A few weeks ago, we finally had the chance to eat at Orange Karinderia at La Guardia Street in Lahug, Cebu City. Our family had been raving about this place for a long time but, because of our busy schedule whenever we’re in town, we haven’t had the chance to go until last December. My brother is crazy about Betsy’s Chicken while I just love the crispy-but-melt-in-your-mouth Ginabot.
The cool chalk art on display is actually the work of Mikko Pato, one of the owners. I just love how the display adds character and charm to the restaurant. I was honored when they asked me to do a board for the restaurant. I was asked to incorporate the text “Save room for dessert” on the piece.
One of their best sellers is the Brazo de Cups which is Brazos de Mercedes served in a cup. I decided to represent the meringue with flourishing and make sure that the distinct shape of the dessert is captured in the design.
Transferring the Design
I drafted the design on the chalk board using light strokes to place the major components before going over and filling-in the design. An easier way to transfer the design would be to use a projector to flash the design on the board and just trace over it.
Working with Chalk
Chalk is so much fun and easy to work with. I used Q-tips soaked in water to erase small sections from the board. It is also a good way to sharpen the edge of the design if needed.
Sealing the Board with Hairspray
I wanted to use a clear matte based sealant like Kryon so that it doesn’t smudge easily but I couldn’t find any aerosol-based sealant available locally so I did some research. I knew that some calligraphers use hairspray to seal their work and wondered whether it would also work for chalk. When I checked online, it turns out hairspray is widely used to to seal chalk art so I bought a can of Dove hairspray and tested it on a piece of card. It prevented smudging but it also caused tiny bits of chalk powder on the lines to drop off.
You need to mist the spray at least a foot away from the piece. If you apply too much hairspray you could end up blowing off some of the chalk at it will look patchy. The chalk color looked dull while the hairspray was wet, but once it dried up the chalk color became vibrant again.
After cleaning up and reapplying chalk over my design, the hairspray actually acted as a good base for the chalk and I managed to get more vibrant and crisp lines.
The downside to using hairspray is that it leaves a shiny spot on sections where the hairspray is concentrated. You can remove this by soaking cotton in water and gently wiping the hairspray away.
I’m happy with how the final piece turned out. There were some frustrating moments when the the hairspray reacted with the chalk piece but going over it with chalk saved the day.