tEchNiQuE TuEsdaY: Urban Art Influence – Part 1 Spray Paint Effects

The influence of Urban and Graffiti art is moving from the streets to the marketplace, becoming a dominant visual force in advertising, fashion and design. The characteristics of this expressive art includes electric and edgy designs, bold colors and spray painted letters and images.

This week’s Technique Tuesday will focus on the most basic tool of any urban and graffiti artist…the spray paint can! You’ll see how easy it is to give any patterned paper or photo, an edgy and urban look by layering it with painted sheets of transparency or acetate. This technique will give you the look of those cool Photoshop brushes…you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to add a little urban flair to your art and images!

spray paint
transparency or acetate

- Follow directions on can to prep paint.
- Hold spray paint about 1-2 feet from transparency to start. As you are spraying, notice the different effects you get depending on the pressure you place on the nozzle with your finger. A light press will give you a spray…more pressure will give you more coverage.
- Hold up a piece of transparency and move the can really close to achieve a saturated circle of dripping color; after paint drips to bottom of transparency, lay flat to dry. (I placed transparency sheets on dark cardstock for photo.)

Layer painted transparency over photos,

over patterned paper,

or over a hand-painted background…

- Use two colors of paint (black and white shown above) on one transparency for a cool mix of color.
- Attach painted transparencies with spray adhesive, staples, brads, paper clip or other decorative attachment.

If you’re interested in seeing more Urban and Graffiti Art online, take a look at a phenomenal celebration of street art at the Wooster Collective, or tune into Graffiti TV, an international collection of urban art links and video clips.

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14 Responses to tEchNiQuE TuEsdaY: Urban Art Influence – Part 1 Spray Paint Effects

  1. Tracy says:

    Whoa! Sooooooo cool. I love this edgy look.

  2. Sherri says:

    LOVE it!

  3. Nikki says:

    Beautiful layouts.

  4. Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" says:

    LOVE IT!!!!

  5. Wendy says:

    WOW WOW! LOVE this!!! What a beautiful layout – and thank you so much for posting all the technique info – I will have to give this a go!

  6. Debra says:


    Great article… I’m already thinking about how I could use in my fabric painting (spray on plastic, then transfer burnish to fabric??).

    I’m point to you today on BlogHer. wish you had this set for trackbacks, so that would show up.

  7. Laura says:

    AWESOME!!!!I am gonna try this today!

  8. tania says:

    whoa kelly!!! this is AWESOME! me thinks i’m going to wally world in a bit to pick up some spray paint.

    totally FUN and funky!

  9. chacha says:

    love this style, it is right up my alley!! beautiful pieces, oh and the fish decoupage collage for valentines day came out perfect, ill have to send you a photo! thanks again.

  10. kreativekell says:

    tracy, sherri, nikki, adrienne & wendy: thank you so much! I look forward to seeing the technique used on your layouts and art!!! It is so much fun to not worry about “painting” perfectly!!!

    debra…i’ll see if i can set a trackback, and thank you for posting on blogher; very kind of you. I don’t know if it will burnish to fabric…maybe if you spritz it with rubbing alcohol?

    laura & tania…go have some fun!!!

    chacha…so glad your project turned out well; i’d love to see it! i want to see when you spray paint, too because this is so YOU!!! :)

  11. Joanna Bolick says:

    Oooh, very cool!!

  12. CheryLOL says:

    groovy Kel! I call is ghetto meets suburbs. LOL. Personally it’s a look I happen to love.

    Thanks for sharing your brilliant mind!

  13. Kelly says:

    Love this look! Very funky!

  14. SockMonkey says:

    I LOVE this idea. It is soooo cool.