Sidewalk chalk art can include simple designs or complex masterpieces. With more time at home, chalk art provides a fun activity everyone can enjoy.
The art of sidewalk chalk is often overlooked as a form of artistic expression. It is a common form of creativity for children and adults alike to draw on their driveways and sidewalks. The art is not limited to traditional drawings and paintings, but includes unique creations such as pastels, illusions, complicated skills, and the 20th century street art tradition.
Sidewalk chalk is an art form that dates back to the 5th century BC in Greece. The Greeks were drawn to the colorless matte surface of the pure white chalk and found it to be a perfect canvas for their drawings. They would use charcoal to enhance their sketches or black paint to create artwork.
Street art tradition began with graffiti artists, such as those in New York City in the 1960s, who created street paintings using the broad, flat surfaces found on walls and subway cars. The idea quickly spread internationally and other artists joined in on the sidewalk chalk movement by applying their own unique touches like pastels and mixed media paintings.
The skill level varies greatly from artist to artist. A beginner can start off by drawing basic shapes like circles and squares while those with more experience will draw more complex designs such as 3-D illusions and complicated shading. Some artists go beyond their own driveway or sidewalk by drawing on public property like driveways, sidewalks, walls, and signs which is considered illegal unless they have permission from that property owner. They also refer to this as “street art“.
Check out these great ideas to get started.
Chalk art as a creative outlet
If you have little ones in the house, chalk art is a great way for kids to learn shapes and work on their motor skills. Older kids will be bored with basic shapes, but you can look up patterns like these ones to show them how to turn shapes into animals.
The best part is, no cleanup required. The young artists and passersby will get to enjoy the masterpieces until the next rain.
Photo opp from street paintings
Create scenes with your kids that they can step into. Then have them lay down on the ground and take a picture from overhead. They will love watching the scenes come to life in the photos.
Create an underwater scene with fish and coral and have your child diving down in their swimsuit for the photo. Don’t forget to draw a few bubbles over their head!
Alternatively, draw a pair of butterfly wings and have your child lie in the center. Or draw a sun, rainbow, and raincloud, along with an umbrella for your child to hold.
You are only limited by your creativity (and your artistic prowess). But what better time than now to practice?
Raise the neighbor’s chalk game
If drawing is not your comfort zone, you can also write inspiring, decorative messages for the folks walking by. Walkers, joggers, and runners especially appreciate motivational messages while exercising. Use bubble letters, block letters or script and include highlighting and shadow. This wordart will be sure to put a much-needed smile on the reader’s face.
Interactive sidewalk chalk art
You can also set up games for your kids that will keep them entertained for hours. Hopscotch, sidewalk Simon Says, or tic-tac-to to name a few. Another idea includes creating obstacle courses that challenge your kids to do certain movements like twirl or walk like a dinosaur.
If you want to get super intricate, you can even draw out a maze. Then invite them to navigate the maze either with a truck, a doll or by foot.
Summer sidewalk chalk paint
There’s no reason adults can’t grab some chalk and put out their best work for all the neighbors to see.
Drawing is relaxing and has even been shown to improve your mood. You don’t even have to spend all day doing it, just 15 minutes a day shows positive results. With all the doom and gloom on the news these days, getting out to draw wildflowers or rainbows on the driveway will do us all some good.
Chalk art festivals and contests
Proud of how your masterpiece turned out? Or maybe your kids want to show off their creativity to the world? Check your local community page for a sidewalk chalk art contest you can enter.
It’s a great way to both show off your creativity and spread a little cheer right when the world most needs it.
Get out and create
Regardless of what you decide to do with your sidewalk chalk, just get out and have some fun. A little fresh air and sunshine go a long way toward brightening your perspective and your kids will love the chance to get out of the house and create.