Art Creator's Hub ▸ Chalk Markers vs. Regular Chalk

Chalk Markers vs. Regular Chalk

Are chalk markers the same as traditional chalk? Good question. Both are erasable as long as you use them on the right surfaces. For liquid chalk pens, these include ceramics, glass, and other non-porous materials. Regular chalk, on the other hand, can be wiped off dry from blackboards. If you've ever heard of sidewalk chalk, those are also removable — just pour water over the artwork and it should wash right off.

However, this is where the similarities end. While both chalk markers and sticks come in many colors, markers produce more vivid and opaque lines. That's because they contain pigment-based ink, which is made of color particles suspended in water. When you use liquid chalk to draw or write, the ink comes into contact with air and eventually dries. This binds the ink to the surface and makes it difficult to remove without a wet towel.

Chalk sticks, on the other hand, are already dry; the lines they make are not from ink but rather crushed gypsum or calcite. Because it's primarily composed of powder, chalk crumbles easily and its pigments are not as brilliant. If you're working with regular chalk, be careful where you rest your hands — one small movement and your artwork could get smudged.

Markers are also easier to clean up. If you are a teacher, you no longer have to deal with chalk dust; you can simply erase what you’ve written on the board with a wet wipe. This is much easier compared to cleaning up chalk marks, which often requires several passes with an eraser. If your blackboard is non-porous, using markers will also prevent powdery residue.

One more thing you should consider when choosing between chalk sticks or markers is the surface you'll be using them on. Regular chalk will not work on all surfaces — they are specially made for chalkboards. However, chalk markers can be used on all non-porous or sealed surfaces, including glass, ceramics, and of course, whiteboards. You can also use markers on paper and cloth but remember that whatever you write or draw will be permanent. That said, liquid chalk can be used on almost every surface except a rough road. That’s when sidewalk chalk is your best bet.

Overall, markers offer the erasable quality of classroom chalk plus a few more perks. If you want to create a rustic yet detailed artwork without the hassle of cleanup, you will enjoy using liquid chalk markers!

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