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July 15th, 2015

Painting with Crayons

Artist: Ellen Ward, United States
Artist Statement: This summer I have been experimenting, trying to find a way to get painterly effects with drawing tools. Ideally I could be painting with oils or using traditional pastels, but I want to avoid toxicity, dust, and fumes. After some initial frustration, a method that allows for both drawing and painting evolved using ZETA mixed media paper, M. Graham Gouache, Daniel Smith watercolor ground and Caran D’Ache NEOCOLOR II crayons. I prefer Zeta for this work because I like a smooth surface with little drag that can handle multiple washes and trials reworking with crayon.

1. I lay a ground of Daniel Smith watercolor ground, tinted with a mid-tone neutral using M. Graham gouache. This mimics the way I would begin work in oils or the way traditional pastel is layered on colored paper. Why not just use a watercolor wash? Because it would likely muddy later paint layers. This ground allows me to move the pigment when wet and create a relative value scale quickly when sketching.
2. Establish a limited color palette: 8 colors or less.
3. Render a rough gestural study using NEOCOLOR II crayons dry.
4. Liquify distant areas of crayon, blotting and smearing as necessary to create movement.
5. Work with wet crayons to create highlights & low lights.
6. For the final layer, use a sharpened crayon to establish accents or pops of saturated color.The
brightest blues in the water represent these kind of color accents.

Ellen Ward is a nationally recognized graphic/product designer and illustrator. Ellen teaches in the design/visual communications departments of Winthrop University and Central Piedmont Community College. This is the link to Ellen’s blog:

MEDIA: Watercolor ground, gouache, water-soluble crayons
SURFACE: Zeta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Smooth Finish

© 2015 Ellen Ward – All rights reserved. Do not reproduce or pin on Pinterest



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