Home blog What Are Custom Painting of the Grateful Dead? All You Need to Know

What Are Custom Painting of the Grateful Dead? All You Need to Know

by Thomas Browne
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Paintings are a way for artists to express themselves. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for people who do not have specialized training or knowledge about art to create artwork that reflects their style. It can be discouraging, especially for those who want a truly custom painting but do not know where to start.

Grateful Dead artwork has been a part of the Dead’s history since its beginning. Born out of the psychedelic underworld, they are living legends with a following that spans decades. But just what is Grateful Dead artwork? What is it like? And where can you find it? The Grateful Dead has been in the business of having an army of fans for almost 40 years. Many of these fans are collectors, others are amateur painters, and others just enjoy the artwork for what it is.

How Are Grateful Dead Paintings Created?

A custom painting of the grateful dead is a painting that has been painted by an artist who has a special relationship with the band. It captures their essence in their prime and is usually painted from an original photograph or includes the likenesses of the individuals who have passed away. The piece is created using various mediums, such as oil paints, acrylic paint, and watercolors.

The artwork is then framed to be hung on the walls just like any other photograph or piece of art. However, it is not limited to that purpose alone. Many collectors see a Grateful Dead painting as a piece of history. They are created by the band’s official artists and are considered highly valuable because they are limited in number.

Types of Grateful Dead Paintings

The paintings can be categorized into the following five groups –

1. Autographs 

This type of artwork is similar to a signed photograph, except it is an original work done by an official artist chosen by the band. It is sometimes in the form of a painting, but it can also be a print or drawing. In addition, some autographs may have been taken from photographs of the band members that the artist has taken himself, just like the official band photo. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell what type of artwork has been created by a fan who has attached their name to it. Hence, collectors prefer to stick with autographs that an official artist has produced instead of unsigned pieces.

2. Handbills 

Handbills are flyers that are usually attached to a piece of cardboard. They include information about the band’s upcoming performances, venue name, date, and time. Some of these flyers have been created by various bands or artists, as well as artists who were inspired by The Grateful Dead’s music. Some of them are even signed by the artist or band members themselves.

3. Postcards

Postcards are small cards with a one-dimensional image on the front and a short message on the back. Because of their size, they are easy to carry. They usually include information about the performer or an image of them in the process of performing. Many postcards were created by people who were not fans of The Grateful Dead but just wanted to show their appreciation for them or their music through paintings.

4. Sculptures

Sculptures are made by artisans who are not associated with the band but with its music. These include jewelry, clothing, figurines, and other collectibles. Grateful Dead fans watch these artists closely to ensure they are not receiving pieces that an impersonator or unscrupulous seller has created.

5. Lithographs

Lithographs are photographs that have been printed in color. They come in all sizes, from greeting cards to canvases, and are frequently used for advertising a band or an event such as a concert tour. Fans can also use them to create art pieces just as they would paintbrushes and oil paints.

The popularity of Custom Painting of the Grateful Dead 

The popularity of the custom painting of the grateful dead has spawned several online stores that specialize in selling these types of art. Sure, you can find them at local flea markets and garage sales, but collectors want to ensure they obtain a truly authentic piece. Therefore, they turn to online shops so as not to be scammed.

Popularity is not the only reason for the rise in popularity of these pieces. The quality alone has been a major contributor to their popularity. Artists take pride in their work and want to create artwork that is the best it can be, even if the band does not officially commission them. Some collectors consider it an honor to have a piece of Grateful Dead art that an official artist did not create.

How to Start Collecting?

If you collect Grateful Dead artwork, you must ensure that you are working with a reputable seller. Therefore, checking their credibility before making a purchase is extremely important. The studio’s official website is a great place to seek out such sellers. 

You can also find listings in various magazines and auction houses that have been known to sell these types of paintings. It is easy to get started collecting Grateful Dead artwork. You can begin by obtaining a piece of art painted by an official artist or created by someone inspired by the band. Either way, you will be well on becoming a true collector. You only need a little money to invest and a place to hang it.


Considering the above details, you can learn many aspects about the custom painting of the grateful dead. If you are a Grateful Dead fan, you can go with the market of Deadhead art that is increasingly growing. Some of them are dead stock or vintage in nature and considered collectibles. Owning such artwork will enable you to be involved in some financial profit. Before investing in this artwork, you will grab proper details about it so that you don’t face any difficulty when purchasing any of the artwork. 

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