To say that “times have changed” would be a gross understatement and a vast generalization. The progression of time has seen a series of changes across every single thing that touches our lives. One of those things is the perception of graffiti or spray-painting.

Once, it may have been thought of as something that only vandals did; street toughs who had nothing better to do than to mark up a brick wall. But that has evolved. Now, it is considered true art to be able to create beautiful graffiti artwork.

One major misconception is that you can just pick up a spray paint can and create a masterpiece. But the simple fact of the matter is that it takes skill and control, it’s not like downloading free graffiti fonts online.

So, what can you do to improve your graffiti artwork and become one of the creators of a unique and wonderful piece of wall art? There are a few things to keep in mind as you develop your skills.

Can Control

As stated above, it is not as simple as point and spray. There is far more that goes into the process than the average person may think. The idea is to keep your lines crisp and straight as you get your hand into position. The key is not to let the can sway or waver at any time. This is the easiest way to get the aerosol can to move in ways that you do not want.

The thickness of the cap that you are using makes a difference as well. If you have a thinner cap on your can, you might want only to be a few inches away from the wall. If a fatter cap is in use, add a few inches to that. Moving on the “canvas” is the same as we generally write: top to bottom, left to right.

If your goal is for thinner lines, you want to be as close to the wall as you can be and use faster motions in the process. They can play more into the process than you might think, and you will learn that the more you practice.


Letter Style and Structure


A good thing to consider is practicing in a sketchbook. This will give you a better concept of your hand style and make you feel a bit more comfortable with your canvas. It is also important to consider the size of the space you are using as well as the size of the tag that you intend to spray.

It is okay if you tend to start out with smaller tags; that is how we all begin due to inexperience as well as a sense of nervousness. Ultimately, the key to all of this is in your body structure and your stance. This is something that you will get more comfortable with as you gain experience and practice more and more. Without the proper stance and body control, your graffiti will look a little disjointed and inconsistent.

When you’ve tagged the space, take a step back, and critique your work. See what works and what doesn’t, what could use improvement and where you can work on things. This is a great way to refine your overall ability and make you into a well-balanced tagger.

Fills and Colors

One of the biggest keys here is not to pick colors that are the same in overall tonality. It’s okay sometimes, but newer taggers tend to pick shades and colors that are the same tonality. This can drown out some shades or colors and take away from the overall experience.

It is important to decide on the direction of the fade before you begin to avoid confusion and incorrect shading. This will take a little bit of practice, but when you go in with the fade-in mind, it allows you to work in one direction and avoid those mistakes.


When it comes to graffiti artwork, there is no magical theory or technique that will make you into an expert overnight. This style of artwork takes a great deal of experience and care; refining your technique is where you will see the most improvement.

These are a few important factors worth keeping in mind when beginning in graffiti art. If you adhere to these tips, you should see improvement quickly.

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