How to do street art? 4 Steps to follow before developing your own artwork

how to do street art

According to ASEFAPI, the Spanish paint manufacturing association, there was a turnover of €2.700M last year. Moreover, it’s the 6th consecutive year that the industry grows. To us, it’s clear that there is a relationship between this data and the number of people who become interested in learning how to do street art.

Thanks to schools, cultural organizations and NGO projects, all type of audiences get into art in a daily way. From little children to elders who want to spend their spare time painting and creating.

Imagination and materials are the only required elements to start in urban art. You do not need to have previous experience, although it could help if you have ever practiced graffiti before.

What are the steps to follow?

Similarly to what happens when you want to learn something new, you need to work for hours in order to become successful. At the beginning, learning how to do street art will take more effort and hardwork. However, the more you practice the better the outcome. It’s a simple rule!

It happened the same to us. We started our street art tours as a hobby and it’s now our way of living. Our team members love to guide other people around the modern art industry.

Let’s see what we consider the must follow steps in order to

1-. Inspire yourself. Check other creators’ artworks.

steps on how to do street art
Street art inspiration in Oslo, Norway. Image by Vegar Samestad Hansen

Firstly, you will need to investigate in order to enrich your ideas. That’s the reason why it’s important to search on the internet other artists’ works. We do not mean to copy, but just to get the best from different resources as to create your own stuff.

There are several street art photographers whose accounts will show you a wide variety of artists. It’s just a matter of identifying one’s tastes and start getting ideas for your first artwork. These are the Instagram profiles that we would recommend you to start with:

2-. Gather all materials before putting hands to work

spray paint materials
Arden photographed the Montana Graffiti shop in Amsterdam

Imagine you already finished investigating and researching, but you don’t have the materials ready to start painting. It’s the same as if a child doesn’t bring journals, books and pencils to school (he/she forgot them at home). How are they going to learn without materials?

Locate your nearest graffiti paint shops and check prices before buying any materials. At first, you won’t probably need the most expensive products. What about recycling? Do you have any spare paint from the last time you decorated your home?

Once you have everything set, you will be able to continue the process. As you may see, it takes time and we’re just in the second part!

3-. Practice, practice and more practice

how to do street art in Madrid
NSN997 at work in the middle of their artistic process for PINTA Malasaña, Madrid

What’s true is that the most famous internationally known artists didn’t get to where they are just because of luck. They never gave up and kept on practicing even when people didn’t support them. That’s probably the best tip we could give you if you are interested in learning how to do street art.

If you practice as much as you can, local urban art festivals will open their events to your designs. Are you interested in creating just for you or would you like to exhibit your artworks openair?

4-. How to do street art? Choose the right spot!

street art wall in Dublin
Picture of William Murphy at the entrance of a language school in Dublin

Whether you are looking into creating a legal or illegal street art artwork, you’ll have to choose the perfect spot. What you’ll have to take into account is that the more visible, the greater the exposure to the open audience. Consequently, more followers!

As you may be aware, urban art is usually unauthorized. Some artists even prefer to hide and create anonymously. For instance, Banksy.

If you are interested in obtaining a permission to paint in your hometown, you may start by asking directly to any given store owner. They sometimes prefer someone who comes straight forward than those who do not. Another possibility is to talk with the city council to ask for walls where to practice and develop a legal wall.

5-. Don’t forget to take a photo before finishing the ‘mission’

capturing the street art moment
Maureen Barlin photographed a street art piece in a Shoreditch wall (London)

Last but not least, end up your artwork by promoting it. Feel proud of what you just did! Take a couple photographs with your phone to upload them on instagram, or use a digital camera for higher resolution if you have a website.

Why don’t you capture the whole process? Later, you’ll be able to show those images to your relatives & friends. They might give your their humble opinion. That’s the way to get better!

Different types of street art

Now that you are familiar with the different steps involved while learning how to do street art, let’s put the emphasis on the types existing. Moreover, you should know that it’s not the same painting a massive wall than creating a small stencil at home.

For this article, we interviewed several professional graffiti writers the following questions. They are based in Madrid, Spain. Their experienced point of view could help you on the process. Let’s hear what do they say.

How to do a street art stencil?

street art stencil
ID Iom picture a stencil made street art canvas

First of all, you need to download the picture from the internet. That’ll be your starting step. Once in your computer, use Adobe Photoshop or any similar image software editor. Create the number of layers that you are interested in creating.

Print them in black and white at home or in a shop. Later, you’ll need a plastic based layer or a hard paper that will act as stencil.

In order to cut properly, we’d recommend you to use a sharpened box cutter and a chopping board (or similar). By the time you start cutting, remember not to move your hand, but the paper itself.

Depending on the number of layers that you create, the difficulty will vary. The lesser, the easier. On the other hand, if you add 4+ layers, the knowledge involved will increase. Just make sure you follow all these steps.

How to create a paste up?

paste up process

In the same vein, creating a paste up could be an easy task if done properly. The only thing you will need is an appropriate image and glue. For the first part, artists create their own silhouettes either with graphic design or free hand.

The latter, requires a homemade mixture. What are the ingredients/materials that you should use for the wheatpaste manufacture?

  • 2 cups of flour (approximately 240 grams),
  • a large bowl,
  • 3 cups of water,
  • a kitchen rod to mix both ingredients,
  • a casserole to bring water to boil,
  • the fridge to stir the mixture.

Cooltourspain opinion on how to do street art

Apart from leading urban art workshops and walking guided visits, we do also paint in our free time. We love to practice our skills on how to do street art in abandoned places.

It’s true that we prefer to avoid the risk of paying a fine. Working in such places will let you use time at your own pace. You don’t need to hurry and hide yourself if pedestrians walk by your side while painting.

The only thing you need is commitment and effort. Those are the two most important steps that you should take into account.

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