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How to draw graffiti

How do I draw graffiti?

3497 day(s) ago

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Aside from the legal problems you'll have if caught tagging in a public place, spray paint must be applied quickly to keep it from running.


You will have some overspray, so you'll want to get the largest areas done first, and work toward smaller elements. You can break a design into three steps:

Background: Large overall colors are applied first.

Outline: If you're writing your name, this will be the outside of the lettering. Some artists use stencils.

Detail: Adjustments to the background, shadows, lens flair, and other effects are added at the end.

Some artists use stencils for the outline. The design will be one continual piece, with isolated elements like pupils attached to the rest of the sheet via a bridge. Stencils can be cut out of clear acetate, letting you trace on top of your drawing. When applying, the stencil can be attacked to your chosen canvas with spray adhesive or a couple pieces of tape.

Here's an example.

The artist begins by painting the major background colors. In this case, the lettering is done in three colors, with a surrounding layer of blue. This is pretty rough, but can be fixed later.

Next, the outline for the lettering is sprayed.

The artist then goes back and fine tunes the shading.

The process is repeated for the top.

Finally, highlights are added. These cover multiple parts of the piece, so they must be put on last.

Spray paint is designed to cover a wide area, so the flow rate is much higher than you would ideally want for close line work. You will need to compensate by making quick, fluid movements to amount of paint applied to a minimum. Paint won't spray very well in cold weather, and on wet days it will run more easily.

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