How You Can Use Crayons on Canvas To Create Unique Art

Yes, you can use crayons on canvas for art. Crayons aren’t just for paper; they work well on canvas, too.

You can melt crayons to put the wax on the canvas in different ways, like drawing with melted crayon, or pouring it, or working the crayon with a heated painting knife.

You can also color straight on the canvas with crayons, just like coloring in a coloring book, and you can mix colors together to make new shades and add sand to make textured effects.

can you use crayons on canvas - melted crayons being left on canvas

Other Ways You Can Use Crayons on Canvas

If you want to experiment, there are many other ways you can paint with crayons on canvas.

Use the Heat and Drip Method

You can glue crayons at the top of your canvas and melt them so they drip down in cool patterns.

You can melt crayons with a lighter, a heated steel palette knife or painting knife or melting them into a metal pan.

Put Them Through a Hot Glue Gun

As crayons contain wax, you can even shave the crayons down to size and put them into a hot glue gun and squeeze them onto the canvas.

This is something I have not seen any other artist do.

Just do it to a hot glue gun that you no longer need for actual gluing.

crayon being applied to canvas using a hot glue gun

Mix Them With Other Media, Crayons or Textured Additives

Using shiny metallic crayons can make your art look like it has stars on a blue and purple sky.

Plus, you can mix crayons with other art stuff like paint or oil pastels on a canvas to make your artwork really stand out with lots of textures and layers.

Painting with Crayons on Canvas

Crayons have rich pigments mixed into wax that show up brightly on canvas surfaces.

Don’t worry about crayons slipping or not sticking to canvas. There’s a trick for that. Gently heating the crayons helps them stick to the cotton fibers of the canvas better.

This way, you don’t want the crayons to slide down the canvas.

Types of Crayons You Can Use on Canvas

You can even use Crayola crayons on canvas. Regular crayons like Crayola are perfect for canvas painting.

They’re easy to use, cheap and accessible for everyone. This opens up a world of color for your canvas artwork.

Do not use expensive crayons such as Caran D’Ache, these are designed for finished high quality crayon work. If you think you can’t get the same results on canvas just by using cheaper Crayola let me know in the comments below.

Did you know you can you use oil pastels on canvas just like crayons? Both crayon materials are great for canvas.

Oil pastels and crayons each bring a unique texture and depth to your work. It’s fun to experiment with both on the same piece.

How To Get Crayons to Stick to Canvas for a Lasting Effect

Covering your finished crayon art with a clear sealant will do the trick but it is not required. A sealant keeps everything in place and makes your art durable but it won’t protect your artwork from excessive heat.

So keep it out of direct sunlight and store/hang it where it is usually cool.

Melted Crayon on Canvas Is a Popular Technique

This is a popular technique that involves melting crayons directly on the canvas to create fluid, abstract art pieces. You can even make realist artworks if you are more skilled or have a steady hand.

Be careful if you are melting crayons with a lighter as you can burn the crayon whilst melting it, turning it black and lumpy.

melting crayons with a lighter

Using Gel Crayons on Canvas

Gel crayons are another great option for use on canvas. They glide smoothly and provide a thick, opaque color. This makes them ideal for bold, statement pieces.

Some gel crayons may need to be heated but be careful, heat them too much and they will burn or turn into a gooey mess.

We’ve discussed painting with crayons on canvas but did you know you can also draw with crayons.

Drawing with Crayons on Canvas

Yes, you can use crayons on canvas. It’s a cool way to make bright and fun art.

Crayon colors are vivid, so they really stand out. This makes your artwork eye-catching.

You can use regular crayons like Crayola on canvas. They work just fine for drawing and creating beautiful pieces.

You Can Also Use Oil Pastels on Canvas

Using oil pastels is another great option for canvas as oil pastels are just compressed oil paint into a stick. So they’re perfect for canvas.

Oil pastels are kind of like wax crayons but softer. This means they can blend easily on the canvas.

Drawing on canvas with crayons isn’t like using them on paper. The texture is different.

You might find it a bit tricky at first. Practice makes perfect. Try drawing with a pencil first then go over it with crayons. This technique helps you get your design just right.

You will also find that you will use up the crayon much faster when applying it to canvas as opposed to paper. This is because the crayon needs to fill in all the spaces on the canvas which are deeper than the tooth/grooves found in paper.

How do you get crayons to stick to canvas? It’s key to apply a bit of heat. But you don’t want the crayons to slide down the canvas. Just a little warmth is enough. This technique can make your crayon art last longer.

Expected Results

Using crayons on canvas is not as hard as you might think but don’t think you will be able to pull off smooth finishes and lines.

Using crayons on canvas will be a bit rough, it will be like drawing on concrete with chalk but without all the dust.

Mixed media artwork where melted crayons are applied to canvas to make the sky and water. Notice how texture is made using a warmed up painting knife.
Mixed media artwork where melted crayons are applied to canvas to make the sky and water. Notice how texture is made using a warmed-up painting knife.

When you heat or drip the crayon, you will have little control over how it lands and dries.

Key to success is the right technique, like heating the crayons slightly to make them stick better to the canvas.

You will also need to manipulate the crayon with a warmed up painting knife or other materials that can make grooves etc.

If you are a more skilled artist then you can approach crayons on canvas using tight drawing methods on a primed canvas with a tighter weave.

Take your time and try to finish the work over a long period of time.

Work the crayons into the canvas, apply many layers.

a realistic portrait made by working crayons into canvas over many layers and over a long period of time.

Types of Crayons That Work Best On Canvas

While you can use regular wax crayons, like Crayola, you can use any brand or unbranded wax crayon.

Oil pastels are another good choice. They’re a bit softer than regular crayons which makes them blend nicely on canvas.

Be careful not to press too hard. Pressing too hard could make the colors smear more than you want.

Gel crayons are super cool for canvas art. They glide on smoothly and give a thick, opaque color that looks amazing.

You do not want the crayons to slide down the canvas, and gel crayons stick well after you apply them.

Remember, to get crayons to stick to canvas, lightly heating them helps. This tip is key for both regular crayons and oil pastels. A little warmth makes the crayon soft enough to adhere better to the canvas surface.

The Basics of Crayons on Canvas

Wax crayons are simple mediums, they are pigment and wax and they are solid at room temperature.

They will dry soon after being melted and can be applied to canvas easily as the wax will set itself into the canvas grooves.

Understanding Crayons

Crayons are not just for paper. Yes, you can use crayons on canvas to create stunning art.

The wax in the crayons helps them glide smoothly over the canvas fabric. Oil pastels are a type of crayon that work well on canvas because they’re rich in color and texture.

Types of Canvas

Not all canvases are the same. Some are made of cotton, and others are made of linen. Cotton canvases are great for crayon art because they’re smooth and affordable.

They hold crayon pigment well. Linen canvases are stronger and last longer but can be a bit more pricey.

You can use crayons on primed and unprimed canvas. Try both out and see the difference.

primed canvas vs unprimed

Preparation of Canvas

Preparing your canvas is necessary before you start drawing. First, you might want to use a pencil to sketch your design lightly.

This ensures you get your image just right before adding color. You do not want the crayons to slide down the canvas, so be careful not to use too much pressure when sketching.

Techniques for Using Crayons on Canvas

Layering

Layering is a key technique when you want your crayon art to stand out on canvas. You can start with light colors and add darker ones on top.

This method lets you build up color depth and intensity. Remember, it’s necessary to press lightly at first and increase pressure to add more color.

Blending

Blending is how you mix colors right on the canvas to create new shades or soft transitions between colors.

You can use your fingers or a blending tool to mix crayon colors together. I also like using a slightly heated painting knife to get a smooth blended effect.

This way, you don’t just see individual colors, but a beautiful mix that brings your drawing to life. Be careful not to smudge the work you’re proud of.

Texturing

Texturing gives your canvas art a unique look. Try scratching lines or patterns into a layer of crayon with a pencil or the back of a paintbrush.

You can also layer different colors and scratch away parts to reveal what’s underneath. Texturing adds depth to your work, making it more interesting to look at.

When heating wax candles, I also like adding materials like sand for added texture.

Remember, crayons on canvas let you experiment and express yourself in ways other mediums might not.

Whether it’s the bold colors of regular crayons, the smooth application of gel crayons, or the unique effects of melted crayon art, there’s so much you can do.

Tips and Tricks for Crayons on Canvas

Using a Fixative Spray

After you draw on canvas with crayons, using a fixative spray is vital. It helps your artwork stay put and prevents the crayons from sliding down.

A good fixative spray ensures your crayons stick to canvas and preserve your work for a long time.

Remember, a fixative won’t protect your crayon on canvas from heat so keep it out of direct sunlight and heat.

The alternative to a fixative spray, if you want to permanently preserve your crayon on canvas, is to use a polymer resin coat.

This will dry like a layer of clear thick plastic and it should prevent the crayon from running or melting.

Experimenting with Different Surfaces

Canvases come in many textures, and experimenting with different surfaces can boost your creativity.

Whether it’s a smooth canvas for detailed work or a fabric for a textured look, each surface gives a unique crayon on canvas output.

You’ll find some surfaces better suited for techniques like melted crayon art or when you use oil pastels on canvas.

Pros and Cons of Using Crayons on Canvas

Like any art medium, there are pros and cons to using crayons on canvas.

Here’s a breakdown:

Pros:

  1. Accessibility: Crayons are widely available, affordable, and easy to use, making them accessible to artists of all ages and skill levels.
  2. Color Variety: Crayons come in a wide range of colors, allowing for a broad palette to work with.
  3. Versatility: They can be used for direct coloring, melting techniques, or mixed media, offering diverse creative possibilities.
  4. Texture and Layering: Crayons can create interesting textures and layers, especially when melted or combined with other materials.
  5. Safety: Crayons are non-toxic, making them a safe choice for artists, including children.
  6. Innovative Techniques: Melting crayons can produce unique effects and visuals that might be difficult to achieve with traditional paint.

Cons:

  1. Durability: Crayon artwork may not be as durable as other mediums, and can smudge or fade over time.
  2. Limited Blending: While crayons can be layered, they may not blend as smoothly as paints, limiting the subtlety of color transitions.
  3. Surface Preparation: Canvas may need special preparation to ensure crayons adhere properly and the artwork lasts.
  4. Control and Detail: Achieving fine details can be more challenging with crayons compared to finer-tipped instruments like pencils or paintbrushes.
  5. Perception: Crayons are often associated with children’s art, which might affect the perception of the artwork’s seriousness or value.
  6. Wax Bloom: Over time, wax-based media like crayons can develop a white haze (wax bloom), which might affect the artwork’s appearance.

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