Monday, August 18, 2014


If I could only have one art supply -- well, other than paper, a mechanical pencil, and a permanent black marker -- it would probably be a set of these guys. Especially if I was just getting started and had no experience using watercolors.

Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Wax Pastels (not to be confused with the Neocolor I, which is basically just a crayon, and not at all watersoluble). The best thing ever exported by the Swiss. Even better than chocolate.

I started out with the basic set of ten, being a bit horrified to see how much more expensive they were than regular crayons. Yet another instance where being so "frugal" came back to bite me in the butt. For, of course, there is just no comparison.

When I first started out, I would draw directly on the page with them (fig.1) because I felt more in control that way. Then I would come back with a wet brush to activate and blend the colors (fig.2). The only problem with that is that you tend to end up with some streaky drawing lines that don't get completely blended. So then I started rubbing a wet brush directly on the crayon to pick up a load of paint, then dropped that onto my page, adding more colors in layers until I was satisfied with the result (fig.3).

When I need a large swath of color, for skies and backgrounds and such, but don't want it to be one solid boring color, I can scribble several different colors on my pallet. I then activate it all with water, letting some parts bleed together and some parts stay true. I wet the space I want to fill with some clean water first, then load my brush up with paint - picking up from different sections of color each time - and let it "wash" over the wet paper.

Fortunately for me, I later discovered that some art supply stores sell the crayons individually, in a huge assortment of colors, and I began picking up one or two more at every opportunity...

now having almost four times as many as I started with.  I've had most of these for several years now and, as you can see, they are nowhere close to being used up. Plus they never "dry up." Sure, I have added several other sets of watercolors to my collection now, and enjoy experimenting with each of them. But if I had to choose just one? Well, my inner child would probably hang onto these for dear life!

Whether we express our creativity through art, sewing, quilting, cooking, gardening, photography, writing, fashion, decorating, woodwork or whatever, we all have our favorite tools and accessories. What's your One Thing?


Corrine at said...

Fickle me, for stitching by hand Sulky Blendable variagated threads, love, love. For mixed media golden fluid acrylics no doubt. Nice collection. xox

Juel said...

My Neocolor 2's are also my ONE thing! I LOVE them!! They go anywhere especially when traveling!

Hill Country Hippie said...

I haven't tried the fluid acrylics. I just have the regular ones in tubes, which I sometimes thin out with their glazing liquid, and some white heavy bodied. I told my hubby that I got really depressed when I looked at the supply lists for all my Lucky Star classes, and realized I won't need to buy much of anything. Boohoo! Don't you think I need some of those fluid acrylics for your class, since that's your favorite medium?

Hill Country Hippie said...

Oh yeah Juel, I forgot to mention that they were perfect for travel journaling!