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I caved...

It's been a long while but I finally caved and bought myself a new set of Caran d'Ache Wax Sticks (also called wax pastels). Think of these as the adult version of that 64 pack of Crayola Crayons you got all excited about as a kid. I love these!

 Pictured: Neocolor I - 15 piece set

Since February is craft-every-day month, I thought I would start off with some elements to use on the new scheduling sign in the store. Above is my roughing-in phase using a 3x5" piece of card stock as my background.

Neocolor I's are capable of creating saturated, crisp lines or large areas of blended fill. It all depends on how you rotate your wax stick while using it. The sticks can be sharpened in a hand-held pencil sharpener too for added precision.

Below is the finished piece after much layering of colors, it is very saturated and bright, though the cell phone camera doesn't show it very well.

The Neocolor I set is water resistant so these images will not run if they get wet. Pseudo-batiks can be created by washing water paints over laid colors. (Be sure to use a good thick paper if using large amounts of water with your design.)

One of the main reasons I am willing to drop big $ on Caran d'Ache wax sticks is their amazing ability to build color on a page. They blend beautifully like an oil pastel yet can also retain the vibrant colors when needed without all the mess of oil pastels. The higher pigment concentrations make the sticks last much longer than your standard crayon too. Similar to buying a good eye shadow, paying more upfront will even out over the long haul.

Another nice feature of this product is the metal tin that all Caran d'Ache wax stick sets come in (as shown in the first photo). I still have my first tin from the originally set I bought in college back in the day. The sturdy hinges allow the lid to lay flat and there is a thin piece of foam included to help keep the sticks from moving around or getting blunted during transport. If my house gnomes ever return my heavily-used original crayons the tin will go right back into frequent use.

For added variety, Caran d'Ache also produces a series under the Neocolor II heading that are water-soluble like watercolor pencils with the same oil pastel appearance.Youtube has some nice videos showing the different Caran d'Ache lines including other series which are designed for professional use. All lines are Swiss made.

Caran d'Ache products can be found at most major Art Supply shops or through the affiliate link below. I'll be including more examples through out the month!

Happy Crafting!