|DRAW A GRAFFITI NAME WITH SERIF LETTERS
SERIF and SANS SERIF LETTERS
Serifs are small decorative flourishes on the ends of some of the strokes that
make up letters. In graffiti art serifs are really useful, because they can be
manipulated in different ways to make letters more interesting. They can be
stretched, curved or broken up into bits. Sans serif letters do not have these
details or flourishes (the word sans means without). Below is an example of
letters drawn with serifs and without serifs.
STEP 1. Here is a SAGE tag constructed with serif letters. You should draw your own tag letters with a
pencil very lightly so you can erase them later. We have darkened the pencil lines in this example just so you
STEP 2. Now redraw the letters, spreading them out so you have room to fatten them up.
STEP 3. Draw rectangular bars all around the strokes of each letter. Where the strokes are
curved, make the bars curved.
STEP 4. Erase all of the lines inside and leave only the outlines.
Step 5. Draw around the outline of the letters with a black magic marker. Erase any other
leftover pencil lines.
STEP 6. Add some small rectangular bits at the ends of some of the serifs.
STEP 8. Draw a line from the tip of each downward line to the line directly next to it. Follow the
shape of the letter and complete the 3D. Fill it in with a dark color.
STEP 9. Draw a forcefield all around the outside of the name about 1/4" from the edges of the
letters. Add some drips. Use a colored pencil to add a touch of shading around the forcefield.
STEP 10. Draw different patterns inside the letters. These patterns are called the FILL. Add
black drippy goo on the tops. Color the forcefield in a bright contrasting color, add a brick wall, a
big dark splash and you are done. That was fun!
Serifs are really just small lines, but
notice how just a few of these small
lines give a letter so much more
personality and attitude.
Scroll down this page to see this SAGE
graffiti piece constructed from start to
finish using serif letters. Then
experiment with your own name using
similar steps. Feel free to modify our
technique any way you want.
Those little rectangular blocks you see
at the end of the serifs in the piece
above are known as BITS.
Sharpies are really
great for outlining
graffiti letters, but
make sure to put a
piece of cardboard
under your drawing
will leak through
paper and stain your
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STEP 7. Now it's time to add 3D (three dimensions) to all of the letters. From the bottom of
each letter, and every corner on the outside of the letters, draw a line downwards to the left.
Each line should be about the same length.
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