Specialized Art Requires Appropriate Tools

Some one has said that there are as many different kinds of chalk art as there are artists: blackboard, chalkboard; 3D sidewalk, pavement, asphalt and street painting; animal painting; portraiture; as well as chalk art on paper or bed sheet canvas. Even the Chalk itself must match the work, depending on the drawing surface. provides skill-set training classes, videos, workshops, books and downloadable materials that aid and assist large format presentations for live audiences. This requires precise tools for effective display.

“The best part of any new endeavor, is that it involves the purchasing of a bunch of new stuff” – H. D. Thoreau

Chalk Art is centuries old. It is rich with a wonderful heritage of pioneers who carried their easels on horseback to the town square, the meeting hall and the church house. They easily captured the imagination with the simplest of tools.

Soon this included a specialized field of invisible black light chalk drawing. For this technique, the artist pre-draws a picture using special white chalk that reacts with color under UV lighting. At the conclusion of the drawing, a florescent UV black light reveals a hidden picture. This was an amazing effect 100 years ago.

Heroic efforts by those who practice and teach chalk art as a ministry have kept this ancient art form alive. They provide many of the supplies for this type of live illustration.

The Basics

To get started in chalk art requires an upright drawing surface. This allows the chalk dust to fall off the drawing, so it will not contaminate other colors. A sturdy practice board mounted on a wall works well.

To begin live presentations before an audience will require an easel with a solid drawing surface and a lighting system. Usually standard artist’s tripod easels will not support the pressure needed to draw on a large drawing surface for live presentations. A heavy-duty studio easel might work as a temporary solution. Professional artists prefer to purchase or build equipment specifically designed for live presentations. (See the e-book, Build Your Own Chalk Easel, for the helpful designs and ideas for any budget.)

The ideal drawing board width according to the industry standard (the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) should be larger than the distance to the last row of seats divided by six. Some large auditoriums are equipped with cameras for the speaker, which are displayed on large video screens, so even when a large easel is too small for a room, your presentation can still be seen.

To draw in front of people, requires a lighting system so that the audience can see the details of your drawing as it unfolds. For hidden black light drawings, fluorescent light reveals the surprise image.

Chalk artists normally use a special paper called “gray bogus paper” for smaller drawings about 3 foot by 4 foot. For larger drawings, a king-sized bed sheet is stretched tight like a canvas over a wooden frame.

Live chalk art presentations require a special “lecturer’s chalk” for drawings. It looks a stick of butter. Lecturer’s chalk is soft and light. It is designed to cover large areas with a lot of color pigment quickly to speed live drawing for the “lecturer”.

Fluorescent (black light) chalk comes in two varieties: visible and invisible. Visible fluorescent chalk comes in the six common “day-glow” colors. Invisible fluorescent chalk enables a chalk artist to draw the invisible pictures that are hidden until the climax of a drawing. It appears white under regular light. Under fluorescent black light these white chalks glow in as many as sixteen different colors.

Chalk – 1″ square, 3″ long

  • Regular Lecturer’s Chalk
  • VISIBLE Fluorescent Chalk (bright daylight appearance and glows under black light)
  • INVISIBLE Fluorescent Chalk (white daylight appearance-shows color under black light)

Grey Bogus Paper – 40”x 54”

Dave Teuling’s Picture of the Month

Contact Cristie Faltinowski

Offers the same chalk types and paper listed above plus Sidewalk Chalk.


 Jerry & Judi Pence

P.O. Box 41277
Phoenix AZ, 85080


Mountain Vision Pastel Company

Chalk Colors are harder but very vibrant. There flesh tones for portraits.


Metal Chalk Art Easel with Lighting