Volume 12, Number 1, May 2010
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Perhaps You Should Grow a Beard!
By Wes Hawkins
One of my favorite films is “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and many figures have been produced based on the characters from it. In this article, I’ll be painting one of my favorite pieces based on the scene in which Dracula takes the razor from Harker and licks the blood from the blade.
To begin, I painted the blade with gloss black and then added a few coats of Alclad Chrome. This is simply the BEST paint to achieve a realistic metal appearance. The only drawback is it is extremely thin and prone to runs if one is not careful. I needed an airbrush that would give me complete control over the air flow. To do this, I used an Iwata Custom Micron C+ with its patented Micro Air Control (MAC) Valve. I dropped the pressure down to a minimum and sprayed several light coats on the blade—simple, fast and easy.
Next, I sprayed the face with a light gray/tan color. This will allow me to better follow the skin folds and creases when I add shadows and highlights later.
I began spraying a medium gray over the skin areas and then followed it with a darker gray as a shadow tint. This was sprayed into the creases and folds to add definition. This is most evident in the above pic on the forehead and temple. To complete the skin tone, I went in with flat white and carefully sprayed the highest points of the highlights. One has to be VERY careful here as it is easy to overdo the white, leaving the skin too bright. I was going for a pale appearance, but not too pale.
The base was noodled with several shades of gray and highlighted with white much like the skin tone; however, I was going for a stone effect here. Comparing the base with the skin makes the efficiency and flexibility of airbrushing self-evident. The only difference in colors between the two is one or two darker colors. I made one mistake with white on the base, which is pretty noticeable, but I’ll go back and fix it later. I took the pic anyway to illustrate how easy it is to overdo white highlights.
I sprayed bright red followed by shadows of a darker shade of red. I then oversprayed it with a pearl additive to create the satin robe.
Here is a full pic of the completed bust. You can see in this pic how the pearl additive reflects the light from the flash. It made a difference of night and day over simply leaving the bright red as is.
Here’s a close-up of the face. You can see all the shadows and highlights pretty clearly not only in the face but in the robe also. The Iwata Custom Micron C+ made this project—extremely simple, quick and it allowed me the freedom and ease of using the brush more like a light source than simply a tool to spray colors. Take care with your air pressure using the MAC valve, and with a little patience you’ll see your skills increase from project to project. Try the Micron C+. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
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Using a personally made stencil I put a joker in these areas with a darker version of the metallic lime. Once this was done the outlining was easy. Using the HP-C again, I put some fine outlines around the joker’s face and teeth. Just a little outlining is great to add the depth necessary to make this joker wild. I also dropped a light shadow below the joker to make him seem like he is floating. Throwing in a couple of beady little eyes at the end makes that joker’s look wild and crazy.
With this done, I thought it would be nice to put in a few little dark green accents on the grab bars. These are two plastic pieces that run under the seat. This I did by taping out two little tribal designs with 1/8-inch blue fine-line tape and spraying them with the same dark green color as the joker. To spray these tribal designs I broke out the Iwata G6 detail gun. The G6 gives great coverage for small to medium areas such as this.
Now clean up and send this thing off to the body shop for a clear coat. Well another job well done—as you can see, you got a wild joker and some mysteriously disappearing cards. This bike looks great; too bad it’s not mine. Until next time, keep on paintin’!
This issue’s project will be the creation of a painted stone house number marker to go at the end of the drive. Painting stone is easy and is more weather resistant than you might think. It would look great in any entry garden or by a mailbox. You can select a color of stone that coordinates with your home or jazz it up by making it unusual in color, size or shape. The technique described could also be used to design other painted images on stones…ethnic symbols, animals, abstract designs – you decide.
Materials you will need to gather include: airbrush and air supply (The Iwata Revolution CR Airbrush, along with my Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet air compressor, do the trick for me.); color selections in acrylics; chalk; stencil, either purchased or handmade; a stone for your house number project.
The stone I selected is a three-inch-thick triangle sandstone. I selected it for the color and its nearly flat surface. Begin by cleaning the stone to remove all dust and dirt. If you wash the stone, allow it to dry completely before continuing.
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Once the stone is dry, there is a decision to make. You might want the numbers painted onto the surface of the stone or you might want the stone around the numbers painted. I prefer to see more of the stone color so I opted to make a stencil of the numbers and paint them as a positive image. But, if you like the numbers indicated by a surrounding color, find positive number shapes and airbrush around them. Great sources for large-scale numbers are art supply centers and craft stores.
The rich red/golden brown surface of my stone coordinated with the color I selected for my numbers. (Photo 1) But, you could do your numbers or designs in bright or subtle colors. Remember that you decide every step to this project, so pick what you like. Remember, too, that this method of stone decoration can be used to create art items with almost any image you want to paint on the stone. Selection of a flat or almost flat surface makes the painting a bit easier, but you could select any shape of stone you want as well as any size or color. There is no limit here.
Photo 2: Stencil shapes of any design can be used to decorate stone.
|Photo 3: Chalk positioning lines are drawn.||Photo 4: First number is done and ready to continue.|
The stencil was cut from cardstock, since it will be used on this project only. (Photo 2) Placement of each number of the address, 1001, was decided and chalk lines put where the numbers were to be applied. (Photo 3) This helped insure the number alignment would be correct. With the stencil in position, the first number is painted and then allowed to dry. (Photo 4) Then the others follow on the appropriate chalk lines.
As a finished house number indicator, the stone is useful. (Photo 5) It is also a continual reminder of the usefulness of an airbrush. From craft to home décor projects, from fine art to silly fun, an airbrush is a valuable art tool. Explore the possibilities and see how you might use this stone painting exercise to create new art items. Word art is very popular now. Stencils are available with almost limitless designs so you can select pre-cut stencils or make your own originals.
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Now it’s easier than ever to take your art on the road with Iwata’s new Studio Series Maxx Jet Compressor. Features include a powerful 1/6 hp, oil-less two-pole motor; dual manifold air regulator with airbrush and spray gun holders; 2.5 liter air storage tank and internal cooling fan; 2 braided air hoses for an airbrush and a spray gun; gear storage galore (tray for accessories and front removable drawer); detachable 10-ft. power cord; secure latches for top access and motor access; front legs for stability; a strong protective travel case with wheels; and a retractable handle for portability. (When closed, you can even transport a container, e.g., a plastic milk crate, of small equipment/supplies on top of the case.) The Maxx Jet runs at twice the RPM’s of the Power Jet, powers Iwata’s Eclipse G-3, G-5, G-6 and offers light use with the RG-3. See your retailer for this very cool and unique product and visit www.iwata-medea.com.
Iwata has introduced the new book Basic Airbrush Techniques—A Complete Course, with Robert Paschal. Learn the fundamentals of airbrushing in a foolproof, easy and straightforward method. Covered are the following concepts and more:
Also now available is a new Basic Airbrush Techniques Exercise Kit. Conveniently included in one kit are the necessary materials needed to complete the exercises in Robert’s new book above, sold separately:
See your retailer for the above new products and get started airbrushing! www.iwata-medea.com.
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Basic Airbrush Techniques
6-Hour Hands-On Workshop
DATE: Saturday, August 7, 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 www.arttalk.com/workshop/workshop.htm or call 845.831.1043
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|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.|