Wax Crayons

These are very different in character to the previous materials. They are made from a mixture of paraffin pigment and wax. They can come in many different colours and they have a very greasy feel to them just like wax. They are not at all dusty like charcoal so it is not easy to smudge the material. If you need to erase the material on the paper you need to use a solvent and when this is applied it will smear and loosen the wax on the paper. However, it is a very useful material for building up layers of different colours, dark over light, and then scratching back through these layers revealing the colours from underneath. This technique is call scraphite, and the artist Paul Klee used it very successfully. The special qualities that emerge from this technique are that the marks that one scratches into the surface appear very luminous. This way of working does not lend itself to being a very naturalistic means of recording our observations, but it is very good for rendering more symbolic and abstract statements.

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