Getting A Graffiti Look With Scraping

Getting A Graffiti Look With Scraping

Following on from our introduction to 4Everly Adorned, owner Jennifer would like to share one of her decorating techniques and how you can use it in the home.

Many times in my work, I’ll use a scraping technique to add texture and to give an interesting look to my backgrounds. It’s a messy look that reminds me of something that would be on a wall full of graffiti.  The results are always different from this technique.  It’s a lot of fun to play around with, and it’s really easy!

Here I’m using a 12″ x 12″ canvas to demonstrate.  Getting the graffiti look is all about layering, so I’ve already prepped the base by adding some colour with different brush strokes and paint splats.

Next, drizzle paint around the area that you want the scrape look to go.  Here I’m using white acrylic craft paint.  It’s cheap and easy to work with.  Notice I’m just squeezing it out of the tube.  This is because the consistency of the craft paint is thin enough where it’ll create a nice drizzle and won’t just leave blobs on the canvas.  If you’re working with a heavier bodied paint, I would suggest mixing some water with the paint to thin it out.  You might also want to consider using a different type of container to hold the paint, like an old mustard bottle.  Something with a smaller squeeze top will give you more control.  Either way, the paint will come out fast, so you want to move quickly, and in a swirly/loose motion. I would suggest practising this on some scrap paper first. 

Then, you’ll need something to scrape with.  You can use a variety of things like cardboard, an old credit card, a palette knife, or even some thick paper. If you look at the paper plate with the paint all over it in the upper left, you’ll notice part of the plate is ripped off…I used that for this technique a few weeks back!  For this demo, I’ll be using some thin white cardboard as seen below.  I ripped it in half because personally, I like to use smaller pieces to scrape with.  It gives me more control.  

Another important thing to note…I like to wait a couple of minutes after I’ve drizzled the paint before I begin scraping, like a good 2-3 minutes.  This will give the paint time to absorb into the surface, dry up a little, and this is where you’ll get your texture when you eventually start scraping.  Waiting will also allow the design you made with the drizzling to stick.  Rather if you begin scraping the paint right away, the paint will be wet so it’ll spread quickly and it will cover a lot more of the surface, not leaving much detail behind.

All that said, now the fun begins!  In swift motions, take your scraper and begin scraping left, right, up, down, whichever direction you’d like to go in!  Mix it up! Have fun!

When you’re practicing this technique, try different things.  See what it looks like and what mood is created when you….

– Only scrape in one direction

– Scrape in multiple directions

– Blot your scraper in between scrapes

– DON’T blot your scraper in between scrapes

– Leave some of the lines untouched

– Take your scraper at the end and scrape off the leftover paint in areas that need some interest

All of these things will give your work a different look and feel. Experiment, be loose, and have fun with it!  It’s ok to be messy!…best advice I ever got. 

Finally, know that this technique can be applied just about anywhere.  I use the scraping technique on paper, canvas, and also on my furniture! 

Giving Back

4Everly Adorned is very excited to team up with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  Formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital is the largest pediatric provider in the region with a 130-year legacy of excellence. This amazing family-friendly designed hospital provides superior pediatric care, offering the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology and research. 

For more information about Giving Back visit here


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