Friday, June 24, 2011

Block Crayon Practice

I've decide to continue my trend of posting on art-related topics throughout the summer.  Since we're focusing more on art this summer anyway, I figured it would be appropriate to do a weekly post on the different projects we're working on.  And Fridays work as a good kind of show-and-tell day to recap the week.

Today we were all feeling either under the weather or out of sorts in one way or another, so we took it easy and decided to spend our "sick day" experimenting with our block crayons. Beeswax Block Crayons are one of those Waldorf essentials, and I had never even heard of them before this year.   I'd heard from many people how great they were, and when I got some, I had to admit . . . well, they smelled nice.  But honestly, I had no idea what to do with them.  Ella mostly used them for a little form drawing and to make borders on her pages.  But all of those beautiful pictures I'd seen made with them were completely beyond my grasp.  Then, at the end of the school year, I finally decided to order the Coloring with Block Crayons DVD (it went on sale and I JUMPED on it), but the DVD sat on my shelf for another couple of months.  Finally I made time to watch it this summer.  So far, it's fantastic.  I especially love that she does all of her technique using just the three primary color blocks.  I think I might actually figure out what to do with those darn blocks pretty soon.

The first thing I noticed in the DVD is that she recommends using a coloring pad as a base.  I can't find them sold anywhere (I didn't even see them on her website anymore), so between her instructions and this easy tutorial we made our own this week using newspaper and paper bags.  I was skeptical of how much of a difference it would make, but it really does help the color settle into the pages, especially if you're drawing on individual sheets (as we always do) instead of drawing on a sheet of paper still in a drawing pad.  I'd recommend using one even if you don't use block crayons.

So, today we did a little experimenting with the basic techniques.  Ella seemed to catch on pretty quickly to some of them.  The author doesn't really recommend practicing specific techniques with the kids, especially in the beginning, but I couldn't help myself.  Plus, I know Ella.  She'd be crazy frustrated if she couldn't figure out how to draw something later, and she wouldn't want to practice it then.   Here are some of her practice pages:

I'm pretty excited about figuring it all out.  And I can't wait to make some drawings of my own soon, too!


  1. I've never heard of a coloring pad! When we were doing Enki drawing work, we were always using the sheets still in the pad, but I like this idea and might have to make a couple. Looks easy-peasy, which is always a plus! Good beginnings--enjoy the crayons!

  2. Definitely easy peasy! Took maybe ten minutes. My only complaint is that I'd need a bigger pad for some of our larger sheets of paper, and I don't think I'd like using the newspaper unfolded like they suggested. I'm thinking that fold line would be a problem. I'm going to keep an eye out at the fabric store for alternatives . . . vinyl, pleather, anything padded that can roll up for travel.


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