I am often asked how I do my work. With many of my projects, I start by producing a scaled pencil sketch on paper to make sure my vision and that of my clients align. Once that is set, I recreate the piece on my chalkboards in regular chalk (Crayola dust-free is my go-to). This gives me guidelines for the actual piece that can easily be erased once I’ve produced the final product with my chalk pens. I prefer Chalk Ink pens for temporary pieces — they appear to erase most successfully — and Sharpie Oil-Based for white permanent, and UniPaint Oil-Based for colored permanent.
I use my chalk guidelines to go over with my pens (chalk or oil-based), and those guidelines can be pretty rough on a lot of levels, mostly ensuring that I have the spacing I need for the project at hand. Once I’m done “inking,” I let it dry, and then erase the original guides with a soft dry cloth.