Children’s crayons vs Artists crayons

July 20, 2020

Crayons or coloured pencils

…children vs artists

We have recently written about pencils in a number of articles. Today we are answering the question (which someone kindly sent to us) about the differences between crayons / pencils bought for children and those which artists buy.

Is there a difference between coloured pencils and crayons

Crayon: a crayon is a coloured pencil. They are not just wax, they can have the standard wood outer which tends to be painted to match the actual colour in the middle.

The dictionary defines a crayon as “a pencil or stick of coloured chalk or wax, used for drawing.”

Wooden Crayons

Children tend to work in colour and use wax crayons more than pencils.

They prefer wax crayons because they are softer than pencils and they are more true to their colour (i.e. the colour which appears on paper looks like the crayon being used without needing to go over the area again and again) and, a big benefit, Wax crayons do not need sharpening.

Wax Crayons

An interesting fact;

The french word crayon meaning “chalk pencil” dates to around the 16th century, it derives from the word craie meaning “chalk” and comes from the Latin word creta meaning “earth”.

Crayons are made of?

A crayon also known as a wax pastel is a stick of coloured wax, if the pigment is made with a dry binder it is known as a pastel, if the crayon is made up with an oil based binder then it is oil or wax.

Children who don’t want crayons

Say your son or daughter has a talent at art but doesn’t want to use crayons. They need encouragement, what can you get for them that don’t cost the earth but gives them a much better medium with better pigment to use?

child drawing

Here are a couple of alternatives you can get from a decent art shop.

First, crayons – but oh what a difference…

Caran D’ache have these amazing crayons / wax pastels available called Neocolour II which are water soluble and Neocolour I which are water resistant.

They work and feel just like the crayons we looked at for children but these have a much stronger pigment and will give you a greater range of colours, not just that but you can add water to the Neocolour II and they will turn in to a paint.

It will be a lucky child who uses these, a normal one who recognises the difference between these and children’s wax crayons and a smart one who appreciates the difference.

caran dache neocolor II

Neocolor II

…artists’ pastels have a high pigment concentration that gives you the bright, opaque colours suitable for many techniques on dry or wet paper.

The Caran D’ache Neocolour II pastels do look like a child’s art supply, but they can absolutely stand side by side with any high end art medium based on it’s lightfast quality.

caran dache neocolor II water soluble

School quaility pencils

Quality wise they are great for an inexpensive pencil they don’t have as good a pigment as the artist pencils and once you add water the colour won’t move as well as the artist pencils. But if you’re looking for a set of pencils for the kids these are ideal.

All of these are available in store.

Students  / artists coloured pencils

Swisscolour by Caran D’ache are a student quality pencil. Swisscolour is a great range of coloured pencils with leads that are soft and resistant to breaking. They can be used dry for drawing, sketching and colouring or used with water to create exciting and dramatic watercolours.

As this range is a student quality it means they are affordable for those young children who have an eye for art and need something better than children’s crayons.

Choosing the crayons or pencils for your budding young artist

Pop in to the shop and we will be happy to help advise you on the most suitable items to buy for your budding young Picasso, cartoonist, illustrator or simply a lover of drawing.

Gadsby’s sell all of the art materials and supplies mentioned above.

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