Intro to Chalk Hand Lettering

Lately I’ve been taking the hand-lettered love to the streets, with chalk lettering. I think people enjoy coming across a little inspirational message in an unexpected place.

How to:

Chalking Kit

First I’m going to share what’s in my chalking kit.

I keep everything in a 12 inch clear box with a hinged lid. It cost $5 at Wal-Mart.

I always pack a pair of knee pads, because the asphalt can get hot, and shuffling around on your knees will ruin your jeans.

Next I have a nylon scrub brush. This one has a handle, and can also hold and squirt water. It cost about $3, and I use it as an eraser.

I also keep a small spray bottle of water, just in case I’m asked to remove my artwork. My hand lettering is intended to make people happy, not make officials upset. In my experience, most people appreciate a little public art, but if they don’t, I remove it without a fuss.

Wet wipes can also be used to clean up, but these serve double duty as place to rest my non-drawing hand. It’s soft and stays cool.

As for the chalk, I just use Crayola. I do own some expensive artist-grade chalk I bought online, but you will go through a LOT of chalk since you’re working on rough surfaces, so it isn’t worth it. I would recommend that you avoid store brands of chalk, or RoseArt chalk, as the pigments don’t show up as well as Crayola. I use mostly the large sidewalk chalk, and do some outlining with chalkboard chalk.

Hand Lettering

Now we’re all packed up and ready to go! If you’re chalking on the ground, look for a fairly smooth area. Dark asphalt or white concrete offers the best contrast; avoid gray surfaces if possible.

It’s difficult to get a lot of detail with chalk, so you’ll need to go big. Play around with frames and various lettering styles. You can accent your work with simple drawings. Be prepared to make a lot of friends, especially little ones.

If you find that your lettering is hard to read, you may want to outline or shadow the letters with a contrasting color of chalk.

You can chalk a variety of surfaces, such as brick, wood, or cinderblocks.

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3 thoughts on “Intro to Chalk Hand Lettering

  1. Kelley Hornberger says

    Love this idea!! Thanks!

  2. kennybunny says

    This was awesome… Really liked all your tips!! ^_^

  3. hellokitty40000 says

    YAY another hand lettering tutorial ! I use to crochet and I heard about “I don’t remember/bomb” in the same idea crocheting things outside, I’ve read some could stay for at least a year… I love this idea: add a little sunshine in our everyday life, so fun.
    TFS, XOXO, Lilou from France ^_^

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