This year Color Your World Challenge was a definite challenge for me. It wasn’t easy. First it took me months – to figure out what I wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted to use the actual crayons in making the art. The image that started the crayon melting, so to speak, was this image of President Obama’s hands:
I was struck by the way he held them, calm and relaxed; but more than that, it was the color of his hands. A beautiful shade of sepia brown. After deciding on what I wanted to do, I spent many more months searching for 120 images that matched the crayon colors. All the time I was doing that I was contemplating how to melt the crayons and then, finally practicing it. After that I had to sketch all 120 images from the inspirations.
By the time I was ready to pour the melted crayons, it was mid-November and the challenge started January 1. The whole time-consuming process of melting crayons, pouring, letting the wax harden, remove it and repouring as necessary – then adding the outlines and finishing touches to photograph the images – by the time I got close to the end I was into mid-January still working on April’s images. And, I also had to make sure the Blogging A to Z challenge was ready to go!
I’m not complaining about anything – I put this pressure on myself – and I alone own it. And that’s okay because I’ve learned to be better organized, to force myself to make decisions sooner and to stay with the decisions I’ve made. I have a tendency to delay making final decisions and then change lanes mid-stream.
So next year, when I do it all over again – I’m hoping it will run more smoothly – it should – I’ve already begun the images for next year. So whether JNW’s Challenge goes forward or not, I will still post my work in 2018!
Here are my favorite images from April:
And my favorite 4 images of the whole series, starting with #4.
I’m pouring melted crayons!! This color is Atomic Tangerine or Atomic Orange. I did a quick pencil sketch of my subject, then colored using the crayon. This color doesn’t have much pigment so you can barely see the coloring. I outlined it in orange Sharpie. Did a quick pour and its under the fan to dry faster.
A new weapon/tool in my arsenal – a measuring spoon – perfect for small areas and easy to control. It’s a 1/4 tsp and metal so it can go in the oven for cleaning.
I can tell after this first pour no pigment will be left by pouring and removing the crayon. Time to get out the brushes!
Just to even things up I do another pour on the rest of the image. Is it a flower or something else??
Cool tools–brushes, measuring tsp, fork, knife.
Here I’ve used the large brush to apply the crayon. I can only do a few swipes before the crayon has to go back in the oven. It’s cold in my house so the crayon cools very quickly and becomes too thick to brush.
Detail of brush strokes.
For added texture I used the knife to scrape off some crayon.
I used a fork here to add texture to the center. So did you guess what the inspiration was. If you guessed flower, sorry, you were wrong!
Here is the inspiration – a mango tart!!!!
And my semi-finished product. I’ll be photographing the final image next week but you won’t see it until the challenge starts in about 2 weeks. Yikes!!! I only have 3 weeks of January finished – I’m way behind my schedule. Unfortunately I tend to live behind schedule!!
I started creating the melted crayon art this weekend. I’ll show you what I did then will tell you what I learned!
1. the inspirational picture, color: Sunset Orange
2. rough pencil sketch
3. basic coloring in of sketch with the crayon
Then comes the melting!
4. First pour – I really liked the wax on the page like this. Too bad it won’t stay. If I were pouring on a harder surface (than white cardstock) I could lift it off in once piece once it totally cooled and then adhere with a strong adhesive. Nope! Too many colors to do and not enough time!
5. After the crayon wax has been removed. With some pours no pigment remains, just wax. Other pours the pigment is left behind. I haven’t figured out why yet but it makes for time-consuming double and triple pours.
6. melted crayon everywhere!!
7. its on the carpet, too.
8. color: melon – over spill from pour and speckles from sunset orange accident.
- melting crayons is smelly work; keep fan on and window open; if you heat too fast and too long it smokes
- melted wax crayon doesn’t go where you want it to when you pour; use a guide or straight-edge!
- don’t move picture (if working on multiple colors at the same time) until the just poured wax has skinned over – use fan for quick cooling (see #6-8)
- this is very MESSY!
- keep cats away!
To Do List:
- figure out wax/pigment residue problem
- try to do one color a night to speed up process
I’ll keep you posted on my progress!!!
Whatever could this be??
It’s the first 45 washed and drying cans for the potentially 120+ I will need for my melted crayon art project!! I’ve already got two cuts on my fingers from the cans – it’s a good thing my tetanus shot is up-to-date! I really need the “Ove-Glove!”
I am in the prepping stage of the project. I’ve found all my colors; solidified my vision and process; and am now finishing the prep work. I post later this week about the prep work I’m doing. This weekend my plan is do the first 5 colors; but we’ll see how it goes. I hoped to have all 120 finished before the challenge started January 1st but as it is almost December, I doubt I’ll fulfill that plan. So Plan B is to stay at least one month ahead, preferably 2 months as I’ve got the A to Z challenge in April to prep for as well!!!
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Yesterday I showed the results of my melting crayons and what my general plan for the 120 Days of Color/Crayola challenge coming up in January 2017. Today, I have some cool art accidents with marbleized crayons!
red, yellow and blue crayons mixed
Marble over solid red. I’m liking this effect a lot!
This one is really cool with the orange and green mixed in – I didn’t stir the crayons together – they just mixed themselves as I poured.
But now with the wax removed – the colors are amazing!
I learned to be extra careful when removing crayon – it can get rather messy. Cool, but messy.
Yep, I really like this.
This is that same puddle of orange and green from above – so cool!!! I can see having fun with marbling crayons in my future!!!!
Color your World – 120 Days of Crayola 2017 (year 2)
Yesterday I told you how I came up with the decision to use a toaster oven to melt the crayons. Today I’ll show you some of the results. I’ll tell you now I’m not super happy with the end product but that means I just have more practice to do before I actually start the art itself.
This is the first thing I tried – just little drops of red wax on the paper.
This is the first mock-up of what my plan is – which is to take a photo (or collage of photos – magazine photos), match it with the same color crayon and go from there. In this case I had a black and white photo and poured red and then purple crayon around it. There’s also a puddle of marbleized crayon that I’ll show close up tomorrow.
This is the second mock-up with the crayon matching the main color in the picture – sort of aquamarine blue. I liked it okay. But then I realized if I bent the paper the wax would flake off. So I took all the wax of and what did I find?
The oily residue of the color – brighter than the melted crayon and I liked it!
So I melted the chips again and poured them on top.
More bang for the buck and I get to use the crayons more than once! (By the way, this is a glitter crayon, in case you were wondering about the sparkle.)
The final result of this day – I dribbled some wax drops on the picture itself – to mimic the rock in the water – but I didn’t peel this wax off (I did that on the earlier mock-up to yucky results). I really like the effect of pouring the wax, then removing it to leave the true essence of the color underneath. Now the next step is to improve my pouring technique!
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Now that the Halloween Project is done and in the can, as movie people say, and the Weekly Weather Project is done as well, it’s time to move on to something new. But first a quick update on an old project.
Remember all those crazy letter collages for A to Z 2017 I worked so diligently on over the summer? Well they are all complete – 99% anyway. All the 3D items have been adhered and they just need to be sealed. Right now the giant stack of collages, are wrapped in a protective towel to prevent dust, sunlight and kitty claws from getting to them, resting. I won’t look at them again until sometime around February when I seal them, after I’m sure they’re finished. Sorry. No photos until then – I will give some sneak peeks!!!
Now, the next big project is JNW’s 120 Days of Color. This is an even bigger project than any I have done for her challenges before – 120 separate pieces of art representing the 120 colors of Crayola crayons! Its taken me months to figure out what I want to do. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of what I am going to do – at least not yet. I do have a photo of what I was originally thinking about doing.
I bought this little machine years ago and have never used it. So in my head I was thinking I would use it to melt crayons and do something abstract with the melted crayon. But then when I messed with it on Sunday I realized there are all sorts of safety mechanisms built into it to protect the target audience (kids) and there’s no way to get to the melted crayon without tearing it apart. Too much trouble. So it’s off to the thrift store to find a couple of throw away pans to melt crayons with!!
As soon as I solidify my idea and process, you can bet I’ll be posting about it! In the meantime, click on the badge below to find out more info about the challenge and maybe join in. I will tell you 120 days is hard to do, but maybe you can join in every once in a while!
Here’s my official unpacker, Toby. If there’s a box any where within earshot, he’s there helping me unpack!
He was definitely more interested in the box that the machine!