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Chalk 101: The Pounce Method

gachalkartists Chalk Murals, DIY, How To, Tutorials

So, it often happens that I commit to a one day festival and I want to create an ambitious piece. If you’ve tried the grid method, you know that it can be tedious and time consuming. How can you get that detailed piece cranked out quicker on the day of?

Create a pounce! What is a pounce, you ask?
A pounce is when you use a large piece of perforated paper to create your “coloring sheet” for chalk art. Check it out:

Choose the image you want to chalk. Project it onto a large sheet of paper and trace it. Use a pounce wheel to perforate it. Show up to the event and use a dry paintbrush to push chalk pigment through the holes. Lift it up… instant “coloring sheet”! The best part? There’s no pesky grids involved and it’s more precise.

Here’s what you’ll need for making a pounce:
– A roll of butcher paper (I got mine on Amazon in white since I figured it would be easier to see)
– A pounce wheel/Wartenberg wheel (I got mine on Amazon)
– Snap line chalk
– A #2 pencil

Here’s an example on how to do this method from start to finish:

I chose to chalk this frog.frog in a plant

I wanted to chalk it in a 5’x5′ square. The butcher paper I ordered is only 4′ tall, so I cut a 4’x4′ piece. I decided I would measure out 5’x5′ and fudge the missing square foot on either side. It was an easy choice for this piece, because the orange petals are easy to guess where they’ll extend to outside of the image. If you have a more complex image, you may want to problem solve it a bit more!
So, I taped the butcher paper to the wall:
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I projected on it and traced the important lines:
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Then I used the pounce wheel and created the perforations. I highly recommend doing this part on a carpeted floor or, if you don’t have one, a cork board. Here’s what it’ll look like:

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Some people sandpaper the holes at this point, but I’ve found that, with the paper I ordered, it’s a waste of time and doesn’t make any difference.

All right! So, pounce made, I rolled it up and brought it with me to the event. At the event, I loosely measured a 5’x5′ square and lined it with duck tape and I taped my pounce inside of that square:

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Then, I used my dry paintbrush and snap line chalk to start forcing chalk through the perforations:
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It looked like this:

And eventually it looked like this:
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Then, I removed my pounce:
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The color of the chalk, I learned, makes a difference. I won’t be using red again! I bought neon orange for next time since it’s easier to see. To compensate, I just traced over it with a yellow stick of chalk:
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Then, the fun part! I filled it in…
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And, a few hours later…
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All done! So quick, so easy. What did we ever do without it?

Special thanks to many members of the Florida Chalk Artists Association for tips and tricks on getting me set up with this. You are all invaluable!