Thursday, September 8, 2016

Second Thursday Tutorial: Who can resist crayons?


It's the second Thursday of the month and time for my monthly tutorial.  It's also back to school time at Art Journal Journey, and what screams "back to school" more than crayons.

So today let's get all those crayons out and find some useful ways to use them in our mixed media art, altered books, or art journals.

As I was cleaning water logged (from my recent flood) containers in the basement, I pulled out box after box of crayons, mostly Crayola brand.  The boxes were all wet, but the crayons weren't damaged.  I threw all the soggy paper boxes away and was left with all these crayons.  It may not look like it, but there are well over 200 never-before-used crayons in that makeshift container.

Like most of my second Thursday tutorials, I had a vague idea what I wanted to achieve, but no real plan.  So I grabbed some watercolor paper.

Size, finish, and weight are shown on the cover.  I didn't even have to convert anything!

Although the paper was 9 X 12 inches, I cut it down to 8.5 X 11 inches (21,59 X 27,94 centimeters).  I was gifted with this home made foam stamp, and thought it would be perfect for what I hoped to accomplish.

I used Staz-on as my ink of choice because it is waterproof.  Now lots of people would be able to draw something like this, but I have trouble just getting the stamp to work, so I was lucky these came out as legible as they did.

Some crayons shed their protective wraps better and quicker than others.  Even the ones that got very wet and disgusting looking often refused to give up their wrap if they were Crayola brand.  I finally got all the wraps off and was ready to light a fire under my ideas.

Not as good as I expected or hoped, but I was satisfied with how the swirls turned out.  That is, until I spilled wet wax on the watercolor paper when I put the fire out and started to move the tea light candle.

Next I decided to go for a bit of texture.

The texture was underneath the paper, but the lines were so minuscule,

the texture wasn't apparent.

I decided to show these colors with their wraps still intact or partially intact.  It's amazing what dirty water does to paper, even paper that sticks like this wrapper did.

The colors were acceptable on the swirls, though.  It was obvious I was using cold press paper, because of the bumps and texture already in the paper.

It was time to switch gears and create a bit of resist.

Instead of spritzing the handmade shimmering mist on the page, I decided to paint it on around the swirls.  I'm not sure how much resistance I have created, but it was fun seeing how the mica infused mist backed away from the crayons.

This was gifted me, so I decided to use it as a rubbing instrument.  If you have die cutting machines and embossing folders, the embossing folders would work great.  In lieu of that, anything that has high and low spots can be used as a rubbing.

Some colors, mostly dark, work better than others.

Spritzing shimmering mist adds a different dimension, as well as a nice resist to the tag.

I make no secret of the fact I can't draw.  But I tried to draw this apple in crayon.  To make sure the viewer would recognize that it was an apple, I drew an A in the center using the Sgraffito technique, where I scratched the letter in the crayon using the sharp end of my paint brush.

The longer I melted the crayon wax, the more the A disappeared.  If using the Sgraffito technique, melting wax is probably not the best way to go.

Now it was time to put all these projects together to see if I had actually created something mixed media out of a product most children prefer.


At this point, I have yet to glue the pieces in place, but couldn't help adding a bit of humor to the mix.  After all, I used a lot of heat to create this piece.

Of course, it looks much different on my scanner.  After I began laying everything in place, I saw this old postage stamp that looked like the lines had been drawn through.  I remember the first time I saw this woman I thought she looked like a spinster teacher I had in high school.  What a difference between the one who is hot and the one who is not.


It was fun creating my Second Thursday Tutorial this month, even though many of the projects I worked on didn't turn out as I expected.  Instead, I got a great page for Art Journal Journey, honored teachers, and used instruments usually preferred by children.  

Thanks for joining Bleubeard and me for this tutorial.  As soon as it goes live, I will add it to my tutorials page under "Who can resist crayons?"

And please visit Art Journal Journey where the prompt this month is Back to School.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

that's a lot of crayons! not sure I fully understand why you took the wrappers off.. I always leave mine and tear them down as the crayon wears away, that way you don't get messy fingers! Like your AJJ finished piece though

chrissie said...

Great way to use the crayons and the page is so beautiful

Love Chrissie xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Great tutorial, and a good way to use those crayons. My daughter loved them when she was small, she couldn't wait for school and scribbled with them on all the walls and doors! Thanks for another great project for AJJ, have a nice day. I will soon be leaving for the airport to collect my guest! Would be great if you were there, too! Hugs, Valerie

Sami said...

Lovely use for the crayons Elizabeth. With so many crayons you could always glue them to canvas and melt them with a hairdryer for some crayon art.

My name is Erika. said...

Oh those crayons look so luscious. How fun! I think it looks like you had a lot of fun playing, and I think your piece came out excellent. I think crayons are the best, and I guess it was good you found all these various boxes and could put them together and get a bit organized. And the colors. It was always a treat to get one of those big boxes for Christmas or my birthday or something special growing up. And, yup, in response to your comment about my picture page, it was just like that for us in high school too. It is pretty much the same now, but everyone gets photos. Seniors go find someone to do their yearbook senior photos, but they still need ID at school. Happy Thursday. Hugs-Erika

Rike said...

I liked crayons very much at school and also now - and you use it in an interesting way! I like the picture you have created with them, and with the other things it becomes a wonderful piece!

Divers and Sundry said...

Crayons are such a fun, low stress tool. I don't worry about how good it'll look when I'm using crayons, just how good it feels to play :)

Krisha said...

The child in me refuses to give up Crayons......I've even hoarded my anniversary collection crayons and won't let anybody use them!

I don't think I could even begin to name the ways I have use Crayons, but melting them is my favorite.......and the GDs love it too!!

I wish your texture would have shown through....bummer! But you page turned out great......Love the comparison of the two teachers...made me giggle!

Meggymay said...

Wow, that's a huge box of crayons and what an inventive way to use them by melting the wax. Its a fantastic tutorial. I really like how you have assembled your journal page and it did make me smile.
Yvonne xx

Jeanie said...

You know, I forget to play with my crayons with so many other tools. So thanks for the tutorial. Some wonderful ideas here and all so well explained. I need to get out of my box and give some of them a try.

On another note, thanks for your nice comments on the MV posts. You would have loved the alpaca farm! So sweet!

Sandra Cox said...

I love crayons, especially the brand new, unused ones!
The piece is great and you're right about the stamp. She does look like a teacher;)

Jeannette said...

oh you have so many crayons,i have too many crayons and work with them so loved.
your page is fantastic and the idea is great,love so much.
have a great weekend.

hugs jenny

Rita said...

I've wanted to try melted crayons in an art project. Looks like you had a lot of fun with this. :)

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Marvelous fun with your crayon project. I still love my crayons and often use them on mixed media pieces. They give a nice waxy finish that I like. xox

pearshapedcrafting said...

I loved reading this and seeing how you used the wax crayons. I used to use them quite a lot for resist at one time when I was teaching but now I will be having a go some time time soon in my journal! I love your page! Chrisx