Wet Chalk Drawings
By dipping your chalk into wet paint, you can create wonderful works of chalk art that won’t smudge like regular chalk.
By Andrea Mulder-Slater
What You Need:
- Paper (any color).
- Colorful chalk (either chalk pastels or blackboard chalk).
- White tempera paint (liquid).
- A dish for the paint.
- Optional: permanent black magic marker.
What You Do:
- Make a drawing using pencil.
- Optional: outline your drawing with black magic marker (permanent).
- Put a small amount of white tempera paint into a dish.
- Dip the tip of your chalk into the white tempera paint.
- Draw on your paper. The drawing marks you make will show not only the colour of the chalk but also an edge of white paint. If you draw on dark colors, the white will show up very nicely. You could also use a dark tempera paint with a light color paper. The possibilities are endless.
- The beautiful part of this activity is that the paint “seals” the chalk so it won’t smudge on the paper.
- For an interesting finish, try mounting your finished drawing on a piece of newspaper, or a page out of an old phone book.
Dan Triplett, art teacher at Bordeaux Elementary School in Shelton Washington, did this lesson with his students and this is his account of the process…
My 4th and 5th students really enjoyed this lesson. I told the kids that would be using chalk to paint their pictures.
The process was simple: Students chose different colors of chalk and dipped that chalk into white tempera paint and “painted” pictures they had drawn.
The chalk and paint together made a colorful paste and went on very easily. It took a bit of getting used to and one can overdo it with the white paint. If the chalk doesn’t form a pasty substance when mixed with the paint, the student needed more paint. (Sometimes there was enough white paint already on the paper so I had to remind them to grab it with the chalk and mix it in.)
I would recommend you experiment with this technique and see what works best for you.
You want both the chalk color and the white paint to show.
It gives a very soft look (these pictures really don’t do it justice – too much reflection when I scanned them).
I hadn’t thought of trying other colors of paint along with the white (like a brown for the window shelf) but that might be worth trying).
We used light-brown colored construction paper but other colors would work well too. Construction paper is best as it is stronger than plain white paper.
First the students drew the vase/flowers/fruit/curtains in pencil and then outlined them in black permanent marker.
Finally the students painted their pictures using colored chalk and tempera paint.
Most students re-outlined in black marker after the paint had dried. If students are careful, they can avoid this step by not painting over their black lines.
In the pre-lesson for this project we talked about balance, design, background, overlapping, and how to use the surface of a paper to create depth.
Much more could be said but I left it at that.
The tricky part I found was getting the students to understand the importance of placement of the vase and the flowers.
The end picture is supposed to look like a vase of flowers sitting on a window shelf with curtains pulled to both sides.
Pictures were not flaky or powdery.