Craft Cabin: How to Chalk Your Favorite Commons Images!

Posted by Penny in Articles

Sunny weekends are here (or on their way, anyway), and they bring the return of the Indicommons Craft Cabin–fun stuff to do with the images in Flickr Commons. Today, chalk art! It’s fun, it’s public, and it’s not all that hard to get an image that’ll bring a smile to passersby–at least until the next rain shower.

1. Start by choosing an image you’d like to chalk.
Don’t expect to be able to get an exact image–chalk isn’t very precise–but look for something fun to spend time with. A black and white image is okay–you can add colors as you please. I’m going to start with this one: silent film comedians Billy Quirk and Josie Sadler, from the New York Public Library uploads:

2. Now use tracing paper to make a sketch of the image’s main elements, and draw a grid over the image:

Tracing paper, pencil, marker

Tracing paper, pencil, marker

3. Draw the grid on the sidewalk (sufficiently multiplied for a larger space) with chalk, and sketch in the major elements according to your diagram:
Chalked Billy & Josie, #1

4. Color in large areas with fat “sidewalk chalk” to get a nice base layer down:
Chalked Billy & Josie, #3

5. Then go back in and add details and shading and fine-tune the colors with denser chalk pastels:
Chalked Billy & Josie, #6
That’s it! Chalk art can take a while–this was about 150 minutes from start to finish–but it’s fun to be outside and creating. What Flickr Commons image will you chalk?


5 Responses to “Craft Cabin: How to Chalk Your Favorite Commons Images!”

  1. Effie Says:

    Here’s to summer! What a fun idea.

  2. Penny Says:

    Thanks Effie! I have some Smithsonian images lined up as possible starting points for Saturday’s chalk-art event.

  3. Handicraft Trade Fair - How much inventory should I bring to the Craft Fair? Says:

    [...] indicommons┬╗ Blog Archive ┬╗ Craft Cabin: How to Chalk Your … [...]

  4. Nina Kuriloff Says:

    A very cool project!!!

  5. Catherine S Says:

    Can’t wait to see other photos that you chalk up! More photos please!

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