Even when the street art is taking the leading position in the contemporary art scene, graffiti characters are widely observed within urban communities in major capital cities. Despite these illustrations attract people’s attention, some others still observe them as mere vandalism instead of art. In that sense, how do artists interact with the general audience?
Along their professional careers, artists spend hundreds of hours sketching in blackbooks before painting in the streets. Writers of all ages generally perform without permission, although it’s common to find “hall of fames” that count with the required city council approval. Thanks to that recognition, emergent young creators may spend a whole day painting, while enjoying with friends, without taking care of police authorities.
What are the most frequent questions related to this specific style?
How to create graffiti characters? A guide for beginners
First of all, you should start by copying graffiti characters from others in a paper. If you are not an experienced writer, we would like to initiate you into painting by featuring the community’s best examples. The more you try, the better outcome you’ll have at last. That’s how every single artist learnt at the beginning. What’s true is that you’ll need extra paper!
Next step would be using digital software. Not only you should practice with color pencils, crayons and markers, but also with an electronic pen on your tablet/computer. Cooltourspain’s team members would like to recommend you downloading this app available in Google Play. It counts with approximately +3000 downloads, and many positive reviews. In other words, the second move you should make.
Once you have practiced enough with others’ ideas, that would be the moment for you to start sketching your own artworks. It requires a lot of creativity and imagination, but you’ll soon get it. While the majority of artists practice with drawing grids, others complete artworks free hand. Either options work when you are passionate about the street art culture.
The connection between cartoons and letters
Similarly to what happens with professional mural decorations for kids and teenagers, cartoons might be mixed with lettering to receive viewers’ attention. For instance, artists usually paint graffiti characters in interior walls for private commissions. Likewise, it’s common to observe those kind of decorations in writers’ meetings.
Local crews from all over the world paint legal walls including their names and figures. Artists mix these styles and techniques because of the liveliness that it gives to the picture. In that sense, you’ll sometimes see bodies painted in the middle of a word, while others prefer to include them at the beginning or at the end.
Let me tell you the way I paint. First, I outline the character(s) and then the letters. Later, I color the background. Let me suggest you continuing with the figure’s inner colors and ending up with the phonics. Lastly, I paint the overall exterior lines.Javier Garcia, professional graffiti writer in Madrid, Spain
What are the steps to paint graffiti characters in the streets?
- Draw a sketch of your favourite cartoon.
- Visit your local spray paint store to purchase materials.
- Choose a specific time & spot to achieve your graffiti characters
- Perform the action, always helped by a friend.
- Don’t forget to take a picture for your personal album
The story behind each illustration
Taking into account that the UN predicted 7.9Million inhabitants around the world for 2021, it wouldn’t be difficult to observe thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, artists who paint graffiti characters everyday during their free time. Therefore, each individual will have his/her own personal interest. How many figures could you observe while commuting from one place to another?
What we could mention about these figures is that they could act as story tellers. Why? Artists receive the influence from manga, magazines, cartoons and toys, reflecting the characteristics from these cultural approaches. Have you ever stopped for a minute to think why any given artist did paint that illustration? Did he/she watch any specific TV channel when younger?
On top of that, we would like to add that there exists an international exchange community. Artists share their computer based designs with other members, even without visiting his/her city. That’s what we like the most about stickers and paste-ups. Being able to discover new artworks in your own town!
How many types of graffiti characters do exist?
Cooltourspain team members have been investigating about graffiti characters and other styles since 2016. We have painted in several cities, including but not limiting to Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga or Valencia. Through all this period we have shared our knowledge with other writers in Spain, but at the same time we have listened to other professionals. Artists are always opened to learn from different community members.
As we were refering earlier, artists usually work in crews. Eventhough they work as a team, each individiual may have his/her own guidance. That’s the reason why you will observe several styles depending on where you are. Among the different techniques that we will explain you today, we’ve got our favourite one, which is developing your own artistic ideas.
Please be aware that these are the most common ones, but there could exist several others not reffered in this article. What we would definitely like to recommend you is continuing investigating and learning about our movement to become a master at work! Did you know that you could achieve a professional career as a street art and graffiti artist?
B-boys, the classiest drawings
In general terms, street artists have been connected to the hip hop industry since late 60s. Not only they started painting graffiti characters on walls in New York city, but they also loved taking the microphone to rhyme with the beats. Their voices were present in the local circuits, and so were their paintings.
These MCs represent more than just painted bodies on walls. They speak up about the rap music and its culture. Therefore you will always find videos on the internet where writers use lofi hip hop beats to paint. If you are willing to discover who are the most famous singers in Spain, please visit these artists’ social media channels:
- Jota Mayúscula (1972-2020)
- Frank T
Animals, monsters and other graffiti characters
Dragons, dogs, cats and lions are among the most repeated type of graffiti characters. Even if artists started painting them during their childhood, these now turned adults continue decorating walls with colored figures. Furthermore, their designs are not only seen ilegally on business metal shutters, but also in art galleries and commissioned artworks.
The technique used is similar to other styles. First you sketch, later you add the background colors. Once finished, start drawing their facial/body characteristics. Lastly, the outer lines. The more colorful the spray paint illustration, the more attention it will receive from pedestrians. Did you know that these street characters are also found in stickers and paste-ups?
Cartoon like figures created in the streets by graphic designers
Oppositedly to what fast fashion brands do with copyrighted images, these graffiti characters were painted without the owners’ permission. Although this practice is widely spread among writers, their creators don’t sue them for non-commercial paintings. It’s part of the game!
If you pay close attention to what’s painted in the streets, you’ll analyze that many of these figures hold a spray can in their hands. Why would you say that artists do that? That might be because they want to connect their influences with their favourite hobbie. Wouldn’t you agree?
Who are the most emergent artists in Madrid (Spain) related to the graffiti characters?
The local community is very active. They paint in both abandoned spots such as empty warehouses or buildings, and metal shutters in Madrid’s most populated avenues and streets Their graffiti characters are performed with accuracty and professionalism. That’s the reason why some business owners request their creativity from time to time.
Let’s pay attention to some of the most notorious ones:
Dingo Perro Mudo
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the graffiti characters
We love travelling around the world to meet new friends. Cooltourspain team members are interested in their graffiti characters because the newer dimension that they could provide us. The more cultures you become familiar with, the more resources you’ll have for your future artworks. Don’t you think so?
If you were interested in adding more images to our website, please send us an email. We’d love to feature your artworks for free!