How to Make a Psychedelic Picture

Written by patti perry
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How to Make a Psychedelic Picture
Repeated geometric forms are one aspect of psychedelic art. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Psychedelic art stems from a movement in the 1960s that includes fantasy realism, magic realism, surrealism, inspirational and visionary art. It is often used in posters,comics and record covers. "The brilliant thing about the posters and the graphics is that they were so convoluted," says appraiser Rudy Franchi, of the Nostalgia Factory in Boston. "You couldn't quite make out what they said from a distance so you came closer and closer and ended up reading all of the huge amount of information contained in the swirls of colour and type." You can create a psychedelic picture using any bright-coloured medium.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bright colours, any medium

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  1. 1

    Place bright colours next to each other in the order of the rainbow. Prism colours are always in the order of ROY G BIV -- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

  2. 2

    Bend the colours to follow any contours; this simulates light being bent and reflected. The colours often appear to glow in psychedelic pictures.

  3. 3

    Swirl your lines and forms to compose a maze of patterns.

  4. 4

    Add any lettering in undulating shapes. These curved forms combine with other symbolic fragments to create direction in the composition.

  5. 5

    Create optical illusions using repetitive patterns.

  6. 6

    Study fractals and incorporate this idea of smaller copies of the whole into your composition.

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