Crayons aren’t just for coloring in!


Crayons are one of those mediums that are largely, wrongly dismissed as ‘kids’ things’. With a few techniques, you can make some brilliant artworks – as with so many other artists’ media, it is just a question of using your imagination.

Let’s look at a few ways to produce high quality, adults’ artwork using crayons.


Starting with lighter colors and graduating to darker ones, you can build up a background from scratch.

Crayons are about the amount of pressure you apply to the paper. The harder you press, the stronger colors that appear as you put it down. In building up a background, so you can use different pressures to achieve a different outcome.


One of the facets of the crayon is that the wax colors will not sit on top of one another but will instead sit next to one another on the paper. Using different amounts of pressure you can achieve a form of color blending utilizing this nature.

Have you thought of alcohol to get an even better blend? Using a piece of cotton bud or blotting paper dipped in alcohol, so you can get far better blends of the crayon wax background thanks to the alcohol thinning the wax on the paper. This is very like using different amounts of water in a watercolor painting by Marcus J Debaise.

Use a limited range of colors?

As a simple medium, why not just use a few colors as a pallet for your artwork? Crayons lend themselves to vibrant, basic colors, allowing you to try just 2-3 colors. Try some contrasting colors like hot pink and green for example – you’ll be amazed at the results!

Sharpening the crayon

For the background, a blunt edge is good for the long strokes required. You obviously want some detail too! For finer lines using a crayon, it helps to have a sharp tip. As with the other techniques above, it is a question of experimentation as you go – for the foreground image, use a sharp black to express the edges and detail of the image.

Don’t forget the kids!

At the end of the day, you’re probably buying crayons because you have children and are introducing them to the world of art. Putting artworks together using crayons with kids can be fun and a good way of taking them a step forward from simply coloring in pre-drawn images into other areas like color blending, building backgrounds and the other ideas we have shown above. You never know where their imagination will lead as they learn these things from you!