My favorite materials (2) Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons

Mar 8, 2018 | Art techniques & tutorials

My favorite materials (2): Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons

 

(I created a shopping list of my favorite art supplies. You can download it from the free library!)

(This post contains affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission if you purchase after using the link. I only write about products that I truly love and use myself. Read everything about them on my disclosure-page).

 

 

One of the things I’m always curious about is what kind of materials other artists use. That’s why I’m writing a series of blog posts about my favorite materials. In a previous post, I wrote about my absolute number one: Golden Fluid Acrylics: Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.

In this post, I will write about my number 2: Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble pastels. I use them all the time, I think in almost every painting or collage that I make.

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What do I like so much about the Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons?

 

First, I love the smoothness of the crayons. Especially if you heat them with a hairdryer, they give a very thick and creamy line.

Second, they have beautiful and intense colours. Because they are professional quality crayons, they are very highly pigmented. I only use a few colours though, mostly turquoise, orange, yellow and pink. And black and white, of course. The latter are perfect for creating graphic elements in your work. White marks on a black or dark background create a beautiful contrast. And the same is true for black marks on a white background.

Third, I like the ‘roughness’ of the lines. Contrary to for instance acrylic paint markers which give a very straight and ‘artificial’ line, the crayons give a raw and natural line, which I love.

Fourth, because they are water soluble, you can easily mix them with acrylic paint, contrary to for instance oil crayons. At the same time that can be a disadvantage. For example, if you paint with white paint over a layer of crayon, it picks up the pigments of the crayon, which pollutes the whiteness of the paint. To prevent this, you can cover the crayon lines with matte medium, although this again bears the risk of smearing the crayon. That’s why I usually only use the crayons on top of a painting and cover the final layer with spray varnish, to fixate the crayon lines.

You can buy the crayons in boxes, but I would advise buying only the colours you love or use in your work. Otherwise, you will end up with lots of crayons you don’t use, and not having the crayons you want to use. In my case, the turquoise colour that I like is not included in a very basic box. On this page, you will find a link to a color chart.

 

(I created a shopping list of my favorite art supplies. You can download it from the free library!)

Have fun using the crayons!

 

Bye!

Simone

Ps: below I post some examples of how I use the crayons in my work.

 

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My favorite materials (2): Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons
My favorite materials (2): Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons
My favorite materials (2): Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons
My favorite materials (2): Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons

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10 Comments

  1. Jay

    I’m trying to find out if there’s a matte medium that can be used to extend the color of the neo2s?

    Reply
    • Simone Nijboer

      Hi Jay, thanks for your question! I’m not sure what you mean by ‘extend’. Can you explain a bit more about your question? Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Kathy

    Can you use these crayons on top of acrylic paint on canvas…if you varnish it when done”? No glass needed?

    Reply
    • Simone Nijboer

      I’m sorry Kathy, I only see your question now …. very late indeed! It’s a tricky question. I use it on top of acrylics, and varnish it, and it works for me. But to me it also still feels a bit fragile. I believe glass on top is not necessary, but the paintings need more care – no rubbing over it for instance, and careful cleaning if that’s necessary.

      Reply
  3. Dotty Seiter

    Simone, I got to thinking about these crayons as I was falling asleep, and I remembered that I sometimes use them on intermediate layers, spraying them with workable fixative before moving on to a subsequent layer : )

    Reply
    • Simone

      Hmm, interesting what you think about when falling asleep 😉

      Yes, you are right. When sprayed with fixative you can also use those crayons on intermediate layers. The only thing is: I don’t like the smell of sprays, and so on, so I use them as little as possible. But once I had a painting with all kinds of marks over it, and I did not like the painting, so I had to paint over it, and at that moment I indeed used a layer of varnish. Fixative might have been better.

      Reply
  4. Sheila Delgado

    Love the peek at your crayon box. Love seeing your art, and loved learning about heating them. I did not know that. I am pretty sure you are the one who introduced me to these crayons, and I love them for the rough, childlike, organic marks you can make. The turquoise is my favorite color. 😉

    Reply
    • Simone

      Hi Sheila, apologize for my late response (I have to install a plugin, still, to make it easier to read responses. But that’s another question…)
      I’m glad you enjoyed the crayons! And I love it when we as (aspiring) artists share tips about materials and techniques among each other. That’s how we learn the trade, I think 😉

      Reply
  5. Dotty Seiter

    Thanks for the reminder about the availability of individual colors. I have a set of 30 crayons, and my favorite colors haven’t got used up yet. When they do, however, I’ll just order more of those particular colors. Thanks, too, for the reminder about using heat with the crayons. And, finally, I love seeing your crayons’ home in the panatella cigar box : )

    Reply
    • Simone Nijboer

      Thanks, Dotty, yes, they feel very at home in their smokey little box.

      Reply

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