Scratch and Sniff Drawings

Remember at the end of the post about drawing pumpkin pie that I said I had an idea I was excited to test? I wanted to test whether or not I could make scratch and sniff drawings. I successfully drew scented versions of pumpkin pie, peppermint pie, and key lime pie. Read on to learn how! Affiliate links below. 

I started by testing two different papers to see if either one would be better for holding scent. I was guessing that a paper designed for wet media would do a better job than one only intended for drawing. I cut small squares of Strathmore Cold-Press Watercolor Paper and Neenah Vellum Bristol and drew a slice of pumpkin pie on each, using Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. Then I got out my LorAnn Cinnamon Oil

After receiving an awesome variety pack of LorAnn Oils last Christmas, I've been using them for all sorts of edible craft projects. But I've never used them for non-edible crafting. I put a drop of cinnamon oil onto a Q-tip and gently rubbed it into the drawing. 

Oops. Apparently cinnamon oil makes a good solvent for colored pencils. 

I took a good look at the two pie slices. The bristol paper looked and felt greasy, but the watercolor paper didn't. So I proceeded with the watercolor paper.

For my next experiment, I wanted to test whether putting the scent down first and coloring over it would work better than applying scent to a completed drawing. I sketched some pie in pencil (in retrospect, I wish I hadn't), then put drops of LorAnn Peppermint Oil and LorAnn Key Lime onto separate squares of watercolor paper. Peppermint is an 'oil' (left below) and Key Lime is a 'flavor' (right below) and I was curious to see if one would work better than the other. 

I let each dry completely, then used the same colored pencils to color in the images. It worked! I used microtip scissors to cut out each pie slice, then recycled the scraps. (Our pantry has smelled cinnamony-delicious ever since. Guess where we keep the recycle bin!) 

There are a zillion more variables to test before conclusively announcing that this is THE way to make scratch and sniff drawings. How would alcohol markers perform? Pastels? Crayons? What about other paper types? I'm not sure. I may come back to this someday.

As for now, it's been a week and my drawings still have a nice scent. I'm not sure how long it will last if I keep scratching and sniffing, but as far as I'm concerned, it's already a success.

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