"Funky Fun with Chalk Pastels".
There were, in my estimation, between 60 and 70 people there - a little crazy for a 50-minute hands-on workshop, but everyone was smiling so I think it was successful! Thank goodness for helpful attendees who helped with materials distribution when way more people showed up than seats in the room! The purpose of the workshop was to explore alternative techniques using chalk pastel, in particular for those who don't care for the dustiness of working in chalk. I shared two techniques, with some extra variations, and I'll explain them all in this blog post.
(Note: The image I'm holding is something from a different process; my green apron is courtesy of Blick!) Bogus paper, if you've never heard of it, is made from recycled paper, is inexpensive, and is very absorbent, kind of like a blotter paper, so it holds up fairly well when wet. You can see the wet color of the paper in the photo below, in the uncolored right-hand corner. Not very pretty. I like to make sure the entire paper is covered with color.
(Note: it's a good idea to have student names on the paper with Sharpie before soaking. Do that in a prior art class to get the paper ready to use.) Use soft chalk pastels to color on the wet paper. The chalk will turn paint-like on the wet paper, creating bold rich color. Black outlines or details work great on top of the color.
Here are more images of work done using this process, by participants in my workshop. There are so many possibilities! Perhaps cakes a la Wayne Thiebaud? Or, as I did once with my students, expressive hearts a la Jim Dine? Or maybe you'd like to emulate the work of Peter Max? Or...?
THIS FORMER BLOG POST. Make sure you scroll down through the post to see the completed student work.
✵Now, on to the second technique I shared at the workshop for participants to explore. Workshop attendees tried out the really fun technique that I call the "chalk dip". In this technique, the pastel chalk is dipped into tempera paint (we used white during the workshop; any color will work) and then used to draw on construction paper with short firm strokes, dipping again after each stroke. We used a lot of old faded blue paper during the workshop, but any color or black will work. Or, try white with a different paint color! The chalk color will be outlined by the paint color, as seen in the drawings below by workshop participants.
Some participants also tried the method successfully on the wet bogus paper (below),
or on black paper (below) with terrific results.
✵Did you know you can also draw with chalk into wet acrylic paint (white works nicely)? Just remember to clean off your chalks thoroughly before the acrylic dries on them! I'm sure there's lots of other crazy techniques you may discover, too!
✵Perhaps you have tried to draw on black construction paper with white glue, and when the glue was dry, you colored it in with chalk pastels, rubbing to blend as in the swirly artwork in the photo below. The glue lines will dry clear, so you will be left with black outlines.
By the way, if you'd like the rather simple handout from my workshop, you can find a link to it under the "Document Weblinks" tab on the upper right corner of the blog. Or, you can grab the document from the link right here: Link to 'Funky Fun with Chalk Pastels' handout.