Three Ways to Use Chalk Pastels

Chalk Pastels for Kids & Beginners

Go beyond drawing with chalk pastels on paper, and try these different techniques combining the pastels with water, egg yolks, and milk.

Chalk pastels create soft images, but the dust often smears or blows off the page. The following methods create bright-colored results that don’t resemble most projects done with chalk pastels. Along with the pastels, the projects require basic materials found in most kitchens.

These projects work well with broken-off bits of chalk pastels.

Make Marbled Prints With Chalk

In this project, paper picks up soft swirls of crushed chalk pastels floating on the surface of a bowl of water.

  1. With a fine spice or cheese grater, grate at least three colors of chalk pastels. An eighth to a quarter of a stick will provide more than enough material. Alternatively, set the pieces of pastels in a bowl and crush with a smooth rock or use a mortar and pestle. Keep the colors separate.
  2. Fill a large bowl with water. The water needs to be up to the edge of the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the pastel chalk dust over the surface of the water. Use at least three colors for each design.
  4. Lay a sheet of paper on top of the water so it can soak up the chalk. Don’t press on the paper.
  5. Lift the paper from the water.
  6. Set the paper flat so it can dry.
  7. Repeat with different colors of chalk. Clean the bowl when the water gets dirty.

Create Egg Tempera Paints

Mix a batch of tempera paints that dry to a glossy finish.

  1. Grate or crush the pastels. Keep the colors separated by setting the chalk in three-ounce paper cups or in sections of plastic egg cartons.
  2. Crack one or two raw eggs, separating the yolks from whites.
  3. Whisk the yolks.
  4. Add a tablespoon of egg yolk to each of the chalk colors. Mix with a spoon or paintbrush.
  5. Paint a picture on sturdy construction paper, watercolor paper, or another paper appropriate for paint.
  6. Set to dry.

Draw with Chalk Pastels on Cloth

Create bright designs or images on cloth that has been soaked in milk.

  1. Soak a white cotton bandana or another piece of white fabric in a bowl of milk. When the fabric is saturated, wring it out and lay it flat on a stack of clean newsprint.
  2. Draw with chalk pastels on the cloth.
  3. Keep the finished image flat until it dries.
  4. Iron the fabric to set the color and remove wrinkles from the cloth. Avoid washing the cloth.

Each of these projects takes basic chalk pastels and uses them to create marbled designs, painted pictures, or drawings on cloth. Experiment with one or all of these projects to discover a new range of techniques with chalk pastels. Kids can continue their art explorations with watercolor pencils, abstract paintings, and mixed media art projects.