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Festival & Artist Info

What is chalk art?

  • The art of street painting has been around since the 16th century. Artists create beautiful images using the pavement as their canvas and pastel chalks as their medium. There are currently many prestigious festivals in Europe and America that celebrate this traditional art form. A street painting festival is a combination of performance art and public art. Spectators can experience the actual creation process, interact with the artist, and even participate by creating their own work of art. As an artist, you will be able to work on a large scale with pastel chalks that are extremely user-friendly in an inspiring environment while you interact socially and enjoy live entertainment. Come join us for a wonderful experience!

Is there a charge?

  • Thanks to our sponsors we are able to provide this community event FREE of charge and to give all aspiring artists a 12 piece box of pastel chalks.

Do I need to pre-register?

  • Pre-registration is not necessary. Spaces are provided on a first-come-first-served basis.

Where should I stay?

Prescott has a number of fabulous hotels, motels, and hostel options. Chalk It Up! Prescott has partnerships with several hotels in the area.  Mention Chalk It Up! Prescott when you call to book your room – it might make a difference.

Can I use my own chalk?

  • You are welcome to use your own chalk as long as it is water based. Oil based pastels are not allowed.

How can I help?

  • Cash donations are always welcome and appreciated. We also love in-kind and cash event sponsors – individuals and corporate sponsors alike! Our donors and sponsors are what make this event possible and allow us to keep it free of charge. Check out our donation page to learn more.
  • Volunteers are also welcome to help tape off pavement work areas, register people at the welcome tent, answer questions, and help clean up at the end of the day. Check out Volunteer page.
  • Are you an entertainer? We love offering family-friendly, live entertainment all day both Saturday and Sunday.  Check out our Entertainment page for details.


 What should I bring with me?

An Art Idea

  • Consider bringing an image or photo of what you plan to draw. It should be something that appeals to you since it’s easier to spend a great deal of time and effort on a subject that you really enjoy. Our inspiration could be a masterpiece from a Renaissance artist, a magazine ad, a comic book illustration, or your own personal drawing. Keep it simple. You can crop a complicated design to just a small portion without too many details. This will be helpful time-wise and for keeping your sanity. Also, consider how your design will fit into the dimensions of your space on the ground. Anything goes but please keep it family-friendly.
  • Make a color copy of the design you are going to draw. You can tape it to the ground next to your work space and refer to it often. It’s also nice to have a picture available for the passersby to view so they know what you are working toward.
  • You might want to transfer your drawing to the pavement by using a grid. Draw a squared grid on your inspiration image with a pencil and ruler.

Tools and Items That Might Be Useful

Other people will be walking and working around you, so you will want to keep your stuff together and out of the way.

– sunscreen

– water bottle (pop-up tops help prevent spills that are fatal to chalk art)

– hat and sunglasses

– cardboard (to sit or walk on)

– copies of the art you will be working on

– latex or cotton gloves (keeps your hands cleaner)

– rags, chamois, brushes, or chalk board eraser for blending your colors

– beach chairs for relaxing

– chalk snap line

– measuring tape

– drawing stick (3-4′ length)

– masking tape (great help for drawing straight lines)

– additional chalks (especially if you are doing a huge piece or may need a lot of a particular color)

– baby wipes to clean your hands (aloe vera kinds are less drying)

– dust mask if you are sensitive

– snacks

– foam kneeling pad or knee pads that strap on your legs (you’ll be down on the ground for a while)

– broom

– shade umbrella

– camera

Street Painting Tips

– Put on lots of sunscreen and a hat, and stock up on drinking water.   Even if the weather is hazy, there is a lot of glare off the asphalt, and the heat added to the physical exertion can wear you out.

– Clean off your drawing space by sweeping off dirt and leaves with a broom.  You may also need to deal with oil stains, but unless they will be an integral part of your drawing, don’t worry too much about them.

– Transfer your drawing to the pavement.  The dimensions of your space will already be blocked off with masking tape.  Most street painters start by outlining their entire drawing, then coloring it in with the pastel chalks.  If you tape a piece of chalk to the end of a PVC pipe or wooden doweling, you can draw standing up and have a better perspective of your work.  Three methods for transferring your drawing:

1.  Jump right in and draw freehand

2.  Use a grid.  Square up the artwork you are working from and make sure it is proportional to your space on the asphalt.  Draw a squared grid on a copy of the picture you will be drawing, or tape a piece of tracing paper or acetate over the art and draw your grid on that.  Next, mark a grid on the blacktop using the same number of squares but much bigger.  Use a chalk snap line to do this.  Then, copy your drawing square by square.

3.  Make a “pattern” ahead of time the exact size you will be drawing at the event.  Draw the pattern on paper (butcher paper is one suggestion).  You can heavily chalk the reverse side, then place it in position and trace over the lines to transfer the chalk onto the blacktop.  Or you can use a pattern wheel to punch tiny holes on the lines of your pattern, and then apply chalk over these holes to transfer a dotted-line guide.

– Coloring with pastel chalks – Some artists prefer to block in large areas of base colors over their entire painting, then come back and do details.  Others just pick a focal point to begin, and then start working out from there.  They work in all the colors and details for the finished piece as they progress.  We have also seen some artists start by painting a base of chalk-tinted water solution on the asphalt first, then drawing their image over this base once it completely dries.  There is no one right way to do street painting.  Your painting can have areas of flat color, or you can use shading and highlights to make it appear three-dimensional.  It could be realistic, impressionistic, cartoon-like, or whatever shows your style.  Have fun!

– Additional suggestions as you work:

– Bring large pieces of cardboard for sitting or walking on your drawing while you work as it won’t smear your chalk.

– Leather-soled shoes won’t pick up and transfr chalk like rubber-soled sneakers do.

– Stand up and away from your drawing frequently to see it from a different perspective and check your progress.

– Take care of your hands.  ry not to blend chalk with your fingers too much.  They wear out!  Wearing latex or cotton gloves helps.  Don’t forget to put sunscreen on the back of your hands..

– Use a kneeling pad or wear knee pads.

– Drink lots of water, reapply sunscreen frequently, and take lots of breaks.

– Chalk is very forgiving.  If you make a mistake you can brush off the area and change it, or use a wet rag to dab it off, allow the area to dry and then continue.

– Save your whites and darkest darks last for accent and highlights when your piece is almost complete.  That way they will really stand out.

– Be prepared to answer this question:  “How can you put so much work into something that will just disappear in a few days?”

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