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
 

Category Archives: Art

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!

Techniques and Styles of Graffiti

Many times, you may wonder, how would you differentiate two pieces of graffiti artwork from each other, when everything looks the same. Just as I realized the explanation of all the points given below, I stopped to wonder!

Jumbled Graphic Graffiti

◾ Tag – Tagging is used as the basic form of calligraphy to render an artist’s name in a uniform color. It also depicts a writer’s signature. If the artist or the writer is associated with a crew, then the crew’s name or initials are contributed too. Graffiti tags are often spotted on the New York City subway trains and many freeways surrounding the city. Tags are created by spray paints, sketch pens or even markers.

◾ Throw-ups – Throw-ups is an artwork, not nearly as elaborate as a piece, but created by using few colors and are done very quickly and repeatedly. These styles of graffiti writing are done in bubble letters that are large-rounded, using one color that displays a uniform sync in the image. Of course the outlines are variably emblazoned.

◾ Wild-Style – Wild-style uplifts a work piece. It is honorably popularized even more by the graffiti artists like Tracy 168 and Zephyr in New York City. This style of graffiti writing implies the use of arrows, spikes, curves and connecting points and also interlocks different letters and designs to yield an image. Wild-style frequently are in the forms of 3D and for a naive to identify this form of style would take a historic period.

◾ Blockbuster – As the name suggests, this is the form of graffiti which makes large bold-block letters by covering maximum area on a given property. The art of painting blockbuster graffiti can be attained with two or more colors of paint using commodities like paint rollers.

◾ Heaven – Heaven! The name itself, does not give us a feeling which is anywhere touching the earth-level. In fact, it elevates our imagination to a very high level location. Well that’s right! These graffiti styles are scrawled on the tops of tall buildings, houses or even on freeway hoardings. This artwork sounds so risky and inexplicable, that graffiti artists pulling off to get such a master piece, must be bestowing mutual respect from their adversaries.

◾ Stencil – Using definite objects like stencils, creating different styles of graffiti gets simpler. By using spray cans, the evolved picture is still considered as a random image, but by holding a stencil against the wall and by merely spraying it, you can acquire a much more elaborate picture. In minimum time, a stencil graffiti style can be thrown up creating two or three layers of intricate pattern which you can quickly color. In modern days, this graffiti style has been taken hold by many graffiti writers, which was once made popular by Blek le rat and Banksy.

◾ Piece – Short for (masterpiece) is a painting consisting of at least three colors put so well together, that the efforts evolved to gain a piece for a masterpiece has earned respect as a legitimate art form. Compared to tags, pieces are much more complex, and are hard to do due to the efforts that the artists have put up with this graffiti style.

For a production of a piece, all these graffiti styles involve a vast imagination, great deal of efforts, planning and passion for the art.

Apart from the art of drawing graffiti, we shall see how these styles and techniques can be executed to get a clear picture to the emergence of this art.

Outdoor Wall Graffiti
Indoor Wall Graffiti

◾ Hip-Hop Graffiti – Hip-Hop that indicates the culture of the African-American population, is the most traditional form of graffiti.

◾ Challenge Graffiti – This graffiti style denotes that, someone “was here.”

◾ Invisible Graffiti – This form consists of sketched logos basically it’s symbolic.

◾ Poster Graffiti – This type of graffiti style is practiced on pictures or posters that shows faces of people; for instance: drawing hair on a bald celebrity’s head.

◾ Tree Graffiti – Graffiti that is carved on trees.
Each type of the above graffiti techniques are used on different platforms like the train cars, subways, freeways or they’re even showed up on walls.

Few Tips and Tricks to do Graffiti

◾ Study the history of graffiti and the work of early writers.
◾ Initiate your graffiti art first on letters and then pick up a complicated work.
◾ Practice the drawings and paintings on your sketch book with pencils,sketch pens and note down your ideas in it.
◾ Be creative, imaginative and develop your own art style.
◾ For practice, you can try the graffiti on your computer’s paint program or on a plank of wood found in spare.

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.

1960s’ Psychedelic Artists

The works of the following famous artists inundated the 60s decade and revolutionized the graphics as well as the commercial arts scenario! Thank God these mavericks chose to walk the less traveled road, else the world would have been deprived of the possibilities of a different but creative form of expression!

Warren Dayton
Warren Lloyd Dayton (March 1940-Present) is among the most distinguished psychedelic artists of the 60s and currently lives in Sierra’s, near California. He is an American illustrator, graphic designer and poster artists whose posters imbibe considerable psychedelic influence.

Vaughn Bode
Vaughn Bode (July 1941-July 1975) is known for his involvement in, and contribution to, underground comics, graphic design and graffiti. His best known creation is the comic strip character Cheech Wizard and a typical feature of his art style is the depiction of voluptuous women.

Barney Bubbles
Barney Bubbles (July 1942-November 1983) was an English graphic artist whose career involvements included painting, graphic design and directing music videos. Barney designed sleeves and albums for many popular music and rock bands including Quintessence, Hawkwind and Brinsley Schwarz.

Karl Ferris
An English photographer and graphic designer, Karl is a pioneer and chief innovator of what is known as psychedelic photography. He worked with Jimi Hendrix in the late sixties as his photographer and album cover designer.

Jimi Franklin
Jimi Franklin (1943-Present) is best known for his poster art incorporating armadillo motifs, which he later used to illustrate the 1st record album of psychedelic rock band Shiva’s Headband.

Hapshash and the Colored Coat
The Hapshash were a British graphics team who were active in the 1960s and are best known for their psychedelic posters which reflected strong art nouveau influences. They had promoted the appearances of such iconic bands as Pink Floyd.

John Hurford
John Hurford (1948-Present) is an English artist whose work is characterized by pronounced depictions of fantasy like landscapes and creatures and mythical beings. He has designed album covers for musicians like Judy Duble.

Alton Kelley
Kelley (June 1940-June 2008) was an American artist whose major works include designs for rock concerts and albums in the 1960s.

Abdul Mati Klarwein
Klarwein (April 1932-March 2002) was born in Germany and is an artist of the 60s whose work is influenced by surrealism as well as pop culture and his artworks reflect his penchant for depicting non Western deities and his interest in symbolism.

Bob Masse
Among the most distinguished poster artists of the 1960s, Bob Masse is still wears the crown of being Canada’s top rock poster artist. He is among the most coveted modern psychedelic artists whose works have garnered lots of attention and appreciation in the middle and latter part of the 60s.

Peter Max Finkelstein
Peter Max (October 1937-Present) is an American artist with German ethnicity and is well known for his iconic style of expression. His poster art style, popularly known as the Cosmic 60s art, could be seen on the walls of colleges and dorms all across America during the 60s.

Victor Moscoso
Moscoso (1936-Present) is an American psychedelic comic book artist, and designer whose best known works include posters for concerts and illustration of many underground comix.

Stanley Mouse
Born Stanley George Miller (October 1940-Present), Mouse is best known for his 1960s’ psychedelic rock concert poster and Grateful Dead’s album cover designs.

Martin Sharp
Sharp (1942-Present) is an Australian underground cartoonist, film-maker, song writer and artist. He is best known for his contribution to Australian and International pop art since the early 60s. His most popular works include psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan, etc.

Gilbert Shelton
Shelton (May 1940-Present) is a prominent American cartoon artist who has also contributed towards underground comix arts. His most popular creations include The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy’s Cat, Wonder Wart-Hog, Not Quite Dead and the cover for Grateful Dead’s 1970s’ album Shakedown Street.

Dave Sheridan
Dave (June 1943-March 1982) was a remarkable American cartoon artist of the late sixties throughout the seventies. His famous works include Dealer McDope and Tales From The Leather Nun. He is also the co-creator of the The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers along with Gilbert Shelton and Paul Mavrides.

Keiichi Tanaami
Tanaami (1936-Present) is a Japanese artist and designer whose works have adorned many a print and film and his psychedelic paintings have been widely exhibited. He has over 50 solo exhibitions, spanning across the late 1950′ to the early 2000s, to his credit and has written more than thirty books and essays on painting, print and films.

John Van Hamersveld
Hamersveld (1941-Present) is a known for his designs for psychedelic bands’ albums and record jackets. He is a graphic artist and illustrator by profession and his most prominent works include the graphic designs of The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street and The Grateful Dead’s Skeletons in the Closet.

Wes Wilson
An American and psychedelic poster designer, Wilson (July 1937-Present) is well known for his design of the posters for Bill Graham of The Filmore. His style is synonymous with the peace movement and the 60s psychedelic art.

Mark Boyle
Born in Glasgow, Mark Boyle (May 1934-May 2005) was very active in the 1950s, having influenced the Underground subculture of 1950’s UK with his artistic creations. He is famous for his World Series work which he started working on in the late 1960s and which consists of recreation of various spots on the Earth’s surface that were selected randomly. Boyle has used natural materials from the sites of his creations as well as fiberglass and certain resins to create the specific artistic effects and impressions.

Apart from, the aforementioned icons, other brilliant psychedelic artists and famous painters of this genre include Pedro Bell, Fred Schrier, Ellis D Fogg, Amanda Sage, Rick Griffin, Alex Grey, etc. The unconventional has always attracted widespread attention but few have had the courage to walk the untrodden path. These artists dared to differ and create fantastic art bordering on surrealism that left the world amazed. Psychedelic art is for those who dare to foray into their subconscious – that plane of existence which does not fall along the lines of logic. This art form is a beautiful way to express the subconscious and give form to fantasy.

Aboriginal Art: Five Most Fascinating Facts

Based on their ‘Creation Myths’
Every art form that is Aboriginal, is primarily based on their ancient myths and legends. Even the modern pieces of Aboriginal art are based on ‘the Dreamtime’, a set of their creation myths. These ‘Dreamtime’ myths, which are more than 50,000 years old, are a great storehouse of their oral heritage which has been handed down from generation to generation. Interestingly, our only source of the ‘Dreamtime’ stories, of course other than the Aborigines themselves, is Aboriginal art, owing to the fact that we have no written sources of the same.

More than just Art
The Aborigines did not seem to believe in the philosophy of ‘art for art’s sake’. On the contrary, the Aborigines wrote through their arts. We get a large number of references with respect to their day-to-day lives, festivities and celebrations, modes of pastime, religious beliefs, social structure, hunting practices and so on. Apart from being a mode of expression and depiction, art was also used as a platform to maintain secrecy. After the colonization of Australia, the Aborigines felt that their spiritual and clandestine knowledge was in danger, and so it was thought that there needed to be a system with which they could hide it from the eyes of ‘outsiders’. The famous Aboriginal dot paintings resulted from this fear. It is believed that the dots were purposely made over holy symbolic depictions so that they could obscure the sacred knowledge.

More than what Meets the Eye
The depictions of Aborigines were naturalistic, as well as abstract in nature. The term ‘naturalistic’ refers to the depiction of natural surroundings, flora and fauna. So, we have depictions of animals, plants, people and other natural phenomena in various forms. On the other hand, the term ‘abstract’ refers to depictions, which may seem unrealistic at a first glance, but may in actuality possess much deeper connotations. So, we also have a huge array of drawings with geometrical shapes and symbols, which we, as the ‘other’ may not understand, but the Aborigines would definitely do.

Use of Natural Colors and Stabilizers
The colors used for their paintings were obtained from natural and locally available materials, predominantly ochre, a natural mineral, which was ground on a stone slab while adding small amounts of water and stabilizing agent. Red, yellow and white colors were obtained from different pigments of ochre, and so we see a wide usage of these colors in Aboriginal paintings. Black was obtained from charcoal, but was rarely used owing to the complicated procedure of making it. Olive color, which can be seen in some of the paintings was obtained by mixing black and yellow colors. It is very fascinating how the ancient Aborigines figured out a natural resource in the juice of an orchid plant, which could be used as a fixative to avoid flaking or peeling of the paint. Modern Aboriginal artists on the other hand, use artificial colors as well.

The Aboriginal Art Movement
Modern techniques of depicting Aboriginal art forms on canvas and paper, came into being some 40 years ago in 1971, when a school teacher named Geoffrey Bardon, noticed a group of Aboriginal men telling stories and drawing symbols in sand. This caught his interest and he encouraged those men to depict their stories on canvas and paper, two media, which were completely alien to them before that day. Thus started the famous ‘Aboriginal Art Movement’ which encouraged more and more Aboriginal artists to present their works before the world and become famous. Some non-Aboriginal artists also showed their interest in this art form, and began to practice it. Not surprisingly, Aboriginal art is considered to be the most inspiring contemporary art of the 20th century.

Intriguing Facts

♣ Bark paintings are the oldest forms of Aboriginal paintings. However, not many of them survive today due to natural disintegration of the bark.
♣ Aboriginal art symbols are collectively known as iconography. Aboriginal people traveled long distances across their country and recorded information regarding their travel in the form of symbols.
♣ A particular Aboriginal art symbol would have multiple meanings. Only an Aborigine, who knew his history and culture would be able to decipher what symbol had what meaning in what context.
♣ Numerous Aboriginal paintings have been discovered on sacred sites. This throws light on their sacred connotations.
♣ As remnants of the ancient Aboriginal culture, we have what has been termed as ‘aerial landscape art’ created across the Australian deserts. These cannot be figured out easily from the ground level, but a bird’s-eye view of these sites gives us a feel that we are actually looking at wonderful sculptures.
♣ The X-ray style paintings are one of the distinctive features of Aboriginal art. Apart from the outer bodies of the animals/humans, the internal organs and bones are also depicted in them. This also shows that the ancient Aborigines did have an idea of animal/human anatomy.
♣ There are two museums, which have been specially dedicated to the Aboriginal arts and crafts. These are the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art, located in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and the Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, known as the Kluge-Ruhe.
♣ Body painting is an art that is of great cultural significance for the Aborigines. The motifs, which are painted on their bodies, particularly during religious ceremonies, not only signify their social status, but also depict totemic symbols of various clans by which they can be identified.
♣ Aboriginal art forms include their sculptures and specially carved pearl shells called ‘Rijis’. Sacred patterns are carved on these shells, thus giving them religious affiliations. We also have a number of small sculptures of imp-like creatures, locally known as the ‘Mimis’. They are believed to have taught the Aborigines’ ancestors to hunt and to make use of fire. Hence, they are revered beings.