Recently I, along with my daughter and niece, had the opportunity to participate in Knoxville’s Annual Chalk Walk. Each year they open Market Square to artists of all abilities to create a chalk creation on the sidewalks. This was our first year, and we learned a lot!
1. Come prepared. They provided us with chalk. Anything else was up to us. We brought felt squares for blending and masking tape. I will post more at the end about what I plan on bringing next year.
2. Have a plan. We had sketches of what we wanted to do. This was extremely helpful. It would be very hard to work on the fly with so many people watching you!
3. Know some basic chalk techniques. This was my first time EVER working with chalk for drawing other than using children’s sidewalk chalk with my kids!
4. Be prepared to shift gears. I had to redraw my sketch a bit for proportion. I also ran out of a color for the skin and had to improvise.
5. Wear old clothes. You WILL get dirty!
6. Have fun! We enjoyed ourselves so much, and cannot wait to go back next year!
This is the finished piece my daughter and niece worked on.
This is my finished piece. It was kind of unfinished, but my old bones had had enough of the cold concrete!
Here are some other beautiful works in progress:
Now, for what I would do differently.
First, I would definitely bring knee pads! That is what affected my artwork most of all. It is hard to work if you are in pain.
Bring extra chalk. Although they had a table for trading in chalk, the colors you wanted weren’t always there. So, especially if you know you will be using a lot of one color, bring backups!
Bring a chalk line and mark out a grid. Have your sketch on a grid. It is hard to keep the perspective correct when you are working on the ground.
Bring lots of paint brushes, some water, and plenty of felt for blending. The water allows you to “paint” on the chalk, and you can use paint brushes for detailed work. I had neither, and it was very hard to get much detail on the rough concrete.
And finally, practice! I plan on filling our driveway with chalk art this summer in preparation for next year.
Wondering what kind of chalk to use? Try these: Pro Art Chalk Pastel Set, 36 Color
To see all of the beautiful artwork created, check out the Dogwood Arts Festival album on Facebook!
Apryl–Born and raised in Tennessee, Apryl is a southern girl at heart. She lives out in the country with her husband and her three daughters. After having an unfulfilling public school education herself, and struggling to find peace with the education her girls were receiving in the public school system, she made the choice to homeschool. When they began their homeschool journey, the girls were in the third and sixth grades. Now she is happily coaching three teenaged daughters through their high school years.