Posted by: mspremiseconclusion | July 28, 2013

Melty Crayon Art

So shortly after work ended this summer, I had a bit of an art attack. I’d seen pictures on the internet of some cool paintings people had done by melting crayons onto a canvas, and I figured that it was a good time to try one out for myself. What follows is a bit of a trial-and-error method of making a few of these paintings.

Attempt #1 involved gluing a bunch of crayons to the top of a canvas and melting them with a blow dryer. Turns out: no dice. The blow dryer doesn’t get hot enough. As I was sitting out on my deck, in the scorching sun, attempting to melt these little crayons, I found it ironic that I was the one who was doing the majority of the melting. Then I thought: the sun is already melting me so why don’t I use the sun to melt the crayons?!

Melting Crayons with Parabolic Mirror

Attempt #2 involved me getting my eyebrow-plucking concave mirror from the bathroom and bringing it outside to melt the crayons. I held the mirror so that it reflected the sun onto the crayons. The wax splooched out of each crayon and made a little glob of hardened goo right at the top of the canvas.

The downside was that this took a ridiculously. long. amount of time … plus the wax hadn’t even made it to the bottom of the canvas before it solidified. The other reason why I don’t recommend this method: if you let the beam of light stay on the crayon paper for too long, it will start to¬†smoulder. Oops.

So this lead to …

Attempt #3. Since we just moved, we had a lot of cardboard boxes in the basement. I lined one of them with tin foil and covered the top with saran wrap (convection: it will get you every time), and – voila – a solar cooker!

Solar Cooker with Painting

It worked remarkably well. The wax dribbled all the way to the bottom in no time.

Thus ends my first painting.

Next, I played around with some different techniques for my new solar-cooker-art-maker! I tried lining up the crayons at the top of a second canvas and putting that directly in my solar cooker, but the wax melted out of the crayons a little too fast and made little streams all the way down. There was still a lot of white showing. This one would have looked better if, say, the canvas was already a cool colour.

Crayon Painting in Solar Cooker

Then I tried laying the canvas on the bottom of the box, and breaking up the crayons (minus the paper) in an artful arrangement.

Achromatic Melty Crayon Art

Once they melted, I tilted the canvas up in the box and let the wax drip down. That ended up working really well, because – for this particular trial – the white crayons melted much slower than the black crayons (SCIENCE), so they were much more viscous than the black when I tilted the canvas.

Melted Crayon Art

As a finishing touch on that one, I melted some brighter crayons on the top and just swirled them around. So avant garde! (I don’t actually know what that means.)

Melted Crayon Painting in Solar Cooker

For my final painting, I broke up a bunch of colours in a pseudo-rainbow-y pattern, melted them on the canvas while it was laying on the bottom of my solar cooker, tilted it up, and let all the wax run down.

Rainbow Melted Crayon Art

All in all: it was super fun. I highly recommend trying it. Just don’t be surprised when you poke the wax if it’s a little hot – ow.

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Responses

  1. Any of these paintings would make a nice Father’s Day gift in 2014. Just a thought from a random anonymous blog follower ( not your Dad ).


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