Street art: definition and techniques

Lilit Mauro

Miquel Mata

Alba Álvarez


The term includes any art developed in public places (generally in the street), and mainly done in an illegal way. The term refers to “graffiti” and some other artistic expression forms in the street.

includes any art developed in public places (generally in the street), and mainly done in an illegal way. The term refers to “graffiti” and some other artistic expression forms in the street.

Important cities of street art are London, Barcelona, Berlin, São Paulo and Toronto.

The motivations and objectives of street artists are as varied as the artists themselves. Street art pretends to surprise the spectators by integrating its elements in quite busy public places. It usually has a powerful message that criticizes the society with irony and invites to social fight, political criticism or, simply, to reflection.

Street art can include traditional graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing and street installations.


Traditional graffiti is made by free-hand aerosol paints. But there are many other ways to do it.

Mosaic tiling: it’s an art that is based on an assembly of small pieces of coloured glass, stone, or other materials. This art is used to create pictures or images.

Murals: A piece of artwork painted directly on a wall, ceiling, or another surface. It’s a very large image, such as a painted photograph.

Stencil art: is made with stencils, shapes that are usually made of paper or cardboard; you draw the image and then you cut it out. After that you use spray paint or roll-on paint for create the drawing that you want on the surface.

Sticker art: an image or message is publicly displayed using stickers. This are consideredpostmodern art.

The stickers usually show opinions.

Street installation: it’s a ‘street art’ movement. We can find them in  conventional places, and including 3-D objects in urban environments.

Wheatpaste: is an adhesive liquid

made from vegetable starch and water, and it’s used to stick paper posters to walls and other surfaces.


Artwork painted on a small portion of plywood or similar inexpensive material and attached to street sign posts with bolts. Often the bolts are bent at the back to prevent removal.

Yarn bombing: it’s a type of street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or croched cloth. This pieces of cloth are put over other objects so as to decorate them.

LED Art: It’s an art form based on light-emitting diodes. You can purchase them in a cheap way.

Al these are the most outstanding techniques which are considered STREET ART. Any technique can be more or less complicated but what all of them have in common is that they are developed in public places and mostly done in an illegal way.

3 thoughts on “Street art: definition and techniques

  1. Xavi Pina

    This part is essential for our understandig of the meaning of street art.
    It shows you that graffiti has a lot of varied techniques. Street art isn’t just vandalism and it isn’t just about painting the walls of the street. They are often used to criticize something and it can be expressed in different ways: graffiti art is one of them.

  2. Néstor

    This part of the project is really interesting too. Before doing the project, I thought that street art was only made up by graffitis. I also thought that graffitis were only some letters painted on the walls without any meaning.

    Now, I’ve realized that the word “street art” includes a lot of art techniques that colour the city and make them more beautiful and modern. I’ve also realized that writing graffiti is really hard work and it isn’t only made with spray but it can also be made with stickers and stencils. I think that those techniques are more proffessional than spray.

    I also like the photos, I think that they’re really good!!!!

  3. Jojo

    I like street art very much. It gives every city its own flair.
    When there are colorfull pictures or sculptures the city doesn’t look so bleak.

    The article was very informative but Ithink it would be better if you could show more pics.

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