Wednesday, August 24, 2011


As a part of my ongoing preparation for the Sarasota Chalk Festival in Florida, I am planning a number of practice works on tarmac/bitumen. I am doing this for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have never worked on such a rough surface or on such a large scale. So I need to see how long a drawing takes to do, how much chalk is needed and how physically hard it is to be squat down drawing for a period of time.
When trying to find a place to practice I started looking around town for good flat expanses of bitumen. I decided that the best place to start would be schools as that have a lot and if would be good to get the kids reaction to the drawings.
Above is my first practice work, this is at Waimea Heights Primary School. You can see that it is based on the design from a backboard practice image I have done (see below Monday August 15th, 2011). Working on this image I answered a lot of questions. 1. Bitumen in rough, it chews up your chalk, your knees and your hands. 2. Scale, this is about 15 feet in length; in Florida I will be drawing an image 12 foot x 12 foot, I’m feeling better about the scale now. 3. Time, It took about 2 hours to complete this image. 4. How much chalk is used, I used about 5 ½ jumbo soft pastels from Art Spectrum ( Fantastic colours, the red is so vibrant that it jumps out at you. 5. It is a very physical activity, after only 2 hours of being bent over and moving around squat down, I may have discovered the next exercise craze, move over Zumba, here comes Chalk Art. I can see that I will need to do more practice and start some exercises so that I can enjoy Florida, rather than just survive it!
Readers will be pleased to know, that after all that hard work. The fish looked good, the students liked it and now less than 24 hours later, as I write this, it is blowing a gale and the rain is coming down. So it will be little more than a smudge at the moment. I look forward to my next work on bitumen.

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