How to Graffiti

Things You'll Need

  • Spray paint cans
  • Plywood
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Markers

How to Graffiti. Graffiti has grown from an underground street art to a legitimate art form in some places. The style is decidedly urban and edgy, and the artwork is seen by more people in a day than most museum pieces see in a year. If you're interested in learning how to graffiti, here's a legal way to learn how to do it.

Study graffiti in your area to see the different styles that are used. Take note of the shapes and characters.

Look for other types and styles of graffiti on the Internet. That will give you an idea of the styles of writing that are being used in other cities and areas.

Start with a name. You can use your own name, or make one up (often they are 4 letters long).

Draw the letters on a sheet of paper. Make sure to leave plenty of space between the letters so that you can build them out as you design.

Choose a style of lettering that you like--boxy, bubbly, fat, pinched, slanted or however else you want your letters to appear.

Begin by lightly outlining your letters in the style that you've chosen.

When you have the basic shape down, add details and flare to your letters. Try extending legs, curves or other portions of letters.

Add a colored background if you want.

Fill in the letters and any special parts you added.

Add highlights to your letters to add depth. Use white or a lighter shade of the color of your letters, and be sure to place the highlights in the same general area of each letter.

Practice drawing your name with spray paint on plywood until you can draw it quickly and easily.


  • Use different tips for the spray cans or try angling your wrists in different ways as you paint to create various textures. Many cities now have legal graffiti walls. Check in your area to see if there's a legal place to paint.


  • Watch out for drips. Unless you're going for a drip effect, don't linger over one spot with the spray can for too long, like at the beginning or at the end of a letter. Painting on private or public property is still considered vandalism if you don't have permission to do it. Do not paint illegally.

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