up fine so far..My one concern is using them on illustration board,which is NOT acid free..I don't know how well they will hold up on that but I am going to try them soon on the same surface and I will try to gesso the surface first..I ran into someone else who uses them and she uses them in a collage manner with tissue paper..interesting..Open for other suggestions..
09-28-1999, 10:05 PM
Well, I've been recently informed and reminded by a well known art teacher that if it's worth doing.IT's worth doing right. HE has suggested using illustration board that is acid free. IT is more expensive but it will be worth the challenge to work on a much larger boundary. IT is 100% rag by Strathmore..
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