I prepared for working with sidewalk chalk the best way I could. I thought it would be a different medium then one I’d previously used.
Some sit the chalk in water, let it soak and draw with it.
Some break down the chalk entirely, mix it with water and paint with it.
Some just use chalk for what it is.
I checked out a few videos of tutorials and tips. I came across one with David Zinn, a well-known sidewalk artist. He didn’t use water at all, which made me feel more comfortable. The way he draws is much like charcoal, and I liked it best. I channeled my inner David Zinn and practiced around my apartment complex.
When I went to the Sidewalks Arts Festival that SCAD ran, I just had fun with my piece. I truly enjoyed working with the medium. It had a soft creamy feel that slowly pigmented the grains. After I had my outline, all that was left to do was to layer color vibrancy. Over and over. I had two hours to complete the work, but if I’m being honest: it seemed ten minutes.
When I came home, I noticed a small rock with shaky rainbow colors. It sat next to one of my practice sidewalk pieces. Mere inches from the scribbled “art” was a child exploring it. The biggest strength of sidewalk art, to me, is the ability to connect with children. Other mediums like acrylics, gouache, digital are on a more sophisticated tier that isolates from children. Whereas sidewalk chalk is loose, scribbly, and raw.
As David Zinn mentioned, we all created as kids. Whether it was with a crayon, chalk, or words: we created something worthwhile.