The first rule of Graffiti is that there are no rules. In fact, Graffiti has come into being in order to break the stereotypical rules. This makes it much more than just some colors on a wall.
It’s an emotion, a sense of independence. Today it’s widely acclaimed as one of the most renowned forms of modern visual arts.
If you’re interested in expressing yourself through this form of modern art, then you’ve landed in the right place. Keep reading till the end to know how to spray paint graffiti as a method of expressing yourself.
Here we discuss elaborately all the crucial steps, starting from can-holds to spraying methods.
Graffiti and Its Origin
Graffiti ranges from everything between letterings, tags, and message bearing arts. Just like every other popular art, it’s also improving and personalizing itself every day and the evolution has been truly phenomenal.
Before we jump in to tell you how to get started, here’s a little bit of history.
Even though modern-day graffiti started booming from the l960s, the first evidence of graffiti dates back to a thousand years.
The earliest graffiti was just wall writings and engravings. This has now spread all over the world and evolved into, what we like to call, ‘masterpieces of spray art’.
How To Spray Paint Graffiti
Spray painting graffiti isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. If you want to color up your street walls, the first thing you need to understand is that graffiti requires patience.
By following these simple steps you will be able to create perfectly painted graffiti every time.
Many beginner artists make the mistake of starting with huge projects without prior preparation. Remember that bigger tasks involve higher risks.
Wondering what can you do about that? Well, the best thing to do is to start small. Before you hit the streets, practice your lettering and color theory in your notebook.
If you find it risky to experiment with color combinations on a wall, try out those combos at home first.
When you get the hang of it on paper, move on to painting inside your premises. Hit the streets only when you feel confident with your techniques. That way you won’t feel lost halfway through a piece.
Choose The Perfect Spot
The first thing you need to know when hitting the streets is that not every wall is a good canvas. Don’t jump into any empty wall you see in your neighborhood.
Consider going low-key for the first few graffitis. In other words, start with locations that have comparatively less traffic.
A good way to scout for appropriate canvases is to take a walk through the neighborhood. The best spot is the one that has a quick exit and is easily visible to a large number of audiences.
Although there are no hard rules, we recommend that you save the best places for the last. Don’t forget to look for your local legal-walls.
Make Your Very Own Tag Or Stay Anonymous
Graffiti tags are simply a combination of letters that help you leave a mark of your identity or message. If you’re into tags, then make sure your one is completely unique.
If you’ve already started tagging a specific word then stick to it. Avoid changing mid-way as it defies the entire purpose of tags in the first place.
Now, just because you want to be a graffiti artist doesn’t mean you must have a tag. To grow as an artist, you should master all sorts of lettering, and that’s only possible through practice.
Having a tag from the beginning can sometimes limit your true potential. Then again, the purpose of graffiti is to have fun.
Get Your Essentials Ready
Here is a list of seven things that are a must-have before you start to spray paint. Remember that by missing out on a few might not ruin your art practice, but it will definitely harm your long term discipline and health.
- Spray paints
- Safety goggles
- Appropriate clothing
- Re-adjustable spray nozzles
Outline Your Sketch Before Coloring
Draw your letters on a page in the same way that you want to paint. That way you will have an idea of the piece you are pursuing. Here are the basic steps and suggestions –
- Follow the sketch and outline your art on the wall with a clear spray.
- After the outline has been made, start filling it up with colors from your palette, in your preferred style.
- Needless to mention, you must always shake your spray-can well before you start spraying.
- Try out different interlocking among letters every time.
- Fill in the art with solid colors.
- The early days of spray paint are all about experimenting and finding the right style. Try out your favorite shades of gradient on your artwork.
Master Your ‘Can Control’
The secret to efficient spray painting is proper can control. How you manage and operate your can has a lot to do with the outcome of your piece.
Whether your Tag, Throw-up, Blockbuster, or Wildstyle will stand out from others or not depends on your sense of can control. Here are some essential instructions –
- Position yourself properly; take a solid stance facing the wall.
- Always face the can towards the wall perpendicularly. Avoid spraying at an angle.
- The fatter the can cap, the further you want to hold it from the wall.
- Thinner lines require faster motions. Whereas, fatter lines can make do with slower hand motions. Calibrate your speed accordingly.
- Move your arm and not your wrist. That way you can avoid the unwanted thickness shift.
- If you want to bring in a 3D look to your graffiti drop a shadow underneath, or on any side of the letters.
- Lastly, do subtle line works by spraying in short intervals. This is not exactly detailing, but an enrichment of the art’s form factor.
Border and Detail With Darker Colors
After you’re done with the solid colors, it’s time to move onto bordering.
The fine border is what brings completion to your piece and make it look like the graffiti you intended to paint. Follow these surefire ways to perfect bordering and detailing.
- Choose the darkest color from your pallet to border your solid paint-work.
- Outline one letter at a time.
- Carefully go around your letters. A mistake on bordering the interlocks can cost you hours of hard work.
- Focus on keeping the distance between the can and wall constant at all times. Graffiti with irregular borders does not look professional.
Precautions You Need to Take
These are the precautions you must take.
- Remember that heat and fire are you and your paint’s worst enemy.
- Always do your artwork in a well-ventilated place.
- Make sure to wear your protective masks and gloves when spray painting.
- Always carry a little box of first aid. If paint gets into your eyes, rinse with water, or seek medical help.
- When spray painting indoors, make sure that the stove, atomizers, and radiators are turned off.
- Do not expose your paint cans to extreme heat or pressure.
- Lastly, never puncture your empty cans, rather recycle them.
Step Up and Tag The World!
Expert artists know where to tag themselves, and when to evacuate the scene.
If you’ve read through the instructions, then you already have an elaborate idea on how to spray paint graffiti. Be confident and raise your voice for what’s right through your artwork.