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The New To Graffiti Thread

Discussion in 'Toys forum' started by koper, Jan 12, 2007.

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  1. Wutchoogonnadoo?

    Wutchoogonnadoo? Banned

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    a whack tutorial on flow....

    View attachment 279866

    ...was done at 1am for my man Flaw..
    supposed to show hoe bars flow etc.
    looks shitty..
    Anways..wanted to contribute to this thread..

  2. Fube

    Fube Elite Member

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  3. Edward"Sezer"Hands

    Edward"Sezer"Hands Elite Member

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  4. amk

    amk Elite Member

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  5. knewsince.

    knewsince. Senior Member

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  6. Captain

    Captain Senior Member

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  7. d_g

    d_g Elite Member

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    Three of the main things heard here in the toy forum are 'work on letter structure', 'use bars to construct letters' and 'it doesn't flow'.

    There are also three obvious questions in response to these statements.

    I'll give some tips on why to use bars, what letter structure is and what is flow using some well known fonts.


    This is the basis to creating decent letters for the majority of writers at all skill levels, it helps create a flow within the letter and to provide correct structure. The best way to think of what a bar is and how it works is a fattened pen stroke that is drawn as a box.

    I will show this using the sans serif font, impact, as the letters are simple and explain bars well. I would also recommend this font or similar for people starting out to aid learning letter structure.

    All basic letters are constructed from similarily lengthed bars, there will be up to four bars as in the letter 'E' and one bar for letters such as 'S' or 'C'.

    [Broken External Image]:
    [Broken External Image]:

    Two letters shown as the normal print, the dissected bars that form the letter and how lines should be drawn to form the letter best (note how the bars overlap, this helps create a more 'even' looking letter).


    Letter structure is basically that, how the letter is structured to make it that specific letter. Letters are common things in our lives and are often overlooked as we perceive them as being simple. In a

    lot of cases they can be but there are times that an extension/add-on or bar is used that throws the whole letter structure off. While it is often thought by people who are new to graffiti that it should be

    unreadable it is known that a good writer should have good letter strucutre.

    Example 1:
    [Broken External Image]:

    Where does this letter stop becoming an 'n' and become an 'h'? A common mistake made by people just starting with letters, using the wrong length bar in the wrong place can completly change the structure of a letter.

    Example 2:

    [Broken External Image]:

    Placing some letters too close together will create a new letter or be confusing. Here a 'c' and 'l' are shown coming closer and closer together eventually becoming the letter 'd'.

    Example 3:

    [Broken External Image]:

    While the letters 'H', 'A' and 'N' are completely different in structure not much has to be changed to make a one look like the other.

    [Broken External Image]:

    Even though the final modified letter is crude compared to the original it shows that wrongly angled bars can be interpreted in a way not intentioned by the writer.


    Flow is often seen as the most important aspect within a piece or a letter. Flow can mean different things depending on who one talks to.

    To me there are three types of flow; flow within a letter, flow within a piece and overall flow.

    Flow within a letter

    The best way to achieve this is by using bars. This is where learning bars helps you further down the track.

    [Broken External Image]:

    It may not be obvious in the first two 'H's shown but the flow of the letter on the right is thrown off simply because a bar has been incorrectly used. The 'H' on the left uses the correct method of one

    bar/stroke for it's left leg. The 'H' on the right hasn't used bars so it appears that the left leg is made of two bars instead of one.

    Flow within a piece

    The letters within the piece whould have flow as well. They should all appear to be letters from the same type set, not a mix of different styled letters. It would disrupt the flow if all your letters were

    rounded except for one that was squared. The letters should have even spacing between them, not some close and then some far apart. The example below shows an extreme case using standard fonts.

    [Broken External Image]:
    [Broken External Image]:

    Overall flow

    To me this is like, to use a cliche term, the 'X-Factor'. Do all the colours come together well, does the 3D suit, does the piece sit nicely on it's canvas? All the little things that bring everything


    Anyway, graffiti is like everything, the rules can be bent and broken but the guidelines above are a good place to get started and help with some of the common crits given on the toy forums.

  8. -ShAmEE-

    -ShAmEE- Elite Member

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    props up there. time well taken.

    toys. that feel they are tryin to become better yet. find them selves getttin now where.

    see the thing is to a writer they have to have there own imput to there letters. see anyone can have simple letters that have no flow/ no imput.
    your imput is ur style, bends the bars of your letters wont get are style shinning, a good way to achieve flow would be to make our letters two things or one.
    for example mabey u might want your letters to have curves and 3d. or your are the type of person the wants to have simpleish letters alittle abit developed but with funky fills. i depened on you. u start trying to achieve your goals on how u want ur letters to look then your will be able to make your letters style.

    now your one step closer to make your own unique style and this will also help your flow, because your style should be tell that person it is you. for example people will go i cant make out the letters but that style looks like peeta's (sick artist look him up, he form italy)


    flow is that way you make you letters go from one to another, using conextion or addons. but for people who find it harder to make the addons and conextions. the best way to make ur letters flow is to make your overall look on the whole image looks dope. and postion each letter to each other the best way possible. you can also make your letters go from big to small or small to big.
  9. Slushi

    Slushi Banned

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  10. sKeeLo

    sKeeLo Senior Member

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  11. -ShAmEE-

    -ShAmEE- Elite Member

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  12. revid!

    revid! Elite Member

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  13. fEris

    fEris Member

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    This "tutorial" makes one good point about dead space. When the letters don't flow together, you get these gaps between the letters that don't go with the flow of the letters and simple looks like letters arranged next to each other. Gotta put more thought into arranging letters than just the letters themselves.
    In what I'll refer to as "formal" art, this dead space is referred to as negative space. Negative space is the space between objects or parts of an object, or around it.

    Negative space can make or break a piece. It's a seemingly subtle aspect to any type of art, but can be very powerful when the artist takes advantage of it.
  14. Ceen

    Ceen New Member

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    oo i gues imma change it to "keelo"
  15. C3ZR ONE

    C3ZR ONE Moderator

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  16. hammer_time

    hammer_time Banned

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    ok so i noticed there is the standard keeping spots chill, freight speech a page back, i feel that safety is a paramount issue, if ive asked this question once ive asked it a thousand times, what do you think will blow a yard more? a guy chasing a kid out who, chances are, he didnt actually see writing, or a 911 call from the yard cuz your boy just saw your leg or arm severed from your body?

    this first bit is called critcal mass(stolen from 12oz, original author, cracked ass) its a combo chillness/safety/attitude shpeil i wish that everyone who starts to paint trains reads it, because it seems people who didnt learn, refuse to change their attitudes

    Graffiti itself to many who do it is a reckless, rampaging "fuck you" to anyone watching or listening, so the idea of using foresight and intelligence to make life easier for yourself or others is a foreign one. Make no mistake, these are the good old days of freight graffiti, the years everyone in the game will remember most fondly: for their chillness, the names, the styles, the feeling of being part of the next big wave of rolling canvases since the suppression of the NYC subways. Did anyone doing trains in 1980 suspect they had less than ten years till the scene died down to almost nothing?
    What did it take to kill the New York subways? A bunch of factors converged. A couple of mayors harping on "quality of life" issues. Public ignorance of how the scene worked was a bigger factor than anybody gives it credit for, in my opinion. The public made no distinction between piecers with a vision, like Dondi, and gangs whose thing was busting out subway windows and fucking with passengers. They were all lumped together as one big "bad element", and dealt with by people with that mentality.
    What will it take to kill the freight scene? "Critical mass", a bunch of factors converging, some of them seemingly unrelated. First of all, it will take years, although I think we have less of those than everyone else thinks. Also, it will be a death by degrees - it's not that there will be a day when nothing will run, it will just be harder to get over, and harder to find a spot where you have time to do more than small stuff.
    Everything plays a role in achieving critical mass. Painting over numbers on freights. Bombing engines. Leaving cans for workers to trip over. Increased general security after 9/11, especially regarding chemical/hazmat shipments and bulletins to workers to be alert for suspicious persons. Innovations in trespasser detection technology, and a drop in price in this equipment, such that yards get much harder to work with. Continuing capitalist philosophy that property is worth more than people ensures the hiring of more security personnel and the building of more fences, lights, cameras, etc. at layups as well as yards. Pissed off railfans forming watch groups in league with the railroad companies themselves, for a more "community policing" approach to dealing with writers, burglars, and random vandals and trespassers (who, again, are often lumped together as all the same in the eyes of the property owners). Independent companies offering fast turnaround and low cost on buffing/restamping painted cars (this is already happening).
    The swing vote will be railroad workers when it comes to the life or death of the scene. They are the guys most likely to discover writers or their spots, and they have the power to let it slide or report it and put heat on the spot and the scene. Being nice to workers (in ways that count) is the number one thing any writer can do to delay critical mass. That means staying off the numbers, not painting engines or other RR equipment besides the freight cars, and disposing of your empty cans elsewhere. The empty cans issue is not a "don't litter" thing - it's a safety issue. Workers have to run alongside moving trains and throw a lever to uncouple cars, or mount and dismount moving trains, and they don't need to be landing on round, slippery cans.
    Every small thing you do that you hear freight heads advising against contributes a little bit toward critical mass. I hear all kinds of excuses. "Well yards out here are already burnt so why not hit engines." You might not notice a difference in security in your area. But you are having your effect. Workers, railfans, management, internet toys are all paying attention. If one worker gets killed tripping over a paint can and falling under a train, that one incident will do a lot of damage, create a lot of anger. If enough company logos on engines disappear beneath pieces, railfans will start banding together with RRs to police spots better. Toys come on the Net and see stupid behavior and copy it, heating up more and more spots from the city to the cuts. They might also pay too little attention to yard/train safety and get killed trying to paint, which could spark some reporter doing a "spotlight" story on kids and freight painting that gets play. (I'm still waiting for a movie or book to drop which blows up the scene by portraying it fictionally.) All of this shit contributes to critical mass.
    I think some heads secretly want the scene to be much harder in a few years, so they can enjoy their "back in the day" king status, like the subway kings can now. Others, like me, would rather spread the word about how to make it last longer. I'm not one to tell people what to do without offering logical reasons - "you shouldn't hit engines or go over numbers" - I'd rather make people aware of the consequences, and let them make their own decisions. I know I'll do what I can to delay critical mass. I hope others can see their own role and make an informed decision about how to handle their spots and situations.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  17. hammer_time

    hammer_time Banned

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    Beyond keeping spots chill..
    i would like to post some safety tips that are very important alot of this is quoted from a combination of other posts but is really good stuff to know...

    HUMPING. No, not that kind. In the fr8 world humping is a process used to break up trains and sort, or "classify", the individual cars and get them to the right tracks in a yard. Basically, the train is driven backwards a short distance, and they slam on the brakes. At the same moment a brakeman jogs alongside the moving train and throws a lever that uncouples a car or group of cars at the end of the train. These cars fly off on their own momentum down the track that has been selected for them, with no brakes, and they don't stop till they run out of inertia, or until they hit other cars parked on that line (the BOOM!!! sound you may hear from your local yard). Freight cars can safely collide at 5mph or less, they just lock onto each other at the coupler; sometimes a crew that's in a hurry to hump off a train will send them faster than 5mph, though.
    This raises several safety issues: One, a train that is backing up, or cars that have been humped off, can run you down without you ever hearing an engine. In a dark or foggy yard, those drifting cars (called "ramblers") can go a surprising distance, and sometimes are very quiet despite their size, so they can sneak up on you. The danger is magnified if you are standing in a noisy spot (near another locomotive, or one of those reefer cars with the loud compressor running all the time, or anything else) that could mask the sound of an approaching rambler.
    Two, you might be on or painting a car that gets hit by a line of ramblers. It will slam them into motion suddenly. If you're climbing on a car and don't have a good handgrip, you could become the next photo at . When ramblers hit a motionless line, it's like a cueball hitting another ball in pool: the force gets transferred to the object ball, and when you're talking forty tons per car that translates into some serious slamming power even at low speeds.
    So in general: assume EVERY track is live, that something may come at any time. NEVER climb underneath a freight car for any reason. If you have to cross a line, assume it could slam into motion any second. Don't climb over the coupler, cross using the handy ladders and walkways at the ends of most cars. If the car you want to cross doesn't have a walkway on the back, cross somewhere else. Don't stand in between cars in a line, or less than twenty feet from the last car in a line. Basically, don't stand ANYWHERE you could be hit if ALL the trains around you started moving at the same time. Don't climb onto the tops of railcars. Don't attempt a big project involving ladders, like an e2e or wholecar, until you are a veteran of A) yards in general and the particular spot you want to try something ambitious at (and those projects are best reserved for chill, lonely layups, not yards).
    A lot of this sounds pretty anal. You might already have prowled yards not knowing any of this and still not had a problem. The tricky thing is, 9 out of 10 times none of this shit will happen, but if you spend enough time in yards you will personally experience all of these things, and that 1 out of 10 can be fatal if you didn't know in advance. You can also get complacent after several uneventful trips. Don't do it. Be safe in the yards, and tell all your writer friends what you know about this.

    AIR. This is more of a timing issue than a safety issue. Any car you are about to paint should be quiet underneath, that is, no hissing noise. If the car is hissing steadily from underneath, the train will have a locomotive hooked to it and they are "getting up air", which means they will be leaving soon, so just bomb or do a hollow or save your paint for another line. If a line rolls up near you, stops, and then a huge blast of compressed air is heard, like a giant sneezing, that line just "dynamited" and will be there for a while, long enough to piece at least.
    Trains need to get up compressed air to release the brakes on each car. It is pumped back from the engine via those hoses you see connecting the cars by the coupler. It takes a while to get up sufficient or "legal" air on a long train. If you were painting a quiet train and then you hear that hiss, finish up quickly, it's gonna roll away soon. The longer the train the more time you have to finish but not by much so just get it done. In yards, sometimes a dead string needs the air bled out of it. If you hear a few distant hisses, one after the other at ten or twenty second intervals, and getting louder each time, get under cover. A brakeman is walking the entire line, letting the air out of each car as he goes

    trains use radios for about 80% of all communication. There is a system called the block system, in which a moving train can tell whether or not the next block of track is occupied or not by the signal lights. Littlejohn says the blocks are about two miles in length, but out in the boondocks, a block is a lot bigger than two miles. Engineers look out the right side of trains, so the signals to the right are the ones telling him what to do. If the signal is red, it means stop, and stand. If the train gets a "stop but proceed slowly" signal, it will be red with a smaller signal light off to the side and lower. Yellow means "Proceed with caution". Green means "Go ahead." The signals change according to what the trains are doing on the track. If there is a train in the block behind you, he will be getting a yellow "proceed with caution" while you will be getting a "green--clear track ahead" signal

    hopefully this will someone as it has helped me

    always remember what is true and what is force fed to you by those who want your money, this includes paint compnies, movies, books, other writers, and the internet...

    graff is free, incredibly fun, and has nothing to do with being rich and famous, it isnt a way to make a living or be a half baked rebel
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  18. cans905

    cans905 Senior Member

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    When choosing a name, make sure u do your research. Its fine if u have the same name as some small town writer half way across the world, but don't go around writing seen or cope2 thinking your the first one. Its just disrespectful to the legends.

    Also, stay away from Graffiti Creator. It is okay to look at for ideas, but if you just take the coolest looking one and paint it like its your own, a few things will happen. People who started at the same time as you, and who took the time to learn bout structure and flow, will start off with simples but eventually develop their own style and surpass you. This also gives them the ability to improvise when they go out painting. But you will only know how to paint one thing, and when you do go to improvise, you will look super-toy. And someone will eventually recognize your work from graffiti creator and you will have ruined your reputation.

    So take the time and put in some effort, and with lots of practice you will see results!!!
  19. South-Pole

    South-Pole Elite Member

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    struggling to find a chill/practice spot?
    just posting this link,shows all the legal walls around the world,just thought it could be useful
  20. C3ZR ONE

    C3ZR ONE Moderator

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    If you ain't posting something that isn't common knowledge, stay shut up. Nobody needs a "thanks! this helped!"
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