Friday, July 16, 2021

Neocolor II Primary Triad: Fun with Crayons

7/11/21 Same backyard scene, this time with Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels

While working on a review of Rikagaku Kitpas Wet-Erase Crayons for the Well-Appointed Desk, I remembered how much fun I used to have with Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels. They were a favorite years ago when I used to make abstract, mixed-media collages. I don’t use them for urban sketching because the broad sticks require larger paper than I want to carry, but otherwise they are much like my beloved Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils (in fact, the palette is identical).

On a lovely Sunday afternoon, I had brought the Kitpas crayons out on our back deck to make a sketch. Since I was still in the mood for fat crayons and had my large pad of watercolor paper out, I went to get my Neocolor IIs. And – you guessed it! – I already knew the Cd’A hues for the CMYK-based primary triad, so why not give the triad a shot with the Neocolors? I picked out Purplish Red (350), Canary Yellow (250) and Phthalocyanine Blue (162). For the darkest shadows, I used Payne’s Grey (508).

I know my natural tendency is to make sketches that are more tightly rendered and detailed than I sometimes want. Using crayons is a sure antidote to that kind of tightness – no tiny details possible – and it’s fun to make big scribbles. If you find yourself being too tight, get some water-soluble crayons and big paper!


  1. Love the colors and the darks you were able to get. Well done!


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