Clear Gesso, Water Soluble Crayons & Oil Pastels

Oil Pastels and Crayons

Clear Gesso, Water Soluble Crayons & Oil Pastels

Comparison Oil Pastels Cray-Pas Grumbacher
Crayons Ranger vs Vicki Boutin

In terms of appearance, both have very similar adhesion to the paper with the Grumbacher having a slightly creamier layout. The area that was painted over with the Mont Marte Texture Gesso blended more readily having a smoother appearance than the paper-only area; a silicone stylus was used in the blending of all crayons. Cray-Pas were the more economic and offered greater value with additional colors, and were larger in size than the Grumbacher pastels. Performance wise there really is not a lot of difference in the crayon colors so go with the best price and larger size of the Cray-Pas.

There are a multitude of options available in the watercolor crayon genre but the two being compared today are ones that I have worked with extensively and feel comfortable with making an assessment. They both react to water in a similar fashion solubilizing into a wash-like appearance as water is brushed over the marks of color that have been applied to paper. The difference is that the Ranger crayons, once applied to the paper, do not blend AFTER the water is applied nor will they continue to be workable if you want to come back in later the next day to make adjustments. Vicki Boutin crayons continue to be workable for a longer period of time but not so much if they have had water applied. Refer to the circled areas on the chart to visually observe this. 

The other marked contrast is in the physical appearance of the crayon which may have some determination on which to buy depending on how you plan to use them. The Ranger crayons are in a pen-like holder, are capped, and roll out with a twisting motion—neat and clean to use but it is impossible to see how much product is still in the case as it is opaque. Also, the colors on the cap do not correspond to the color that is inside. Ranger, this needs serious work as some of the cap colors are so inaccurate that it is quite possible to grab the wrong color!

Vicki Boutin crayons look like…crayons with paper rolled around a barrel shape. They can be broken into desired pieces, used on the side, or scraped across the surface using the point. There seems to be more productivity within that format judging from the diameter of the crayon compared to Rangers. I like the flexibility of the simple crayon but the Ranger crayons can be counted on to stay put so layering is much easier. 

In the final analysis, I would get both and use them with the aforementioned properties in mind making each work as the occasion arises.

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