Saturday, August 23, 2008

ode to caran d'ache crayons

caught up in an Art Storm, i've gotten my caran d'ache neocolor II crayons out again. it would not be an overstatement to say that these are my 'beloved' crayons.

the sun was shining on them this morning as i had them in my lap, so i snapped some pics. they've been from east coast to west and back, and many places inbetween. i left the pics large so you can click on them to see evidence of their useful lives...

greens, blues, and purples in the caran d'ache tin that holds 30 colors...

reds, oranges, yellows, and metallics in a wooden box that was originally a traveling ACEO kit, made by lisa luree -- how could i resist this box and the tiny mechanical pencil that came with it?

browns, ochres, umber, and miscellaneous neutrals -- i got to know ochre and umber through these crayons. this box held tubes of oil paint at one time, and was given to me by a beautiful soul who worked at belltower art in port townsend, WA.

the page on the right is the first page i painted where i realized the wonderful effect they have when used directly on matte gel medium -- just dip the crayon in water and paint to your heart's content. (is this painting or drawing? i don't know...) the pic at the top of the post shows the crayons at work this morning on acrylic paint and matte gel medium...

thank you, lisa for turning me on to these wonderful crayons!


  1. Hi Lynne - these are beautiful photographs and i will definately try my crayons on gel medium. I only have a few colours - but yours look so sumptuous in their special boxes I might have to get some more! I like drawing with them on wet paper and watching the line spread out. Can't wait to see your finished painting - from what i can see it looks gorgeous.

  2. Oh how i also love these crayons!
    I think i might have to dust them off and creat in the morning! I'll post a photo of my creation tomorrow evening.
    Ohhhhh so lovely.....

  3. Lynne, these images are artwoks in themselves!!! I just love them.
    I love how you have talked about thier boxes too!
    What a heartwarming post this is. I have never used these crayons, I love their effect. Your paintings/drawings? are sensational!

  4. kate, that's what got me hooked on them in the first place-- drawing with them on wet paper and watching them spread out. AND, dipping them in water before drawing on dry paper. they can do some serious spreading out that way too if you use enough water (not hard, huh?)

    and thank you about the photos... i was surprised at how well they turned out. i just sat in my chair and snapped!

    hey lisa! i'll be checking!!

    jo, yes, well i know you'll agree that the boxes are as important as the crayons themselves... i love how they (the boxes) have dabs of color all over them from the crayons. this kind of thing makes me very happy. : )

  5. Delicious photographs!Gorgeous art! Inspiring post! I've looked for caran d'ache crayons here over the years but alas nobody knows what I'm talking about.

  6. The magic has even got into your crayon boxes, how did that happen?
    Your artwork really does sing and I love the way you say things "make your eyes smile"!More please.xx

  7. good morning Lynne - love your crayons but how do you keep them so pointy? I used these years ago for all the same reasons people have mentioned the bleeding on paper after wet...but mine ended up all brokey and stubby and stashed in jeans pockets and in every part of my workspace...I had a beautiful box also, but alas, I think I made something out of it and left my crayons

  8. hi robyn, does dick blick (in my sidebar if you click on 'caran d'ache crayons') ship to south africa? i've only seen them a few places here-- most people haven't heard of them. there are mANY new colors now, but i haven't found anyone who sells them.

    lol, annette, the crayons came with magic! i will be over at your place soon commenting on your art projects. they are truly full of magic.

    jeane, i sharpened them in my trusty little crayon sharpener. my favorite thing is to dip them in water and draw with them, so they get stubby fast. then i make them pointy again. i like to lay the pointy end on its side and smear away.

    homeless crayons? get them some kind of box!! ; )

    thank you, cynjon!

  9. I love these crayons, too, but your photos make them even better. Have you used the neocolor l metallics? They are fantastic as well.

  10. hey seth! i need to get those neocolor I metallics out and mess with them... they're so gorgeous but i always forget about them. thank you for reminding me!!

  11. Wonderful post lynne. You really captured the fondness you have for your caran d'ache crayons and their boxes too! So lovingly used. I have been trying to find neocolor watersoluble oil pastel crayons. Is there such an animal? In the art supply store that I frequent, they have neocolor watersoluble crayons. Are those what you use or do you use oil pastel crayons. Very confusing!

  12. Hi Lynne

    I have been using Caran D'Ache Neocolor 1 and have just ordered some Neocolor 11- do you know whether these can be used together with the Neopastels - or is that like mis=xing oil with water?? - I love your work....

  13. hey nettie, i'll answer this here and then pop over to your blog and leave you a message there as well...

    i use the neocolor II crayons with the neopastels - the neopastels are just like regular oil pastels, so they're not water soluble, but you can use them together. i will often use the neocolor II's without water like oil pastels - rub them on and use a blending stump to blend them in. i find these two to be very compatible.

    i haven't used the neocolor I crayons a lot so i can't say much about them. they seem *really* waxy to me...

    did this help at all?!


  14. Thanks Lynne very helpful I have an opportunity to buy 96 very cheaply on Australian eBay but haven't used before
    Have used neocolor 1 love the waxy effect a bit like using chinagraph with a translucency have used on canvas primed with black gesso and intending to experiment more with these crayons and pastels....

  15. nettie, i think you'll be *very* happy if you buy them. they useful in so many ways... xoxo


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