What is psychedelic art?

Psychedelic Art – What is it?

Several years ago I did not know anything about psychedelic art. So when I first met it I could not really define it. But I totally fell in love with what others called psychedelic art. First it was a hobby but now I’m trying to make it my full-time job. Still the question is out there: What is psychedelic art? Sure it’s very close both to surreal and abstract art. Speaking of shapes maybe it is somewhere in the middle. But art is not only about the resulting image. What does an artist feel while doing art, how does he or she form the shapes – these are the key questions to defining the type of art. Being an artist myself I’d try to explain my personal approach to psychedelic art.


First of all is the mindset. When it comes to art I set myself to create something beautiful and hypnotic. Usually I don’t do sketches the same day I start the artwork. This helps me to focus on execution and not to doubt about the concept. Anyway the goal is always the same: by the time I finish an artwork there should be someone out there in the world who will spend some time looking through my image inside himself.

State of mind

Second is the state of mind I put myself in. I’m very relaxed while doing psychedelic art. This can be compared to some sort of trance. Psychedelic trance music helps to fall into it. This is a dance of fingers, consciousness and eyes. At some point there is no artist, no music, no canvas and no tools – only an image that changes its shape. Sure I can fall into this trance without the music just watching my breath.

What is psychedelic art?


The other thing that comes to mind while speaking of the psychedelic artistic process is the overwhelming feeling of freedom. Since this type of art is not too realistic there are not many things you should stick to. You can try any type of shapes and composition and no one can say you are wrong. Even if someone does I don’t care to much.

Do what you feel to do

Finally the most important thing about psychedelic art is improvisation. Even if you have a plan you can always make the image completely different. Or you can start without any plan at all. This gives you the most freedom and this is what psychedelic art is about: parts of the irrepressible flow of consciousness placed on any medium.

If you want to do psychedelic art yourself

Check out my tutorials! I don’t post new tutorials too often but there are plenty of lessons I’ve written so far.

11 thoughts on “What is psychedelic art?

  1. sina says:

    amazing art . see i don’t get the whole point of the psychedelic things . im so into it this days but i don’t get it .what are this pictures you people drawing ? what is it about ? and why this pictures are so colorful ? in some of the pictures i saw a man lost in a colorful jungle and there is shrooms and trees and some weird animals ? i know the man is tripping lol, but what is the picture is trying to say . peace.

    • Andrei Verner says:

      Heh) I guess the point is that in our regular life we are used to name everything and do not pay attention to lots of small details, and colors, and shapes. When you think of an apple you don’t care much how it looks like, how its skin feels, all the tiny drops of apple juice that come inside you when you eat it – you just imagine a round green or red fruit. I guess psychedelic art is trying to picture the real full-color image of our reality, so people could not only look at it but also see it :)

  2. sanity says:

    that form of art to me is something that makes you feel like your tripping or puts you in a world where you feel driven towards or feel obligated to look at and observe every detail that the picture contains thats what i go for when creating my art and i also try not to think what others will think or feel though it seeps through often but try to think how ill be captivated by the finished piece i like hiding messages within objects people etc as well making you have to over observe it to see the whole picture and everything within it .

  3. Nomad says:

    I like psychedelic art, although, for a long time, I didn’t realize it. I was always attracted to art that was impressionistic or non-representational, then one day I came across artwork done by patients at a mental institution. They were astonishing for their complexity and simultaneous simplicity. They were psychedelic. Then I started finding it everywhere, especially in street art. I uncovered many accounts of people who took psychedelic drugs creating this kind of art, even though they’d never created it before and didn’t consider themselves artists. Since then, I’ve spent quite a bit to time looking into this kind of art and have developed a theory about it’s origin.

    I’ve started to believe that the mind, and it’s mechanism, the brain, don’t function as a sensor, trying to get more information about something so it can be processed. Nope, I think that the mind is a *filter* that keeps universal consciousness at bay, preventing us from fully experiencing it on a regular basis. But this art is done by people who have had a moment of transcendence and seen reality up close for a few minutes and their art is an attempt to convey what they’ve seen.

    And it’s not just psychedelic drugs that allow you to glimpse eternity, but also religious ecstasy and deep meditation. The drugs are faster and more reliable, but other ways work too, they just take longer.

    Even though I came up with my theory independently, I’ve since discovered it’s not unique, with many other people articulating similar ideas over the past few hundred years. See Terence McKenna for reference.

    One example of psychedelic art I really like are the Shaker Gift Drawings. They’re incredible and beautiful.

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