Graffiti Art Tutorial

download Graffiti Art Tutorial

of 8

Transcript of Graffiti Art Tutorial

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial



    CAP104.tut_5looks 56 22/10/07 6:32:52 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    Rough is a professional graffiti artist: Im

    that guy who creative agencies call up

    to produce that ever so cool urban

    chic that a lot of clients seem to be after

    nowadays, he explains. Well that was until

    Computer Arts Projectscontacted me asking me to

    give away all my secrets. I thought about it and, as

    any good Jedi master knows, you can teach the

    apprentice all your knowledge but you remain the

    master. So I thought, Ah, what the heck.

    Im going to take you through the five

    simple(ish) ways to incorporate a graffiti/street art

    style into your digital artwork. Mastering the art of

    using a spray can is no easy task and has so far

    taken me 23 years to get my head around. So dont

    think youre going to be the next Futura or Banksy

    once youve read the following guide. You will, on

    the other hand, be on the right track

    The main thing youll need is spray paint. Alien

    and Belton are my favourite brands, but have a go

    with Monster and Montana too. Youll also need a

    selection of different caps for your cans. Available

    in fat, skinny or super skinny, they help achieve the

    different thicknesses you see on most graffiti art.

    Youll also need some nice chisel-tip markers

    that use either ink or paint, and some

    good thick card, a sheet of

    acetate, a cutting

    mat and a


    If you want to use elements of streetart in your commercial work, they needto be authentic. One of Londons best-known

    graffiti writers, ROUGH, shows you how

    Find our more about Rough on page 63 and

    see more of his work at




    December 2007 |57

    CAP104.tut_5looks 57 22/10/07 6:32:57 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    58|December 2007

    2If you want a line of drips, slowly move the canfrom left to right and adjust the amount of paintyou want dripping from certain areas. Itll take some

    practice to control where you want the drips to go.

    Scan your drips into Photoshop, then adjust your levels

    to remove any grey areas. Hey presto digital drips

    which can be re-sized, re-coloured and incorporated

    into any image.

    Technique 1: DripsDrips are a central element of graffiti they look great but are difficult to get right

    1Take one can of black spray paint (you can always

    change colours once your image is scanned) and

    one sheet of thick A4 card. The paper stock you use is

    important here and needs to be thick enough so the

    paint doesnt bleed through. Tape the card to a wall at

    an angle, in a position that is comfortable to work with.

    Now spray directly onto the centre of the card and

    continue spraying in a fixed position until your drips

    appear. If you just want a single drip, keep the can in

    a fixed position for some time.

    Always use spray paint in a well-

    ventilated area and wear a mask

    when painting indoors.

    Protect yourself

    CAP104.tut_5looks 58 22/10/07 6:32:59 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    December 2007 |59

    Always use a black for your spray techniques. You can

    easily re-colour your images on your computer.

    Back to black

    Technique 2: The fade (gradients)The lush mixing of spray paint colours is far more difficult than in Photoshopor Illustrator

    1Take your can of black paintand spray a flat area of colouron half the surface youre using.

    Spray confidently and evenly.

    Weve used black and grey here

    to achieve better effects once the

    images are scanned.

    2Take a can of grey paint andcarefully dust onto the blackfrom two to three inches away from

    the surface. Angling the direction

    slightly so the paint moves

    sideways can achieve a much easier

    fade. Pull back very slightly on the

    nozzle as you press it down to

    make a slightly spattered effect.

    This will ta ke a lot of practice, but

    stick with it and eventually youll

    get the results youre after.

    3Once youre happy with yourfade and the paint has dried,scan your painted sheet over a layer

    of clear acetate just to be safe. Now

    you can save to Photoshop.

    4 Now you can adjust thecolours in Photoshopto suityour piece of work.

    1 2



    CAP104.tut_5looks 59 22/10/07 6:33:00 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    December 2007 |61

    Technique 4: The perfect tag letteringThe tag is the entry point for all graffiti artists. Its as much about style and technique as anything

    1For tagging, nothing worksbetter than a good old-fashioned chisel tip marker. Ive

    been writing with markers for 23

    years (ahem, not always on sheets

    of paper). There are many different

    makes and brands out there, so see

    which one suits you best and

    experiment with them.

    Place the long edge of your

    marker down on your surface and

    then angle the pen slightly. Strike

    your lines in a very fluid movement.

    Executing a great tag is all about

    confidence any hesitation in your

    line will show. Dont start simply

    writing in your own hand writing;

    exaggerate certain letter sizes and

    shapes and feel free to underline

    your letters or add stars, inverted

    commas or even halos. Make your

    writing more elaborate anddecorative. There are no rules

    with this, and readability is not

    usually an issue.

    2Scan your end result intoPhotoshop. Adjust the levels,again removing any unwanted

    marks or greyness. Create a

    duplicate layer and then lighten

    the duplicate by 50 per cent and

    send to back.

    3Place the tag at a 45-degree angle just slightly behind the originallayer this will make a shadow (an effect used on a daily basis in al lgraffiti paintings). Adjust both layers to your desired positioning and you

    have your fresh tag-style letters.

    1 2

    Markers come in different varieties.

    Lots of graffiti artists customise their

    own. Take a look at what Krink offer:

    Making your mark

    CAP104.tut_5looks 61 22/10/07 6:33:06 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    62|December 2007

    1Scan or upload your desiredimage into Photoshop. Theimage choice is up to you, but bear

    in mind that the more complicated

    your image, the harder your stencil

    will be to cut and a lso to work.

    Open your levels in Photoshopand

    adjust them until your image has

    absolutely no grey areas and looks

    almost like a photocopy. This will

    make it easier to cut.

    2Print your image onto a nicethick card, lay your sheet onyour cutting mat and then cut out

    the dark areas only. Be very careful

    not to accidentally cut out any

    negative white spaces.

    3Once youve made your stencil,spray the wrong side with alight dusting of PhotoMountadhesive, so the card doesnt move.

    4 Place your stencil onto yourdesired surface and thenevenly spray onto it. Dont worry

    too much if the edges raise up

    slightly, because any overspray

    makes it look even more like an

    authentic graffiti stencil. Re-scan,

    digitise, levels job done. ca p

    Technique 5: StencilsStencils are an easy way to present a more complicated image

    Always allow plenty of time for the

    paint to dry before you do anything

    with it. Otherwise youll end up with

    messy equipment and smudged work.

    Patience needed

    1 2

    3 4

    CAP104.tut_5looks 62 22/10/07 6:33:07 pm

  • 7/31/2019 Graffiti Art Tutorial


    Expert profile: Remi/RoughGraffiti artist, designer, musician and television presenter, Rough boasts clients such as Red Bull, Nike and Ministry of Sound

    LOCATION:The dark depths of South London.

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A WRITER?Twenty-three years. I started painting walls in 1984.

    DO YOU DO COMMERCIAL WORK:I like to think that I achieve a healthy balance of both personal and

    commercial work and I am lucky enough that the commercial work

    I do get offered is very nearly always fun and creative.


    Its hard to speak for an entire scene, but for me personally I am making amove into film and animation. I have just finished a script for a short film

    that is heavily visually influenced by my involvement within the graffiti

    movement. I imagine people bombing walls with light and lasers as

    opposed to ink and paint, and galleries and agencies becoming more and

    more engrossed in what graffiti artists are doing and creating. Maybe even

    some big agencies will start a graffiti artist consultation branch. I think the

    days of it being a fad or that thing from the 1980s are long gone thank

    goodness... So, in short, graffiti is heading towards the consumer market,

    the galleries and a billboard near you soon... (but maybe not legally).

    ABOVE:Cover design for issue 002 ofSkinnycapmagazine.

    TOP LEFT:Album cover artwork for Rob Sonic.

    LEFT:Recent piece showing Roughs refined drip techniques.

    December 2007 |63

    CAP104.tut_5looks 63 22/10/07 6:33:10 pm