Volume 11, Number 2, July 2009

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.

Create a Mobile

By Janean Thompson
(Click on any image for a larger view!)

Balance of design and literal balance are the keys to creating a simple mobile.  With a little practice and some experimentation with shapes and weights you can create a mobile in almost any theme.  I love star shapes and I use them in my décor. They always give me a lift while adding some texture, interest and uniqueness to the room.  I will be designing a mobile of stars, but you could create them in any shapes you want.

Materials needed for this project include: 

—Airbrush (I use my Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500.)
—The air supply I use is the Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet – efficient, small and quiet.
—Star shapes of various materials (wood, twigs, metal, heavy paper, mat board, etc. Be   sure the shapes have holes so that they will be easy to hang.
—Scissors and pliers.
—Carpet thread or nylon fishing line to hang the shapes.
—An armature from which to hang the shapes. (I used sturdy wire.) (Photo 1)


Photo 1:  Materials are easy to find or collect and creating a mobile is lots of fun.

For this project, I will create a simple mobile.  It will have six shapes suspended from two separate armatures.  The armatures will hang from a single length of thread in order to provide the most opportunity for motion with home interior air movement.


Photo 2:  Airbrush the tones you want for each shape in the mobile.

Lay out the shapes in any order you choose.  Decide the colors you want for each shape and proceed to tone them accordingly.  For all my stars I will use blue or red (Photo 2).  I use a soft tonal quality by spraying only the edges so they will shimmer in any light.


Photo 3:  Thread and tie the shapes onto the armature allowing the shapes to “float.”

Once each is toned (front and back), I am ready to thread the shapes onto the armature.  (Photo 3)  Decide the order of attachment.  Use nylon fishing line or heavy thread to tie three stars onto the first piece of armature.  Repeat with the second piece; in this case, using only two stars.  The object is to balance the locations of the stars so that the armature will hang relatively level.  Or if you want a more dramatic look, tie the shapes onto the armature off-balance so that it tips up or down.  To hold the lines in place, once position is determined, add a tiny dab of white glue.  The first armature section is completed (Photo 4) and then the second.


Photo 4:  The first armature is ready for final attachment.

Bind the two armatures together.  Balance is the object – you want the mobile to be pleasing to the eye and yet move with ease in a slight breeze.  It might take a couple of adjustments to achieve this result.  And, in the process, you will learn a lot about that balance I mentioned early on.

Size of the components is an important issue.  Placement along the armature is another.   The point at which the two armatures are joined is a third component in the success of your mobile.  Hanging shapes that are very similar in size or weight will result in a mobile that is easier to construct.  Dissimilar weights make the construction a bit more challenging but isn’t that part of the fun of learning?


Photo 5:  A completed mobile ready to catch a breeze.

Once the mobile is completed, hang it to check the final placement of each shape.  If you are pleased with the look, hang it in its final location.  (Photo 5)  Caution should be exercised when hanging outdoors.  Winds can destroy a mobile by tangling the drops or cause the mobile to fall.  Caution should also be used when hanging a mobile where small children can reach it.  Be safe and hang it high and out of their way.


Artool Products Co.
Art bridges for painting and drawing with soft and wet mediums. Safety non-slip rulers, and cutting mats for use with art and utility knives and rotary cutters. Low-tack film for airbrushing, illustration and fine art. Airbrush templates for illustration and graphics. Body art and finger nail art accessories and paint. Manufacturer of innovative art materials, tools and airbrush accessories for fine art, illustration, T-shirt art, body and finger nail art, sign and automotive art and graphics. Artist Bridges, Cuttingrails, Freehand Airbrush Templates, Friskfilm, Artool Cutting Mats, Body Art and Nail Art supplies.

Going with the Flow to Stay Connected to Your Market

By Donn Shanteau

When you are an artist who desires to support yourself, it is imperative that you understand your target market and its mood.  Find a way to stay informed about the trends in color and subject matter that are popular. A good way to do this is to look online or through any publications that show what is hot in the top galleries and other selling venues. Armed with this knowledge, you can determine whether to “go with the flow” and create pieces that appeal to the trend buyers or choose to march off in another artistic direction. I realize that most artists would prefer to only be influenced by their own muse, but sometimes the bean counter on the opposite shoulder from where the artist sits needs to assert him/herself to keep the cash flowing.

In the present economy (2009), I am noticing that art buyers are still out there. They might be spending less, but they still exist. Tailor your art offerings to the softer market by painting smaller pieces or by concentrating on subject matter that doesn’t take forever to render.  This way you can offer your wares to the buyer at an attractive price.  But don’t get me wrong; I am not saying to “knock out” generic garbage. Remain true to your style and talent. Always endeavor to deliver your best effort, even if it is a “small job.”  What you will see happen over time is that as the economy recovers, the clients that you cultivated with the wonderful “bargain art” will be on tap to purchase your higher priced offerings.

Everyone loves a bargain, especially now.  One method that I use to engage potential buyers is to show some higher priced pieces that are mixed in with more affordable works. Viewers will be wowed with your top work and then appreciate that they can own some of your artwork for less than they thought. Once you have acquired a happy customer, the chances of selling them one of your showpieces increases dramatically.


Dixie Art Supplies since 1935
2612 Jefferson Hwy. • New Orleans, LA 70121
Phone 1-800-783-2612
Order online safe, secure and easy at Dixie Art and Airbrushing

There is a school of thought that says “Any exposure is good.” I generally agree with that statement, but with a provision. Selling artwork in non-conventional venues does get you seen. But are you being seen by the right people? I was never a fan of hanging paintings in restaurants, for example. All of the marketing gurus say to do it when attempting to gain exposure, but I think that it devalues the art piece and de-mystifies the artist. Who is going to pay a fair price for good art in a restaurant? A better option might be to attend some street art fairs to be seen, and attempt to build a client base with some of your more affordable works that are on display. Painting on-site draws a crowd. This provides an opportunity to connect with the onlookers and develop the familiarity and trust that encourage sales.

By tailoring your marketing to appeal to the bargain hunters out there, you can still generate sales to tide you over until the economy frees up. Recognize the spending constraints that are in effect today and resist the urge to buck the trend of downsizing that has engulfed the globe. Don’t swim against the current; go with the flow to stay connected with the temperament of your buyer and you are sure to see positive results.


Reuel's Art Supplies
Reuel's Art Supplies, Drafting Supplies and Picture Frames, Framing supplies and we ship worldwide. All Major Brands of Art Supplies. Art books, Projects, Art Information and Drafting materials for all your artistic needs. Call us toll free at 1-888-355-1713 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Time or shop on-line at

“In The Bush” - Giving Your Shotgun the Camo Advantage

By Thomas Adams
(Click on any image for a larger view!)

Once again airbrushing has found a new market. Although painting guns is nothing new, with the rise in popularity of designer camouflage, many hunters are looking to give their weapons a distinctive look. Sure, professional camo wraps look great, but most are made of vinyl and are of limited pattern choice.  Just like us artists who strive to give everything we have that custom look, so do those who hunt and fish.  One great example of this was seen in the article demonstrating the painting of a fishing lure (AirbrushTalk 11-1, May 2009).  Some commercial artists make a whole job out of selling their own signature looks or producing signature looks for other fishermen.  This is also true with hunters, and this one in particular liked the look of his favorite popular camouflage, but he wanted to adjust it to our native surroundings.


Fig. 1 - The gun is prepped and primed for airbrushing.

To start, the gun is stripped apart and prepped for paint.  The original paint was sanded off and the action assembly and barrel were put in green self-etching primer available at any auto parts store.  (Fig. 1) The “self-etching” refers to a chemical reaction that this primer has with bare metal. This primer promotes adhesion of paint while sealing the bare metal from rust. Once the primer has dried it is also important to clean it with a wax and grease remover or alcohol to further inhibit any dirt or oil from contaminating the surface.


Fig. 2 - An example of this particular camouflage gives an impression of the illusion that needs to be created. Fig. 3 - Our Artool template is blocked out in certain spots to use on this project.

Next on the agenda is to take a look at what the customer has brought for an example and figure out what he likes and what needs to be changed.  This example is on the case of the gun, a popular style of camouflage that is often used for duck hunting. (Fig. 2) It is easy to see why duck hunters prefer this because it mimics brush and bush surroundings. Reeds, grasses and twigs are all part of this pattern, but from what the customer had told me, he wants to focus more on the green background and more tan and brown grasses. For this I chose a Craig Frasier edition freehand template by Artool. (Fig. 3) This one is labeled “fronds,” and it matches the grasses quite strikingly.

To prepare the stencil you can use masking tape to block off certain areas that you want to use for the project.  The Artool templates are great for this; they are laser cut and made of a very tough material that allows you to add and remove tape without worry of stretching or ripping the fine detail.  Once blocked off, the stencil now shows all the designs I need to make my random grass patterns.


Fig. 4 - Light out-of-focus grass is freehanded onto the barrel. Fig. 5 - The grass is broken up so as not to crowd on this very tight surface.

As far as painting goes, I am using my Iwata HP-C, which is the all-around workhorse for this shop. I prefer it because I can vary between fine detail and larger shading, which will come in handy while doing a varied pattern such as this. A project like this is very exciting because it involves little to no masking and a lot of freehand and free-stencil work. I start by lowering the pressure to around 30 psi. This will help keep the air from pushing too hard on the wet paint and spreading it out. Since the surface is hard and extremely curvy, this is absolutely necessary. Once the brush is adjusted to my liking I do some freehand out-of-focus grasses for the background. (Fig. 4-5)  This will give the illusion of depth in the pattern and add to the realism.


Fig. 6 - Once the stencil is used, do not be afraid to work over some part freehand to keep it looking realistic. Fig. 7 - The foreground will be the transparent brown because it mixes well over the top of the opaque tan.

The next order of business is to use that Artool freehand template we chose to rework and reshape the grasses using the same light tan color. This will begin to add a middle ground to the project. (Fig. 6) Quite often with airbrushing we are working in layers and it is important to plan for this ahead of time. Once that is done we will put our foreground in using a transparent root beer color. This transparent color not only lays down its own color but will blend right over other colors, like the tan, and help to highlight or lowlight them, further shaping in the pattern. (Fig 7) As you use all of these colors to airbrush, remember grass and such is a random pattern so do not try to get any uniformity if you want it to look realistic. Make sure to move and turn your stencil often to create this effect.

With all of that finished I decided to lay in a very small amount of transparent black shadows where parts of the piece looked a little empty. Be stingy with a color like black in this project, as too much can weigh down the project and take away from the illusion you are trying to create. All in all in this instance the customer was more than pleased and so was I. The finished product has a very nice evenly flowing camo theme from the tip of the barrel all the way back. (Fig. 8-11)


Fig. 8 -  A good finished product should be random but even. Fig. 9 - Some transparent black was added last to complete the illusion of shadows. Fig. 10 - The point of these two colors was to mimic live and dead or dormant bush life.


Fig. 11 - Put it back together and we are ready to hunt!

Until next time, see you later and keep painting!


Coast Airbrush
Coast Airbrush is a specialty store primarily for everything Airbrush. A massive warehouse full of every airbrush supply imaginable. Our 130 page catalog will make any airbrush artist drool for more. Attracting the worlds most famous Airbrush Artists as their customers. Take an airbrush class from the industries most celebrated artists, or just surf the website and check out new things or take some serious hang time in the Tiki Lounge..

FearScape Studio’s Autopsy Vest

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

One of the best things about the airbrush is the freedom to expand and create your own ideas. In this article, I will demonstrate that concept in detail and illustrate the amazing potential of Iwata’s airbrush line.

I was recently sent a sample autopsy vest from the fine folks at FearScape Studios as a portion of this year’s Halloween costume.  I asked that the vest not be completed so I could embellish on it somewhat. The skin tone I was looking for was a grayish-blue tone to fit more in line with my costume.


Here is the uncompleted vest. Not a bad paint scheme, but not quite what I was after. Please bear in mind that FearScape Studios  did NOT complete painting this vest.

Normally my brush of choice is the Iwata HP-CS, which is ideal for jobs that require smaller amounts of paint. I have never tried painting something this large, so I went with the Iwata HP-BC Plus, as it is equipped with a large siphon fed bottle.


Medea Com-Art Colours
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.

I painted this project one side at a time, so you can see the difference in one step to the next.

In the above pic, I have noodled dark brown to break up the pattern of the stock vest.


Here is the result after a second pass with a darker shade of brown. I wasn’t happy with the first. Besides, the more colors that one uses, the deeper the surface appears to be. This is one of the advantages of the airbrush over other methods of painting.


Here is the result of noodling some light gray over the brown. Now, I’m getting to the level of undead flesh I’m after.


Again, more shades equals more depth. One can see how the idea of not completely covering the previous work serves to give the illusion of depth.


For the back, I used several shades of red in order to make the exposed muscle look nice and raw, plus tans and dark grays for shade and to highlight the exposed ribs and shoulder blade. In this instance I could use the Iwata HP-CS gravity feed brush in order to hit those highlights and shadows. Just remember to take your time and pause every few minutes to step back and check your work.


Here is the final result of several sessions of noodling on the front of the vest, along with a clear coating to make everything look nice and wet. I also sprayed some purple and blue around the incision in order to simulate bruising.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Each and every airbrush in the Iwata line has its place. Never restrain yourself to just siphon or gravity feed brushes. See all that Iwata has to offer. I’m sure you’ll be happy with what you see!

If you would like an autopsy vest of your own, please contact FearScape Studios  via their website. Thanks for reading!


Borden & Riley Paper Co.
Since 1910, Borden & Riley Paper continues to provide top quality paper and value prices for the artist around the world. We carry several unique papers such as our #234 Paris Paper for Pens, #35 Series Sun-Glo Sketch Rolls, and Denril Multi-Media (TM) Vellums. Other fine art papers include Watercolor, Charcoal, Bristol, Tracing, Sign Writer, and more. Celebrating over 90 years is worth trying out the Borden & Riley family of products.

New Airbrush Products

External Mac Valve from Iwata

Iwata-Medea has a new addition to their accessory line, the new External Mac Valve. This fits between all Iwata airbrushes and air hoses and provides infinite control of airflow at the airbrush.

Spray a coarse stippling effect to full atomization with a quick turn.
For fine line or detail work, simply adjust to create optimum air flow for maximum control of paint output.
Fully open the External Mac Valve and quickly clean the airbrush during color changes or for wide background spraying.


Da Vinci Paint Co.
Da Vinci Paint Co.’s product portfolio includes Artist’s Oils, Oil/Alkyds, Watercolors, Gouache, Acrylics, Fabric paints, mediums, varnishes, brushes and palette knives. Da Vinci Paint Co. watercolors are rated among the best in the world and you can rest assured that the same high quality is impressed in manufacturing all their colors, mediums and varnishes. We combine 68 years of experience with modern technology and the use of the finest raw materials available to bring you colors, mediums and varnishes of enduring affordable prices. The proof is in our colors…Try them for yourself.

Airbrush Workshop

Basic Airbrush Techniques
Saturday, August 15, 2009

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
With Robert Paschal
Beacon, NY – Saturday, August 15
Approx. 65 miles north of N.Y.C. – On the Metro North Line
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 September 2009!