Fun with Neocolor II

Neocolor II come in various sizes: 10, 15, 30, and more. They come in a lovely tin.

Neocolor II is a wax crayon that is water soluble and can be used like watercolor or gouache. Because I am stuck creatively, I bought a set of Caran D’Ache Neocolor II to play with. Having no expectation of outcome helps build creative curiosity. Here’s how I experimented.

(No one asked me to write about Neocolors, and I am not getting paid to write this post. )

If you wonder what a creative drought looks like, you can read about it in the post called In Search of Lost Creativity.

First, in order to see how these colors work, I used them dry in a watercolor journal. Once I scribbled some dry crayon on the page, I used a brush dipped in water to blend and pull the color down.

Neocolors used on Yupo.

The colors are beautifully transparent and they do blend quite well. I could see these being used as travel paints without the mess.

Because I work with alcohol inks, I thought it might be interesting to try out Neocolors on Yupo, the plastic substrate so perfect for alcohol inks.

The results are really interesting.  Each color wets well and can be dragged. Blending colors works well, too. More water means lighter color. But you can add color in with a wet crayon as well.

The only drawback is that Yupo is a sealed surface, and the colors will smear and pick up, even days later. But if you frame a piece, the problem is solved.

Next, I ripped a piece of deli paper into a jagged, long piece.

I scribbled color along the edge, being careful not to smear it over the edge.

The colored edge is placed in a journal page. Using a damp makeup sponge, I brushed up, from the edge of the color onto the page, creating a landscape look. This has a lot of possibilities.

Please note that this is an experiment of a product, not a finished piece of art. Before I get serious about anything, I experiment. A lot. I encourage it to avoid disappointment and predicted failure.

The sky was made by dabbing the makeup sponge, which had been used to create the mountain range, across the sky. The dots appeared because the makeup sponge was thin and I applied a lot of finger pressure.

Neocolors are rich and apply easily. I’m still awkward with them, but I already know they are going to come with me on my next trip instead of a watercolor set. I can take a few and blend colors as needed.

I could see people using them in coloring books and to make cards. There is a lot of experimenting ahead!

Quinn McDonald is a writer and collage artist.

 

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4 thoughts on “Fun with Neocolor II

  1. HI Quinn, I love NeoColor II crayons. They ARE great for travel. They also blend and smooth out nicely if you use Huggies baby wipes. A travel pack of wipes, a tin of crayons, and away you go. Try it.

  2. OK Quinn, just the idea that you have a separate “art” blog is indicative that you have your creativity close at hand!
    I really must try the Caran d’Arche…
    And i have set my “restart” date as June 1. So far I have posted almost daily {except for Sunday, when I rest…} in my daily art group, started a Dina Wakley online course called “Ordered Chaos”, have made several blog posts and have worked out several times.
    Good start, but much more to work on.

    • Well, there is always much to work on. That’s what makes life so interesting. This blog is my oldest blog. In some form, it’s been around since 2000. Not always on wordpress, but on creativity. When my training clients began to complain that they thought I was unprofessional because I mix art and training, I paid dearly for my training site. But I never gave this up. And never will.

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