There is no right or wrong in chalkboard drawing. Everyone will develop their personal style, preference and technique. Where I usually give myself boundaries for my drawings to avoid their taking over the whole board, some may like their drawings to emerge more organically without limitations. It is much the same with the materials that are used. There are several manufacturers of chalks and boards to use and one can make do with whatever is available.
Some of the chalks used most widely in the Waldorf schools are those made by Mercurius and Prang. I have found Prang Ambrite chalks to have the most vibrancy in color as well as lower dust production. Mercurius also has a few colors that I prefer to use for particular needs. There are some nice white chalks on the market as well. Chalkboards can range from large classroom slate boards to handmade plywood boards painted with black or chalkboard paint. Each will produce a different texture in the drawing as shown below.
Painted chalkboard Slate chalkboard - smoother
- more tooth/texture
The drawing on the left is done on a painted plywood surface; whereas a slate blackboard is used on the right. The plywood board has more tooth to grab the chalk and give the drawing more texture; the slate blackboard produces a smoother finish. Both have an interesting effect.
For erasing, almost anything will do. A preferred cloth is a microfiber furniture polishing cloth. It removes the chalk easily, as well as most of the dust. It is a great replacement for washing the board if you are trying to preserve the integrity of the board’s surface or are short on time. Washing the board is much the same. Almost anything will do. If the surface is made of wood, it is best to wash with as little water as possible and then dry immediately with a separate cloth.
For inspiration, it is up to the individual to find what works for them. Many teachers will use various resources such as books, postcards, original works of art, photographs, their own imagination, direct observations of nature and internet images. I have found that with practice the drawings come easier and with established techniques it becomes more natural to create from the imagination.
Other special tools for chalkboard drawing can be found as well. For teaching geometry lessons beginning in sixth grade, compasses designed for use on a chalkboard can be extremely useful as precision is imperative.