Drawing With Crayons

Some fun ideas, tips and tricks for crayons for beginner and younger artists!

In this guide, we’ll learn how to draw and colour simple shapes and pictures with crayons. The great thing about drawing with crayons is that they’re a medium for everyone to use - whether preschoolers, older children, teenagers and even adults! They’re non messy, non toxic and kid friendly, and come in a wide variety of colours and shades to play with. And it’s not just colouring, but you can draw objects, cartoons and animals the more you practice drawing with crayons!

Watch the video below for some drawing with crayons ideas that your kids, and you, of course, can enjoy with your creative kids crafts kits. Notice how the colours for the outlines of the drawing are selected carefully based on the colour of the object; for example, a peach outline for the pink popsicle gives a softer appearance, rather than using a black outline which would make it look rough and stand out awkwardly. Keeping that in mind, let’s go over the step-by-step process to creating these simple designs and how to make them look neat and beautiful, so you can use your imagination to create even more masterpieces with your crayons.

Watch this video

Artsy, crafty fun! Are you ready?

1. Get a good reference

Like any art practice, it’s always good to have a reference of the picture you want to draw for your crayons ideas, preferably in front of you, because it’s not easy to recreate lighting and shadow from memory. Just be sure to first make light strokes with your crayon when drawing the outline; this will form the base upon which you build darker colours. Also make a note of which direction the light source is coming from. This way, during the colouring phase, you will know which areas to leave blank white (direct sunlight) and which areas to shade darker for shadow.

2. Colour in the same direction

This may take time for very young children to master and may need some handheld guidance from their parents, but moving the crayon in the same direction when colouring makes your picture look much neater and less messy, just like in the video. If you have to colour around a curve or corner, like for the doughnut, just follow the direction of the outline and keep going in the same path. If you colour in different directions, it gives a textured appearance to the object - which is useful for things like the macaron example in the video, but not when you want a smooth object.

3. Apply uniform pressure first, then more for shading

This is another tip that very young children find hard to follow because they tend to press down on the crayon more, but with practice and parental guidance they’ll be able to run the crayon smoothly and uniformly too. When you’re starting with your base colour, go lightly in the same direction, starting from the darker areas of your reference to the lighter areas (where you just leave blank to create highlights or direct sunlight). Then, you can apply more colour with slightly more pressure to create shadows as seen in the video. For a really distinct outline, you can run the back of the crayon along the base outline with a firm hand.

4. Mix and overlap colours

Don’t be afraid to mix and match colours to add extra depth to your shadows or the lighting of the object! Choose colours that are close in tone to your base colour on the colour wheel, e.g. if your colour is pink, you can layer it with a light red or maroon, or even orange to create a sunset effect. This will also come in handy when it comes to our other tutorial for blending with crayons. For outlines or shadows of the object itself, it’s best not to use black unless you want a really striking solid object - try the darkest shade of the base colour crayon you used.

This is another reason why it’s important to go light on your base colour when you start; because of the high wax content of the crayons, layering and blending the colours becomes very difficult if there’s too much wax on the page.

5. Tools at the ready

Of course, it’s always good to have quality paper that will grip the colour from the crayons evenly, such as the high quality art paper that Kids Circle provides in our awesome arts and crafts bundle kits. Another most essential tool that usually comes with your crayons is a child-safe sharpener; it’s good to keep your crayons with a nice rounded triangular point so they go more evenly on the paper. (Younger children may require adult supervision to sharpen crayons.)

Now that you’ve got the hang of drawing with crayons the artistic way, it’s time to unpack your best Kids Circle arts and crafts kit and let your imagination run free! You can try out the crayons ideas shown in the video, or you can pick an object or simple scene from the world around you. By mastering lighting and shadow when drawing with crayons, you’ll be able to transfer those skills to many other mediums, and let your creativity expand even further!