Volume 12, Number 4, November 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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Airbrushing Makeup for Halloween

By Wes Hawkins

A belated trick or treat! Welcome to my newest article here at Airbrushtalk!  This time around, I’ll be airbrushing a bat prosthetic for my Halloween party.  Let’s begin, shall we?

The fun thing about projects of this genre is there’s not a wrong or right way to do them.  It’s what you want it to be.  Pretty much any color scheme would have worked.  I chose earth tones with a final highlight of gray.


Here’s the base.  You can already see the potential for highlights and shadows.  I’ll be taking full advantage of these!  To begin I bought some “airbrushable” makeup used my faithful Iwata HP-CS and about 20 PSI and sprayed a dark brown on the entire surface and followed up with tracing the low spots on the prosthetic with black to deepen the shadows.  Further, I also traced the lines that make up the scales along the cheeks and forehead.


Next, I went back with the base color and misted it over the surface again to help blend the shadows and make them not as harsh as they were.  Second, I misted the shadow color over the surface very subtly to further blend the colors.  I had to be careful here as to not overdo or “underdo” it.  The good thing here is you can always start over if you make a major mistake.


Here you can see how the piece is coming together.  I’ve darkened in the shadows and I’ve put one highlight shade on.  This is a good time to take a break and think about what I want the final piece to look like.  I usually take a look at the colors I’ve selected one more time and add or remove based on my idea and go from there.  Don’t be surprised if your decision of colors changes entirely.


I went in with a light gray and colored all the final highlights of the prosthetic.  It’s hard to see the base coat for the most part, which is actually how I wanted the piece to look.  The base coat in many projects is not so much for a final color as it is meant to set the mood for the whole piece, so to speak.


So, here I am in costume!  From start to finish, this project took about two hours.  You can see that airbrushing is so much more effective and realistic than using cream makeup and your fingers.  Try it next year!  Thanks for reading!!

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Re-Deco-Rating - Bringing Art Deco Style to Your Storefront

by Thomas Adams, Rebel Kustoms

At the end of the Great Depression an artistic style arose in the West.  This style touted the hopeful nature of the American dream. The Art Deco style integrated simple and elegant elements of industrial progress meshed with traditional Victorian style.  This style prevailed until the 1940’s, when WWII came into full swing, and the country turned its focus to the war effort. 

Going into the annals of history as one of the most clean and expressive styles, the Art Deco style has always made for great advertising illustration.  This style is a perfect match to punctuate the new Fashion Attic Boutique in Columbia, IL.

To begin our journey, we start with a blank canvas, as usual. A store bought canvas will work as well as any; these canvases are usually cheap and readily available.


Fig. 1 — A blank canvas always spells opportunity for an artist.

The first step to creating an Art Deco masterpiece is a creative color. This project called for a period-correct color, chosen by the client. A washed-out rose color was picked for the background to accentuate the focus of our portrait.  Next we must apply this lovely color to our canvas, and to do this I used a foam mini-roller.  Make sure that you roll over the paint several times as it dries to eliminate any striping that might occur.  Once the base is dry it is time to have some fun!


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If you are an airbrusher, you are no stranger to masking. Most, if not all, airbrushing involves some amount of masking.  This canvas picture will be a little bit of masking and a whole lot of fun.  We first must begin by putting a sheet of adhesive-backed masking paper over the top of our newly colored canvas.


Fig. 2 — Mask off the canvas with traceable masking paper.

This next step in our Deco experiment is a little bit of freehand artwork.  This composition is built around fashion. The company is an elegant consignment shop, so we want this to be a clean design that showcases the chic style of the space. To accomplish this, I chose a very simple design involving a skirt, a leg and a shoe.  So the sketching is easily done with a bit of charcoal on top of our trace paper.


Fig. 3. — A rough sketch of our subject is drawn onto the trace paper.

Once our sketching is complete, you can use a brand new razorblade to slice through the paper, but be very careful not to cut the cotton duck of the canvas.  Once this is done remove the area to be sprayed. When the area is removed, use an opaque tan color to spray in the definition of the leg. On a side note, in this project it is possible to use the background color as the basis for a skin tone, and use a transparent color to highlight and lowlight the shaded areas. For this project I used the Iwata HP Plus. This brush works great for all aspects of a project like this. From a large fill-in to fine detail, the Iwata HP Plus is flexible enough to tackle anything.  Obviously, this airbrush is great for creating textures and skin tones. 


Fig. 4. — Make sure your skin tones are nice and even!

Next on the agenda is the shoe on our Art Deco leg. Our shoe is classic black, which we will fill in now and go back and highlight later.  To do this we must first start by cutting out the shoe from our mask.   Next, back mask the leg so none of the black overspray trails onto the skin tone.  Once the shoe is black we will leave it alone to be highlighted later.


Fig. 5 — Color the high heel jet black for that chic look.

The leg and shoe are looking pretty good, but we better get some clothes on our model before we get in trouble. A red dress should do great for our fair lady, so we will get to work masking it off. For the dress I thought a hot fuchsia would do the trick.  This color will bring out the pizzazz of the period, but retain the elegance of our portrait.  Once masked off, the painting is pretty straightforward from there.


Fig. 6 — This dress is nice, but it needs some definition.

In this next step we will use one of the amazing airbrush tricks that our Iwata HP plus has up its sleeve. The HP can dial out its spray pattern to a precise trigger set. This will allow us to easily make the pleats in our pink skirt.  Using this mechanism we can pass over the low lying areas in the skirt to give it a three-dimensional look. Keep your air pressure around 40 psi for best results.


Fig. 7 — The set screw at the back of the handle on the HP Plus gives us the ability to make the perfect pleats in this skirt.

Now that the composition of our painting is done it is time to add the period style lettering to finish it off.  For this I carefully chose and placed a font on the painting.  This will bring out the Deco style and serve our advertising purpose.  The lettering is done to exaction by using my plotter to cut a stencil of the words, but as always you can substitute this by tracing the words onto the transfer paper and cutting them out as we did earlier. Once our letters are cut and taped they are filled in black.  The lettering (once dry) needs to be accentuated. Art Deco was all about geometry and clean, shiny illustration, so because of this I chose to give the lettering a reflective look.


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A shining reflective illusion is easy to achieve, especially with an airbrush. To do this you simply mask some parallel lines diagonally across the lettering while it is still masked off. As far as color goes, it is smart to use a thinned out pearl white with a very tiny hint of blue in it.


Fig. 8 — Keep a light and steady hand on the highlights for the lettering.

Once the highlights are done it is time to unwrap the mask on this Deco creation and see what we have come up with. This masterpiece looks like it could pass with the ads of its time, which is what we are hoping for. Nothing is out of your reach if you just pick up your airbrush and spray. Until next time, keep paintin’!



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Crazy Clock!

By Janean Thompson

Time is a measure of our lives.  We often are driven by the clock hands as if they are pushing—or dragging—us along.  But time can also be a good thing.  If time passes fast, we advance towards our goals or dreams just that much faster.  If it drags, we may be lethargic or melancholy.

But what if every time you look to see what time it is you see something really cool, perhaps funny and wild, so keeping watch on the passage of time is fun, not folly.  That is what this issue will address:  Creating a clock that is fun to watch, keeps your spirits high and perhaps even makes you grin every time you see it.

Materials needed to create your one-of-a-kind clock include:  Your choice of airbrush and air source ( I will use the Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500 single action and my Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet air supply – quiet and capable); a clock movement; some sort of apparatus to make the clock face; numbers or something to represent them; topical decorations (wire, tacks, nails, jewels, charms, collected goodies…pretty much anything you want) and, of course, the acrylic airbrush colors to bring the project together.  If you are working with a wood face, you might need sand paper.  (Photo 1)


Photo 1: Materials: Wood scrap with drilled hole, wire, tacks, nails and clock movement.

Start by preparing the body of the clock.  The item I chose for my clock face is a scrap of wood.  I selected this because I want to use tacks and studs along with wire to add interest and texture to the surface.  You could use almost any shape or type of item as long as you can drill a hole through it to facilitate the clock shank.  Note:  Clock movements come in a variety of different styles and with different lengths of shanks.  Watch what you purchase and make sure it fits the depth of your clock base material. 

I drilled a hole for the shank of the clock movement and then sanded the wood scrap to get a nice, smooth finish that will accept a smooth application of color.  Once sanded, the colors are applied.  (I used a clear white as the base coat.)  At least two coats are best on sanded wood because it is so absorbent.


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Once the colors are dry, begin your surface decoration.  After the colors are airbrushed, I did just a bit of brush work. (Photo 2) I love wacky stuff, so nails, tacks and wire will be added to create a fun as well as useful item.  With a bit of imagination you could make a series of unique and entertaining clocks to give as gifts.  Everyone has a place for such a neat décor item.


Photo 2: Embellishment of the clock (with brush work, wire, tacks and nails) is begun after colors are applied.

With some tacks and wire I create a pattern on and around the clock face.  I want it to be eye-catching as well as useful, so more is better with the surface decoration.  Using different sizes of tacks and different wires, a wild, abstract look is accomplished—just what I was thinking of.  Some of the tacks/nails are painted for added color.  Different colors of wire and different twists add additional interest and fun.  The last thing was to attach the clock work.

 Other ideas might include the use of photos, perhaps matted and arranged collage style around the hands of the clock;  irregular shapes of wood, stone, metal scrap…joined together to form an interesting pattern; and found objects such as old metal farm implements, old cookware, dishes and glass pieces.  The idea is to use different and interesting materials.  It is less important to have numbers on the face of an “arty” clock.  Honestly, recipients of deco clocks believe the fact that it can tell time is secondary to its dynamic look. (Photo 3)


Photo 3: Finished and ready to hang on the wall or wrap to give as a gift.

Create several with the idea that one will be yours and others will be given as gifts.  It is almost certainly guaranteed that the recipient will find your creative clock amazing.  There are so many directions this project could go.  And what fun!


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Airbrush Workshop Opportunity

Basic Airbrush Techniques
—Beacon, NY
6-Hour Hands-On Workshop
NEW Date:
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Robert Paschal
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, now offered on Nov. 13 and Dec. 4!  Take your choice!  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. This class would make a great holiday gift!

For information, visit or call 845.831.1043

—Tampa, FL
New Dates:  Feb. 4, 5 or 6, 2011
Robert Paschal

For details, go to

GENERAL INFORMATION/Registration: Please contact Traci Torres at 813-989-0302 OR email Traci directly at

TECHNICAL INFORMATION: Please email Robert Paschal: or call ARTtalk at 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 January 2011!