Experiments in "Chalkboard" Painting (and Tips!)

I had the awesome opportunity to create some "Chalkboard" style paintings! I have been wanting to try this so I was thrilled! Plus they are for my lovely friend Kate who designed my business cards and launch postcards...she rocks. :) Anyway, since it was my first time to turn chalk drawings into paintings, I had to do a little experimenting. Here's what happened and a few things I learned along the way...

1. Use Chalkboard Paint.
Kate was awesome and already had four 12x12 canvases sprayed with chalkboard paint. Even though I was going to paint the lettering, I think the chalkboard painted background offers a more authentic look and allowed me to draw the lettering in chalk first and easily erase mistakes.

2. Sketch First.
Before I started painting, I drew out my lettering on paper and then in chalk on the canvases. Planning helped me to paint in confidence instead of feeling stiff while I was deciding on how any words would fit in which size.

3. Paint over the Chalk.
I wasn't sure if this would work, but it actually did great! I used a small brush to paint white acrylic over the chalk drawing.

4. Painting Freely Creates the "Chalk" Look.
I noticed something as I began painting. To get the look of chalk instead of paint (or computer print outs for that matter!) I had to use some different techniques. I used more "dry brushing" to get the dry, flaky chalk texture. Also, free fluid motions create a much prettier effect than stiff, tight strokes. Also, don't worry about varying thickness or lines that aren't exact. I think that really adds to the effect.

5. Wipe Clean!
Lastly, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away the chalk dust and do any final touch ups.

And there you have it! I love the way they turned out! Come back tomorrow to see the finished set!

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