Late last night/early this morning I whipped up this very simple drawing using my new supplies. I began with the Reeves Water Soluble Crayons, then used the AquaMonolith pencils, and finally the Inktense Blocks. This only took a couple minutes, it was simply to test the supplies…
The Reeve’s water color crayons work well. The colors are not rich and vibrant with light sketching but they became richer the more color applied, they take water well, liquefy nicely and can be layered. I did not color very hard at all, and one of the tips broke off the crayon. This doesn’t bother me, as I had planned to put a slice of the crayon in a watercolor palette to use as pan watercolor anyway. I did want to point it out to you, however, since you may want a point on your crayons for control. If that is the case, I would simply cut a slice from the edge of the broken top and use that as my point. Save the chunk you slice off in a cheap or DIY watercolor palette (or this one) and you have pan watercolor options.
My order from Blick’s just arrived so I added an art journal page using the Lyra Water Soluble Crayons as well.
The Lyra crayons are much more pigmented, they require very little to produce vast amounts of color. I really feel I colored to heavily on these flowers and leaves and wasted product. The background was just a very light brushing of the purple crayon, and that was ample for the purpose. I went back over the flowers and leaves and lifted color from them all easily. I added other colors for depth, and those blended beautifully. A small scribble produces a great deal of color. I also just wet my brush and grabbed some color directly from the crayon and applied it to the paper. Worked brilliantly.
Obviously, the more expensive Lyra crayons have much more pigment and are better quality than the Reeve’s brand. However, if you are new to watercolor crayons-as I am-the Reeve’s brand is the perfect place to start. For 10 bucks you get 24 colors to play with. You use much more of the crayon to produce rich colors, but so what? Use up the set and purchase the more expensive Lyra crayons once you have learned the techniques. You can use the crayons on stamps to produce a watercolor effect, you can use them in addition to your other watercolor media. They will play well together. I intend to use my Reeve’s set first, learning and applying the techniques then moving on to the Lyra’s (which I adore, by the way!).
I went over the Reeve’s crayons with the AquaMonolith solid watercolor pencils. This did not seem to add much by way of color, but there was some and it did liquefy well. I guess these pencils have been discontinued, so there may be very few left for purchase. I do like the pencil being all color as there is no waste at all that way. I like the few pencils I purchased, but I have little hope of finding more. I have blue and yellow, but lack a red. If I had that I would be able to layer the colors in varying intensity to create most others. I am keeping them in my most used supply caddy, which I recently made from an empty tissue box and toilet paper tubes, so I have water soluble media at my finger tips when I want it.
The Inktense Blocks are going to be my new favorite thing. Seriously. They are sticks of intense color which can be drawn on then liquefied or grabbed from the stick with a damp brush. The colors are amazing and once the pigments have dried they are permanent. It takes very little to give you vibrant, rich colors. I have the set of 72 Inktense pencils, which I use in my watercolor paintings all the time, but really wanted the blocks as well. (The pencils will be the most versatile, if you can only purchase one type of Inktense media, because you can wet a brush and pull color from the tip of the pencil and use it like you would watercolor paints from a pan. You can also sketch in your picture with the inktense pencils and they will liquefy and blend with your choice of watercolors to finish the painting.) The Inktense by DerWent are my absolute favorite choice for water soluble pencils and media. All the DerWent water soluble pencils and media are lovely, although the metalic pencils were a disappointment according to Lindsay, the Frugal Crafter. I don’t have those, so I cannot give you my opinion, but I trust Lindsay and if she says they were disappointing I believe her.
Remember, your supplies wont create art unless you use them. Dive in there and have some fun!!!