Chalk Art Festival kicks off a colorful summer in Larimer Square

DENVER -- Larimer Square kicked off summer with the annual Denver Chalk Art festival, a free two-day street-painting festival.

Hundreds of artists spent hours turning the streets of Larimer Square into a museum of beautiful chalk art this weekend.

DCAF follows street painting traditions that originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy when artists began transforming asphalt into canvas using chalk.

The artists were called Madonnari after their customary practice of recreating chalk paintings of the Madonna.

Today, artists worldwide are taking to the streets, bringing with them new ideas, techniques, and excitement for this ancient form of expression.

The creation of a chalk painting is not as easy as it seems, artists draw an outline of a painting in proper proportion, then begin to lay the base of colors.

Using a number of colored pastels, the artist layers the chalk, blending the colors to create shadow, contrast and depth.

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