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Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels

Updated on November 16, 2014

Caran d'Ache Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels

I originally bought a few of the Caran d'Ache Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels as open stock to experiment with. After an afternoon with just a couple of colors I fell in love with this easy medium. They are not quite as water soluble as I expected, but they make up for it with ease of application and pigment coverage.

Many years ago I tried a set of oil pastels and it was a turning point in my work. I began to work looser and with more freedom of color and expression. Upon recently getting myself a set of Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels, I believe I am now again having a turning point in my work. They are an easier and cleaner medium than my oil pastels and there's something about their crayon like appearance that brings out my inner child to play. The work created thus far has been more whimsical than my norm and I'm looking forward to see what yet will transpire. The mark of a good medium is when it brings forth a playful willingness to see how far you can push yourself and your work. And Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels do just that.

The information on these pastels is sparse even on the Caran d'ache website. The important points for me were they are a quality medium with their high pigment concentration and excellent lightfastness. I created this page to provide information about the product as well as the various ways in which to use them.

Neocolor ll Watersoluble Wax Pastels bring back the joy of childhood coloring crayons. And they come in a wide enough assortment of colors to truly give you that big box experience.

NOTE: Neocolor II Water Soluble Wax Pastels should not be confused with Neocolor I Wax Pastels which are water-resistant.. Also Caran d'Ache makes Neopastels which are an all together different medium. Seriously you'd have thought they could have come up with a different name for these to avoid confusion. Ah well ... hard to fathom the inner workings of the Caran d'Aches marketing mind.

copyright protected by copyscape
copyright protected by copyscape

All copyrights are retained by the artist, Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery.

The artwork or content in this lens may not be used or reproduced, either in part or in whole, without the express written consent from the artist.

Neocolor ll Wax Pastels box of 84
Neocolor ll Wax Pastels box of 84

What Caran d'Ache Has To Say About The Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels

NEOCOLOR II water-soluble wax pastels are a product of Caran d'Ache innovation.They combine the expertise of a specialist in colours with the great "Swiss Made" tradition. 42 completely new colours created from original pigments extend the Caran d'Ache palette to 126 colours. These are exceptional, both for their quality and the techniques they make possible. This is the opportunity for all professional and amateur artists to fully express their talent and imagination.

  • Dry or wet drawing on all materials
  • Water-soluble
  • Exceptional covering
  • Excellent lightfastness.
  • Product conforms to CE EN71 ans AP (US market only).

Information obtained from the PDF brochure on the Caran d'ache website.

Though the company states that the Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels have excellent lightfastness, as of yet I've not seen any chart with the various colors listing their ratings. As soon as Caran d'Ache creates one I will either add it here and post a link.

Original Painting by Mona Majorowicz
Original Painting by Mona Majorowicz

Because Of Their Excellent Coverage Neocolor ll Wax Pastels Are Great For Working On Dark Surfaces.

Fleece On Earth This was an image I created while at an art event for our 2009 Christmas card image. It is done using both watercolor pencils and the Neocolor II: Water Soluble Wax Pastels on suede board. If I applied too much of the Neocolor II it seemed to burnish down the suede fibers some. This can be remedied by adding water to the surface but there is a limit to how heavily they can be applied to a suede surface.

On this piece the Neocolor ll pastels allowed my inner illustrator to come out and play. This painting was the result of my very first experience working with this medium.

Stack of Neocolor ll Wax Pastels
Stack of Neocolor ll Wax Pastels

No They're Not Crayons, They're A Fine Art Medium. (but yeah, "sigh" they totally look like crayons.)

Every time someone would look over my shoulder while I was working on my sheep painting, and ask me what I was using. I found myself rushing to tell them that they are water soluble wax pastels, despite their crayon like appearance. I mean I felt a little weird, because I'm like "Buy my original painting for $2500. And oh by the way, did you see I'm working in Crayola." I had to control the urge to hold one up and force them to read the description of the side.

Perhaps my issue arises from the "idea" of a crayon as a fine art medium. Maybe had I had . . . you know like real artsy schooling I'd be totally fine it. I'm feeling a little better now. So yeah, okay they look like crayons. But it says clearly on the label "wax pastel."

So I'm all good.

UPDATED When I just looked online at art supplies to get myself a set, they have them listed as . . . crayons.

(Heavy Sigh) Awesome.

Neocolor ll Wax Pastels
Neocolor ll Wax Pastels

The Various Ways You Can Use Neocolor ll Wax Pastels

I have not tried all the different possible ways for using this medium, but listed below are the most common.

* Lay down your color dry and then add a water wash.

* Wet brush and lift color off the pastel then paint

* Work them dry then use lightly moistened rag to smudge and soften

* Use them dry as you would a pastel

* Encaustic As they are wax you can use heat to create some interesting effects.

* On fabric as a resist and/or to color it like batik

* Wet surface then apply pastel gentle to saturated areas. I have done this on suede board and it gives a very soft watercolor like effect. Be aware it really uses up the pastel though.

Neocolor ll Wax Pastels
Neocolor ll Wax Pastels

And Because Neocolors Are Wax Pastels They Will Melt.

So be sure to keep them away from the heat, unless that's part of the process.

Prior to buying a set I was talking with an artist friend of mine and she was saying that she had purchased a small set but had forgotten them in the car and when she pulled them out later, they were melted into one giant crayon. (Brings back fond memories of making Crayola candles doesn't it?) She thinks the fact they were in a tin box probably exacerbated the situation.

My personal experience with this was when I was demonstrating at an outdoor art fair with the temps somewhere in the 90's. About mid-afternoon they turned to butter when I tried to use them, though they didn't actually melt. I quickly tucked them away in a cool shady spot and demonstrated the rest of the day with watercolor pencils instead.

As far as finished artwork goes I would also try to keep that in an environmentally friendly spot. I do a lot of art fairs so my artwork tends to get exposed to all sorts of extreme temperatures. So far I've had no problems with the finished work but still whenever possible I keep them out of the sun.

How I Use Neocolor Wax Pastels For Painting

Original Painting by Mona Majorowicz
Original Painting by Mona Majorowicz

I've have been a long time user of oil pastels so this was not exactly a large stretch for me medium wise. I work them pretty much the same way as I do oil pastels, which is primarily dry. I usually lay in a base color with some other medium, often with Inktense Pencils which are water soluble ink. They provide a rich permanent color base with which to apply the Neocolor Pastels. (For More Information Regarding Inktense Pencils please visit my Inktense Lens.)

What I especially like about Neocolor ll Wax Pastels over using oil pastels, are they are so much cleaner. This makes them a perfect medium for doing demonstration work. I have to use vinyl gloves when working with oil pastels in order to pull them off quickly when dealing with customers. None-the-less, I still have to wash my hands multiple times a day. Not so with Neocolor ll Pastels. My hands, not to mention my work surfaces and floors, stay much cleaner.

Bull's Eye On this painting I did the base color of my Bull using Indigo and Chocolate Inktense pencils and then applied the purples, mauves and white with Neocolor ll Wax Pastels. What I really love about the Neocolor ll Pastels are the excellent opacity and coverage. I don't have to do multiple layers like with other mediums. I can just apply a line and get complete coverage. This simplifies my process quite a bit and allows me work work a little more quickly, loosely and with expression.

Neocolor ll water soluble wax pastels
Neocolor ll water soluble wax pastels

Neocolor ll Wax Pastel Set Of 126 Colors - Unleash Your Inner Child With This Big Box Full Of Color

When I first decided to give oil pastels a try I was told repeatedly to buy a small set and see if I liked them. Well I bought the biggest set I could find and I'm glad I did. I think it was much easier to get to know a new medium without having to focus on how to create the colors I needed through blending. from a base set of 12. That to me is crazy making. I know it was because I started with a big set that I fell in love with the medium and have since gone on using oil pastels to create much of my art.

The first time I bought Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels was as open stock. I got a total of 3 colors for the heck of it when I was at an art supply store restocking on watercolor pencils for a demonstration I was doing . I had never heard of Neocolor ll Water Soluble Wax Pastels before so I bought those three just to see what they did. Of course I liked them immediately. I returned that same weekend to buy a bunch more and then upon returning invested in the big set.

Neocolor ll Wax Pastels
Neocolor ll Wax Pastels
Me demonstrating at Side Street Gallery in Okiboji Iowa
Me demonstrating at Side Street Gallery in Okiboji Iowa

About The Author Of Neocolor II Wax Pastels

Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery

My name is Mona Majorowicz I am a professional artist who has been making my living selling my work for some time now. I have been in the art and framing industry for over 20 years. I am an animal artist, (meaning I paint critters) who works primarily in Oil Pastel or Water Soluble Pencil.

I own and operate Wild Faces Gallery with my husband Mike in a small rural town in Iowa. There we sell my original artwork and prints, as well as do quality custom framing and offer Giclee printing for other artists as well as for ourselves

I maintain a blog called Fur In The Paint, as well as write a regular column for the equestrian magazine Apples 'N Oats about painting horses.

Animals are my passion and art is how I chose to express it.


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