Do you like to draw with chalk? Maybe on a chalkboard or on the side walk? Did you know that chalk is one of the oldest drawing tools and it has been used ever since prehistoric times?
Chalk is actually found in nature! It is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite, pieces of which are used for drawing. It is usually used dry on paper, and because it smudges easily, it is easily mixed and blended. White chalk was originally used to add highlights to works like paintings. Here is a picture of natural chalk!
What about colored chalks that we use? Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrat that we use when we make colored chalks! This material is also used in things like plaster and walls.
Here is an example of his work:
Jean Clouet (French, 1480-1541), Jean de la Barre, c. 1520, black and red chalk
Many other Old Masters used chalk, including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo Buonarroti, as well as Northern Renaissance artists such as Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt.
Later, other famous painters used chalk either for finished drawings or sketches. The list includes Jean-Honore Fragonard, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Degas.
Sidewalk Chalk Art
Your favorite kind of chalk art might be outside on the sidewalk! Many people enjoy getting down on the sidewalk, driveway, or even the street to create a temporary masterpiece that the rain is sure to wash away one day. There have been who festivals devoted to watching artists work on large chalk art pieces in the middle of the street! The AMA hosts this kind of festival each fall. It's called ChalkFest! Have you been to Chalkfest? Do you think you would like to be one of those artists?
Let's make our very own chalk paint at home!
Here's what you need:
- Liquid food coloring
- Muffin tin
- Measuring cup