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Why Art Is So Powerful In Helping Struggling Learners

When I was in school, I had a complicated relationship with art. I was a very type A, by the book, just give me a worksheet and let me fill in the blanks kind of learner. For me, art seemed to be unnecessary and, at times, it frustrated me. (That, and I thought I was pretty awful at it). Fast forward 25 years to when I found out why art is so powerful in helping struggling learners.

Art is so powerful in helping struggling learners because they are engaged in the multi-sensory components of the learning (and it’s way more fun!)

Now, I am homeschooling two boys who are vastly different learners than I was at their age. (For example, no matter how much I love them myself, I never give them a worksheet if I actually want them to learn.)

Not only are their learning styles different than mine, but they also struggle with learning differences. My oldest is on the autism spectrum and profoundly dysgraphic. My youngest has attention, sensory and processing issues and is also profoundly dyslexic and dysgraphic.

Helping them learn in ways that allow them to actually retain the information has been a daily challenge. Moreover, it has required me to look beyond my own school experience and instead, consider what actually helps them make progress.

To my surprise, art has become an essential element of their learning, in almost every subject.

Here’s why.

Art is so powerful in helping struggling learners because they are engaged in the multi-sensory components of the learning (and it’s way more fun!)

Why Art Is So Powerful In Helping Struggling Learners

Through a lot of trial and error, my own research, and work with outside therapists, there are three things that I have found work best for my children, and for most kids struggling with a traditional school approach.

  • Multi-sensory learning
  • Short lessons
  • Moving at the child’s pace and allowing him to explore

You Are An Artist lessons naturally incorporate these three essential ingredients in ways that have helped my own children immensely. Nana and her sweet, kind, artist’s way have become a staple of our learning, precisely because they work so well with my boys’ learning needs.

You Are An Artist Is Perfect For My Struggling Learners

There are several reasons why this program is such a good fit for us.

Multi-Sensory Approach

As I mentioned, this is essential for any learner who is not connecting with the standard textbook and worksheet approach to learning.

You Are An Artist’s  multi-sensory approach allows my sons to use their hands, experience the “feel” of the medium, see the video, and hear the sound of Nana gently guiding them through not just the art, but the history or science lesson as well.

For my kids, this makes it “stick” in ways that I would not have expected. Because they are engaged in the multi-sensory components of the learning, their brain is much better able to retain what is being taught (and it’s way more fun!).

Perfect for the Perfectionist

We tried art therapy for my youngest son a few years ago, with mixed results.

Most of what got in the way of him being able to relax and engage, was the feeling of needing to make his art “perfect.” (If I think back to my own experience in school, I am pretty sure I felt the same way and disconnected from art because of it.)

Using chalk pastels has completely changed this for him. Because they are not as precise as using a pencil, crayon or marker, he can make “mistakes” without feeling like his project is ruined. Chalk pastels are also incredibly helpful for a child with gaps in fine motor skills.

Plus, it helps that Nana always gently reminds her students that mistakes aren’t really mistakes in art, and even makes a few herself to model flexibility.

Pressure Free Learning

Using art in more traditional subjects completely changes the tone of the learning for my boys. Rather than worrying about whether they will be able to keep up, they relax into a much softer, but just as effective learning environment.

Shorter, well-paced lessons combined with the multi-sensory nature of the learning means a struggling learner can connect with the topic without the pressure of performance or fear of failure.

I would never have predicted how much art, and especially You Are An Artist, would help my children learn.

But the truth is, it has and it continues to, even as they get older.

Finding ways to connect with struggling learners can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You Are An Artist is a great place to start.

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Shawna Wingert is a special education teacher turned writer, speaker and consultant. She is also a homeschooling mom of two brilliant boys with differences and special needs.  Shawna has written four books for parents – Everyday Autism, Special Education at Home, Parenting Chaos and her latest, Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs. She helps parents of children with learning differences, behavioral challenges and special needs every day at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.

 

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Easy Art Workshops For Your Homeschool Group

Some of the best times you will have with your homeschool group or co-op include…art. Yes! Art is a crowd-pleasing subject that is extremely versatile. All ages and skill levels can participate in the fun, which can often be harder to manage with other subjects. Not to mention, art is entirely flexible when it comes to planning educational lessons. Here are some easy art workshops for your homeschool group.

Art is flexible when it comes to planning educational lessons. Here are some easy art workshops for your homeschool group with Nana of You ARE an Artist.

Why Chalk Pastels

Chalk pastels are perfect for group art projects. Chalk pastels are affordable and reusable. The supplies you will need for a chalk pastel art workshop are minimal. All you NEED to complete multiple chalk pastel art projects are only the chalk pastels themselves and construction paper.

No mess. Chalk pastels are not messy like paint, for example. Which makes them easy to pack, use, and clean up. A damp cloth or baby wipe will easily wipe away any residue left behind.

Hands-on. All kids love using chalk pastels. Chalk pastels are easy to manipulate with their hands, and children love the hands-on sensory-like experience of drawing and creating with chalk pastels.

Art is flexible when it comes to planning educational lessons. Here are some easy art workshops for your homeschool group with Nana of You ARE an Artist.

See How Easy Art Workshops Can Be For Your Homeschool Group

Choosing an Art Lesson

Depending on the age level and objective of your group, you can choose from a range of seasonal, holiday, or educational art projects.

Luckily, You Are An Artist makes it simple for you to choose a project that everyone will love. With everything from preschool art lessons, historical options, seasonal, holiday, STEM, inventors, and so much more – you are sure to find something for your group.

With seasonal lessons, you can tie in nature study, poetry, and botany, for example. Choose the seasonal lesson you want to use, and plan to read poems from that season as well. You can add in some nature study fun outdoors before or after your art lessons too!

Plan something fun like eating pumpkin pie after you create a slice of yummy pumpkin pie from the fall lessons, or set up a fun hot chocolate bar to have a holiday party after drawing a mug of hot cocoa with Nana.

If you want to design a workshop with more of an educational aspect, you have a ton of lessons to choose from at You Are An Artist. With the “I Drew It And I Knew It” series, you can select a historical period and enjoy multiple art lessons all from that time.

Better yet, if you have studied a period of history, the perfect way to end your semester or course is by having an art workshop! Invite your students to all dress up from that time, bring snacks, and have an art party to celebrate everything they learned.

You Are An Artist makes our jobs as homeschool group and co-op leaders easier. With the curriculum match up printable, you can find art lessons to accompany just about anything you may be studying at co-op. (The curriculum match up is totally FREE by the way, go snag it now!) You can incorporate lessons throughout your studies or celebrate the completion of specific topics with an art workshop. Either way, add some art because your students will love it.

Here Are A Few Tips For Setting Up A Chalk Pastel Art Workshop For Your Group Or Co-op

Secure a Venue

If you don’t have a permanent space, you will want to secure a venue complete with tables, chairs, and a visual screen big enough for your students to all see.

A great place to look for space could be your local church, community centers, or your local library. If you have a small group, this would also work at the dining room table with a laptop.

Plan Ahead

For the best turn out make sure you give your group plenty of time to RVSP. At least three weeks to a month gives everyone time to plan accordingly, and time for you to plan the event. Send emails or post on social media a few times leading up to your event to remind students that they can join. If you need a headcount, give your group a cut off date, so they know when they need to respond by.

Collect Money

If you are a co-op, you may already have the means necessary to fund an art workshop. However, if you are a homeschool group that does not have an annual budget, you may need to collect everyone’s payment ahead of time. The need to collect payments is another good reason to promote your event at least 30 days in advance, so your families have time to budget appropriately.

Pack Up

In all my years of leading a homeschool group, the chalk pastel art workshops were by far the easiest to pack and plan for.

Make sure you have the right color construction paper for each project you plan to complete (you can find this in each video lesson) and plenty of it.

Pack up your chalk pastels, I recommend baby wipes for easy cleanup, and butcher paper to line the tables with. The butcher paper and baby wipes will make for the most effortless clean up ever.

Make sure you bookmark the link to your chosen chalk pastel video lessons for easy set-up and don’t forget an HDMI cord. The HDMI cord is for connecting your laptop to the screen/TV you plan to use. (Or whatever necessary equipment you need to connect.) You may want to check with your venue in advance for access to the wi-fi as well. You will also need your laptop.

Art is flexible when it comes to planning educational lessons. Here are some easy art workshops for your homeschool group with Nana of You ARE an Artist.

Set-Up

I recommend arriving at the venue early to connect your computer and set up the room.

Check your wi-fi connection, test the audio, and pause the first art video lesson until you are ready to begin.

The most efficient way I have found to quickly set-up the room is to cover each table with butcher paper. Make sure the tables are all close enough to the tv or monitor screen so that each student can see the videos in full view if you can. Place one package of baby wipes in the center of each table. The kids will want to wipe their fingers in-between projects. Place the construction paper on each table and the chalk pastels. You can put the chalk pastels that they will need for the day on paper plates in the center of the tables, as well.

Art Workshop Time

If you have a wide range of ages, start with the preschool or the less challenging projects first.

The attention span of the younger kiddos will run out sooner, so that allows time for them to participate and then leave the tables to go play or read nearby. Then the older children can work on slightly more skilled projects.

Invite parents to join in too! There is no age limit to who can and will enjoy art with chalk pastels.

We hope this gives you some new fresh ideas for how you can add some art to your homeschool group or co-ops. Your students will be begging to do it again! For more information on how you can use You Are An Artist with your homeschool group or co-op click here.

Courtney

www.gracegrowedify.com

Courtney is a Jesus-pursuing, native Texan, homeschool mom of three, who believes homeschooling can be a peaceful and productive rhythm. At Grace, Grow & Edify she helps families create peaceful homeschooling atmospheres through faith, organizational strategies, and cultivating strong roots at home.

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Christmas Chalk Pastel Joy

The beauty and magic of the holidays are upon us and your kids are going to love making Christmas chalk pastels. These fun and easy chalk pastel tutorials help bring joy and celebration to the holidays. Especially when you add in a mug of hot cocoa, some twinkly lights, and a little Christmas music for an extra bit of enchantment. It’s Christmas chalk pastel joy.

The beauty and magic of the holidays are upon us and your kids are going to love making Christmas chalk pastels. These fun and easy chalk pastel tutorials help bring joy and celebration to the holidays. Especially when you add in a mug of hot cocoa, some twinkly lights, and a little Christmas music for an extra bit of enchantment. It's Christmas chalk pastel joy.

Chalk Pastel Christmas Homeschool

There are so many ways to make this time of year truly special. But, let’s face it. The holidays can be chaotic.

I for one like to put away the “academics” and focus more on what I like to call “Christmas School!”

It’s all about building relationships and focusing on what this time of year is all about.

“Christmas School” may include the study of:

  • Religious Significance
  • Holiday Baking and Cooking
  • Christmas Crafts or Homemade Gifts
  • Decorating
  • Volunteering and Giving Back to the Community

Did you know that we’ve even turned tracking Santa on Christmas Eve into a family fun geography event?

We still incorporate loads of read alouds, and games into December as well.

The beauty and magic of the holidays are upon us and your kids are going to love making Christmas chalk pastels. These fun and easy chalk pastel tutorials help bring joy and celebration to the holidays. Especially when you add in a mug of hot cocoa, some twinkly lights, and a little Christmas music for an extra bit of enchantment. It's Christmas chalk pastel joy.

Christmas Chalk Pastel Joy

But art has been the most special of Christmas homeschool activities.

There is just something about art that is so delightful. It simply brings joy to our lives. We love to incorporate chalk pastels into our holiday plans because:

  1. They are quick (most lessons are only 10-15 minutes long)
  2. Chalk Pastels are easy to use for preschoolers through adults
  3. All you need is a cheap set of chalk pastels and construction paper

That’s it!

Plus, art makes a great gift.

These fun and easy chalk pastel tutorials help bring joy and celebration to the holidays. Especially when you add in a mug of hot cocoa, some twinkly lights, and a little Christmas music for an extra bit of enchantment. It's Christmas chalk pastel joy.

Even if you find your holiday schedule chaotic, there is time for Christmas art.

Now, throw in some Christmas goodies, and twinkle lights and you’ve got memories in the making. You can make your own homemade treats or pick something up from the store.

My kiddos are particularly fond of cakes, cookies, and pie with their hot cocoa. Keep a good supply of your child’s favorites on hand.

Alexa, play Christmas carols.

Turn on the Christmas Music

I love playing Christmas carols first thing in the morning during the month of December. It seems to set the tone for a tranquil and joyful day. Did you know that you can do a Christmas Carol Study with SQUILT on many of the Christmas Carols you may already be listening too? We have truly enjoyed learning about the history and origins of many Christmas Carols. Last year we even did a Unit Study on The Nutcracker.

I usually have Christmas music playing softly in the background as we dive into our holiday art!

Yes, I participate too! Art is more fun when it is shared!

We string lights all around. Even on our homeschool table and books. Twinkly lights just fill us with a cozy warmth.

I also like to leave our chalk pastels out for easy access, because my kids will use them all month long… and have for years!

There are enough lessons for us to do new holiday homeschool art every day for the month of December if we want! This year the Complete Clubhouse membership also has a special study on composer Handel and his Messiah.

Easy Christmas Art for Kids

With the Complete Clubhouse membership, we have access to a whole of holiday chalk pastel tutorials including:

  • Christmas Video Art Lessons
  • Nutcracker Video Art Lessons
  • Teatime Art Lessons including Charlie Brown Christmas and more

There are enough lessons for us to do new holiday homeschool art every day for the month of December if we want!

This year the Complete Clubhouse membership also has a special study on composer Handel and his Messiah.

There is even going to be a “How to draw” the Biblical map of Bethlehem! This will go beautifully with the Christmas Star of Bethlehem chalk pastel the kids did.

Christmas chalk pastels offer an easy and fun way for the whole family to slow down and enjoy the tranquility that only art can bring.

Art can be a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. It can help us to reconnect as a family while building lovely memories filled with enchantment and joy. Christmas chalk pastels offer an easy and fun way for the whole family to slow down and enjoy the tranquility that only art can bring.

Art can be a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. It can help us to reconnect as a family while building lovely memories filled with enchantment and joy. Christmas chalk pastel joy!

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.  

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How To Make Time for Preschool Art

It happens to all of us. We carefully plan our homeschool days and weeks, but we are so busy trying to cover all of the things that we often skip the most fun thing – art! Yep, we have all done it.

By the end of the day, most of us have homeschooled multiple children in multiple grade levels, and we are tired, spent, and some days just plain over it. But what we are skipping could actually be the subject that refreshes and renews our souls. Especially those little bitty souls.

Early learners need lots of play-based learning and time creating. We have to make time for preschool art in our homes and homeschools. Art is essential to the mental, social, and emotional growth of our early learners. Art is also a fantastic way to satisfy children’s natural curiosity for exploration and  experimentation.

How To Make Time for Preschool Art

So the question remains, how can we make time to include art? Here are 7 tips to help you plan and cover art in your preschool or homeschool each week.

1. No Pressure. Choose a realistic goal for how often you can include art. If daily seems like too much for you, no problem. Choose one project per week to include.

2. Incorporate Art In Your Lessons. It’s common for preschool lessons to be thematic. Luckily, a program like You Are An Artist is designed to help you easily choose a project to include with each theme. For example, if you are learning about farm animals, you can pick preschool farm art lessons from You Are An Artist with hardly any prep at all.The easiest and most affordable way to do this is with a membership.

3. Easy Mediums. There are plenty of art mediums to choose from, but pick one that feels most natural to your family. One of the reasons that chalk pastel art is so simple to blend into your homeschool is that there is little to prep or plan on your part. You hardly need any supplies, and that makes art incredibly effortless when you don’t need to gather up a lot of supplies beforehand. With chalk pastels, you only need construction paper, an affordable starter set of chalk pastels, and optional baby wipes for quick clean up.

4. Make It Fun. An excellent way to add art into your home consistently is to choose a day that is always art day. In our house, we have “Fun Fridays” and almost always end up adding in a chalk pastel art lesson. We may include our art project into weekly poetry tea time or enjoy a seasonal or holiday art lesson for the day. Whatever you decide, designating an art day or a fun learning day each week is a great way to make sure it doesn’t get skipped each week.

5. Explore with Nature. Preschoolers naturally love nature study, everything from exploring in the backyard to learning all about the seasons are sure to excite your early learner. Incorporate chalk pastel lessons as you learn about all of these things.

6. Include The Family. If you have children of all ages in your homeschool, there may be few subjects that you can combine. Another one of the perks of using You Are An Artist is that the whole family can join in on the fun. Chalk pastel art has no age requirements, and mom can even join in on the fun! We highly recommend it.

7. Plan Outside Of The Box. There are no rules for teaching preschool or homeschool, for that matter. You can plan to add art at the beginning of the day, along with morning time, or on a Saturday. If you feel like you don’t have time to include art into your daily routine, think about planning art during another part of your day and week. Maybe dad would like to join in the fun after dinner on Friday night. Be flexible and plan outside of your typical box.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you as you begin to plan in more art for your precious preschoolers. Art time with Nana is a big deal around our house, and I know it will be in yours too!

Courtney 

www.gracegrowedify.com

Preschool Curriculum Match Up Download

Be sure to download the free Preschool Curriculum Match Up to make planning preschool art time even easier!

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Courtney is a Jesus-pursuing, native Texan, homeschool mom of three, who believes homeschooling can be a peaceful and productive rhythm. At Grace, Grow & Edify she helps families create peaceful homeschooling atmospheres through faith, organizational strategies, and cultivating strong roots at home.

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Easy Mommy and Me Art Time with Chalk Pastels

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!

How Our Mommy and Me Art Time with Chalk Pastels Started

Our mommy and me art time evolved from our practice of the Brave Writer’s lifestyle of poetry teatime. The idea behind this homeschool teatime is that you set aside one day a week to enjoy poetry.

  • Set the table with candles and attractive dishes or decorations
  • Serve a lovely beverage like tea, cider or in our case hot chocolate
  • Serve something yummy to eat like cookies or pie
  • Pile the table with poetry books from the library and from your bookshelves
  • Make it fun

The children developed such joy from our poetry teatime and one day it spilled over into our homeschool art time.

So it happened last December I found our Christmas chalk pastel art lessons helped me make a chaotic holiday weekend just a little bit more delightful!

We added hot cocoa and some pumpkin pie to this chalk pastel activity. I even joined in.

It was so fun!

And thus, our mommy and me art time was born!

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!My kiddos and I love the one on one time that art provides us. The kids and I connect as we each follow the art lessons that You ARE An Artist supplies.

We have been using chalk pastels video art lessons for years! It is a favorite of ours for easy and fun art lessons.

Why?

Because all you need are a cheap set of chalk pastels and construction paper to create beautiful works of art! Plus, anyone can do them from Pre-schoolers through adult.

But, when I saw the bit of magic that happened when I added myself along with the cocoa and pie, I realized that art time could be so much more.

Now, I make it a point to add in our mommy and me art time with chalk pastels weekly!

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!

So, here is how I create an easy mommy and me time with chalk pastels:

  • Let the children pick which chalk pastel video art lesson they want to do. You ARE An Artist Clubhouse Membership makes this super simple because you get a bank of art lessons for all ages, plus new art lessons from “Nana” and themed art events throughout the year. Or you can choose from any number of video art lessons. One day my kids may be interested in backyard birds and another day they may choose a green-eyed tree frog or exploring spring.
  • Provide tasty treats and beverages! It doesn’t have to be fancy. Refill as needed.

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!

  • Sometimes we incorporate books based on seasons or animals the children have expressed interest in or sometimes it’s a bit of poetry.
  • Leave your expectations at the door and just enjoy this time with your kids. Work alongside them as you both create your works of art.
  • Do your best and cheer your kiddos on as they do their best too! As “Nana” always says, “You ARE An Artist!” Expect pastel covered fingers and beverage spillage. I keep a roll of paper towels nearby for just such occasions.

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship? Share some one on one time with your kiddo with mommy and me art time with chalk pastels!

Take Time for Art and Connection

Taking the time to create art with your kids shows them that it is worth doing. As you connect with your child, they will see that art is interesting and fun. It shows them that you are engaged while also building your relationship through an easy and fun shared activity.

Art is just one way to provide quality one-on-one time with your kiddo. But for us, it has become an easy yet vital component to building strong bonds and the filling of their buckets while encouraging creativity and connection.

Are you looking for meaningful connections with your child? Did you know that art is a wonderful way to help strengthen your relationship?

Erin is a writer, blogger, and homeschooler to two intense kids. Her blog is filled with information to help you explore a child led education while making meaningful connections with your children. Discover favorite read alouds, seasonal books, games, art projects, hands-on activities, and learn to just breathe through the ups and downs of life. She loves nature, farm life, good books, knitting, new pens, and hot coffee. Erin is a contributing writer for Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. Her work has also been featured on Simple Homeschool and Book Shark.  

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Favorite Chalk Pastel Art Sets

For over a decade now, we have built a love of art with Nana and our favorite art medium – chalk pastels. In that time, we have decided on our favorite chalk pastel art sets. Because we are a multi-generational homeschool family, we like to keep things frugal – so all ages can enjoy rich art at a low cost. We found that Alphacolor has really wonderful, student-grade chalk pastel art sets. These sets are full of beautiful sticks of color!

Speaking of favorites, our true favorites are you artists! We love to see your photos of your beautiful chalk pastel paintings. We love having you in our You ARE an Artist Clubhouse. And so we are giving away some of our favorite chalk pastel art sets.

we have built a love of art with Nana and our favorite art medium – chalk pastels. In that time we have decided on our favorite chalk pastel art sets.

We are celebrating you! And we are celebrating our I Drew It Then I Knew It series of chalk pastel art lessons. (You should check those out!)

AND, as of November 2019, Nana has over 530 video art lessons and 50 courses in the You ARE an Artist Complete Clubhouse! Wow!

Enter to win a set of our very favorite chalk pastels – Alphacolor 144 chalk pastel sticks – in the rafflecopter widget below…
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Chalk Pastel Art Sets and More

And here is one more thing that is absolutely free for you! Join our community!

Join our You ARE an Artist Facebook Group and our Instagram community!

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Chalk Pastel Art Applying Fixative

In this video, Nana shows you how to apply a fixative to your finished chalk pastel painting. By applying fixative such as a simple layer of inexpensive aerosol hair spray, you can preserve your chalk pastel art. Nana also discusses framing a chalk pastel painting under glass.

Chalk Pastel Art Applying Fixative


Suggested supplies for applying fixative:

  • Finished chalk pastel painting.
  • Inexpensive hair spray works as well as more expensive art sealant.
  • Go outdoors to apply if at all possible!

Chalk Pastel Art Applying Fixative. Nana shows you how to apply a fixative to your finished chalk pastel painting using inexpensive aerosol hair spray.

View more Frequently Asked Questions here.

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