the chalk effect was done essentially two ways. paint shop pro (psp) has a new 'art media' mode. in that mode is a 'chalk' brush. but, i found that a bit limiting. so, i went back to a simple brush, though not the default brush tip, and lowered both the opacity and density of the brush. lowering the opacity means you get the whole thing not as solid when you paint, and lowering the density means you get skips here and there. then, i used only pastels colors from the palette. so, that gives you the 'chalk' look.
but, i also made a separate layer for the background. on this layer i used a gray flood fill with a texture applied to the fill. i forget exactly which texture i used, but i just wanted to simulate a sort of concrete look. i just flood filled the entire layer. i then used a normal brush with a 'size' of about 4 or 5 and kept the same texture i'd used on the flood fill, only this time i set the tip to blackish color and drew a line across the fill layer. i then made the tip even smaller, like 2 or 3, and chose a whitish color and drew on the edges of the black line to give it some depth.
and that was pretty much it. oh, and in there somewhere i did duplicate the chalk layer and gausian blurred it a bit, as if someone had smoothed the chalk around a bit. i then used a blend mode on this layer to bleed it into the other chalk layer. this step would be optional depending on if you wanted a straight chalk or a smoothed chalk.
this technique shld work in most any paint type program. the tools used are pretty much standard tools.