Crayons and Kites

Crayons. Not the first visual tool of choice for many illustrators today. Often relegated to Kindergarten, they are a much under-valued medium. Encaustic (pigment suspended in a wax medium) was used by Egyptians and Greeks and was more recently rediscovered by the PopArt innovator Jasper Johns. “Crayons”, sticks of pigment, were used in the Renaissance by luminaries like DaVinci and Rembrandt (Conté Crayon produces a warm sepia line) and are still used today. Wax is used in colored pencils as well.

Crayon quality is inversely proportional to the ratio of wax to pigment and may also be effected by the type and quality of the wax used. Crayons are most often linked to children because they are a cheap, manageable art supply that doesn’t require a large amount of cleanup. I’ve developed a technique that walks the line between encaustic painting and drawing with crayons, producing vibrant color and smooth blends without the need for melting vats of wax. When I get the chance I’ll post a demo for the curious.

For now, here is a crayon-sketched comic page. I think I was practicing varying camera angles. Even though I was using blunt Crayola’s, I like how impressionistic the panels are.


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