Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chalk Pastel Poppies

I have already had requests for new Poppy projects for November so I have come up with a few.

This is a chalk pastel version using the white glue on black paper method.

I am very fond of this technique as it always produces winners but I added a bit of twist this time.


- black paper, you want some tooth or texture so black sketch paper or construction paper works great
- chalk pastels
- white school or tacky glue
- acrylic or liquid tempera
- charcoal and pencil crayons


With a pencil draw out your design on black paper.

Overlapping some of the poppies and stems helps create a good composition. You need enough space between your lines so that the glue won't just run all together.

Using white school glue or tacky glue go over your lines with a bead of glue.

Keep paper flat to dry.

When the glue has dried it's time to add the chalk pastel.

For smudging I like to use kleenex and q-tips for the tight spaces.

When I am using chalk pastels I approach it just like a painting, adding light colours for highlights, dark colours for shadows.  Each poppy is made up of several colours not just red.

Here are the poppies all filled in.

Now you could just stop here or add a background.  I wanted a background but I did not want to use chalk pastel.

First off that would have been a lot of chalk pastel, most schools have a limited supply of pastels. Second it could easily become messy with the smudging, although I have my glue lines for definition chances are some of the background colour would wind up on the poppies.

So I chose to use acrylic paint. You want a colour that will give you a chalkboard like effect so pick a lighter more 'pastel' colour.

Do not add water we are doing a dry brush method here.

You can see what I mean here. I am also criss crossing my strokes.  I do this because the brush strokes show up quite a bit using this method and I don't want long brush stroke lines that the eye will follow rather than looking at my poppies.

When the paint dries I decide to take it a bit further.

Using a charcoal pencil I add some shadow around the poppies on the left.

I also add some pencil crayon, layering on some different shades of blue. I am doing this lightly just to add some depth to the background.

Finally I just add little white paint to the upper right corner. I'm just using my finger to rub it in.

That's it. I quite like using the paint for the background and I can see that this will become my primary method from now on.

See you next time.



  1. Thank you Gail! Will try this with my class today!

  2. What a fabulous activity! I can't wait to try it with my kids. Pinned.

  3. Gail, Thanks so much for all of your great ideas. I have recommended your posts all the way to teachers in New Zealand. Will try this Remembrance Day project this week. Thanks so much again for all of your helpful ideas. Lisa Rand Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba