Pencil Crayons on Fabric.
Have you thought about using pencil crayons in your landscapes and quilts? I first used watercolour pencils in this quilt called East/West http://www.valeriehearder.com/variousquilts.htm. Click on the detail of East/West. After all, it’s a wall hanging so I wasn’t worried about them washing out. You can use clear textile paint base extender instead of fabric mediums to make the watercolor pencils and crayons permanent. Jacquard has a colorless extender, but I haven’t used it. The extenders are the binder that adheres the pigments in textile paints to the fabric. In recent years, there have been industry changes to make pencil crayons colour lightfast. Better quality pencils crayons comply with these new light-fastness standards. I decided to ask some of my good friends how they use pencil crayons in their quilts.
Judy Martin (Manitoulin Island, Ontario) has incorporated painting and pencil crayon and a variety of drawing media directly on the fabric in her quilts for many years.http://judys-journal.blogspot.com/ Judy colours on paper, cuts then stitches the paper into the quilt as shown in this detail. Embroidery is a trademark of Judy’s quilts. See the full quilt on Judy’s web site. http://www.judithmartin.info/
“This is a piece with old photos of my brother and myself as youngsters framed with gold and blue piecework. The photos were transferred by heat using Xerox transfer paper. I coloured directly on that transfer paper over the photos using Prismacolor and they seem permanent. I use Prismacolor Pencils for everything. I write text with white Prismacolor before embroidering it with chain stitch.”
Here is Judy’s method:
1. Black and white photos,
2. Colour Xerox from a place that does t-shirt transfers
3. Image will be reversed for heat transfer
4. Before heat transferring (with iron), colour selected parts with Prismacolor pencils
5. Place transfer paper face down on ironed, white cotton fabric and transfer with med-hot iron for about a minute, moving the iron gently and constantly. Peel the paper off gently.
6. Remove extra colour and “glue” by ironing several times under plain typing paper. This also heat sets the image
Martha Cole is a landscape based artist with roots burried in Saskatchewan, “I use the Prismacolor pencils extensively as an “integrator” to create highlights, more intensive shadows, and to add contrast between different areas of the work – rather than draw with them. Because of this, it’s hard to actually “see” them on the works – my objective is to just intensify what is already there.” http://www.mcintyregallery.com/images/cole/cole.htm http://www.exploringcreativity.com/featured_artist10_archive.html (Martha is a book maker – see some wonderful books here)
http://www.cbbag.ca/OL_Gallery/PV_Book_Artists/main.html Martha is a featured artist in Jane Donnewolds new HeArt Cloth Quarterly (see link on the right)
Doll maker extraordinaire Margi Hennen (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) uses pencil crayons as well, http://www.exploringcreativity.com/featured_artist6_archive.html Margi says “My VERY FAVOURITE pencil crayon is a fat luscious one labeled Koh-I Noor Hardtmuth OMEGA-set of 24 made in the Czech Republic that I got at Gwartzman’s in Toronto some time ago. Neither they nor anybody else can find any more of these, but if anyone could find a source I would be overjoyed. They work beautifully on fabric; are not water-soluble.” (If you know a source, I’ll pass it on to Margi.)
Janet Rice-Bredin (Thunder Bay, Ontario) opened her fabric cupboard doors and drew her stash with pencil crayons on tightly woven cotton ironed to freezer paper with the Berol Prismacolor pencils. http://www.janetricebredin.com/quilting/gallery.html. Janet says:
“I took Pencil Crayon Techniques at Lakehead University (spring session I was supposed to be landscaping, and all I wanted to do was colour!) Quality pencil crayons are made up of a mixture of clay, wax and pigments.” Janet says one of the best books on the subject is “The Colored Pencil: Key Concepts for Handling the Medium” by Bet Borgeson ( on the Bookshelf on the left).
http://www.cpsa.org/ Colored Pencil Society of America. Check out research in light-fastness information that has been recently done for coloured pencils that was spearheaded by this organization – an interesting site.
Creative resources links
http://www.teras-wish.com/sample.htm#trythis Tera’s site is a joy – so much inspiration and creative kick-starts here! Read her fantastic article on pencil crayons, but also, do yourself a favour and signup for her creative newsletter.