ArtLex Art Dictionary



chalk - Pigments mixed with gum and pressed into a stick form for use as crayons. Pastel is similar, but less tightly bound.

Examples of works in chalk:




Rosso Fiorentino (Giovanni Battista di Jacopo di Guasparre) (Italy, Florence, 1494-1540), Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c 1538-40, red chalk, 9 1/8 x 7 3/4 inches (23.2 x 19.7 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of the Daughter of Balthasar Gerbier d'Ouvilly, 1629, black, red and white chalk, with touches of pen with brown ink, on yellowish-grey paper, 33.5 x 23 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.



see thumbnail to rightRembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), The Last Supper, after Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1634­1635), red chalk, 14 1/4 x 18 3/4 inches (36.2 x 47.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See after and Baroque.



see thumbnail to leftRembrandt van Rijn, Nude Woman with a Snake, about 1637, red chalk heightened with white body color, 9 11/16 x 5 7/16 inches (24.7 x 13.7 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See snake.




see thumbnail to rightAntoine Watteau, Head of a Man, c. 1718, red and black chalk, 5 7/8 x 5 3/16 inches (14.9 x 13.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Baroque and Rococo.



see thumbnail to leftJean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806), A Gathering at Woods' Edge, c. 1760-1780, red chalk, 14 3/4 x 19 3/8 inches (37.5 x 49.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.





see thumbnail to rightHubert Robert (France, 1733-1808), Landscape with Steps, 1770s, red chalk, 17 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches (44.5 x 32.1 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.




see thumbnail to leftHilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Édouard Manet, Seated, 1866-68, portrait of Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), black chalk on off-white wove paper; sheet: 13 1/16 x 9 1/16 inches (33.1 x 23 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Impressionism.




see thumbnail to rightClaude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Maisons près de la mer, 1865, black chalk on paper, 9 3/4 x 13 1/4 inches (24.6 x 33.4 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See Impressionism.




see thumbnail to leftAndré Breton (French, 1896-1966), Valentine Hugo (French, 1890-1968), Greta Knutson and Tristan Tzara (French, born Romania. 1896-1963), Landscape, c. 1933,  an exquisite corpse or cadavre exquis, colored chalk on black paper, 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (24.1 x 31.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.



Joseph Beuys (German, 1921-1986), Schultafel, 1974, chalk on painted board, 37 1/4 x 48 3/4 inches (94.2 x 123.8 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.  See German art.




Hey! Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk!


What you need:



1. Simply combine 1-part non-toxic plaster of Paris and 1-part tempera paint into a bowl and stir until the consistency is that of frosting. You may need to add either more plaster or tempera to reach this consistency.

Cast pieces of chalk by spooning this mixture into small waxed cups, a non-stick muffin tin, or other small containers. Use a release agent if necessary. Let set for at least 24 hours.

3. Remove from container and let the fun begin!



1. If it's easier, you can substitute powder pigments and water for tempera paint.

2. Layer colors in cups for a striped chalk, or swirl them for a marbled effect.

3. Add your favorite color of glitter for a shimmering result.

4. Spread tempera /plaster of Paris mixture into plastic cookie cutters for sidewalk chalk in fun shapes maybe even silhouettes!

5. With a handful of ceramic or modeling clay, produce a small pinch pot into which to cast your sidewalk chalk.

6. Because small pieces of chalk and pastel can be difficult to hold, some of us throw them away. Don't waste them! Add these little nuggets to your mixture of tempera and plaster for a fun aggregate of extra colors.


Related Links:



Also see conté crayon.




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