Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes talks about chalk pastels in chapter five. She suggests that you try these after conte crayons so here are my ideas for adapting this lesson for your nature journal.
The good news is that although these are just as messy as the conte crayons, your children will probably enjoy them more. They are colorful and you get lots of bright bold colors on your page. They are not as smooth on the page as an oil pastel but they give you more color than a watercolor pencil.
We have always enjoyed the way you can overlap the colors and you can see them blend on your page but they will break if you apply too much pressure.
You will need good paper, a kneaded eraser, and a fixative in order to use these in your nature drawings. I am still not convinced I would use them directly into my nature journal or carry chalk pastels in my backpack but if you are around the house and can use them on separate sheets of paper and then insert them into your journal, they are a nice change from colored pencils.
You can see how the leaf looks great but there is a mess on the page and the pastels broke when I was using them. You can still use them even when they get quite small though so just be prepared that your nice new box of pastels will soon be broken and messy.
How about a couple of videos that I made to get some additional ideas?
Chalk Pastel Video #2
I also tried the Pastels Pencils (Conte brand) and they were a little easier to use than the crayon sticks. They still have the same texture so they were a little scratchy on the paper and still made a little mess. If I had to choose, I would use the pencils but not in my nature notebook. The pencils were much easier to control and you could sharpen them to a point to get a nice sharp line.
Here are the rest of the Lessons:
Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.
You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.
Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:
The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.
Supplies Needed for this Lesson