I have recently been experimenting with Lyra AquaColor Water Soluble Crayons.
What are they?
Lyra Aquacolor look very similar to the wax crayons you probably used as a kid. They are about the same size and have a pointed end. They have a slightly creamier texture when you use them, but they are not as soft as oil pastels.
Applying the crayons
You can dip the crayons into water and use them that way if you like. I used them in a similar manner to wax crayons and simply coloured in areas of my drawing. You can layer different colours and then blend with water later. Ideally, you’ll want to use a watercolour or mixed media paper with a decent weight for your work. Depending on how much texture you paper has, you may need to rework some areas to get a good depth of colour.
Applying water to the crayons
Once you have applied the crayons, take a clean brush and some water and begin brushing over your drawing. The crayons blend really well to create very vibrant colours. They create a look that’s similar to gouache or a thicker paint compared to the softer look of watercolour pencils.
Crayons with Collage
I have also tried using Lyra Crayons over collaged bits of magazine and I liked the effect. It partially covers the elements below, whilst allowing some areas of the collage to show though.
To create art journal backgrounds
These crayons are ideal for creating quick backgrounds for things like art journal pages.
For art on the go
The crayons are a punchier alternative to watercolour pencils. Although they don’t easily allow you the same amount of detail, they do allow you to quickly cover areas with colour. They would be ideal for travelling to create quick loose colour sketches. You could use water-brushes, which hold their own water to save lugging water bottles around.
I have only used Lyra crayons in a sketchbook. They are a competitor to Neo Colour II from Caran D’Ache, which I haven’t personally tried. Lyra crayons are considerably cheaper than Neocolor, although I have heard may not be as lightfast. So if you are just looking to create sketches or journals Lyra should be fine. However, if you intend producing art to hang, you may want to invest in the more expensive Neo-colour.
Why not give Lyra Crayons a try and let us know what you think.
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