Recently I began using chalk in my art.
It was a real forehead-slapping moment when I started using it. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? But that’s how things often work for me: the simplest solution is typically not the first solution I think of. Sometimes I have to do things the hard way before I figure out there’s an easy way.
Before, I started by sketching the painting in pencil on the white canvas.
Then I would go over the pencil in dark blue paint…
… wait for the blue paint to dry, erase the pencil, coat the blue paint in a layer of matte medium to keep it from lifting, wait for that to dry, and then coat the canvas in red paint (and of course wait for that to dry).
The blue would barely show through the red, just enough for me to see where everything goes. I would have to start the actual painting process by going back over the barely visible “sketch” with a new layer of dark color (usually a deep blackish purple). Talk about time consuming!
Eventually it occurred to me that I could skip all the pencil-and-blue-paint stuff by painting the canvas solid red first and then just sketching on top of that. The only question was what to use. Pencil won’t work because it won’t show on red. A white grease pencil would show just fine, but I worried that it would cause adhesion problems with the paint layers, not to mention being hard to erase. I could “sketch” in some diluted paint, but “erasing” would then be a tedious process of waiting for it to dry so I can paint more red over it, and waiting for THAT to dry before being able to proceed. That just wasn’t going to fly!
Finally, I realized that simple white chalk would work. I went and got some chalk.
Chalk works great! The white shows up perfectly on the deep red background. Erasing is very easy, just a quick rub with a fingertip or a damp paper towel.
Why didn’t I think of this sooner?