I decided to charge the first try to experience. The effect was not exactly how I wanted it. Lily also didn't feel it was working as it was too cartoony. She wanted more black! We had 3 days left before competition day and I didn't know where to start and how to fix it. I researched more and gathered bits of information from different sources that I thought were essential. I watched and re-watched recordings of the chalk art paintings from around the world, short clips of chalk artists in action. Nothing was instructional, but there was just enough to look at and observe....then it finally clicked (in the shower!). I feverishly drew up the concept and made the necessary preparations in the middle of the night for next day's practice. I was excited to try it!
This concept came pretty quickly as I knew exactly what kind of images I needed as reference. The orca of course is the center of interest as it is the biggest element and will have the most contrast in color and value. As your eyes move around, the pool will keep you within the scene. The maple leaves direct you to the salmon. It's eyes will point you back to the Orca. Steveston is represented by the whale and fishes and Canada day, the maple leaves. People will stand beside the Orca and interact with it, feeding it or playing with it. The concept still captured what I thought represented the spirit of the day, hopefully without being too obvious, but just enough to make references to Canada or Steveston.
The effect was starting to come out! I was so happy and relieved to see that my gut feel was right! I no longer had to reach up high into the sky to take this picture for the effect to happen. The ground was rough but smooth enough to hold chalk. This is important otherwise building up the color would be a pain. This blend came out very well as I quickly grew accustomed to understanding how chalk behaved.
A closer look at how the fishes were drawn. Each square you see on the grid is 1 foot.
I rushed the Orca. I didn't need to paint the snot out of the big guy as only the basic shape was needed to see the effect. It also started to drizzle so we quickly took pictures of it. There were people who came by and had very nice things to say smile emoticon One of them asked if we planned to finish it today. I said probably not since this was just for practice to achieve a 3D effect and that we will clean up right after. She said "please don't. Just leave it!" haha. One of them even thanked me for doing this. That's awesome. I decided to clean up since it will eventually become a blackness after the rain.
Here's Lily and her little girl posing with the Orca. Haha. That was so fun to capture on camera just before we wash it all away.
The chalk will never remain but its in the photograph where the effect happens and stays forever. (As it was being washed away, I allowed myself to shed just one, one tear. I wiped it with the back of my hand and walked away...like a man...with black chalk now all over his face. haha.)