Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Painting with Crayons

Over the years I've slowly gathered up restaurant crayons. It seems like a small thing, but I hated seeing perfectly good crayons headed for the trash after a short use on a Red Lobster children's menu. So as the rest of the family gathered their things I walk around the table and gather the barely used crayons.

Once home they would usually spend time in my closet next to my billfold, but eventually they would end up with all of the crayons I had rescued from boxes and restaurants and various children. I always thought that one day I would sort them in this nice "Lazy Susan" we got from Cheryl's Granny Kay. (I doubt that will ever really happen. It kind of takes the fun out of searching for just the right crayon.)

A fun thing to do with used broken crayons is to make BIG multi-colored crayons out of them. You take the paper off of them, break them up where they will fit in a muffin tin, heat up the oven (not too hot) and then let them melt. Stir the melted was a little after they melt or you'll end up with clear wax on the top and color on the bottom. After they cool (duh) pop them out and you have cool discs of color for your kiddos. They are great for making rubbings. (You know - where you lay a piece of paper on a rough surface and then rub the crayon over it....)

About a year ago I saw something new to try with crayons. Crayola made some crayons to use in making melted crayon paintings. I bought some canvas boards and my daughter, Christy, and I tried to paint with a hair dryer, using it to melt the crayons. It sort of worked, but we weren't happy with the process. The hair dryer melted the wax, but it blew so hard there was little you could do to control where the wax went.

A couple of months ago I saw an acrylic painting that inspired me to try a new way to paint with crayons. I new that a hair dryer blew too hard and made the melted wax spray across the canvas, so I bought an embossing heater. A heat gun would have been good. I would show you a picture of it, but the only one they had at Hobby Lobby was pink and I don't want you to know that I have a pink embosser. :-)

OK. This has been way too long of an introduction. Here's what I want to show you. How you can make your own really cool fall colored tree using melted crayons...

First, I painted the sky, the ground and the trunk of a tree using acrylic paints.

I then took a lot of different red crayons from different restaurants and boxes and tested melting them to see what shade of red they made when melted.

Then I held a darker red crayon in my hand and heated it up with the embosser and I let the wax drip onto the canvas board.

I added layers of different shades of red, melted away parts where I thought it was too full and ended up with this.

Here's a close up. I like the way the wax would splatter when I held the crayons further away.

 The reds seemed a little too much and I needed some highlights, so I added a little orange to it.

Now my red tree is in a silent auction for missions. The money raised is helping some of our High School students go to Buenos Aires, Argentina on a mission trip at the end of June into July.

Here it is on the auction table. It is 16x20, acrylic and wax on canvas board. It has a nice wooden frame that really sets it off don't you think?

You can bid on this painting by calling Hilldale's Family Life Center. As of this writing today, the current bid is $150. The auction ends May 9.