This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Monthly Archives: December 2016

Creating Graffiti in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a photo editing software that most of us are at least slightly familiar with. Most popularly this editing software is used to retouch photographs that are printed in magazines and print ads. But, it is completely possible to use Photoshop to draw graffiti. The software has several painting and drawing tools which in combination can be used to create different graphics. Creating graffiti in Photoshop is not very difficult and once you have decided on which graffiti style you want to recreate, you can easily do so.

  • Firstly you will need to choose the background image that you will be working with. You can either choose an image that is already present on your computer or upload an image that you have clicked. We suggest that you use an image with a brick like texture as it seems more authentic.
  • The next step in the process of creating graffiti is to open a new file on Photoshop. To do this, open the software and select the option for File and then click on New to open a new file. You can also import the image that you have uploaded for the background.
  • If you are creating a new file, then you will need to specify the width and height of the image. Remember to set the mode of the image to RGB and the option for Content to White. Once you have selected all the right options, you can click on OK.
  • Next, you will start with the process of creating the graffiti. You will need to click on the icon for New Layer in the Layers palette. This palette appears on the right side of the screen. Always remember to rename the layers that you open so as to make it easier for you to navigate.
  • Next, go to the Tools palette on the left hand side of the screen and choose the Pencil tool. The Pencil tool and the Paintbrush tool are interchangeable so if you cannot find one, then just click on the visible tool and choose the tool that you want.
  • Once you have chosen the Pencil tool, you will need to choose the exact option that you want for the texture of the lettering. We suggest using a splatter brush that will make the graffiti look like it has been spray painted.
  • Next, you need to actually write the text that you want for the graffiti. Click on the option for Color Picker, choose a color and then click on OK. You will need to click on the layers palette and drag the mouse so that you can type in the phrase that you want.
  • Now, open a new layer in the palette and rename the same. Choose a different color and a different brush to make another graffiti design so that you can see the difference that is created by color and brush.
  • Once you have made a design that you are pleased with, you can save the file.

This is just one of the methods that you can use to create a graffiti like image in Photoshop. While selecting a font for the graffiti text, remember to always use a font type that matches the style of graffiti. Learning to draw graffiti in Photoshop is easy and as you become more familiar and proficient with the software, you will get better at the creating artwork using it.

Graffiti Art History

The meaning of the term ‘graffiti’ is: drawings or words that are scribbled or scratched on a wall. It has been derived from the Greek word ‘graphein’, which means ‘to write’, while the term ‘graffiti’ itself is the plural form of ‘graffito’, an Italian word. This art began making its way on public walls in the latter part of the 1960s. However, graffiti as a form of unsolicited messages has existed forever, with the ancient cave paintings, dating back 40,000 years to the Upper Paleolithic era. Right from those times, drawing has always been a means of human being’s deep need and desire to communicate.

Various Styles

Technically speaking, graffiti is a kind of art that is made on a building or wall. When graffiti drawings first started appearing, which was in New York City, the tools used to create them were usually spray paints or wide-tipped markers, which were used basically to draw ‘tags’, or the writer’s name, and not any art as such. This was done to make themselves known all over the city. The bigger and the more colorful they could make their tag, the more attention they got. This gave rise to graffiti ‘wars’ springing up, with each artist trying to outdo the other in making their tag bolder and bigger. However, once these artists figured that anybody could spray on huge letters, style began making its appearance.

To people who are unfamiliar with the art, all graffiti seems the same. However, there are several distinctive styles. Most of them are about using particular fonts to create letters or characters.

  • Tagging: It is used mainly for displaying penmanship, and is considered as lacking in artistic form.
  • Blockbuster: Large sized block letters are used.
  • Wildstyle: Interweaving graffiti letters with designs.
  • Throw-Ups: This type of drawing that is done very quickly using few colors.
  • Bubble Letters: Large letters written in a rounded style.

Each of these styles can be used to create various types of graffiti:

  • Hip-Hop: Reflecting African-American culture, this is considered to be the most traditional types.
  • Challenge: The intention of this type is just to express that somebody ‘was here.’
  • Poster: Drawings made on posters that have people’s pictures on them.
  • Aircraft: Drawing tags on airplanes, usually on the dirt on it.
  • Tree: As is apparent from its name, the paintings are done or carved on trees.
  • Invisible: It is a purely symbolic type, like the logos made on computer microchips, which although are there, can’t be seen by anybody.

History

Although the art of drawing graffiti letters began in the 60s, the period between 1971-1974 is generally regarded as the era when most of the pioneering work in graffiti was done, since this was the time when this form of art began spreading and getting publicity. For some of the youth of that time, it was a means through which they could vent their angst at a world, which they found oppressive, and as a way of rebelling against a society, which they thought was unjust and corrupt.

However, for others, these graffiti characters were simply a pleasurable means of expressing their creativity, just as a unique art form. Like conventional artists, they used walls as a canvas, onto which they poured their souls, their dreams, their hopes, and their fears with a spray can of bright colors. It was during 1975 to 1977, that the art of drawing graffiti reached its peak, with standards of drawing graffiti letters being established. As the 70s slipped into the 80s, being a graffiti artist became more challenging, as the authorities began clamping down harder on them, since it was considered vandalism, as most of the graffiti was made by gangsters, who were young and usually poor. This was known as the ‘die-hard’ era, as graffiti culture withdrew under cover.

Today’s graffiti culture is referred to as the ‘clean train era’, as many artists are taking their art from the subway walls and the insides of train cars, into studios and galleries, with the establishment increasingly viewing it as a genuine art form. And hence, these days, some cities have provided particular areas to graffiti artists, where they are allowed to display their art. The trouble with this is that a previous work has to be painted over in order to use the space. Therefore, good artists usually do not use such spaces. One of the most important features of drawing graffiti is that each piece of art has the artist’s name. Spray paint is the medium used, and there are particular techniques that have been established for drawing graffiti letters.

Different media is used to create each of these types of graffiti. Although this writing style is being legitimized, and some of it may be getting into more established forms of displaying art, such as studios and art galleries, purists are of the opinion that it is only the ones that show up on train cars and public walls are the true form.

How to do Graffiti Art

  • The first thing you need to do is observe. Go around the town and look at various artist’s graffiti work. If you can’t find graffiti anywhere in your town, then do an image search for various styles of graffiti writing. Save some images that you like and would like to draw in a similar style. You can take out the prints of these images and keep tracing on them, to get a feel of the lines of the alphabets and background design.
  • Copy a graffiti style that you saw on the internet and to learn graffiti letters keep scribbling these letters. Also, watch the kind of color the artist has used, the way the shadow is placed under the alphabets, the kind of backgrounds are sketched behind the graffiti letters, etc. Pick up a style of simple graffiti font, rounded bubbles font, or edgy hooks and barbs-like font are quite popular. Then on a piece of paper draw a small word with number if you prefer. Draw a thumbnail graffiti sketch of the word on one corner of the paper.
  • Then using a pencil draw a bigger sketch on the paper. Behind the letter draw the shadow. Decide an angle of the shadows, and follow the same angle for all the letters, this will give a 3D raised appearance to the letter.
  • After you are done with this, draw a background for the letters. Twisted overlapping arrows, fire, bubbles, and blocks are commonly used as graffiti backgrounds. So, you can pick a similar theme, and even give the background a shadow to give a 3D appearance.
  • Make sure you maintain good proportions of the letters with each other and the size of the letters and background with each other. You can use an eraser to make corrections.
  • Now, once you are done with you pencil drawing, you can consider taking a backup of your sketch. You can take a photocopy of the sketch, in case you make mistakes while coloring your drawing.
  • Use ink to color the shadows, you can also use a black sketch pen if you don’t have ink. Then fill up the letters with a color which is bright and stands out nicely. You can even make a three or two colored theme while filling up the letters, or use more colors to give a gradient-like effect.
  • Then fill up the background with colors, which are not so bright, otherwise they can steal the attention from the main characters which you want to give focus on. There you are done with your first graffiti sketch. This way keep practicing for 2 – 3 months, till you get the hang of graffiti letters. Then create your own cool graffiti font and write down letters from A to Z. Then make a graffiti drawing with colors using your own style.
  • Once you have developed your own style to draw graffiti, it is time to execute your art on a real wall.
  • Make sure you select a site where graffiti is legally allowed, or you can get in trouble.
  • Buy spray cans of colors which you have used in your drawing. Keep a scanned copy of the graffiti drawing in your computer, in case your original drawing gets ruined. If your original drawing has come really fine, consider laminating it so that even if something spills on it you can just wipe it off.
  • On the wall slowly and neatly draw the letters, the background, and 3D shadows. Then fill them up with colors.
  • Avoid going crazy with the colors, as you can ruin the graffiti. In initial stage it is good to stick to less colors rather than more.
  • Once you are done with your graffiti, draw your signature on the bottom right corner.

How to Create Light Graffiti

Creating light graffiti isn’t half as bad as you may think it is. All you would require is a camera (preferably a DSLR), a variety of colored LED lights, or maybe even flashlights, and lastly a tripod or a flat surface. Take a look at one of the easiest light graffiti ideas that you could try out. It involves the use of LED lights or glow sticks (take your pick), and a digital camera. It’s simple, hassle-free, and most importantly it’s fun! So, here’s a guide for drawing light graffiti with a digital camera.

◆ Begin by gathering up all the material / equipment that you need at a convenient distance around you. You will need it like that in order to be able to move swiftly when attempting to create the light graffiti. Make sure you have everything (basically, the lights and your camera).

◆ The next thing you want to do is fix your camera settings that will be best suited for this job. What’s recommended for this is a camera with long exposure, an ISO setting of 100, and an aperture set to the smallest setting possible on the camera. Also, for its full effect, the best recommended shutter speed should preferably be anything between 5 seconds to 30 seconds. If situations permit it, you could also use an ISO of 200 or more. You will have to use your discretion for that though.

◆ Now that you have your camera fixed to the required setting, get ready to create some magical illumination. Do not forget though, to keep the flash of the camera off, as also to work in a dark or extremely poorly lit room. Working in a room with poor lighting will allow you the complete effect of what you are trying to achieve.

◆ Most of what you need to do while preparing to do light graffiti has been covered. It is now time to head to moving in front of the camera with the lights, while creating an image / word or whatever it is that you are aiming at.

While there is no real tip that can be offered to get it right, the one suggestion that can be offered is that of practice. Also, do not hesitate to use a variety of lights, such as glow sticks (use varied sizes & colors) in order to achieve an array of looks for your graffiti. Also, to add to the aesthetic value of what you are doing, feel free to use any good looking element available in the background. Oh, and don’t forget… When writing, make sure you do it backwards so that it looks right when you get a picture of it. All right then, what’s keeping you from it? Go get experimental, keep at it with some practice, and there should be no problem with getting to a point of perfection for some fabulous light graffiti.