An artistic friend of mine has recently been making beautiful chalk paintings of flowers. We used to do a lot of chalk drawing on our tiny blackboard for home school, but I have abandoned that, largely because there is no paper-trail of work that way to show that we have done something other than bake cookies all school year. I hadn’t thought of using chalk on paper. She has done several very lovely paintings (they actually are called paintings, if they are drawn in chalk on paper), and even has one entered in a gallery in Canada.
The technique intrigued me the moment I saw it. The colors are so vivid, and they blend together in interesting ways so different from paint, and the movement it captures is so distinct. My friend has a gorgeous set of chalk she got second-hand at a great discount, because real chalk-painting chalk is incredibly expensive (like hundreds of dollars for a set).
I found a beautiful (and affordable) set of chalk at Scissors, Paper, Stone that I invested in. We just used regular construction paper I got locally. Everyone loved making these paintings. After drawing for a little while, Clothilde rubbed her face and turned completely green. She looked like a ninja turtle and had to be washed off. The big kids started with garden pictures, and moved on to snow scenes. I can’t tell if they were just dreaming of cooler weather, or if it was to monopolize the much-in-demand white chalk. Artistically, it is a good opportunity to work with directional line, shading, and how different colors interact next to each other, because the chalk colors don’t blend easily like paints or crayons.
Another plus – the clean up and set up were easier than painting, which requires jars of water. Half the reason we don’t paint more (we used to paint every week when Mirin was little) is because Clo always manages to overturn a jar of water, every single time – and she also does unmentionable things to paint brushes that can be frustrating for the older children, who like the paintbrushes to have hairs in them and still work. I know we will get a lot of use out of these chalks for awhile.