A woman who works with her hands is a LABORER; a woman who works with her hands and head, a CRAFTSMAN; but a woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an ARTIST. ~ St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The dos and donts of crayon melting canvas plus How I did it and what inspired by him... heck its a whole story

Pet Peeve of mind, watching a video and they do not show you what the end product is going to be fore you started... so I wont do that to you since it is a pet peeve of mind....
I ended up making this.
My baby sister turned 30 September 24th.  She is 11 years younger then me and if you do the math you can figure out how old I am.  If you have to use your calculator that is just plain sad LOL.
So I was some where surfing youtube videos.  I wasn't suppose to be doing that but that is a story not to be shared on any social media.   I was interested in crayon techniques.  Coloring with them.  Not melting them.  You know there isn't an awful lot out there.  I haven't found the perfect one yet.  Prisma color pencils there is a bazillion and what I learned is everybody has their own method.  Oh that is SOOOO helpful. 
Oh shoot I have to go let her dogs out brb.   
That cat of hers has attacked me, bit me, hid under the bed, led me on a merry chase around the couch and smacked my face
Makes me adore banner who doesn't scratch or bite or claw or attack but he sure does like to head butt and rub and purr
back to my art creation...
Anyway back to youtube and crayon techniques... I did find this video and I probably would not have watched it but there was a dancer involved.  I pay attention to dancing things because my sister owns a dance studio. 

So I watched it and thought that would make a cool gift for her and here is my journey of making one...
So I am a firm believer in watching more then one video to make sure I have the know hows...
this one for example....

The comments explained one of my problems but we will get to that later ...
DO#1 Prep the canvas with Gesso....
Yes I know I know I know pre-stretched canvas should have gesso on it well mine apparently did not have a good layer.
Un wrap your crayons
DO#2 use a utility knife to split the paper of the crayons off the paper, its easier to un wrap.
cut the crayons in half
Hot glue the crayons to the canvas
DO#3 Do prepare by excercising your hand muscles or prepared to cramp up to a lot of squeezing the glue gun trigger
DO#4 do this in rainbow order or in my case I did it opposite.  Hey I am a rebel.  Just prevents a muddy brown picture.  That is all. 
I found the quote the young artist had used (actually I had already heard it or read it a zillion times but I googled it for the correct wording)
I typed it up in Paint Shop Pro  (okies I copied and pasted, who am I fooling)
DO#5  Mirror your text
I did remember to do that
DO#6 Save the document
That I did not do.
I had to repeat the word pasting ..... three times.  OH I am getting ahead of myself. 
Printed out the mirror words on a laser jet printer and used mat gel medium and glued it on the canvas
DO#7 Let the gel medium dry
So I let it dry
I wet the paper down and started to rub it off.  WOW IT LOOKS SUPER COOL!  I see there is more paper to be rubbed off.
I rubbed some more and rubbed the words right off the canvas.  EVERY SINGLE HINT OF THE WORDS.
Since I did not save the document I had to retype it eer repaste it after I looked it back up in google. 
I wet the paper down and rub and rub and rub  WOW IT LOOKS SUPER COOL!  I see there is more paper to be rubbed off.
I rubbed some more and rubbed the words right off the canvas.  EVERY SINGLE HINT OF THE WORDS.
DO#8 notate the font that you used for back up plan (cut the words out on the cricut )  I didn't do that so my back up plan was using a different font.
back to DO#1 prep your work with gesso .. but do it before you glue the crayons down :-) or you will get gesso on them
DO#10 find clip art of silhouettes on the internet
I found a dancer and an umbrella that I liked
DO#11 research your techniques or equipment.   
Here is the back story to DO#9   I have a cricut as I mentioned in DO#6.  I don't ever use the cartridges.    I happened to have purchased Sure Cuts A Lot before they were forced to revamp their software so that you can not use it with cricut products.  I can take an SVG file and cut it out.  SVG file don't rightly know what it is but its the . xxx  part of a file equal to . jpg  I know it may sound greek but I really do not know to better explain it.  I just take this stuff for granted that all know it but I know all don't.
I found this www site that converts it for you... how cool is that? 
I must make a disclaimer... I did prep work on the piece before I converted.  I removed the background and saved it as .png file.  I did this in paint shop pro.  If this is greek to you I apologize.  I take this stuff for granted.  I am not sure the best way to explain it though.
here is a link to the .jpgs that I found
(i post links because I do not want to be accused of copyright infringement or anything. 
If I didn't make it then its not going here :-)
So I have my SVG files and I cut them out with the cricut.
Preppying the canvas worked and the transfer was a success, the words did not rub off this time.  So I did not have to use my back up plan. 
So I glued on the ballerina and umbrella.  I let that dry.  I he-hawed around the fun part because this is the part where it was make or break.  I mean the words not so much, yeah it took three tries but gesso is my friend and will cover up my mistakes kind of. 
I used Painter tape and attempted to mask off certain areas.  Didn't work so hot either.   The words it worked ok.  The umbrella NOT. 
I got out my hair dryer.  Several videos showed using a hair dryer not a heat gun so I decided to follow the tutorials.
The second video says its going take a LONG TIME... like 4-5 minutes per section.
She wasn't kidding. 
I had a hair dryer going and it took so long I decided to help it along with a second hair dryer and here is where we get to the DON'TS
DON'T #2 Use two hair dryers, you will blow a circuit.  Use 1
So I got the hair dryer aimed at the suckers and finally the crayons started to do something.  They started to slip down the canvas because I was melting the hot glue gun.  So here are some more don'ts.
DON'T#3 Be a cheapskate ... you think I would learn when I tried to save 50 cents on primary and got oil based primer instead of latex.  But no I did not learn.
DON'T#4 use dollar store crayons...  I don't care what the second video says.  This is where the comments came in handy and I mentioned in the beginning.
DON'T#5 use dollar store painters tape.  It sticks to itself and well it sticks to itself and that's about all that its good for.
I pulled all the crayons off and started all over again.
DO#12 use Crayola Crayons
DO#13 ignore DO#2, use the whole crayon keep the paper on.  It seems to help gluing I think. 
I had to pull the hot glue off which kind of damaged the canvas but it covers the messes.
So take 2
I got the hair dryer read and started heating the crayons back up...
BOY WERE THOSE COMMENTS RIGHT ON THE SECOND VIDEO.  It took seconds for the crayolas to melt and they did not slip down the canvas and make a big MESS.
DO#14 cover your work area.  Crayon flies every where
DO#15 figure out a better way to mask off your silhouette and when you do, let me know LOL
I used gesso under the umbrella because I smeared the crayon and well gesso covers my mistakes kind of... like it kind of covered it.   
DO#16 Be prepared to re-glue the crayons after you finished the melting.  Some of them, for me anyway, came loose a bit. 
Here is more pictures of my piece...

I don't like the color of the change of the crayons.  Blah.  I need to watch the video and see if heres change.
Yes the video does show the color has changed. 

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