Do you love art? Most kids are naturally creative. Whether you give them pens, pencils, crayons, markers, paint, clay, yarn or sidewalk chalk, they can create works of art that are priceless to their parents.

There all sorts of canvases that can be used to create art. Of course, paper is a favorite of many children. Many artists, though, think outside the box and make art on ceilings or even on the side of buildings.

In cities, some artists have turned ordinary streets into fantastic works of art. This type of art is called by many different names, including street painting, pavement art, street art and sidewalk art. Have you ever seen street art in your city?

Since street art is by its very nature temporary (people still have to use the streets!), many artists use materials that can be removed easily. One of the most popular materials for street art is sidewalk chalk.

Street art isn’t a new phenomenon. Would you believe that pavement artists — called screevers — have been around in England since the 1700s? Historians believe that over 500 street artists made a living from creating street art in London alone by 1890.

Screevers did more than just make beautiful pictures. They would often add poetry or political commentary to their artworks. In this way, they created visual images of what was going on in the world around them. These images were loved by working people, many of whom could not read the newspapers of the day.

Today, street artists turn simple streets into eye-popping works of art. Some of their pieces seem to jump off the pavement to reach out and grab you.

How do street artists make these incredible 3D works of art? It’s all a matter of perspective. Street artists use techniques that have been around for hundreds of years.

First, they decide upon how the picture should be viewed. In other words, where will most people be standing to look at the picture? With this information, they can then use one simple fact — objects that are farther away appear smaller — to plan a work of art that creates the illusion of three dimensions on a flat surface.

When viewing a work of 3D street art, you have to be standing in the right position — the one from which the artist created the work — to fully appreciate the illusion. If you’re standing in the wrong area, the work of art will look smeared or distorted.

Did you get it?

Test your knowledge

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s out-of-this-world Wonder of the Day may make you hungry for a candy bar!