Volume 10, Number 1, May 2008

Published six times a year by The Paschal Group, Inc.
Publisher: Robert Paschal
Editor: Jeanne Paschal
Also see — The Newsletter for Visual Artists

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Iwata Airbrushes
The professional Iwata Airbrush line is imported and manufactured exclusively by Medea Airbrush Products, along with commercial spray guns, Medea Textile Colours and Com-Art Airbrush Colours.

Crafting Botanical Imprints

By Janean S. Thompson
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

With spring comes a flourish of growth within the plant kingdom that offers inventive crafts enthusiasts countless patterns and shapes to incorporate into their creations. Leaves of common plants offer patterns that can become dramatic and appealing wall art or decorations for many design applications. A leisurely walk through your own yard or local park can yield dozens of shapes and design patterns that can be used to create all sorts of fine art or craft images. In partnership with your airbrush and a few paint colors you can create a library of hand-crafted botanical style images or have fun making gifts and household decorations that are personalized and unique.

The real beauty of leaf pattern studies is that each leaf or stem has the potential to give you both positive and negative patterning. My favorites include the stems of plants where leaves are attached in interesting or unusual ways or where the leaves or buds along the stem are unified and repetitive. Although that may seem difficult to locate, nearly every plant has potential. It is mainly the fact that you will select the stems or leaves you like and use them in a project.

Gather your supplies and get ready to have some fun. My selection of materials will yield some art prints to be framed and put on the wall, but you could select others, such as t-shirts, totes, jackets, floral containers, table linens, etc. You will, of course, need your airbrush (I continue to use my Revolution CR Airbrush because colors are so easy and quick to change); an air supply (my trusted little, quiet Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet Air Compressor is perfect); acrylic airbrush paints in a selection of colors; papers for practice and for final application; calipers or other positioning tool; paper toweling; an old magazine; and miscellaneous cleanup supplies.


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There is one limitation to this exercise. You must gather the leaves and stems immediately prior to starting your work. The leaves must be fresh and soft but not wilted. I often gather with a small jar of water in hand in an effort to keep the stems as fresh as possible. (Photo 1) Once I have 3 or 4 stems, I head back to experiment with the shapes and patterns to see what I can create with them.

Photo 1: A collection of stems in a jar.

Photo 2: Cedar stems look plain but can yield impressive images. So can many other plants.

I have found that it is often the least likely looking material that yields the most dramatic results. Cedar, a dry climate tree with wispy leaves, is one that comes to mind. (Photo 2) It seems very unlikely, but the resulting patterns are dramatic. All ferns and most shrubs work very well. Leaves that can be flattened against the paper are the one thing that is necessary for the best images. If the stem has spiraling leaves, remove some so that the stem will lie flat. That way there will be more clarity in your design.

Photo 3: Use chopsticks (or calipers) to hold the leaf in position. Photo 4: Positive and negative prints of the same leaf stem.

Position the leaves or stem, again, as close to flat as possible. Use calipers or another tool to hold the stem in place. Use very light sweeps of color over the shape, building a variety of tone changes. (Photo 3) Use one color or a mixture of tones to create the exact look you want. Now comes a bonus! After the first “negative” print is completed and while the paint on the leaves is still wet, carefully lift the stem away from the paper. Immediately and carefully set it against another sheet, paint side down. Gently set a paper towel over the leaf, cover the towel with a magazine or other flat object and press gently. Remove the covering and the stem to reveal a “positive” print of the leaf patterns--two prints from one item. (Photo 4)

There are hundreds of options here…you can even overlap and create multiple images on one sheet. You could do same color collections of a variety of stems. The list is endless. Try it for an afternoon of creativity and capture forever some of nature’s beauty.


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Geometric Design Nosferatu Bust

By Wes Hawkins
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

Greetings, all! Recently I obtained a nice little scale resin bust of the vampire creature from the silent film Nosferatu. Being that the film is black and white, this afforded me the opportunity to use my imagination on what I thought the character might look like. This is one of the most fun projects one can have with an airbrush.

For this project I selected the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush. The HP-CS is a gravity feed internal mix brush, which is just what I need. I spray at a very low pressure and stay in the 5 – 10 psi range, which is too low for a siphon feed brush to properly draw the paint into the brush. More often than not I spray very small amounts of paint, which a gravity feed brush is more suited for.

I began as usual with a coating of automotive grey primer to the white resin bust to give the following paint a surface to adhere to. I also noticed that the gray color helped bring out the highlights and shadows, which would aid me in coloring in those areas later on.

Next I added a light coating of Freak Flex Nosferatu flesh, which in turn lightened up the shadows that the grey primer brought out. A beginner would need to refer back to the picture, but with experience comes the skill of naturally knowing where the shadows will fall; still, I referred back to the picture. If one has a resource there’s no harm in using it.


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I lightened up the flesh with a little gray and noodled this onto the flesh surfaces to give the skin some depth. This is one of the small techniques that can be applied that will improve a project by leaps and bounds, yet is very simple to do. Please feel free to email me if you would like me to explain this in detail.

Now, I began the process of adding shadows. In the pic below, I have shadowed one half of the face to better illustrate the differences that can be achieved with just one or two subtle changes. Adding the shadows is imperative to giving this piece realism. This bust is a wonderful piece to practice on as the character can be shadowed to ones hearts’ content and still look right. This would be harder to achieve with a non-fantasy subject.

Now, here is the final result of adding shadows to the entire piece. I completed the eyes and mouth by hand with a brush. One might also notice that I added a gloss coat to the eyes and teeth for final realism.

I hope you enjoyed this article! If you would like information on Iwata airbrushes or Geometric Design models, please click the links in this article. Thanks!


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Color Blended Toenails Using an Airbrush

By Laura Glass
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

Using an airbrush to paint toenails is quite easy. So if you like painted toenails why not give it a shot? One of my favorite looks is to use an airbrush to apply a simple two-color blend. It’s a unique look that can be elegant or outrageous. The color choice will determine whether the look is conservative or bolder.

I suggest using a water-base paint formulated for airbrush use on nails. I exclusively use Medea brand Airbrush Nail Colors. They offer a multitude of choices, are thin and super-fast-drying. The color is sealed between hand-painted enamel or lacquer base coating and top coatings formulated for fingernails.

My favorite airbrush for nails is the Iwata Hi-Line BH. The micro air control valve on the Hi-Line Series brushes is really great for tiny, close-in work. There are several other models which work well also. Stick to a gravity-feed airbrush and a psi of 20-25 for best results.


1.  Begin with the manufacturer recommended base coat on ultra-clean nails. Wrap the edges of the nails with the base coat, as the nail paint needs this to adhere to.
2.  Blend colors vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or around the edges of the nails to create different design looks. Two colors are usually enough, but you can add more if there is room to do so.
3.  Spray varnish lightly over the painted surface. Varnish is a clear, protective product. It protects fragile paint from brush strokes during topcoat application and adds longevity to the wear.
4.  Apply 2 coats of topcoat and apply extra coats at home (about every other day) for lasting shine and extended wear. Manufacturer recommended top coats are best; however, you can find other top coats that may also work well. Avoid speed-drying topcoats as they cause the paint to crackle. High quality top coats are a must for longevity, so skip the bargain top coat if you want the color to last.
5.  Fan dry 3-5 minutes and then rinse feet with warm water to remove paint overspray. I use Medea brand Airbrush cleaning solvent in a pump spray bottle to make cleanup a breeze. Spray this over top-coated nails and then rinse. Another option is to remove overspray with some cleaning solvent on a cotton swab.

The challenge for nail polish wearers has always been to keep the paint on the nails as long as possible. I compared the longevity of airbrush color to that of traditional enamel using many brands. In my testing I found that airbrushed color lasts just as long as enamel when properly applied. Its staying power is, in large part, due to meticulous base coating and top coating technique and also by making sure that the nails are clean and free of oils prior to painting. In many cases the airbrushed color lasted longer.


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All airbrush colours are not the same. Com-Art is considered to be one of the finest and most versatile professional airbrush colours in the world. Because of a common hydro-carbon base binder, Com-Art transparent and opaque colours can be used together without bleeding between colours. This non-toxic, ready to use paint is specifically formulated for use with an airbrush and never needs to be filtered or strained. Com-Art colours are heavily pigmented and light fast, allowing for accurate 4 colour separations. They provide superior atomization, smooth spraying, and they dry instantly.

New Products for Airbrushers

New Packaging for Iwata Master Hobby Airbrush Sets

Iwata-Medea Inc., Portland Oregon, is pleased to announce the newly upgraded Iwata Master Hobby Sets. The new Master Hobby Sets feature upgraded packaging and a larger (14 oz.) can of Air-Blast propellant. Each new hobby set will still include the versatile Iwata Revolution CR, BCR or SAR Airbrush, along with other components that will help any hobbyist airbrush like a professional: a 14 oz. can of Medea Air-Blast for longer spraying time, Medea Airbrush Cleaner, Air-Blast Adapter and 10 ft. Iwata Air Hose.

The new Iwata Master Hobby Sets also feature an upgraded durable plastic carrying case—a sure way to protect your Iwata Airbrush and accessories.

The newly packaged Iwata Master Hobby Sets are now available at your favorite Iwata-Medea-Artool supplier. For a complete listing of the Iwata-Medea-Artool catalog on the Web, go to E-mail:

New Artool True Fire 2 “2nd Degree Burn” Templates by Mike Lavallee

Artool Products Co., Inc., Portland, Oregon, is thrilled to announce the release and availability of the next generation of Artool True Fire Templates: “2nd Degree Burn” by Mike Lavallee. True Fire 2, “2nd Degree Burn,” is sold as a set (FH TF2) and contains 21 new positive/negative breakaway shapes from the 3 new master True Fire 2 configurations: “Pyro, Fireball & Blaze.” Ever since the release of Mike’s original Artool True Fire Set nearly 3 years ago--and Mike’s many appearances on television programs like “Monster Garage,” “Rides,” “Overhaulin’” and others--the kustom automotive painting world has never been the same. Thanks to Mike Lavallee’s revolutionary concepts and his incredible talent and skill as an artist, the way we all look at flame jobs nowadays is off the charts!

“Take something insanely HOT, and make it even HOTTER!!!
—Mike Lavallee

The new Artool Freehand Airbrush True Fire 2 “2nd Degree Burn” Template Set by Mike Lavallee is now available at your favorite Iwata-Medea-Artool supplier.

For a complete listing of the Iwata-Medea-Artool catalog on the Web, go to E-mail: features informative articles on Watercolor paints, brushes, paper, techniques, tips and products.

Airbrush Workshops

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn basic airbrush techniques with instructor Robert Paschal! Learn a new skill that will increase your income potential. Knowing basic airbrush technique will allow you to apply the technique to painting or enhancing decorative murals, nails/makeup, cakes and pastries, automotive/motorcycle design, temporary tattoos, artwork, crafts, and much more. The use of all equipment/supplies is included, and seats are limited.

Basic Airbrush Techniques

6-Hour Hands-On Workshop

Choose from two locations:
Beacon, NY – Saturday, August 16
(Approx. 65 miles north of N.Y.C. – On the Metro North Line)

Milwaukee, WI - Saturday, November 8, or Sunday, November 9

For more information, visit or call 845.831.1043.


...the link between you, the visual artist, and the manufacturer of art materials.
ARTtalk is a monthly eight-page newsletter available FREE-OF-CHARGE from Participating Art Material Retailers in the U.S., Canada and Bermuda. Each month you'll find informative articles that deal with a variety of subjects such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, arts and crafts, and more. These explain various techniques—how to work and paint with watercolor, oils, or acrylics; use pastels or pen and ink, airbrush, and more. You'll find information on art history, current events and art world news, as well as an occasional "Kids' Korner." Subjects vary and change each month.





Look for your next issue of AirbrushTalk in July 2008!