From sketch to wall

It's all in the preparation. Luca Bratsi shows you how to take a sketch and get it ready for spray painting onto a wall.

Graffiti has been around for many years and applied using a huge variety of methods. A favoured tool is the aerosol can, which can be clumsy in the hands of an inexperienced 'Toy' (a person who is not well versed in the techniques of graffiti). Put one in the hands of a professional muralist, though, and the most amazing artwork can be created.

Modifications to the tools of graffiti have allowed a new generation of artists to add more detail, more colour and more substance to the traditional art form. Whether you're writing your name on buildings, creating wildstyle letters or painting detailed characters, you will be judged on your line quality, use of colour, shape and form and the freshness of your piece.

Do not expect to be amazing the first time you pick up a can. Chances are you won't, and not everybody will immediately master the skills needed to hold their own on a wall. The best graffiti artists are dedicated, experimental and talented. There are many techniques you must learn before you'll be able to master the art of aerosol, but research, time and dedication will all pay off. Sketching and using computer programs to plan your production is a great way to work out the order in which to apply the paint. You can edit and adjust your sketches before you get to the painting stage and look more prepared in front of bigger boys.

This tutorial will guide you through the initial stages of planning through to the production of a finished painting. The process starts with a sketch that is then prepared and rendered in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Once the colour scheme has been defined, you can start to use spray paint on a real wall. Follow the instructions with your own sketches. Keep it simple and, above all, experiment.

Click here to download the tutorial for free