How to use beginner chalk pastel technique

Written by ruth eshbaugh
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Chalk pastel techniques can be used at any level or student above eight years of age. Advanced students will benefit from it because it reminds them of what they already know and causes them to be more purposeful in applying the lesson to an actual piece of art. For the beginning student it teaches skills and gives confidence.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Black construction paper
  • Chalk pastels
  • Paper towels
  • tissues
  • Q-tips
  • Eraser
  • Old dry soft paint brushes
  • Reference drawing or still life to draw

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    How to Teach Beginner Chalk Pastel Technique

  1. 1

    Introduce the lesson to the class. “Today we are going to try some techniques. Hopefully you will discover some new ways to use the medium.” Discuss how at least one of these techniques should be incorporated in the next pastel drawing. Have several sheets of black paper for each student. They will be able to do more than one exercise per sheet.

  2. 2

    Explain that there are different ways to draw with the chalk. Have the students do lines and squiggles using the tip, the side of the tip, the corner of the tip and then the side of the chalk.

    How to use beginner chalk pastel technique
  3. 3

    Elaborate on the ways there are to blend chalk shapes together. Have the students make two large shapes with two different colours; in one section use tissue or paper towel to blend. Have them use their fingers. Next have the class experiment with blending with Q-tips. Finally have them experiment with dry soft paint brushes. Use the paint brush in the same way you apply dry blush to the face.

    How to use beginner chalk pastel technique
  4. 4

    Explain that colour on top of colour can add depth to any rendered objects. There are several techniques. Light colour on top of a dark colour can have an interesting effect.. Have the students draw a dark shape and blend. Drag a lights colour on top with the side of the chalk. Make another shape and blend. This time use the tip or corner of the chalk to make a lighter shape on top of the darker shape. Next repeat the dark shape and blend and add cross hatching. Repeat the dark shape and blend and add feathering, thin lines going in the same direction.

    How to use beginner chalk pastel technique
  5. 5

    Ask the students to try at least one of the techniques in either a new pastel drawing or embellish their work from last week. Have them spend a few minutes evaluating the reference drawing or still life. Can they see where the use of line best helps them render the subject? Is there an area that might be improved by blending the chalk together? Can texture be added with good result? Encourage them to experiment like they did in the exercises.

Tips and warnings

  • Baby wipes are handy to have around to keep hands clean.
  • Keep a dustbin near by to get rid of excess chalk dust on drawing.

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