Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chalk Street Art and supplies

As the spring weather gets better and better, I am anxiously awaiting a fun event that will be happening at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in a little more than a month. Art in Bloom is a great fundraising event that the Friends of the Institute put together and help raise money for the Friends Children's Fund. This year I will be doing 2 sidewalk chalk paintings and am going to have a blast, weather permitting of course. So with that, I have been busy getting the supplies of chalk that I will be needing and wanted to share with you some of the ones that I have had success with! The biggest problem I had up until I bought the chalk backpack below was how to get all of the messy chalk out to events that were across town. I have really come to love this tackle box that I picked up at Cabelas. It allows me to store my chalk and still be able to look into it without having to open up each of the plastic bins.




So onto the most important aspect of any chalk artist and that is the CHALK/PASTEL. Over the years I have come to find varieties that work well for me on surfaces including concrete, asphalt, and bricks. The one that is always my go to is the brand of Koss. I have really loved this semi hard chalk and its brillant colors that it brings. The only problem is that it is not the most readily available, but worth the shipping costs to get it. Most of the time with Koss, I will order the 48 stick packs and they are usually around $20 each set.


Another variety that I really love to use is the Reeves pastels. I know that these tend to be on the lower end of the quality scale but when you are painting on concrete, you can go through tons of chalk in a hurry. It just isn't feasible to use high quality like Unison, you would go broke if you did. Anyways, Reeves provides a great foundation to get your images started and can be a very useful and inexpensive product. With these, the sets of 12 can usually be bought for around $4 and the sets of 36 can be attained for around $9


A third great option that I like to use is chalk from "Eternity Arts". It is larger in size, but works great for a quick layer of color. It also is used by some of the well known sidewalk artists such as "Tracy Lee Stum". These sticks of chalk are available in sets of 72 or 35 or by individual sticks for around 90 cents a piece.


Finally, there are other options when it come to pastels, I would just suggest that you find the manufacturers that you like. Others that I use here and there include Unison, Sennelier, and Rembrant. So as you can see, there isn't any one chalk that is out there, but by mixing and utilizing the different brands, you can attain the best images for the sidewalk! The one below was one I did from a mixture of Koss and Reeves.

10 comments:

Janvangogh said...

I didnt know you were so seriously into chalk painting. Have you ever thought of making your own chalk?

Shawn McCann said...

Hey Janet. Yeah, for some reason I have been into the street painting for a number of years now. Not sure why I ever got into it, but love doing them. Just wish we had nice weather year around up here to do it! As for making my own chalk, I know I would love to learn how, but just haven't had the time to experiment. Have you ever tried making pastel yourself? I would be curious what it all entails.

Nina Crittenden said...

I am impressed, and had no idea there were so many different chalk options out there! Your new organization system rocks!

Shawn McCann said...

Thanks Nina. Before I got the tackle box for the chalk, it was a disaster. Thankfully, this helps clean it up a bit. As for the varieties of chalk, it really is endless. If I were to do actual pastel drawings in the studio, I definitely would use a better quality, but these are not meant to last and are often power washed away after the events, so the quality isn't always necessary. Thanks and hope you are doing well!

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

That's a swanky-looking chalk caddy and an even swankier-looking chalk painting.

The event sounds like lots of fun. Be sure to post the info for the rest of us when the date draws near!

Shawn McCann said...

I will be sure to do that Christina! Thanks for checking out my swanky little carrier!

Janvangogh said...

Terry knows how to make pastels. But I dont think the ones she has made would be cheap. But she should be able to come up with a cheap way to make them.

Shawn McCann said...

Thanks Janet! I will have to talk to Terry about making the pastels

Anonymous said...

will you please tell me where your purchase your Pastels! much appreciated!

Shawn McCann said...

I usually buy my chalks from Eternity arts and Koss