Crayons offer the opportunity to experiment with color, color mixing and making pale or dark versions of the same color, depending upon the amount of pressure applied while coloring. Drawing lightly with one crayon color over another reveals new hues. If you follow basic color theory or color-wheel charts, for instance, yellow and blue crayon lines drawn on atop of each other form green.
Draw with crayons on white paper such as construction paper or watercolor paper before trying them on other colors of paper; the white paper allows you to see all the shade and color variations when you apply a light touch or a lot of pressure, or when you overlap two different colors. Paper that has a little texture to it -- construction paper or watercolor paper -- works well with crayons, as they leave just a little more color behind than they do on really smooth or shiny paper. Draw first with light pressure; then press more firmly for a darker version of the same color.
Experiment with color blending by starting with the primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Create strips or ovals of each color; then expand each color area to overlap the next shade slightly. Overlapped red and yellow create orange; blue and yellow form green; and blue and red create purple. Create custom versions of flesh tones, for instance, by coloring an area in with white, then layering peach, light browns or even hints of yellow or orange on some areas to create implied shadows. Even though white crayon on white paper isn't noticeable on its own, it adds a waxy base for blending the other tones atop it.
Add Emphasis With Outlines
When creating your own designs from scratch -- a house, school bus or person, for instance -- make the initial outlines with the same color crayon you will use to fill in the details, such as red for a strawberry. Once you color in the strawberry, go over the outline again either with black, a darker red or with the same red crayon again, going over the outline several times to make it thicker and more noticeable.
Fun With Broken Crayons
Instead of ignoring or discarding broken crayons, peel the paper off completely and use the crayons to create rubbings over objects with embossed or textured surfaces. Place a quarter or a piece of plastic mesh from a potato bag under a sheet of paper; then rub the side of the broken crayon over the paper on top of the hidden item. Use gentle pressure to create a rubbing of the item hiding beneath the paper. Experiment with other nearly flat items such as small paperclips or a burlap place mat.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.