Thursday, April 25, 2013

Melted Crayon Paintings

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pinterest for several things:

1. For giving me a single website with infinite creative resources
2. For giving me a single place to store ideas with visual representations to make my ADD brain happy
3. For sealing my time (lots and lots of time)
4. For making my friends think I am more creative than I actually am 
5. For helping stimulate the economy via me buying all kinds of craft crap that I never find time to touch once it is out of the shopping bag.

My first attempt on a 5x7" canvas.
Lots of people have seen this crayon "painting" on Pinterest.  
I had a dire need for creativity one evening, so I decided to make one.  

The process is pretty basic:
1. Glue [new] crayons to a canvas.  I started small - with a 5 x 7" canvas.  
Then if it sucked, I could stuff it in the trash and no one would be the wiser.
2. Using a heat gun or embossing tool, melt the crayons until they drip.
Lay down lots of paper underneath or you will have one heck of a mess! 
Those who said you "can do this with the sun" are nuts.  I can only imagine that working if you live in the desert and want a puddle of all one color - brown.
3. Let cool a few minutes.
4. Brag to your friends how clever you are.

I found the embossing gun worked better than a heat gun.  The embossing gun was smaller and I had more control. I ended up making 3 total crayon paintings and here are my tips:
  • Sort your crayons first!  Lay them out so you know how many your need and try to keep the colors evenly represented. BTW - Crayola - how about some more yellow's!?
  • Keep the heat source a bit away from the crayons, they melt pretty easily and you will get a puddle if you're not careful.  Move it closer to melt, then further away as it drips.
  • Carefully re-melt any thick spots that may have settled in the middle of the canvas.  
  • Tilt the canvas a little to get the colors to run in the patterns you want.
  • Try to work one color at a time to keep the true color to the bottom of the canvas.  The colors will mix together as they melt which makes cool new colors, but keeps you from seeing the true colors throughout the canvas.
  • Keep your board on a 45 degree angle (or so) to drip.  This will allow the colors to run slowly down.
  • In order to fill an 8x10 or 11x14 canvas, you will need to melt the crayon beyond the surface.  To do this, hold the canvas flat on the table, hold the heat gun about 6" away from one color and leave it there a few seconds.  Then tilt your canvas 45 degrees.  This will allow all that melted wax to run down.  
  • Alternate areas.  Work on red, then blue, then orange then purple, etc.  This will let one color and area harden a little before re-melting it for another color.  This will also help keep your running colors more pure.  
    • I know I said this twice, but it's worth repeating.
  • Be aware of your crayon on the sides.  I have several drips down the side and on the bottom.  Be careful it is not on the "wall" side of the canvas or you will have crayon on your wall (and not in the artistic sense).  
  • Metallic crayons look pretty, but melt into shades of grey mixed with color.  I tried it (had to do something with all those leftover crayons!) and it is pretty ugly.  It's not very vibrant and mostly muddled.  
  • I used Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue because it's super tacky (obviously) and dries quickly.  I glued them and started melting within minutes.
  • Hey - that melting tool?  Yeah, the thing that gets HOT.  Be careful with it.  And the wax.  Yeah, that gets hot too.  Don't let little kids do this.  One more thing - that hot wax - it drips. And that heat gun?  It BLOWS air.  Essentially blowing melted wax.  Use lots of surface coverings!!

 My first large crayon melt painting on an 11x14 canvas.
This and the metallic one below hang in our kids playroom on either side of 
their bulletin board where they hang all their artwork.

Metallic & glitter crayons.  Very muddy. Also an 11x14 canvas.

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