Volume 11, Number 4, November 2009
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Airbrushing Jello Halloween Treats
By Wes Hawkins
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At this time of year, most of us do more entertaining and have guests in our home on numerous occasions. If you are anything like me, some small decor change is always wanted to spruce up the look of the dining room or kitchen area. This year I have two areas that will get a holiday look. Dining chairs with white fabric seats will be stenciled with a holiday pattern and a runner for the kitchen service area will tie the two serving areas together. You could create coordinated place mats, chair back covers, tablecloth and napkins – all stenciled with the same design. It is an easy and fast way to make a quick change that has real impact.
Materials needed include: Your airbrush and air supply - I use the Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500 and my Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet, both of which offer carefree and quiet workmanship. The airbrush acrylic colors I selected are the old fashioned standbys of Christmas red and green. The stencil will be made in a holly design and I will create that cutout design from heavy folder material. The stencil could be created from self-adhering stencil material if you are doing just one item, but since I will be using the design on several items, I chose a material that can be recycled. You will also need a stencil cutting knife and the fabric swatch or item you want to decorate. For this project, chair cushions will be re-covered with the decorated fabric; napkins could be store bought, and the runner could also be a simple straight runner to which you add a design.
To begin, I cut the stencil. My design will be a contemporary holly berry and leaf shape. I will cut the berries from a separate stencil so that some repositioning can be done on the chair pads for interest. The stencil material is first sketched with a design. (Photo 1) It is then cut with a snap-blade knife with a renewable blade. This simple cutter is great because, when dull, you simply snap the tip off and a fresh, sharp surface is ready to go.
Photo 2: Flipping the stencil gives you two looks for variety and interest.
|Photo 3: Back side is a mirror image.|
Once the design is cut, you are ready to start application of color. Placement of the leaf design is most critical since it is the largest shape. Position the leaf stencil on the fabric swatch (or other item) and apply the green color. Remember that once the design has been airbrushed, you can dry the stencil, flip it over and get another design from the back side. (Photo 2 and 3) This is nice when you are attempting to keep the theme and shapes similar but want a variety of looks—a very simple idea that adds a lot to the finished project.
When the green areas are dry, add the red berry shapes. (Photo 4) You can move these into different positions and make slight changes to the finished look. Again, this helps your painted areas to be more varied. If you want to add some sparkle to the finished piece, you can lightly sprinkle glitter onto the still damp color or add metallic paint definition. Remember, however, that if the piece is laundered, most—if not all—of the glitter will disappear. Here is the finished chair cushion with my new holiday motif. (Photo 5)
Photo 4: Adding the red berry shapes is the final touch to your holiday item.
|Photo 5: Creating unique cushion covers will add more festive appeal to your décor.|
With the completion of the chair seat covers, I will continue the theme on a runner for the food service area. That theme could also be extended to any number of other items to tie the look throughout the entertainment area. Just decide what you want and create a look that is personal, fresh and festive. You will be the talk of the party!
There are many reasons we airbrush--for fun, for relaxation, and even for profit. But as a business owner I am often faced with another reason to paint, a reason I hope every airbrusher is given the chance to paint: charity. I just want to gently urge all of you artists that read this to volunteer your time and services to your community. You may not notice it, but art is everywhere in community service. You can go out and paint a mural with some friends, repaint some lines on a basketball court, or do an art project for your city or town during the upcoming holidays.
This issue’s project is for a great cause. This portrait of McGruff, the crime dog, is on the trunk lid of the Moline Acres Police Department’s new D.A.R.E. car. Moline Acres is a distressed neighborhood in St. Louis, MO. A group of us airbrushers and body workers got together and decided to donate all our services to benefit the D.A.R.E. program. The program directors decided that Moline Acres needed the help and we were on our way.
In this article we are going to focus on how to use a transparent color. You hear a lot about these colors, but no one ever specifies what they are. An opaque color is a color that has a high level of opacity. These colors can cover other colors easily. A transparent color is the opposite. It does not cover solidly, but it does allow the black and white values beneath it to show through, making it very useful in all types of airbrushing. You will have a good grasp of these concepts by the end of this article.
For this project the trunk lid was base coated and then scuffed. The first order of business was to clean the trunk lid and lay out an oval with blue line tape. I masked off this oval and then used a fresh razor blade with extremely light pressure to cut along the middle of the plastic blue tape. This will leave the outside of the trunk masked and the inside of the oval will have a crisp masking line from the tape.
(Fig. 1) Removing the needle cap will make for a more detailed spray pattern.
|(Fig. 2) Using a transparent color helps to build shading.||(Fig. 3) Spraying transparents over black will allow the black to show through.|
Next on the agenda was to lightly sketch the project onto the trunk. I did this very lightly and vaguely; this should be a subjective guide for a freehand project. You don’t want strict details in the sketch because you need to be able to change things on the fly. Once the sketch was done I used an Iwata HP-C with the needle cap taken off to outline the portrait of McGruff. (Fig. 1) Then we started to lay in the color using a transparent beige on the coat. (Fig. 2) Notice that this color will not cover the black shading and details that have already been laid down. That is the purpose of a transparent color. Furthermore, the color gets deeper and more saturated as you build it up. (Fig. 3)
(Fig. 4) The ear illustrates how the transparents build to deeper saturations.
|(Fig 5) Don’t mess with McGruff!|
As we move on to the pooch’s face you can see more clearly how these transparent colors work. I used a root beer color to build up depth and shadow in the face. As you can clearly see, the color gets more prominent in the areas where it has been built up but will still show the shadows behind it. (Fig. 4) Likewise, you can see on the whole face that the areas you stay off with the transparent colors are very light, almost white, but they do have the tint of the color. (Fig. 5) Often what kills the photo realism of a piece is the usage of opaque white to highlight and opaque black to shade. The lights and shadows on a face are not black and white but are varied values of the skin’s color.
(Fig. 6) Continuing with the theme of the car, blue and gold designs were added.
|(Fig. 7) McGruff is ready to beat the streets.|
After some minor touch-ups in the outlining it is time to do a little design work around the inside of the oval. The colors of the police force are gold and blue and this design was chosen to match the theme of the entire car. (Fig. 6) After this the oval is uncovered—time to stand back and take it all in. That’s it for this one and until next time—keep on paintin’. (Fig. 7)
|Reuel's Art Supplies|
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September 3-6, 2009, marked a unique convergence of airbrushing luminaries in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 6th Annual Ultimate Air Affair. They were summoned to the shores of the Great Salt Lake and guided to the fortress of “Kreative Kool” by the siren song of Sherri Candland. Sherri is the host of the Ultimate Air Affair and one very cool customer.
The mission of the airbrushing illuminati was to enlighten the Ultimate Air Affair attendees in the ways of airbrush effects and custom painting techniques over the three days of classes. This “Dirty Dozen” of instructors consisted of some of the most respected airbrush painters in North America. Sharing their knowledge this year were Mike Lavallee, Fonzy, Gerald Mendez, Brian Papa, Ron Gibbs, Pamela Shanteau, Steve Driscoll, Bob Soroka, Jason Doll, Steve Vandemon and the irrepressible Craig Fraser. The wonderfully talented Deborah Mahan was not able to attend the event as an instructor this year, but she was missed and we look forward to seeing her at future Ultimate Air Affairs.
The aforementioned fortress, also known as Automotive Spraying Equipment Technologies (ASET), houses what is possibly the finest airbrushed art gallery in existence and the infamous “Voodoo Lounge,” where the airbrush instructors let their hair down and “paint from their hearts” as they enjoy the fellowship of their peers and the workshop attendees during the three days of classes. This year the instructors airbrushed puzzle pieces in the Voodoo Lounge that will be assembled on the wall in the foyer of ASET.
The “Air Space” gallery at ASET is a cornucopia of airbrushed art that spills out towards the viewer from virtually every angle. Incredible master works airbrushed by past and current Ultimate Air Affair instructors adorn a wide variety of objects including pedal planes, snow boards, guitars and cocktail tables. These items cover the wall space and floor to create a truly “sens-surround” experience.
Of course, the lounge and art gallery are only “sauce for the goose.” The “goose” for this gathering is the information and techniques that are on display in the various classes that take place over the three days of the Ultimate Air Affair. The instructors cover a wide range of painting techniques in their classes and all are experts in their specialties. Students from around the globe have homed in on this event to get the finest custom airbrushing and pinstriping instruction available in the world.
A quick synopsis of each class follows:
After the three days of workshops wound up, everyone stayed an extra day to experience the Ultimate Air Affair Car Show. Many world-class vehicles were on display, competing for trophies and cash prizes.
The 2009 Ultimate Air Affair was a great success and a wonderful experience for all who attended. All of the students earned an I-Car certification for airbrushing and got to see how the finest airbrush artists paint, up close and personal. In addition to the professional instruction, ASET hosted wonderful luncheons on class days and supplied refreshments all day long while classes ran. This first-class event is a must attend function for anyone who desires the finest in airbrush and custom painting instruction.
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Artool Products Co., Inc., Portland, Oregon, is proud to announce the release and availability of the new Artool Splatter FX Freehand Airbrush Templates designed by Gerald Mendez and Artool Bubble FX Freehand Airbrush Templates and Nano Series Freehand Airbrush Templates designed by Dennis Mathewson.
These new Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates 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 www.ArtoolProducts.com.
Iwata-Medea has announced the release of the new AH 250 Airbrush Holder. It holds two airbrushes and features a filter/regulator holder and heavy duty clamp with a wide clamp opening for convenient mounting on thick tables. The AH-250 is easy to assemble, convenient and stable. See your retailer and visit www.iwata-medea.com for their full line of airbrushes, compressors and accessories.
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Basic Airbrush Techniques
6-Hour Hands-On Workshop
DATE: February 20, 2010
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Paschal
PLACE: Beacon, NY
Approx. 65 miles north of N.Y.C. – On the Metro North Line
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 sugar art, automotive/motorcycle design, temporary tattoos, fine arts work, hobbies/crafts, and much more. The use of all equipment/supplies is included, and seats are limited.
For 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.|