1- Find your color pallet: The very first thing you should do is find the colors you want to work with. I chose greens, blues and purples. You’re going to want to find multiple shades for a color to give the piece tonal depth. I recommend finding one or two dark shades, two to three midtones or bright shades, and one or two light shades for each color ( green, purple, blue). Also look for blending colors, for example a teal is part blue and green, and blue violet has tones of both blue and purple making them optimal for blending.
2- Shell your Crayons: This step is very easy. I use an exacto knife, but you can use any kind of knife. Hold or secure your crayon so it doesn’t roll away, and make a small incision down the paper jacket of the crayon. Now simply pull the jacket off and you have your bare crayon.
3- Apply Heat: Ok so this is where I think people are getting confused so pay attention. Take your hair dryer and heat your crayon away from the canvas. Roll the crayon between your fingers so it gets nice and melty all the way around. Once you see that the wax is wet, apply the tip of the crayon to the canvas and rolling it.continuing to apply heat. I roll the crayon in all different directions and blow the heat in different directions. This moves the wax around. Continue to apply more layers until you can see the wax layering and thickening up in certain areas. Use different tones to create dimension and contrast. This takes a while so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get what you want in the first ten minutes. This particular piece took me seven hours to finish, so be patient. I strongly suggest starting small with cheap canvas that way you don’t break the bank or your pride.
I’ve been ask a lot about doing this on other surfaces. I have never tried to do this on anything else but canvas but I think that you can get similar effects on porous surfaces like cardboard. If the surface is too slick, the wax will chip off when it hardens. It may stay for a period of time but you really run the risk of damaging your piece. Within the next few weeks I’ll experiment with different surfaces like sheet metal and plywood and write a post on it. If you happen to play around with those surfaces before I do, I would love to hear about your experience and see your work.
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