Urban Graffiti

This doodlewash is of another building in the Kansas City Crossroads district that was quite red and had some graffiti on the side. That’s my way of getting around the fact that I forgot to even determine what this building was. I’m a crappy tour guide. I’m so easily distracted.

There’s a lot of commissioned graffiti in the urban core and some just added by bored or inspired artists who occupy buildings in neighborhoods like this. There is also thug graffiti and I’m not sure which kind this is actually, so apologies in advance if it is and you actually speak thug graffiti and see something obscene. (But if that’s the case, please sign up to be a Guest Doodlewasher immediately as I simply have to hear your story!)

This was another fast sketch at 10 minutes, but the doodlewash took another 35 for a grand total of 45 minutes. Saying 10 minute sketch, however true, makes me sound far more impressive than I actually am. For this one I used M. Graham paints in Cobalt Blue (with a touch of Cobalt Teal), Pyrrol Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Azo Green, Sap Green, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, Quinacridone Rust, and Neutral Tint.

I’ve always been fascinated with graffiti but it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to try creating. Barring the illegal aspect, it’s just not a form of communication I’ve thought to use. But some graffiti artists, like Bansky, shake us out of the norm and give us new ways to view our world while we’re standing in it. Not behind a computer screen or phone. Tagging is a bit like blog posting, only it’s on a building and experienced live.

Don’t worry… I’m not running off to doodlewash a building! Mostly because watercolor isn’t a suitable medium for tagging. And if you’d like to see what was just to the right of this building, tune in on Sunday to see Philippe’s Second Look. Sketching the same thing together was so fun the last time (here and here) we figured we try it again!

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

43 replies on “Urban Graffiti

  1. Marvellous execution as ever, Charlie! That red is naughty, especially with those additions to it.

    I like the idea of parallels between graffiti and blogging; so right! I too am often intrigued by it and its motivation (most of the time!) but I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended the similarities what they’re doing has to what we’re doing right now. Great insight.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Quite we are… haven’t you seen that jaywalks place? Eyesore!! (or should it be e-sore…?) The council needs to go and paint over that, quick-smart! 😉

        Hahaha!! Sigh! I guess you’re right – we’d surely be breaking all kinds of laws if we didn’t adopt these looks. I already have a hipster beard (apparently), so at least I’m sort of doing it properly…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pictures…? Oh! Is that the time? Is it really gone 2:30 in the morning? It jolly well is, you know! I have to go to sleep, what a shame! 😉

        Haha, thanks for the laughs – cheerio!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Now, forgetting all about the graffiti, I have to say my funny bone is being tickled so badly right now…here it comes — love that blue and white thing in the middle above the building; it looks like an eye to me, keeping a watchout! LOL-ly. Now that I’ve let that out, I like this doodlewash, so much richness in the colours and detail too. I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janina!! ❤️😃 It IS an eye! Hehe…actually it looks just like that and that’s one of the reasons that drew me to this view. It’s some kind of rooftop structure leading to a garden with an unfortunate choice of window shape! Lol Glad you saw it too! 😉


  3. Beautiful sketch, love that you made the graffiti look so good. ;D Your renderings are always great, it feels like we are standing there…looking at a wall of graffiti…with a distracted, albeit charming, tour guide….um, where was the coffee shop again? I will meet you there. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw this image on Instagram it jumped off the screen at me, it’s so bold! Now seeing it in a larger format I love it even more and I really loved it before. I don’t know if it’s the red or the graffiti or blue sky or the angle of the building or the high wires or maybe it’s a combo platter of all of these things. It’s wonderful and bold. I think it’s a perfect addition to your KC tour! I look forward to seeing Philippe’s second look!

    Liked by 1 person

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