Monday, September 12, 2011

Chalk Pastel Sunflowers

So this is a pastel project using a glue resist method I've seen several times.Most notably I've seen Kathy over at "Art Projects for Kids" use this many times.   I wanted to test the boundaries of this technique so I did a few experiments.


- chalk pastels, you can also try regular chalk, (results will vary, see below)
- black paper (cardstock, construction, tinted sketch)
- regular school white glue
- kleenex tissue
- pencil and eraser

Trace out your design in pencil.  I wanted to use odd cuts of paper for visual interest.

-Open(cropped) composition.

Now take your regular school glue or tacky glue and go over your outline.  Make sure you work on a flat surface.

I'm working on top of wax paper as my lines go off the page.

Let dry flat.

When dry you can snip off any little ends from the glue that go past the page.

Using the pastel add color in the sections marked off by the color and smudge.  Keep a tissue handy to wipe your fingers off.

Now I found the best way to approach this is to add color in small sections.  You can discuss with the kids the use of more than one color for each section as we have highlights and shading.

But when smudging I found it best to start with the lightest color first and then smudge into the dark.  This helps to keep those light colors from getting lost.  Wipe off fingers and then go to next part.  (for example I would smudge one petal, wipe, and then smudge the next).
Now I know not everyone has access to chalk pastels so I wanted to see how regular colored chalk would work.

This is done with chalk pastels.
and this is done with regular colored chalk.  We have fewer colors to work with and we don't have that richness in the colors but still do-able.

I tried this technique with oil pastels but found the glue sections very hard to smudge.  I could foresee lots of frustration and ripped papers for the kids so I recommend this only for chalk pastels.

Housekeeping:  Some of you may have noticed I added pictures for all the posts listed on my page directories at the top.  Seasonal is getting way to big so I am creating pages for each season.  I hope this will be more user friendly for you all.
 See you next time.


  1. SO SIMPLE and gorgeous! I'm absolutely clipping this to my Evernote craft file. ;-D Nice work!

  2. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it :D

  3. Hi there. Just a note on the glue. Last year I did a similar project using a regular school glue, and the glue ran terribly. The lines were so thick, that the project was almost ruined. I suggest using a good quality, tacky glue.

  4. Love,Love Love it :)
    thanks a bunch for sharing the how-to

  5. This techniques works great with water-colours too! Probably easier for younger kids. I have done it on white paper with black paint mixed in with the glue.

    Gorgeous sunflowers!

  6. I love the way you display your activity. It is very clear and simple to understand. I love this activity. I hope you don't mind, but I will definitely do this one with my kids....Thanks. Anna

  7. Super fun! This seems like an exceptionally awesome project for my 3 year old. She loves doing wax resist, (I think because of the way that no matter how much you throw on top of it, you still have something, or maybe it is just the magically mysterious way paint refuses to stick to the crayon, maybe both?) so this will be a different spin on the idea to explore. Thanks so much!

  8. I love this! And thanks Kathy for the watercolor tip. :)

  9. Love it! Thank you for sharing another great idea and making it so easy to follow!

  10. I love this project! I tried this and the glue took about 4 hours to completely dry. I'm wondering if you speed up the drying process for your class somehow. Advice?


  11. I remember doing something like this when I was in elementary school. My teacher sprayed hairspray on everyone's chalk art to keep the chalk together so it wouldn't smudge off. Would I need to worry about that?

  12. I just found your blog and I'm loving the art! I do a great deal of art with my children and I really love these techniques that allow children to express themselves!

  13. Love your blog. its includ 3 steps:glue, pastels colors, chalk colors? or that you mean that its glue+ one of the options Pastels/chalk?thanks

    1. You can use chalk pastels or just coloured chalk. Chalk pastels have more colours and have give a smoother final piece. Coloured chalk will still work, just fewer colours(not as intense) and drag a bit on the paper so not as smooth of a texture.

    2. Thank You <3

  14. Thank you for your artistic inspiration. I adapted this pastel resist lesson to our geography theme study. The children used the technique to create habitats. I shared a link to your blog so others can try some of your lessons!

  15. Thank you for this great idea. I have just tried it and will do it at art club. Just one question though, did the glue you used come with a specially small opening? I used a cheap glue which ran quite a bit so I couldn't get thin lines.

  16. Gail! This is so cool! I am sitting in my classroom planning to use this at the end of this week or the beginning of next week with my 4th graders! Thanks for the great photos and easy steps to follow. It makes planning such a breeze!