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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Drawing Graffiti on Paper

The following instructions should guide you through the process of drawing graffiti names on paper.

  • Start drawing graffiti by selecting a word, preferably your name.
  • Draw the letters with enough spacing between each of them. Maintaining proper spacing helps in their decoration.
  • Make use of capital letters for graffiti drawing. There are many different styles and fonts you can choose from for this activity.
  • Never try to copy the art work created by other artists; you can however, always use their style.
  • It is possible to develop your own style of graffiti. However, it is requires a lot of practice and experimentation.
  • Decide on the type of edges you are going to use in the graffiti. Bubble edges are commonly used. Use of sharp edges also gives the drawing a nice look.
  • It is recommended to draw lightly in the beginning. Erasing and changing the design becomes easier with this approach.
  • Don’t create an outline that is too big in size.
  • Start the activity of decorating and embellishing the graffiti after you have completed their basic outline.
  • Try to vary the thickness of letters to give them an artistic look. A 3D-effect can also be added to these letters by shading the outline in varying proportions.
  • There are many additional details you can make use of in graffiti drawing. Drawing bolts of lightning and blaze of fire around the words are some of the additional details. You can also create your own designs. One thing to be kept in mind here is that these embellishments should enhance the appearance of your drawing. Overdoing it would make the drawing appear tacky.
  • As far as possible, make use of crayons. Coloring with these oil-based colors is easier in comparison to that with water colors (at least for beginners). Color pencils and markers also are suited for graffiti drawing.

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.

Steps to use oil pastel techniques in painting

Step One: Choosing Pastels
The first thing that needs to be done is choosing the pastels. There are several brands in the market that offer these pastels in different sizes. Some going even up to 120 shades or more in a set. However, if you are just starting out, opt for a set of 24. These will be sufficient, because they provide all the shades necessary for experimenting and yet there aren’t too many to confuse you. After considerable practice, however, one can move on to a more wider range of pastels.

When choosing these pastels, always look for their appearance. Pastels which are broken or have small craters and holes in them are of poor quality. Always choose a set that is even and shiny. Opt for artist quality pastels, as opposed to student grade ones. Student grade pastels tend to be extremely waxy and make it harder for blending. In spite of all this, it is mainly through experimentation that one can determine the type of pastels that interpret their style best.

Step Two: Choosing a Canvas
A canvas is the surface on which one will sketch their paintings. Choosing a surface that will best portray the artist’s skill is therefore very important. There are several varieties of paper available in the market. Different artists choose different types of paper, according to their needs. Many artists prefer using pastel paper that is of heavy grade. The reason being that it has a scratchy surface that holds the pigments of oil pastels. Some others choose the ordinary oil painting canvas because of its raised grain―this makes it perfect for grabbing the layers of oil pastel. Some other choices of canvas paper are sanded paper, archival paper, hot pressed paper, and cold pressed paper.

Step Three: Sketching the Painting
Once your paper and pastels are in place, you can start sketching the painting. The pressure of your strokes and the roughness of your canvas are the two most important things to keep in mind when starting to sketch. The pressure you use will decide the intensity of colors. The more the pressure employed, the more intense the colors and vice versa. Similarly, a smooth surface of the canvas will result in a less broken look as opposed to a rough surface.

To start with, sketch your drawing on the canvas paper with a lead pencil. Let your drawing be in gentle strokes and not with pressure, so that it does not cause indents on the page. If indents are formed, then that portion of the paper gets a depression and when you paint, the indented part won’t catch the color, thus giving your entire painting an uneven look.

Next, identify the color that you want to use in a particular area and sketch over the penciled lines with it. Then, fill in the color in the entire area. The first layer of color needs to be laid down on the canvas thereafter. Since this layer is light, it might lead to a transparent appearance and you might be able to see the canvas through it. However, this ‘transparent’ area on the canvas will be covered by consecutive layers of colors.

Step Four: Layering
Always have a clear idea of what your final product will be before you start painting. There are several techniques using oil pastels that can create a work of art.

Different Tones
Layers can be added in different ways, either by adding light colors over dark, or dark over light. However, it has been noticed that it is easier to turn dark colors into light rather than the other way round. It is simpler to keep the white areas in the painting free of any pastels to lend that whitest white feel.

Using the Side
Using the side of a pastel crayon will allow one to cover a broader area of the canvas, thereby retaining an amalgamated feel to it without causing a disjointed effect.

Using Linear Strokes
Linear strokes (lines) can be used for drawing outlines, adding details, hatching (drawing lines, especially parallel lines for engraving and marking), and cross hatching. This allows one to control the shapes and saturation of the colors better.

Even Tone
It is necessary to maintain an even tone if one wants to keep a particular area dark or extremely light. In this case, darker colors should not be tinted with lighter ones or vice versa. They should be colors of a like tone.

Using Turpentine
Turpentine is used to soften or flatten a painting. So, when one needs to blend pastels together on paper, oil pastels become very soft and start to dissolve when you dip them in turpentine. Thus, they can be manipulated according to the desired density. Alternatively, the tip of a brush can be dipped in turpentine and then used to drag the pigments across the canvas―this will form washes. Similarly, several layers of washes can be created this way. The intensity of the colors can be varied by varying the amount of turpentine used.

‘Sgraffito’ Effect
The ‘sgraffito’ effect is a method, whereby the color beneath is revealed by scratching the top layer of the color. It plainly means ‘to scratch’. To do this, a razor, a knife or the other end of a paint brush can be used.

Ghostlike Effect
Using a razor to scrape areas in a painting will lead to a ghostlike or fuzzy look. Sometimes, the addition of too many layers can lend the painting a very heavy look; this can be resolved by using this technique.

Cotton Swab
When one adds layer upon layer, it might lead to a very disjointed look. To solve this, one can use a cotton swab or your fingers to blend the different layers. This will then give the painting a very wholesome feel.

Correcting Too Many Layers
Adding too many layers in the painting can render the canvas unable to grab any more pastels (muddying the surface). In case this happens, one can use a dry cloth, wrap it around a finger and then wipe out the affected area.

After one has finished painting, it should be allowed to harden. The time taken for the painting to harden will depend on the number of layers that are used in it. The life of the painting can be extended by adding a fixative to it. Also, a mat spacer can be added, so that you can frame the painting with glass, without it affecting the pastel.

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.

Italian Renaissance art and artists

Mention the Renaissance art and one is immediately reminded of Michelangelo lying on his back on rough planks, held up by scaffolding and painting the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling; and the enigmatic smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Italian culture can be experienced in the Roman architecture which can be seen in the ruins, which still remain in many parts of the country… The prescripts of the Roman Catholic Church, the distinctive taste of Italian food and wine, but most of all, in Italy’s art.

The Renaissance period was a time of great cultural upheaval which had a profound effect on European intellectual development. Having its beginnings in Italy; by the 16th century, it had spread to the rest of Europe. Its influence was felt in various aspects of intellectual pursuits such as philosophy, literature, religion, science, politics, and, of course, art. The scholars of this period applied the humanist method in every field of study, and sought human emotion and realism in art.

Renaissance scholars studied the ancient Latin and Greek texts, scouring the monastic libraries of Europe for works of antiquity that had become obscure, in their quest for improving and perfecting their worldly knowledge. This was in complete contrast to the transcendental spirituality that medieval Christianity stressed. However, that does not mean that they rejected Christianity. On the contrary, much of the greatest works of this era was devoted to it, with the Church patronizing a lot of the works of art. However, there were subtle changes in the manner in which they began to approach religion. This affected the cultural life of the society, which, in turn, influenced the artists of that period, and was hence reflected in their art.

In Raphael’s School of Athens, for example, illustrious contemporaries are depicted as classical scholars, with Leonardo da Vinci being given as much importance as Plato had in his time. The development of highly realistic linear perspective was one of the distinctive aspects of art. Giotto di Bondone (1267 – 1337) a Florentine, was regarded as the greatest Italian painter just prior to the Renaissance period. He is thought to be the first artist who treated a painting as a window into space. He abandoned the rigid Byzantine style, and developed a more naturalistic style of painting.

Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 – 1446), is considered the first great architect of the Italian Renaissance, and Leon Battista Alberti, was another pioneering theorist of Renaissance architecture. It was only after their writings were published, that perspective was formally accepted as an artistic technique. The development of perspective characterized a wider movement of incorporating realism into the arts. With that objective in mind, artists of this era also developed other techniques, such as examining light, shadow, and, as was made famous by Leonardo da Vinci, studying the human anatomy.

The inherent reason for the changes incorporated in artistic technique was a renewed interest in depicting nature in its natural beauty, as well as to resolve the fundamentals of aesthetics. The pinnacles of this can be seen in the works of Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), regarded as the most versatile of geniuses; Michelangelo (1475 – 1564), a Florentine sculptor, painter, and architect; and Raphael (1483 – 1520) whose works embody the ideals of High Renaissance. The techniques that they pioneered have always been imitated a great deal by other artists.

Italian Renaissance art can be described as the artworks that were created during the early 15th century to about the middle of the 16th century. Even though the artists of that period were usually attached to particular courts, and had allegiance to particular towns; nevertheless, they traveled all across Italy, often holding a diplomatic status, and propagating philosophical and artistic ideas.

Renaissance art is usually split up into four periods:

  • Proto-Renaissance, which lasted from 1290 to 1400. This period has its beginnings from the paintings of Giotto, as mentioned above, and includes the works of Taddeo Gaddi, Altichiero, and Orcagna.
  • Early Renaissance, which existed during 1400 to 1475. This period is embodied by the works of Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca, Verrocchio, and Uccello.
  • High Renaissance period, from 1475 to 1525, belonged to the great triad, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
  • Mannerism period, from 1525 to 1600, is represented by Andrea del Sarto, Tintoretto, and Pontormo.

Florence is the city that is credited as being the cradle of Renaissance art. Some other great artists of this era include Titian, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Bellini.

Patterns for Canvas Painting

Nature
Once you think of nature, you can get several ideas to fill up your canvas with. Flowers, leaves, branches, roots, landscape, roads, waterfalls, sun and many more such ideas would come to your mind. You can think of painting a specific season. Also, painting a scene in three different frames, as it would appear during early morning, day time and nighttime is a great idea. Various painting techniques can be used for making each artwork.

Human Figures
Human faces are the most common canvas art ideas. Painting a scene where a few people are involved in a task is another painting idea. Why not try something unique? Consider painting a task that is not commonly painted. How about a painting showing a hand holding a canvas and another hand working on it with a paint bush and colors? How about painting just the feet of a dancer which are graced with musical anklets? Try it sometime!

Objects and Instruments
Apart from the aforementioned ideas, you can paint objects and instruments as well. A set of pillows placed over each other on a decorative bed sheet can create a colorful painting. How about drawing a set of musical instruments together? Believe me, this makes a classic painting ready to be framed to enhance your wall decor!

Ready-made Patterns

Beginners can replicate a ready-made pattern and then compare their artwork with the original piece. Also, some of you might be searching for ready-made patterns which can be ordered and then framed as desired and hung on walls. So, here are some places which you can check out to buy such patterns.

You can find amazing patterns in almost all categories when it comes to online shopping, like at ‘alibaba’. Order the desired size and number of pieces of the pattern you like. You can also checkout ‘indiamart’ which has a number of unique patterns. At ‘thefind’ you will find some of the best patterns in various design categories like nature, still life abstract print, etc. Some classic patterns are also being sold at ‘ebay’ at low prices, which can be a good deal. You can also search for more websites selling such patterns and if you are lucky, you might also find some of them selling patterns free of cost. Make sure you check the right category of pattern as most of the websites have separate category of oil paints, acrylic paints, etc.

Painting a classic pattern on canvas with those artistic strokes is not an easy task for all. So, with these ideas, you are sure to have an artwork ready to beautify your interiors. Explore your creativity, look around and you are sure to find some unique ideas to be brushed down on a piece of canvas!