Freelance illustrator and designer Mark Mayers is based in Cornwall. With over 18 years’ experience, he can recall life before Macs and is a reformed technophobe.

Mark now writes tutorials for leading publishers worldwide, and has won several awards, including MetalFX Designer of the Year.

Graffiti has influenced many of today’s graphic designers and illustrators: skateboard graphics, clothing, and the music industry have all drawn on it heavily, while the distinctive graffiti style pops up in ads, magazines and elsewhere. From modest beginnings in the 1970s as simple tags in New York subways, to the modern-day hip hop behemoth, graffiti art has gone global, as likely to crop up in chic art galleries as on the streets.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

Here, you’ll learn how to add some chaotic, urban grit to your artwork using selection and layer blending techniques. You’ll also learn how to replicate a three-colour graffiti stencil using Photoshop’s filters and channels – then you’ll get the chance to get your hands dirty by adding some overspray and drip effects. Finally, to pull off the effect, you’ll apply blending modes, as well as using Photoshop’s lesser-known Displace filter to map your graffiti to the contours of the wall.

The skater image for this tutorial is kindly provided by Paul Frost. Some other images for the tutorial can be bought online for a small cost.


Adobe Photoshop

Time to complete

2.5 hours

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