Create Beautiful Pastel Art with Milk and Chalk

Impressionism broke all the of traditional rules of painting by using bright splashes of color, quick dashes of paintbrush and chalk. This particular wet chalk painting technique turns chalk into a creamy medium by using the pastels on a piece of cloth that has been soaked in milk. The milk works as a sealing agent yielding paint on canvas like results.

(Image: Lucy Akins)
(Image: Lucy Akins)

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch piece of cloth with a rough weave, such as canvas or muslin

  • Milk

  • Chalk pastels

  • Scrap paper or plastic bag to cover working surface

  • Aluminum foil

  • Iron

Step 1

Cover your working surface with scrap paper or plastic bag and place the cloth on a tray or in a shallow dish.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 2

Pour milk all over cloth and allow to soak for 3 to 5 minutes.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 3

Remove the cloth from the tray and place directly onto your working surface.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 4

Using chalk pastels, draw your desired picture or design onto the wet cloth.

(Image: Lucy Akins)


Keep a small bowl of milk close by and dip the chalk into the milk and use on areas that might be drying. Alternatively, you can place some milk in a spray bottle and spray the surface as it dries.

Step 5

If you wish, you can use the tip of your finger to blend chalk into cloth.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 6

Place the finished piece on top of scrap paper and place both onto an ironing board.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 7

Pre-heat iron to the 'wool' setting and place a piece of foil over the painting and press the iron over foil. As the cloth dries, the milk will serve a sealant.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 8

Continue ironing until the cloth is dry.

(Image: Lucy Akins)
(Image: Lucy Akins)

Enjoy your finished art by framing it and hanging on the wall, or use it to cover a book.