Psychedelic Art Techniques: Exploring the Different Mediums and Styles

psychedelic art by Wes Wilson

Psychedelic art is a form of art that emerged in the 1960s during the counterculture movement. It is known for its use of vibrant colors, swirling patterns, and abstract imagery that aim to produce a “mind-bending” effect.

Psychedelic art is often associated with drug culture and the exploration of altered states of consciousness. In this blog post, we will explore the different techniques and mediums used in psychedelic art, as well as the various styles that have emerged over the years.

Examples of psychedelic art styles

psychedelic art has various styles, each with its unique characteristics and features. Here are some of the most popular psychedelic art styles:

  • Op Art: It is a style that uses optical illusions to create a sense of movement and depth in the artwork. This style often employs geometric shapes, lines, and contrasting colors to create a dizzying effect.
  • Pop Art: It is a style that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s and became popular in the United States and Britain. Pop Art uses imagery from popular culture, such as advertising, comic books, and consumer products. This style often employs bright colors and bold lines to create a visually striking image.
  • Folk Art: It is a style that is characterized by its simplicity and use of bright colors. Folk Art often features images of everyday life, such as people, animals, and landscapes. This style is often associated with a sense of nostalgia and a connection to the past.
  • Abstract Art: It is a style that focuses on the use of color, shape, and form to create an artwork that is not representative of any recognizable object or image. This style is often associated with a sense of freedom and experimentation.

Key features of psychedelic art

Psychedelic art is known for its bold, bright colors, abstract patterns, and trippy visual effects. Some of the key features of psychedelic art include:

  • Vibrant colors: Psychedelic art uses bright, bold colors that are often intense and highly saturated. Popular colors include neon pink, electric blue, and bright yellow.
  • Abstract patterns: Psychedelic art often features abstract, geometric patterns that repeat and morph into one another. These patterns can create a sense of movement and depth, drawing the viewer into the artwork.
  • Optical illusions: Psychedelic art also plays with the viewer’s perception, creating optical illusions that can be mesmerizing and disorienting at the same time.
  • Surreal imagery: Many psychedelic art pieces feature surreal, dreamlike imagery that can be both beautiful and unsettling.

The role of color in psychedelic art

Color is a crucial element of psychedelic art, and many pieces employ a wide range of bright, contrasting colors in order to create a “mind-bending” effect. Some of the most commonly used colors in psychedelic art include:

  • Neon colors: Psychedelic art often incorporates bright, neon colors that are intended to produce a sense of vibrancy and intensity.
  • Complimentary colors: Many psychedelic art pieces use complementary colors (colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel) in order to create a sense of contrast and tension.
  • Analogous colors: Some psychedelic art pieces use analogous colors (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) in order to create a sense of harmony and unity.

Psychedelic art mediums

Psychedelic art can be created using a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, digital art, and more. Some of the most popular mediums used in psychedelic art include:

  • Oil paint: Many psychedelic art pieces are created using oil paint, which allows for a wide range of vibrant, contrasting colors and can be used to create complex, layered textures.
  • Acrylic paint: Acrylic paint is a popular medium for psychedelic art, as it dries quickly and can be easily layered and mixed to create a variety of colors and effects. It is also a versatile medium that can be used on various surfaces, such as canvas or paper.
  • Ink: Ink is another medium commonly used in psychedelic art. It can be used to create intricate designs and patterns, as well as bold, flowing lines.
  • Digital art: With the rise of technology, many artists are using digital tools to create psychedelic art. This can include using software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create complex designs, or even virtual reality tools to create immersive psychedelic experiences.
  • Mixed media: Many artists combine different mediums in their psychedelic art, such as using paint and ink together, or incorporating found objects like beads or feathers into their pieces.

How to make psychedelic art?

psychedelic art is all about exploring and experimenting with different mediums and techniques to create a unique and trippy visual experience. Here are some techniques and tips for making your own psychedelic art piece:

  1. Experiment with Colors: One of the most crucial aspects of psychedelic art is the use of bold and vibrant colors. To create an authentic psychedelic art piece, experiment with different color combinations, including neon colors, gradients, and contrasting shades.
  2. Incorporate Patterns: Psychedelic art often features complex and intricate patterns that create a sense of movement and depth. Try incorporating repetitive shapes, lines, and swirls into your artwork to achieve this effect.
  3. Play with Texture: Texture is another essential element in creating a visually stimulating psychedelic art piece. You can use different techniques to create texture, including splatter painting, collage, and layering.
  4. Use psychedelic art Mediums: There are different mediums that you can use to create psychedelic art, including acrylic and oil paints, markers, colored pencils, and digital art software.
  5. Take Inspiration from Nature: Nature is a common theme in psychedelic art. You can use elements such as flowers, animals, and landscapes to create a psychedelic and trippy visual experience.
  6. Experiment with Light and Shadow: Light and shadow are powerful tools that can be used to create depth and contrast in your psychedelic art piece. Try playing with the lighting source to create different moods and effects.
  7. Create Contrast: Contrast is another crucial element in creating a visually stunning psychedelic art piece. Experiment with contrasting colors, textures, and shapes to create a striking and mesmerizing effect.


Psychedelic art is a vibrant and colorful form of art that has evolved over time. From its origins in the counterculture movements of the 1960s to its current popularity, psychedelic art has continued to captivate and inspire artists and art lovers around the world.

With its use of bold colors, unique patterns, and unconventional techniques, psychedelic art is a testament to the power of creativity and the human imagination.

Whether you are a seasoned artist or just starting, experimenting with different mediums and styles can help you unlock your creative potential and create stunning psychedelic art that will leave a lasting impression.

Check out our unique psychedelic art based products at Trippy Mojo!

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