Holbrook Language Academy Elementary School – Concord CA

We just visited Holbrook Elementary School recently and had so much fun. Principal Marga Marshall was great, she even ordered out for pizza at lunch. 

Drawing on Earth has been invited to chalk draw on 30 elementary school playgrounds for this school year. The project is funded by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Education Foundation – thank you so much! A beautiful alignment of values and commitments with Drawing on Earth – investing creatively and wisely into our youth and community for a better future for everyone.

And we got a chance to try out our new camera drone – a Mavic Air. We’ll post videos soon – so much fun. 


For the Teachers, Artists, and Parents interested in doing this work.
Let me share with you some things that work.

1) Clean your surface – no pebbles, leaves, trigs, goose poop – chalk does not like these things.

2) Pick a design. This school’s power animal (mascot) is a jet. Using the internet I type in “jet/clip art” and look around for something that might work. I liked this jet, then download and open it in to photoshop, added a grid, printed it out.


3) Create larger grid on playground using tape measure and chalk snap lines. I was able to hand draw this Jet by using a tape measure, figuring my larger squares would be 5 ft. (1.5 meters). I use an old truck antenna that I tape chalk to for a drawing stick – love it. 

4) I outline the image using powered chalk (home depot – blue is least permanent) mixed with water, and a paint roller. The large outline is super helpful in directing kids where to draw, otherwise a larger form gets lost easily with 300 students plus.


5) I have been using a circular mandala  design element ever since I visited Nepal. I use a cement nail (extra strong) and a hammer to place a nail in the playground. Using a ball of string that already has loops tied into it, I draw concentrical circles. I then subdivide each area giving kids a space to draw inside. Very helpful for little kids, and it helps them see and understand negative space.

6) I present a great assembly with 150 photos of previous projects.

7) I give each class a chalk demo to set them up for a great time drawing. Beginning line work, fill it in solid. See more about this here.

8) Turn up the music and let them draw. (mostly non verbal – my fav is electronic “chill”)

Here is information I send to each school.

What to Expect from a Day of Chalk Drawing with Drawing on Earth, and Artist Mark Lewis Wagner 

  • calendar dates are picked, rain and cold/windy days will be rescheduled between fall and spring 2018-19
  • Mark comes early to sketch out the design (usually using the school”s power animal/mascot)
  • a day (or two) full of creative expression, art learning, and fun for every student in your school – (can handle about 400+ students in one day, over 600 requires two days)
  • a 30 min. schoolwide assembly (1-2depending on school) with photo of chalk drawings, how to set a Guinness World Record, and the life of a professional artist
  • 2-3 classes (60-90 students, any mix of grades) draw for approx. 20 minutes
  • Mark gives each group a short demo and art lesson
  • original imagery requires; no words, spongebob, or mindcraft – can work in teams, teachers encouraged to draw

Needed from your Principal/Staff

  • phone call with main contact person to go over site prep and the day
  • a schedule for the day including assembly(ies), and where each classroom or grade level has time on the playground drawing with Mark
  • a projector, screen, microphone, dark room for the assembly (Mark will bring laptop with adapter cables)
  • parent helpers when possible out on the playground especially with younger kids or larger groups
  • notice out to parents that students clothing will get dirty, and that photos will be taken 
  • playground NEEDS to BE CLEANED before; leaf blown – dirt and chalk do not work together
  • several buckets of water and rags on playground for first rinse hand cleaning
  • children need to beware with respiratory needs 
And to see more artwork from Holbrook.