Why Chalk Pastels?There are a few basic reasons we love chalk pastels. First of all, as a larger homeschooling family, we simply do not have the funds for a long list of art supplies. A starter set of chalk pastels can be purchased for around $8 and shared among the family at the kitchen table. Besides a set of chalk pastels, you can simply use a stack of printer or construction paper. Secondly, chalk pastels are so very successful for all ages. Chalk is familiar. Children love to hold a chunky piece of chalk and draw in the driveway. Chalk pastels are just a step up from there. They are pure pigments that you can paint with. We began using chalk pastels when our youngest was just two years old. As the children have grown, we’ve continued to use them and discover their varied uses. Chalk pastels are easy to layer color upon color, often called an under-painting. Older children can spend more time on a painting, add details and learn techniques. Chalk pastels are also forgiving. If you make a stroke that you decide you don’t like, simply layer over it with another color. You can also smooth it out of your picture and spread a new color. Don’t Like the Art Mess? We use chalk pastels at our kitchen table. You might want to have an inexpensive, plastic tablecloth or newspaper to cover your table. We simply wipe away any chalk residue with wet paper towels or baby wipes. Yes, baby wipes or soap and water get all chalk off of your artist’s hands.
You are an ArtistYou might think that you are not artistic or the thought of teaching art may be overwhelming. Here is some encouragement. I am the daughter of a master artist. I thought that I had not inherited the art gene. But my mother, Nana, came and taught us all. And through watching my children, then practicing myself, I found that I am an artist as well. All I needed was chalk pastels and practice! You simply need practice to build your confidence as well. Nana says… “All of us are born with talent...an inbred wiring to create. As parents, grandparents and teachers, tapping this talent and helping students reach a rich satisfaction with the creation of art is our goal! If you pick up a brush, pen, pastel chalk or use your finger for glorious finger painting – you become an artist.” Hence our motto, you ARE an artist!
Simple Art IdeasOne way to have a successful art time is to combine art with another subject, such as literature, science, or history. Last year, we created beautiful space art along with our astronomy studies. I never knew how gorgeous a comet or nebula would be with just chalk pastels and black construction paper. (For a Nebula Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial go to: https://www.homeschoolingtoday.com/article/nebula-chalk-art-tutorial/ ) We have had art time based on the books Cranberry Thanksgiving, Madeline, Cat in the Hat, Lentil and more. We have even used chalk pastels for Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo, Angry Birds, Star Wars and many more. It is always a delight to follow nature study time with a sketch using chalk pastels. How about a beautiful dandelion in chalk pastels? To encourage you, I am sharing an art tutorial you can do with a favorite fall book, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. Supplies Needed:
- Red construction paper
- Chalk Pastels: Red, yellow, black & orange
__________Now in her 16th year of homeschooling, Tricia Hodges celebrated her first homeschool graduate last May! She faces a daily dose of chaos with five children. She is author of art curriculum (www.chalkpastel.com) for all ages and helpful homeschool habits at www.Hodgepodge.me. She and her husband, Steve, are also owners of www.thecurriculumchoice.com.