In the art world, chalk is arguably an overlooked medium. Anyone would agree that chalk is associated far more with chalkboards in schools, than with artwork. Yet chalk has actually been widely used in creating artwork since the 15th century. Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo used chalk to experiment with chiaroscuro and provide an early outline for many of their masterpieces. Over time, chalk became a common, cheap, writing medium.
A recent resurgence in the use of chalk as an art medium gave rise to 3D street art. Chalkboard art has also become increasingly popular in stores and restaurants as a form of visual art used for advertising and marketing. There are also many artists who specialize in using chalk to create murals and wall art.
Those wanting to learn chalkboard art do not have to start big or create very complicated designs. Depending on your skill level, you can start small and work your way up as you improve. Top chalkboard artists have shared the following tips to help you create chalkboard art like a pro:
- Brand new chalkboards need to be seasoned. Seasoning a chalkboard helps lessen ‘ghosting’, which is a when the image is erased from the chalkboard but the image is still visible within the background. To season a chalkboard, use a full piece of chalk and run it over the entire surface, rubbing it well. Erase the chalk afterwards, and the chalkboard is now seasoned.
- Another very important tip is to use wet chalk. Dip the chalk in water before using it and keep it wet while you work because wet chalk dries bright and looks a lot better.
- Keep designs simple, but do try to mix up font styles. As with anything, the more you practice, the better you will get. Font styles also give an extra depth to the artwork, so mixing thing up can make the piece more exciting and dynamic.
- First, do a sketch to determine the size and placement of images and words. You can even use a level and measuring tape to make spaces more even.
- Lastly, practice as often as you can. If you are not extremely confident with your drawing skills, you can use a stencil and copy from clip art images. Start with basic shapes and figures, and then experiment with how to add shading. Make your artwork livelier by using colored chalk as well.
Don’t feel intimidated by how good other people’s artwork might be. You can master chalkboard art too with enough practice. In the beginning, you might feel that the outcome looks a little shaky. But, as you work more with chalkboard art, your hands will become steadier, and soon you will be sketching like a pro.
There are many practical uses to chalkboard art. It can be in the home or in businesses like cafes and restaurant. Here are the top uses of chalkboard art:
- Instead of a traditional calendar, you can create a rustic chalkboard calendar to be hung in the kitchen instead. You can put creative designs to remind you of certain chores or tasks you need to do within the week such as grocery shopping, etc.
- Chalkboard art can also be a nice addition to your office desk. Use calligraphy art to write down inspirational quotes or words and hang it in front of your office computer to brighten up your work space.
- Chalkboard art is also popular in many businesses as a way to entice and greet customers. You can find this in many coffee shops and restaurants where menu specials are written down in chalkboards displayed outside the establishment.
- Aside from chalkboard art being used outside restaurants, it is also popular these days inside the restaurant as a menu board. You can use quirky designs for menu items. In addition to this, you can easily add seasonal designs for Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and the like.
- Caterers also use chalkboard art for themed parties. Small chalkboard menu boards are used for listing dishes and other food items.
- Lastly, it can be used as a reminder board in the home or at the office. You can do away with boring whiteboard and replace it with fun, artistic chalkboard instead.
Chalkboard art is versatile and easy to master. You’re likely to see an application of chalkboard art in establishments you visit everyday. What’s amazing about it is that you can easily adapt it in your home or office.