These chalk pastel sunsets turned out so lovely! My kids had a great time exploring chalk pastels and all the messiness that comes with it. Chalk pastels can be very messy, you use your fingers to blend the colors and the chalk dust can get all over the table and all over you! But they are a lot of fun, it’s like a sensory activity and art project rolled into one.
Create your own chalk pastel sunsets
- Chalk pastels, any type will work. There are less expensive sets for kids and a bit pricier artist quality sets. For kids just learning and exploring, the less expensive ones will work just great.
- Pastel paper in any color. Pastel paper comes in all different colors, and it’s fun to try out different colors. We chose a cream color for this project. I love pastel paper, it has a great texture to it for grabbing onto the pastels and building up layers.
- Paper towels to help with the mess
- Blenders. You can buy special pastel blending tools or use q-tips or just your fingers(which is my fav).
1. To get some inspiration, first take a look at some sunset pictures. We did this on my laptop just to get an idea of the colors we wanted to use.
2. Tape down your paper so it doesn’t slide around
Practice with some scrap paper first
3. If you or your kids haven’t worked with chalk pastels before, get some scrap pieces of pastel paper and just practice making marks with the chalk pastels to get a feel for how they work.
Chalk pastels are great for layering and creating texture. Holding the pastel on it’s side creates texture with the paper.
Try layering colors on top of each other and then blending just a bit here and there for a softer look. You can use a blending tool to help you blend, but my favorite blending tool is my finger. I find I get the most control over the blending process this way.
Start with your sky
4. Start your picture by drawing a line with a neutral colored chalk for the separation between the sky and water.
5. Pick out your sky colors and start to draw with the lightest color first. You can hold the pastel on it’s side to sweep across the page and create some texture.
6. Continue to add colors to the sky, layering them and blending here and there. Exploring different types of marks that your chalk pastels can make.
7. Use your fingers or your blending tool to blend, but watch out for blending too much or the colors will get muddy.
Then add in the water
8. Once you are done with your sky, you can move on to your water.
I added some light colors first, then moved on to darker ones layered over top with a bit of blending. Then I added some lighter color on top with no blending. Have fun layering and blending, but again, remind kids to be careful of the colors blending too much and getting muddy.
Time to add in your palm trees
9. Once everyone is finished with the sky and water it’s time to add in your palm tree silhouettes. If you don’t want to add in a palm tree you can add in any kind of tree silhouette you like. Use a black piece of chalk and draw in your tree.
Stand back and admire everyone’s beautiful sunset paintings (and messy table!)
Here is a picture of our messy table. 🙂
Everyone’s pictures will turn out differently depending on the age of the kids, color preferences and style. That’s what makes art so great!
Here are our finished chalk pastel sunsets
I love the way these chalk pastel sunsets turned out and we had so much fun creating them! Pastels can be a bit tricky to figure out. They are all about adding layers, blending and textures. Once you explore and practice with them for a bit you will get the hang of them. My kids love chalk pastels, they love getting their hands messy and playing and blending the colors, and so do I!
Have you used chalk pastels before? Do you love them or find them too messy? I would love to hear your thoughts! I would also be very grateful if you would share this post with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.
Thanks for joining me, until next time…
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