Volume 11, Number 6, March 2010

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.

Master Knight

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

“Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things!”—wise words by Master Yoda.  I hope to give you a little of both as I bring to you “Master Knight,” sculpted by Chris Elizardo and available from G-Force models!


To begin, I initially used an Iwata HP-CS airbrush, which is my usual brush of choice.  I quickly learned that the small size of this figure required that I use the best airbrush I own: an Iwata Custom Micron C Plus.  I used the Micro Air Control (MAC) Valve to further drop the pressure to around 2 PSI.  I primed the figure in white and sprayed the exposed flesh with a lime green color and followed with a rust colored paint to fill in the shadows.  The paint was thinned down to a ratio of around 10 parts to 1 part thinner.  The Micron made this easy.  I wouldn’t expect any other brush to handle work of this scale.


Here you can see the subtle shadowing along Yoda’s forehead.


The MAC valve was turned up at this point   I used a dark brown for the inner robe and a light tan on the outer robe.  Even though the valve was turned up to full blast, the trigger is made with such precision that it is easy to spray thinner and thinner lines. This eliminated the need to mask the figure for the most part, but a minimal amount of overspray was left on the inner robe. However, this will be eliminated in the next few steps.


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I used a clear acrylic rod to make the lightsaber blade and sprayed it with a clear green color.  Again, the airbrush made this an easy task. Using a paint brush would have left brush strokes and made the blade unrealistic.


Now the rust was used to shadow the outer robe and Yoda’s claws.  I darkened the rust with a black and again turned the MAC valve down to a minimal setting and sprayed the inner robe.

A good friend offered me this valuable advice: “If you see color when you finish your first pass with your airbrush, you’re doing it wrong.”  The Iwata Custom Micron C Plus makes this easy to accomplish.  It is without a doubt worth every dollar and the best engineered and manufactured airbrush on the market.  I seriously doubt I could have painted this figure without it.


I hope you enjoyed this article. I certainly enjoyed this project!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me here.  Until next issue!


Garden Planter

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

At this time of year, after being held captive by snow, rain and generally unpleasant weather in winter, it is such a joy to contemplate the coming of spring.  When weather is no hindrance to the outdoors, gardening becomes one of America’s favorite activities.  Whether you have a huge garden/gardens or a single window sill planter or patio container, you can decorate that container to make it reflect your personality.

The planter you select to do this airbrush project should be made of a material compatible with acrylic airbrush paint.  I will be using a garage sale wooden container, into which I plan to put a grouping of small flowering plants. The other materials needed include an airbrush; an air source; the acrylic airbrush colors you will be using; stencils or other items to create designs; sealer, if desired; miscellaneous cleanup towels, etc.


Photo 1:  After sanding, the recycled planter is ready for painting.

If you are using, as am I, a recycled container (or one that has been out in the garden) be sure to clean it well.  (Photo 1)  Dirt and/or dust will inhibit the adhesion of the color to the surface.  Cleaning can be as simple as a soft rag wipe-down.  But, if needed, use a damp cloth or sandpaper to clean the container well.  Allow it to dry before attempting to paint the surface.

Whether subtle or bright, the colors you use can be selected to coordinate with other items in the garden.  Or perhaps you want to use color as a theme as in the case of the “Red Garden,” where both plants and containers have some red coloration.  An “Evening Garden” has very light colors, so soft evening and night-time light can be reflected from the plants/containers.  If your garden is shared by children, crayon colors are always noticed by your small helpers and create excitement about learning and doing.


Photo 2:  A base color is applied to the planter in preparation for more color/texture. Photo 3:  Add more color around the perimeter for increased interest.  Choose the color combination you like. Photo 4:  Implied texture makes the item personalized.

To begin the project, after dusting, I applied a background color (Photo 2).  Two light coats were applied to insure even coverage.  After those had dried, I added some edge tone in a slightly contrasting color (Photo 3).  Once this coat was dry, I selected a stencil-like material to create some texture on the surface.  An old plastic doily gave me just the look I wanted—not a specific pattern but an overall design.  Some of this design overlapped the edge coloration slightly so the finished look was more “antique” (Photo 4).  I did consider rubbing the completed surface with some garden soil to age the look, but for now I like the crisp, flashy look provided by the colors and implied texture.  Besides, in a few months the aging will happen naturally.


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The small container I selected will adorn a patio table and will be somewhat protected from the elements.  The area is covered and is on the side least affected by wind.  If you create a planter that will be exposed to the elements, it is a good idea to consider a top coat of sealer after the decoration is completed.


Photo 5:  Ready for display, your container is a garden stand-out.

Once the container is ready, all that is needed is to select the perfect plants and you are ready to go (Photo 5).  It is advisable that you line the inside of wooden vessels with heavy duty plastic to control excess moisture and prevent premature decay of the container.  In windy climates, lining helps hold moisture within the root zone. 

As an avid gardener, I am always looking for containers or planters that offer interest.  Hand-made wooden vessels, old buckets or tubs, wicker or straw containers (short-lived but really cool) and a myriad of others can be decorated with your airbrush to create a personal, interesting item.  So be on the lookout for items that are unique and add your own flair to them.

Over The Sea - Creating Night Illusions in Black and White

By Thomas Adams – Rebel Kustoms
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

Welcome back all! We are going to be doing very easy, very free-form airbrushing while making a calm portrait of the sea.  This project is a great way to work out your freehand skills while still doing some light masking and little tricks. It is important to become dually versed in both the freehand and technical sides of airbrushing when first learning. For example, it is great if you love doing freehand T-shirts, but it would benefit any freehand artist to also do some photorealistic illustration-type works, too. This concept works both ways as some technical painters should also practice their free handing skills, as well.  The crossover in these skills is encountered every day in airbrush work to overcome design obstacles and solve important artistic problems. So, that being said, let’s get started.

To begin this I grabbed a pre-primed canvas and shot it all black with my Iwata G-5. This little spray gun works great for larger fill work. Sometimes blanket coating a whole canvas with an airbrush can leave it with some unwanted streaks and blotch marks. The G-5 gives a solid even coat like a large fan spray gun, but it is more compact and easier to clean up. I would definitely recommend putting one in your airbrush box. 

After the canvas has been prepped I start by doing some free masking. This means I am going to grab a sheet of trace paper and tear a long uneven edge to give the illusion of waves in the sea.  Gently lay this free mask against your canvas and give it a light dusting of pearl white just to get the outline.


Fig. 1: Lay the ripped stencil on the canvas to create a jagged effect.

It is important to note here that all the pearl white we are going to use will act as highlights to build this picture, so build this color in very light transparent coats. I chose a pearlescent white because it builds very gradually due to the pigment being heavier, and it also has a metallic quality that will add depth to this monochromatic piece. Laying down thicker opaque coats will make things stand out too much and kill the illusion.  Once the waterline has been lightly defined you can take this same torn-up sheet and turn it several different ways to create other waves within the sea.


Fig. 2: Vary the position of the stencil to create waves.

Once that has been done, go back in with some white and accent the higher spots within the sea to bring out the crests of the waves. Do not be afraid to let this pearl white travel a bit. Doing this will leave a nice mist over the waves and give it a more calm and mysterious feel.


Fig. 3: Do some free handing to give the waves shape.

Next it is time to illuminate the sky with a delicate half-moon.  The trick to achieving this is a perfect circle stencil made out of contact paper or just plain paper taped in place. 


Fig. 4: Affix the circle stencil to the canvas and back mask to protect the surrounding areas.

Once this stencil is fixed in place, take the pearl white and spray a very fine mist around the lower hemisphere of the moon.  Now instead of filling in the lower half of the moon with white, use a light, random technique to give the lower moon surface a texture like craters.


Fig. 5: Use a random pattern to accent the moon’s rough surface.

Make sure to stay very light handed. I am using my Iwata HP-C with the crown cap removed, giving the brush a finer “detail” spray quality. With that step finished and the stencil removed, you may want to put in some light shadowed stars before you clean the white from the brush. Later I will expose a nice trick for putting the twinkles into these little bursts.


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With the highlights of the composition out of the way, it is time to switch to black to fix any of the areas that got too blurry while using white.


Fig. 6: Return to black to clarify the deep low lights.

You may have to go back and forth between colors, building some highlights and then knocking them down before you are happy. I used the Iwata HP-C once again with the needle removed to deepen some craters in the moon and correct some overspray in the sky. After this, use the white again to hit the very brightest spots on the sea and the highest plateaus in the moon area.

Before washing out the white for the final time we will put the twinkle inside the star shadows to finish off the piece. To do this we will use an old body shop technique for touching up nicks in cars.  Take a toothpick with a sharp end on it and pounce it to flatten the end slightly. This should give you fine dot to pounce out the stars with. This works better than a brush in making the dots more round.  Dip the toothpick in the airbrush cup and test it on a sheet of paper; then using different pressures, you can get fine or large stars.


Fig. 7: Use a blunt-ended toothpick to dot in some stars.

Repeat this to fill up some space and over the shadowy dots you made earlier to give the illusion of glowing stars.

Then sit back and enjoy the view.

Till next time, keep on paintin’.


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New Airbrush Products

New Artool Spider Master Freehand Airbrush Templates by Craig Fraser

Artool is pleased to announce availability of the new horrifying Spider Master Freehand Airbrush Templates by Craig Fraser.  Why spider stencils?  Why not??  People have been frightened and fascinated by spiders for as long as there have been people!  Spider Master is a simple three-stencil offering:  SPIDERZ, ARACHNOHOBIA and WIDOW MAKER; and they are available by the set, too.  The Spider Master Mini Series is sold as a set only.  These venomous babies give you all the tools you will need to create your own favorite phobic designs.

“Take your childhood terrors and phobias and turn them into fun and profit!”—Craig Fraser

The new Artool Spider Master Freehand Airbrush Templates by Craig Fraser are now available at your favorite Iwata-Medea-Artool supplier.  For a complete listing of their catalog on the Web, go to  E-mail:


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Airbrush Workshop Opportunity

Basic Airbrush Techniques
6-Hour Hands-On Workshop
DATE:  Saturday, May 1, 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.


Look for your next issue of AirbrushTalk in May 2010!