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ChalkBoard Workshop

Last week I met with Ashlee Arceneaux from SmallChalk in her Bywater shotgun studio. I was really excited and ready to create a hand-drawn type chalk board. Her beautiful hand lettered signs can be seen all around New Orleans. The majority of her lettering and illustration work is at Whole Foods in Metairie. She also freelances her sign work for restaurants and bars around the city.

Materials needed before our workshop. I bought a piece of wood and used chalk board spray paint to coat it. I then purchased 3 sticks of white pastels to use on the chalkboard. (Note: White pastels look like chalk, but are more of a permanent treatment and pastels just look better.)I also brought a rough sketch of the slogan Q’hubo short in Spanish for que hubo which means how are you. The font Hera from  TypeTrust  was used as inspiration. Since we don’t own the font, we pulled up the font on the iPad for reference.


  • wood board and chalk board spray paint (spray wood with 2 coats of paint the night before)
  • wet rag
  • chalk board paint (touch ups)
  • 3 white pastels sticks
  • brush


  1. draw guidelines with chalk as references, so you know where your letters will go
  2. draw letters with chalk and make any adjustments to your type paths
  3. fill letters with white pastels
  4. clean up the edges with a wet rag, touch up the letters with a brush & chalk paint
  5. the result was that even though you can create similar type chalk effects in Photoshop nothing compares to the real thing

I have been wanting to start creating and making things I like. I feel like sometimes I spend so much time looking at pretty work online and I not enough time creating it myself. Turning the computer off is a good idea “get creative”. The computer is a great tool, but its good to get out of your comfort zone and make something new. I had such a great time working with Ashlee and talking about graphic design, type, hand-lettering and business that is was worth 3 hours of my day.

More Chalk Inspiration:
Ade Chong’s Pinterest Board
Dana Tanamachi




  1. Patrick Kelly October 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Love her stuff! Nothing like the real thing indeed.

  2. Maria October 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

    @Ciera this was a great project that took hardly anytime. I want to do more.

  3. Ciera October 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I love Ashlee! She is my fave!

  4. Maria October 10, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Dariela it was a lot of fun to do and easy.

  5. Dariela October 10, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Wow!!!! How amazing! That sounds like something I would love to do. It’s true, nothing like the real thing :)

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