Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let's Call It a Comeback

Ah, Payons! If you've taught a while, you remember these gems.  Always hard.  Stuck in the black cardboard tubes, then suddenly (without warning) slipping out and you'd find them later in a water cup.  They stained EVERYTHING.  Most art teachers I know got rid of them.  But I am not a person who gets rid of everything (see any previous posts where I speak of my hoarding ways).  So, I have a box full of them in my painting cabinet (they were here when I came 9 years ago).

This morning we were in our collaboration group and another art teacher was sharing how she's using water soluble oil pastels with styrofoam.  She has them "carve" their styrofoam with a dull pencil, then color the styrofoam with water soluble oil pastels, lightly spritz their papers with water and print.  It works wonderfully, there's more blending and color gradation and they can print several times before they recolor.  Only I don't have any water soluble oil pastels.  I have Payons.  So I tried it, and it worked:

I just used scrap styrofoam that I had.
It's just a design, not a word
(although it looks a bit like one here)
While we were all working someone asked "I wonder if these oil pastels would work on Gelli Plates?"  We tried, and it didn't work at all.  But Payons did! They create a beautiful watercolor effect when you dip the Payons in water, draw directly on the Gelli Plate and pull the print:

In case you don't know this about me, I LOVE my Gelli Plates.  I make Gelli art all the time at home (so I'm totally taking a box or two of old Payons home with me tonight!)

Unlike LL Cool J, I'm totally calling this a comeback for Payons! (And their performance may just knock you out!)

See how the yellow Payon stained the Gelli Plate?
It's not a big deal.


  1. I have some of those, too! I can't wait to go into school tomorrow and try printing with them and the foam. My students create pictures of themselves for printing last week, Warhol style, We will put them to work right away! So glad you shared and maybe I sneak some home for my gelli as well.......

  2. Please post how it works on your blog! I can't wait to see them! I will tell you I came right home and worked with some Payons on my Gelli plates--they worked great on the real Gelli ones, but not really at all on my homemade gelatin plate.

  3. I will post! Tried them on kutz-it, great; plexi, okay; and the foam. The best part was the kids really thought it was cool. We did ghost prints as well with the kutz-it.

  4. I haven't unearthed any Payons (I'd love to find some hidden away) but I have ordered and used "watercolor crayons" and colored pencils - much the same? I have the kids use a babywipe (really a quarter of a babywipe - I'm too frugal to give them a whole one for those tiny fingers), wrapped around their fingers to blend the crayon/pencil and make it look like paint. The kids love the transformation and I like the blending and lack of water cups to find crayon pieces in at the end of the day. More control than brush and water.

  5. Jen, I love your idea of the one fourth of a baby wipe! I'm totally going to try that. And I actually discovered a whole OTHER huge box of Payons at school today! I think they might be multiplying in my closet!


Pin It