Spray paint art techniques can make or break your spray paintings and applying them with skill and vision will elevate your pieces of artwork to exceptional standards. To be a good spray painter you essentially need to have two strings to your bow, technique and imagination.

These two areas of the art are what give you skill and direction in your paintings. If you lack either your paintings will suffer as a result. If you don’t have the imagination to think up new ideas and projects, then you’ll be forever copying other artists and simply re-creating their ideas and what you see in online videos.

If you don’t master the techniques, then you’ll be hamstrung in getting your vision down on paper. The techniques are thankfully wide-ranging and can be mastered by practically anyone with a modicum of skill and plenty of practice. Like many forms of art, the techniques in principle are straightforward, but the really skilled spray paint artists master these and make them look easy, when in reality they’re not. As a beginner spray painter I can vouch for this last sentence!


What are techniques specifically used for?

Everything you put down on paper with your spray cans utilises some technique or other, whether it’s representing planets for a space scene, pyramids for a surreal or monument landscape or natural objects such as water, trees or mountains for nature landscapes. If you get your technique correct the objects take on the life-like look intended. If you get them slightly wrong then the mountains or water just won’t look real and this can be a real shame if you’ve just nailed down some cool planet effects and a star spangled sky.

The above objects are commonplace in spray art, but even so you can watch different artists achieve these using different techniques. There’s more than one way to create a planet and several ways of creating trees and bushes. Some artists prefer very quick methods to create the scene and certain people can produce a superb piece of spray paint art in under 40 seconds!


First Black & White Attempt


If you start to think of your own ideas and people haven’t sprayed components of your image before, then you’ll develop your own techniques, which can be immense fun, but also coupled with much frustration as your trial and error methods damage picture after picture!


Which techniques are used in spray painting?

The most basic spray paint art techniques utilised by spray painters are the remove and reveal effects. Spray is laid down on the paper and in various thicknesses, colours and layers and then newspaper or magazine sheets are pressed on top and removed to create texture. When done correctly this technique can produce fantastic planet surface effects and you can re-spray and remove again if you don’t like the first effect.

You can watch people do this during public exhibitions when spray painters set up stall on a pavement and produce art for the public or you can watch the videos on file sharing websites, but until you have a go yourself you’ll never know how much fun or how difficult it can be to get really good looking planets. Even once you’ve got the effect, you’ve then got to frame the planet and this you achieve by placing a template on top. This means you place a circular object over the area you want to keep as your planet and then spray the sky colour around the template.

To make your planet ‘pop’ you’ll need to delicately highlight the planet edges and add shading or darksides. A steady and smooth hand can use a variety of implements, tools or even paper to apply Saturn style rings around the planet. How you remove the paint to form the texture can be done in various ways as well, from light paper removals to twist and remove and even using scrunch techniques.

Of course writing about these techniques and actually practising them is a different matter. Watching guys who’ve done it for years makes it look easy, even when they tell you how they’re doing it, but it’ll take your hands and fingers time to get to grips with the techniques.


What else apart from planets?

A lot of spray paint art is about skill with the can and using templates/paint removal techniques. You can make mountains in the same way by drawing with your fingers over a piece of newspaper and pulling the paint off as you go. A square edged piece of paper can produce a pyramid and your fingers ran across a freshly sprayed section of blue and white (or any other colours that take your fancy) can create water bodies or streams.


My First Speed Painting – About 2 minutes!


You can reapply paint in a more traditional method with brushes, sponges and old socks to create trees, shrubs, rocks and foliage. But you can also create trees and shrubs by removing paint with a palette knife. The possibilities are endless and often down to personal taste or skill.


Are there any limitations?

The only limits are in your mind. If you can imagine a scene then the limits are the speed at which you learn the techniques to transfer this image onto paper. Space and nature are very popular subjects for spray paint art, but you can paint anything you can think of. If you need to create more complex shapes you manufacture stencils and templates from card. These can then be overlaid and sprayed around if for example you want to place animals or people in a scene.

The thing to remember about all the spray paint art techniques is that to master them you’ll need to practice. If you already have some artistic skills then this level might come quicker than for others, but if not expect a certain amount of trial and error in your works. The charm of spray paint art is the fact that you can recover most mistakes by spraying over and starting again or if you’re using double-sided posterboard, simply turn over.