Graffiti Characters: Theory & selected examples


What are graffiti characters?

„Character“ is an abbreviation of “cartoon character”. They are usually painted next to a graffiti to create a scenario around the graffiti piece. Even so, some artists decide to just focus on characters.

Graffiti characters are way easier to remember than graffiti pieces for most of the people.

This is why popular cartoons like “The Simpsons”, “Batman”, “Hulk” etc. are often used as characters to draw the attention to a graffiti.

There is also the possibility to place a character inside a graffiti piece. If this is the case, it will usually represent a letter. So, the form of the character also matches the form of the letter it represents. But this is not a must.

Types of graffiti characters
  • Animals
  • B-Boys
  • Characters taken from a cartoon (Disney, Marvel, Simpsons etc. …)
  • Monsters/ghosts
  • Sexy women / fly girls

Fun fact: copying characters (from cartoons) is usually accepted because they are only used as decorative elements. If the graffiti artist decides to focus on characters only, it is needed to bring in his/her own creativity though.

How to draw graffiti characters?

Since this website does not focus on drawing comics and graffiti characters so far, I would like to recommend two external resources to learn how to draw comics:

  1. For very easy characters you can use this app, to learn the steps to draw different kind of cartoon characters.
  2. For more detailed characters and in-depth explainations, I would recommend the book Anime Mania: How to Draw Characters for Japanese Animation. As the name already implies, it is mainly about drawing anime characters and monsters. But, you will find step-by-step tutorials about how to draw detailed monsters and figures, robots and futuristic vehicels in it. Perfect for awesome screnarios around graffiti pieces.

Below you will find a growing collection of photos from artworks with characters or characters only from various artists and places around the world.

Selected examples

Graffiti Piece with B-Boy character in Geneve
Graffiti piece with B-Boy character in Geneve – artist: unknown

Blue graffiti piece with 2 characters
Blue graffiti piece with 2 characters: business man and scary doll – artist: unknown

Sleeping pigs streetart in Brussels
Sleeping pigs Streetart artwork in Brussels – artist: Roa

Hipster cat streetart
Hipster cat graffiti character in New Zealand – artist: unknown

Graffiti comics in Berlin
Lots of graffiti characters done with graffiti marker – Berlin – artist: unknown

Bug graffiti with lots of tags in geneve
Bug graffiti character with lots of tags in Geneve – artist: unknown

Snake with green graffiti piece
Nicely done graffiti piece with snake graffiti character in New Zealand – artist: unknown


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