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Crayon Etching Demonstration- How to Create a Crayon Etching

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How to Make a Crayon Etching

Crayon etching is a type of art-making that exploits the properties of water-based ink or paint and waxy crayons. The resist that happens between these two media allow the artist to create an interesting image that can be vibrant and rich with contrast and complexity.

Crayon etchings are created by professional artists as well as beginning artists (Crayon Etching Lesson Plan). The process of creating a crayon etching allows the artist to be creative in color and pattern creation. It also can be used to create a scratchboard type surface with a monotone color. There are actually several ways a crayon etching can be created.

Crayon Etching Method #1- Use Ink-
First, the artist creates a simple line drawing in graphite. It is important that the drawing be simple and void of any value. The complexity in crayon etching comes in the creation of pattern. Next, the artist goes over the line drawing with a permanent black marker. The marker needs to have a relatively thick mark. This will aid in the process of scratching out the patterns. If an area is unscratchable, then the artist knows that this part is an outline. After the image is outlined, the artwork is colored in completely with crayons. Be sure not to leave any areas of white, as these areas will accept the ink and prevent it from being scratched off. Also, do not use black!!! Next, ink is applied over the entire surface of the crayon etching. Use a foam brush to do this so that no brush marks are evident. Allow the surface to dry completely.  When the surface is dry, use a scratchboard tool or a nail to scratch patterns into the inked surface. The ink will scratch off easily revealing the color underneath.

Crayon Etching Method #2- Use Tempera Paint-

If ink is not available or not feasible for you to use, you can still get good results from a crayon etching using tempera paint in place of ink. The tempera paint will dry to a dull matte surface.(The ink dries to a shiny finish). Personally, I like the finish of the ink but you may prefer the matte finish. One thing I have noticed about the tempera finish is that when it is scratched off, it will sometimes flake and not give you precise lines.

Crayon Etching Method #3- Use a Black Crayon-
No ink or tempera paint- then your last, and I mean last, resort is to use a black crayon to cover your artwork. This method, however, may be your best option if you are working with small children.

Video Transcription
Welcome back to another video tutorial brought to you by TheVirtualInstructor.com. Today, I'm going to be demonstrating crayon etching. Were going to start with a pencil line drawing. Just the outlines. You're going to need a black permanent marker, a wide tipped black permanent marker.  A foam brush, or really any brush will do. Some carbon black India ink. A palette or a bowl to hold the ink. And, of course, crayons. All right, so you'll start with a line drawing, a pencil line drawing. Then the next thing that you'll need to do is you'll go over your lines with the permanent marker. Now it's important that you use a thicker marker for this. If you use a thin pen, you'll run into problems when you start scratching off your patterns with the etching. So, it's a good idea to have a thick permanent marker for this. And you want to keep your drawing pretty simple. Your complexity in the image will come from the patterns that you put. So, keep your drawing simple. Go over all of your outlines with the black marker. Next, you'll take the crayons and you'll start coloring heavily over the entire surface.  You'll cover the entire surface with the crayons. And what I mean by heavily, is that you want to cover up all of the little white spots on the drawing paper with the crayons. You'll also notice that I am not using any black crayons to color here. That would really be counterproductive. You want to use bright, bold colors for this to work. Cover up all of the white spots. Next, you'll take the carbon black ink and put it in your tray. And you'll cover the entire surface. Now, since the ink is water based, sometimes it has a little bit of difficulty adhering to the surface.  Now, this is important. You want to make sure to use carbon black India ink. Not all India ink will work. It needs to be carbon black. You need to read that on the label. Now, going back to what I was saying before, when you start brushing the ink over the surface of the crayon, sometimes it will bubble up and it will be hard for it to stick to the surface. A little trick that I've used before, I'm not using it here, is to a little bit of chalkboard eraser and put some chalk or pastel on there. And lightly cover the surface with the chalk. That will help the water based ink adhere to the surface a little bit easier. And you can kind of see where mine is kind of bubbling up here. So, I'll just have to put a couple of extra coats on there to cover it up completely. So, you'll cover the entire surface, you'll let that dry. Let it dry completely, for a couple of hours. And in this case,  I'm actually using an etching tool to scratch off. But you can use a variety of different things to scratch off your patterns. And that's what I'm doing here. I'm scripting off a repeating pattern. It might be a little hard to see here, but once I've got a bigger area covered, you can start to see the patterns emerge. You want to create patterns that take a lot of the ink off and show as much of the color as possible. Now, going back to what I was saying, I'm using an etching tool here. You can buy these etching tools, or scratchboard tools at any art store. Or, you can use a nail and adhere it to the end of a pencil. That works. Or you can use a razor blade.  That works too. Just be careful that you don't cut the paper. Make sure that you create a variety of patterns. Use bright, bold colors and crayon etching is a wonderful project for students to do. It's a wonderful art making medium. And here's the finished demonstration, here. I hope that you have enjoyed this video tutorial brought to you by TheVirtualInstructor.com.

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