A lot of people wonder how we do what we do. Well, we would be glad to describe our process…
- Everything begins with a sketch. We draw out our idea on paper or drawing tablet. Edits…changes…enhancements…done.
- The next step is to project the drawing onto a large surface. We are very lucky to have a used projector we found online that we connect our computer to and then project. If we are going to work outside at a chalk festival then we project onto butcher paper that we’ve taped together. If we are working inside on a piece that we’ll complete indoors or if it is a piece we intend to sell then we project onto tempered hardboard which is also known as Masonite.
- With the image projected we begin to trace the picture. If we have an actual reference drawing we’ll use that. This is what we typically do for chalk festivals. For conventions and sellable pieces we project our own pencil sketch. For butcher paper we trace with Sharpies. For Masonite we trace with white chalk.
- Next we pack up and take our traced paper or board to the show. For chalk festivals we have to transfer the drawing from the paper to the sidewalk or road. To accomplish this an additional step is needed. We poke holes in the paper with a tool called a ‘pounce’. Then we shake baby powder onto the paper. It falls through the holes and onto the hard surface.
- Now we’re ready to start drawing. If we are doing a portrait we usually start with the face. The face is usually near the center of the artwork and we can work out from there. We split up the work. Alexis usually works on skin – faces, arms, hands, legs and feet. Devon usually works on cloth and material. It really all depends on the piece.
- With all of the lines on our final surface we use reference drawings to guide us with colors, highlights and shadows. It’s like painting by number! Well, not really.
The process is really not that hard – the difficulty lies in the blending. It has taken us years to get our blending techniques just right so we are able to re-create what we see – and we are still working to improve. We have heard some young people come up to us while we are working and say “I might as well quit art right now because I’ll never be that good.” While we appreciate the compliment, we want everyone to know that you CAN be good at art. It’s just like anything else…you have to practice a lot to be good at what you do. We encourage every budding artist to pursue their interest and don’t give up!