I just finished entering my latest drawing into the MN State Fair Fine Art competition.

This is “Curio” 11×13″ on Stonehenge.


I used Neocolor II in conjunction with my Luminance colored pencils for the first time. I had been inspired by Ranjini V’s beautiful still lives which use them, and also recently the Colored Pencil Society of America disallowed their use in their International Exhibition, which intrigued me. If these things aren’t really colored pencil, what are they?

It turns out they are water soluble crayons. Caran D’Ache now calls them out as “wax pastels.” They really are big, soft crayons. They layer over colored pencil beautifully. Being water soluble, they go on and one can then use water and a paintbrush to create a watercolor effect. The more I try water media the more I dislike it, so I’ve been sharpening the Neocolors and using them as crayons. They are very highly pigmented and also very “slippery”, so I have found they work best for me at the very end of the drawing.

I thought this would be a good candidate for the MN State Fair Fine Art Show because it tells a story. I hope the judges agree. Either way, entering the MN State Fair Fine Art competition is a yearly ritual for me. It’s worth the effort just for the sneak peak at the show that artists earn by entering. I highly recommend this show for MN artists and anyone at the fair.

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