In this step by step tutorial, you are going to learn everything you need to know about drawing graffiti bubble letters.
Letters in bubble-style look like they have been blown up with air like balloons. All edges are round. It does not leave plenty of scope for variation and creativity, but can be executed very quickly and thus is good for learning the basic design principles of drawing graffiti.
Characteristics of graffiti bubble-style
- Letters are often overlapping
- There is no space between the planks of letters such as F and E
- No space between vertical planks like M, N as well
- No straight lines or right angles on any letter
- The openings within letters („eyes“ and „counters“ are synonyms) are reduced to dots and/or small lines.
- Wings, drips and underlines can optionally be used as decorative elements
- the shadows are not connected to the letters – there are no shadow blocks
1. The basic construction of bubble-style graffiti letters
Like written in my general graffiti tutorial, the process always starts with lines. Now taking all the characteristics mentioned above in consideration, we will create out first bubble letter.
Let’s start off with an example of the letter A.
There should not be space between the letter elements. So don’t make the letter too broad. The height should be way bigger than the width.
2. Add outlines of the planks
Now add the outlines to the letter. Remember to only add round edges, make the openings small and do not leave too much space between the planks!
I switched to Procreate for Ipad to finish this letter and added a decorative element. You don’t have to. The same principles apply to drawing with pens.
Add the shadows and highlights
Imagine a source of light and place the shadows and the highlights on the graffiti letter corresponding to that light-source.
Like shown in the example below. If the source of light is in the top right corner. The shadows are on the left bottom of the letter. The highlights are placed on the right top. So..
- Add the fill-in
- Add the shadow on the correct place – it is the outline of the letter shifted to one side
- add highlights – the white lines – inside the fill-in of the letter. I use the Posca markers PC-1MR for highlights and outlines. They can be used to paint opaque on other colors.
I hope this tutorial of the basics of graffiti bubble letters helped you in your creative journey! Is there something I forgot to mention or you did not understand? Feel free to drop a comment below.