Friday, November 02, 2012

Crayon Art

I've been trying to bring more art into our home since we've lived here.  My natural inclination is to either accumulate originals or buy prints directly from the artist.  But sometimes when you need a really large piece, neither of these is an affordable option.

So when I realized that every nursery inspiration photo I was pinning had an over-sized painting above the crib, I knew I had to get creative.

I was resolved to D.I.Y.-ness, but had no direction until I stumbled upon this idea for covering a canvas with melted crayon (without that super-drippy look that so many melted crayon projects have right now.)

So, once I covered the canvas in a metallic glaze, and chopped up a mountain of crayons, I was trying to narrow down the shapes and forms I wanted in the image.  I'm not a seasoned artist, (by any stretch of the imagination) so I needed something to copy for the gist of the piece.  I had a hard time choosing between these:

But in the end I chose this one, because the shapes were simple enough that I felt like I couldn't screw it up too badly: (it should be noted that the medium wasn't super cooperative with maintaining any semblance to this photo, but having some kind of guide really helped me avoid mind-blanks.) 


I lightly traced the shape with pencil on my canvas and then began placing tiny crayon chunks within that framework.   Then I busted out the heat gun (I wanted more control than I could get with a blow dryer) to melt the crayons.  


There was a fairly steep learning curve with the whole process.  I used Popsicle sticks to help steer the unmelted wax, and to help blend the colors together (because the whole thing was way too hot to touch.)  It's really got some cool texture to it in person.  And because I got the canvas almost half off, it's a pretty affordable way to create large-scale art with a tiny budget and non-existent art skills.

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