California Love- State Crayon Art

California Love – State Crayon art

In light of yesterday’s events, I was inspired to create a piece that celebrates our progress as a country. Californians (among other states) now have the right to marry no matter their sexual preference. As some of you may know, I’ve been playing around with crayon art and decided to merge these two ideas together. I hope you enjoy!

What You’ll Need:

~ 1 canvas that will fit your state. California is long, so I used a rectangular canvas.

~ 1 box of crayons

~ Exacto knife

~ 1 inch masking tape

~ 3 inch painting tape

~ Kinkos and/or a copy machine

~ Printer

~ Scissors

~ Pencil with an eraser

~ Ruler

~ Large piece of paper / cardboard to cover your workspace

How To Make:

Note ~ If you want the heart in the middle, read step 11 before you start.

1~ Choose a canvas size of your desire and be sure to select a shape that will fit your state. California is a longer state, so I bought a rectangular canvas (24×30).  Some states are more square and would be more appropriate on a canvas with square dimensions.

2~ Google your state and find an image that has a nice outline.

3~ Print out a picture of your state.

4~ Take your state image to Kinkos and ask them to enlarge it so that it will comfortably fill your canvas. It cost me about $4.00 and took about five minutes.

5~ Go home and cut out your state. Make sure to include all the ridges and bumps that make your state unique.

6~  Once you have a piece of paper in the shape of your state, place it on your canvas and arrange it so it looks nice and centered.

7~ Tape it in place with as little tape as possible, and then lightly trace it with a pencil. You want to be able to see it, but you don’t want it to show through your crayon painting.

8~ Once you’ve completely traced your state, grab your one inch masking tape and exacto knife. Place a small piece of tape just along the outline of your state. Take your exacto knife and VERY LIGHTLY trace along the outline of your state. Remove the extra tape within your state border. Go one piece of tape at a time, each time trimming your border. Do this around the entire outline.

9~ Now, take your 3 inch painting tape and cover the entire canvas except for your state. This will protect your canvas from splatter, so you have a nice white border. 🙂

10~ This step is optional,but I suggest doing it. Take your 1 inch masking tape, and place pieces on top of the 3 inch painters tape that borders your state. In my experience the painters tape is not very good at adhering when heat and wind are thrown into the mix. I add an extra protective layer of masking tape  just around the border to seal it nice and tight  to ensure that splatter doesn’t get through

11~ If you want the heart then read this, if not continue on. Hop back on the computer and find an image of a heart. Make sure it has a nice full shape. Before you print it, look at your canvas and make a visual measurement of how big you want your heart to be. Print the image. You can adjust how big it is on your page setup.

Cut the heart out and arrange it on the canvas in the location you think looks best. Now you will trace the outline of the heart and remove the piece of paper from the canvas. Take your 1 inch masking tape and cover the entire heart outline. Take your “hand dandy” exacto knife and lightly trace the outline of the heart. Now, gently remove all of the tape on the outside of the heart.

12~ If your doing the ROYGBV, take a measuring stick, and measure the length (or width) of your state from top to bottom. Divide that number by 6. You will use the result as a signifier for when to transition to the next color. In my project, my measurement was 4.25 inches. So in my case, I would lightly mark every “4.25 inches ”. This will help make the painting look consistent and you will not have to rely on your naked eye..

13~ Take out your box of crayons and pick out your colors. I chose them in order, so I grabbed all the red and pink tones, then I grabbed all the orange tones and so on. Once you’ve picked out all of your colors, take your exacto knife and shell all of the paper covers.  If you haven’t already, place a large piece of paper or cardboard over your workspace. You don’t want to clean up crayon splatter 😉

14~ Ok! Now its time to start melting. I started with the red end, but you can star on either end.Heat your crayon away from the canvas by blowing hot air across it until it’s nice and melty. If you heat your crayon too close to the canvas, you can melt your painting.

Apply the melted crayon to the canvas by rolling it between your fingers while touching the canvas… All while continuing to apply heat with the blowdryer. (The melted portion of the crayon should literally be rolled onto the canvas) The wax will roll right off of the crayon and onto the canvas. If you want to deepen the color continue to do this until you reach your desired saturation.

Note ~ Always keep your heat on Hot, but change the speeds (High, Low) to spread the wax in different ways. Low is useful to apply more wax and build texture, and high is best used for spreading the color or thinning. Also, you can use the “cool” or “cold” setting on your blow dryer, It will cool the wax instantly and it really helps with control.

I start with a darker shade as my base. Be sure to lather a large amount of crayon on there, and move it with the heat of your hair dryer. Then I add a lighter shade and do the same thing. This will give it a bit of a watercolor look. Once you start to play, you’ll get a feel for what works best for your design.

15~ When you start to move to orange, try and use burnt orange and scarlet colors for a cool transition. Do the same thing when transitioning into all colors. Be mindful of your transition markings.

16~ Once you’re done with your crayon painting take your exacto knife and lightly trace along the tape outline. This will prevent your edges from chipping when you remove the tape.

17~ Starting from the outside edges, carefully remove the tape. There may be some crayon crumbles as you remove the tape. Blow it off, don’t brush it off!

Note ~ Use your exacto knife to help lift stubborn tape edges. This will help with removing the tape heart.

18~ Once all the tape is removed, it’s ready to hang!

Hope you enjoy this project as much as I do!

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