How would you like to paint with crayons?
Encaustic painting is loads of fun, and you can use it to achieve a lot of really cool effects, but unless you want to shell out for a pricey encaustic painting set-up, then your techniques are limited:
And that’s about it… UNLESS you have this cheap, genius little tool called a kitska.
A kistka is basically a little metal funnel wired into a wooden stylus. It’s meant for making Pysanky eggs: you insert beeswax into the funnel, heat it over a candle flame, and then paint with the melted wax.
But you know what else you can melt and paint with?
Here’s how to do it:
2. Insert a few crayon bits into the funnel. Be mindful if you’re doing this in the middle of your painting, because the funnel will heat up.
3. Heat. A candle flame is the simplest heat source for this. With kids, it’s a bit of a negotiation to get it into a spot that’s convenient for the continual re-heating that the kistka will need, but not so near at hand that the kid will stick her elbow into the flame.
Full disclosure: my kid totally stuck her elbow into the flame once! That’s why you keep an aloe plant in your kitchen. Anyway, we’re pretty blase about minor injuries over here, so she was handed some ice and aloe, she declined my polite invitation to go rub some dirt on it, and she got back to work.
Wipe the kistka clean with an old towel between colors, and you’ve got the means to paint with crayon wax in any color, on any surface.
So far, the kids and I have painted with crayons onto paper, dyed Easter eggs, and stretched canvas. We’ve done watercolor resist over some of the surfaces, with good results. The crayon does re-solidify quickly once it’s on the surface, but there is time to add embellishments, such as glitter, or other 3D components, such as beads and buttons and other bits of found art.
And now you have one more way to recycle your old crayons!