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Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 | 4 comments

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

We are so excited about the first ever chalk painting festival coming to Del Ray on May 14, 2016. La Bella Strada is a modern street painting festival that originates from an ancient Italian art form. Organized by the parents of students who attend The Del Ray Montessori School, this unique event takes place along Mt. Vernon Avenue. As a fundraiser to help the school with the New Building Fund, local artists, sponsored by businessses and individuals, will decorate Del Ray’s sidewalks with their unique chalk masterpieces. Families and individuals can also reserve designated sidewalk squares for making their own colorful work of art.


To test out the artist-grade chalk the artists will use and to show how anyone – not only the professional artists among us – can be involved and make a beautiful chalk painting, my co-chair Candi and I designed a couple of squares ourselves. We started by marking off the squares with painters tape. Candi drew a grid on the design she wanted to paint – the event logo – to help her transfer the design to the square.


I copied a Picasso portrait for my drawing and drew it freehand. I’m not a professional artist, but I can copy an image made up of geometric cubist shapes.


Then, we went to work coloring in the designs with help from some of the children who attend Del Ray Montessori School. We learned that it’s not necessary to use a lot of pressure with this type of chalk – it goes on very well with a light touch. In fact, pressing too hard tended to chip the chalk.


We noticed that it was even better to rub the chalk in with your finger, especially when the wind picked up and blew the chalk dust away. (We’ll offer rubber gloves for festival participants.)



We were all covered in chalk by the end…



But very pleased with the results! The Bella Strada design was more shaded and the chalk worked well when layered and blended.




And we were able to achieve nice rich and even color with the Picasso design.




When we were finished, we pulled up the painters tape.


And then waited to see how long the image would last. It sprinkled a bit the next morning, but the art did not disappear or even fade. Imagine block after block of stunning works of art on a Saturday in Spring in Del Ray. For more information about participating as an artist, to reserve a square for you or your family, or for sponsorship levels and benefits for La Bella Strada, get in touch with me and Candi via email.

Photography credit for today’s post: Amanda Gilbert


  1. I think this is a splendiferous idea!! And I love your chalk paintings!

  2. I am so excited to be participating in this event as one of the painters! Its going to be a beautiful day!

  3. Certainly is beautiful and innovative!!!! Wish we could participate from Richmond.

  4. MY favorite local Alexandria artist Pamela Underhill will be chalk painting. She slays.

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