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An Art Supply Shopping Spree

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 10, 2023

Photo: “Pile of Crayola Colors of the World Crayons and Coloured Pencils.” (April 2023)

An unplanned visit to the grocery store led me down the food-less office supply aisle where clearance stickers covered half the supplies hung on wired metal racks. A thought ran through my head to justify the cost, “It figures. Spring Break is next week and it does not make sense to carry so many supplies with less than two months to round out the academic year.”

I grabbed the last two pointed scissors off the rack priced at forty-nine cents—perfect for cutting yarn and those annoying shipping labels off mailer envelopes. Then I saw the most impressive deal a few columns over: the entire line of Colors of the World (CotW) by Crayola was reduced for clearance (at about one hundred seven cents for one box of crayons). The Colors of the World color box has been one of the most sought after color palette collections that I have been actively searching for since I learned of their existence.

See, here is the crayon breakdown: I grew up in a world where skin tones were achieved using the peach, apricot, goldenrod, dandelion, and orange for shading. Basic packs of eight crayons never included a skin-tone shade, twenty four pack only included one apricot, and the mega-sized boxes of thirty-two/sixty-four/ ninety-six crayons only included one peach in each. Sadly the peach and apricot crayons were most popular and would get worn, broken, “lost”, or stolen faster than other crayons in the set.

The most lovable detail of the Colors of the World palette is that the colors are based on varying hues and shades of: Almond, Rose, and Golden. It covers a gradient spectrum of twenty four colors using those three warm bases.

Beyond using these art supplies for its original intended purpose, I plan to use them for more abstract drawings in a warm neutral color scheme. I will always have a love for graphite, charcoal, and ink wash (traditional “cool grays” as Copic Markers label them). On the flip side, the warm neutral palette of dusty pinks, taupe, and creamy beige is an arrangement of colors I am continuously drawn toward when selecting eyeshadows, outfits, and yarn skeins.

Were you the type to wear down your crayons?

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Ironscarf at 6:22AM, April 11, 2023

I remember in my early school days our teacher would bring out a box of Crayola crayons from the store room and I can remember the distinct smell of those crayons to this day. My own crayons didn't have that distinctive smell and I later found out why. It was the smell of cannabis resin, which explains why we were not allowed to go into the store room.

PaulEberhardt at 5:25AM, April 11, 2023

I normally use a wild mix of different brands of coloured pencils and watercolours. Especially with the pencils colours vary a bit between brands, even if they're labelled the same, so that way I get a large palette that allows me to fool around with different shades with less effort. I also found that different makes have different definitions of "water soluble" that encompass everything between "these colours do run, instantly" and "perfectly waterproof", which is good for effects as long as you can remember which are which. Important things like skin colours and the proper tiger fur orange are my own "secret" mixtures though. The bottom line is that I instantly go into hunting mode whenever I get too near an art store with special offers. Wax crayons are great stuff for effects. I used to use them for scratch art years ago. My trick to protect the scanner's document table from wax stains was carefully covering the picture with cling film, but I've never been too happy with that.

Avart at 5:43PM, April 10, 2023

I love crayons, as a kid it was my first approach to color drawings. Later I changed to color pencils but the feel and even the smell was unique. Thanks for bring me back good old memories:)

skyangel at 10:55AM, April 10, 2023

Your enthusiasm and excitement here seriously make me want to play with them! XD I've only ever used colour pencil but I can still relate to the sourcing problems. The flesh and pale browns would go down far more rapidly than the rest of the pencils so I was really pleased when I found I could buy my fave Caran Dache pencils separately in an art store and managed to hoard a small pile. Much as I'm often tempted to get a tablet too I still really love the feel of playing with different mediums like pencil and paint in their most basic forms.

J_Scarbrough at 9:41AM, April 10, 2023

Crayola was always the best brand of crayons there was out there; their colors were always bold, bright, and highly accurate (off-brands of crayons often had muted colors that made reds look like pinks and greens look bluish). As a kid, I always ended up going through the big boxes all the time . . . you know the ones, the ones that had the built-in sharpeners that never worked anyway.

lothar at 4:42AM, April 10, 2023

I was the type to melt my crayons and pour the wax into clay molds to make replicas of my Star Wars action figures. I needed more Ewoks.

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