Volume 13, Number 3, September 2011

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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Red, White, and Bad — Tear Effects
Honoring Our Soldiers

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

Tear effects have long been a staple in airbrushing and illustration.  The modern day tear effect has been used in conjunction with tons of other techniques to produce some amazing illustrations.  This time around we will be using the tear effect with a patriotic theme to dress up a brand new welding helmet.  So strap on your boots; we are going into battle with a brand new effect.

First and foremost as I have always said, designing and planning your projects is of key importance when trying to achieve a definite illusion.  I myself prefer to keep the object I am going to paint sitting around for a few days.  This gives me time to get a feel for the object and think about ways around the design obstacles I may encounter.  This particular helmet posed a challenge because of some sharp curves and body lines in its form.  Care had to be taken in many areas which I will mention throughout the article. 

To begin, I mapped out my tear effect with a piece of old vinyl.  This masking can also be done with tape or you may use contact paper in lieu of the vinyl.  Tear effects are great because of the random patterns used to produce them.  I use the system of curves and jagged edges to make my effects look more like metal that has been torn.  There are many different ways to design this effect, and if you remember Airbrushing 101, you can simply tear a piece of poster board and airbrush along the edge to get a jagged tear effect.  Once this design has been completed and fitted to the helmet, use a scuff pad to rough the surface that will be painted.  Since this helmet came with an existing digital camo print on it, I was forced to rough only the areas I was going to paint.  With the masking complete and the area roughed, use a primer/sealer to lay down a base for the paint.


Fig. 1.  Our tear effect is primed and ready to go.

Once the priming is completed, it is time to lay down a base coat on the area.  The best gun for this job is the Iwata G6.  It has all of the advantages of a production style spray gun, but it is compact and very precise.  This painting is a multi-layered composition.  When doing effects with many different colors and patterns you must plan well ahead and try to minimize any damage and overspray from back masking and layering.  On this particular helmet we will start with a white base and then move on to the stars, then the stripes and finally the shading and accents. 


Fig. 2.   I use my Iwata G6 for a perfect base coat every time.

Now on to the stars.  The easiest way I found to do the union on the flag was to tape a line across the area where the stars and stripes would divide.  From this line up I masked over the base coat where stripes will be added later.  From this line down I took small ¼-inch star shapes and placed them randomly about the bottom of the helmet.  Once this was done, it was up to the Iwata G6 to spray this small area. 


Fig. 3.   Laying down metallic blue over the stars.

Once the metallic blue has cured, it is time to remove the stars.  Be careful not to lift any paint when removing the stars. If this happens do not freak out; we are airbrush artists and detail is our specialty.  When this is done and all is how you like it, it’s time to back mask over those stars and use the blank areas to make the stripes.  After this, making the stripes is simple.  Use either your choice thickness of tape or cut strips to the desired width and run them vertically on the helmet.  To paint these, once again our small spray gun, the Iwata G6, is the best choice.  The G6 has an unprecedented amount of control, so you don’t put too much material in a small area, which we all know can cause problems.


Fig. 4.   Our stripes are spaced evenly and ready to rock!

Now for the fun part, we finally get to use our secret weapon, the airbrush.  Once the striping has been done and all of the masking has been removed except for the masking of the tear effect, it is time to give this flag some life.  The most effective way to set off a tear effect is to carefully place drop shadows along the torn areas.  Run your spray pattern in a very light motion mimicking the outline of the tear effect. Pay close attention to where each shadow would fall, given a definite light source.  On top of this we will add light bars of shading that run through the stars and stripes to make the flag look like it is actually blowing in the wind.  To do this, try using an Iwata HPC airbrush.  The HPC gives you such a smooth atomization of paint that drop shadows look almost indistinguishable from the real thing.  This is very important, especially on such a small piece that will often be viewed up close. 


Fig. 5.   Use the HPC to gradually build the shadow to the value that looks best. Fig. 6.   Further use the HPC to achieve the wind effect in the flag.

Finally, when the airbrushing is finished, shoot the design with a protective clear coat if desired and carefully remove all of the masking.  Now you have a helmet that is red, white and bad to the bone! 


Fig. 7.   A well placed effect will look so real you would swear you could touch it. Fig. 8.   Now this helmet is bad enough to melt steel!

The customer and I would like to dedicate the painting of this helmet to all our soldiers in the States and overseas and especially to Sergeant Anthony Silva, who is no longer with us.  It is an honor to be able to create a beautiful work of art in dedication to the people who serve our country.  

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Journey from Dark to Light

By Shen — Jazz, Celebrity and Portrait Painter
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

Spray, Scratch and Play!

Today I will be painting Lance Armstrong for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge coming to our new home in the Vail Valley of Colorado.  I will also be creating a chalk art painting on the street at the Stage 4 starting line, commissioned by the town of Avon; and if you watched the event on NBC or affiliates, you may have caught a glimpse!

II got the idea to try this painting on a sheet of Scratchbord by Ampersand (, since the black of the board is so beautiful and uniform.  And, I have the ability to scratch for different effects!  Yay!


Step 1.  I projected the image using the unprecedented Artograph LED 200 ( - which absolutely blew me away (once again) because the image is so bright that I didn't need to use a white piece of paper to follow the lines as I have in the past when projecting onto dark surfaces!  I traced the major lines of the image with a white chalk pencil—because it is easy to remove should I make a mistake--and am careful to work from left to right, since I am right handed and don't want to erase my sketch.  In the first photo, I have shown it misaligned so that you could see the brightness of the image as well as where I chose to sketch my lines.


Step 2.  Using a combination of freehand and strokes utilizing my favorite Artool shields, the FH-1, FH-2, and the Bird (, I start to paint the image using my Iwata HP-C ( powered by my Hammerhead Shark compressor (  Paint used was ComArt Opaque white (


Step 3.  Using ComArt transparent black, I begin to paint in areas of greatest impact to start to create definition.  I usually start out with a version that has been thinned out with distilled water and/or clear extender to allow for mistakes to be more easily worked over, in the event one happens.


Step 4.  I continue to fill in areas and work into the details of the image—still using 100% airbrush and paying fairly close attention to my reference image.


Step 5.   I used a flowery stencil to create some designs in black in the background on the left side of the figure.  Then I used a heavy-bodied acrylic paint to create vibrancy through some added activity, also in the background.  A wide paint brush did the job, so I just let loose and had fun!


Step 6.  The yellow in the background only wasn't doing it for me, but I didn't know that until I got to that point.  So I added some transparent yellow ComArt through my airbrush to create a glaze over the white in areas where I wished to add some color.


Step 7.  Not until I got to this point did I realize that the airbrush combined with the brush strokes in the background didn't tie together enough for me, so I used Scratchbord tools and carved out my highlights right into the surface; and I airbrushed a little bit of definition to add subtlety.  I am very pleased with the woodcut, graphic image that resulted—totally unique and different from anything I have done before!


Limited edition prints will be available soon.  See ( for updates and follow us on our Facebook Fan Page (!  Thanks for joining me for this painting adventure today! 

Love, peace, and keep on creating!


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Ultimate Air Affair 2011

By Donn Shanteau
(Click on any photo for a larger view!)

Salt Lake City is nestled along the western edge of the Rocky Mountain’s Wasatch Range and east of the desert salt flats in northern Utah. The natural beauty of the region is awe inspiring. Mountain canyons in this area reflect the morning and evening light with the same magical qualities of the world famous Grand Canyon. Colors change constantly on the canyon walls as the sun transits from horizon to horizon.  The subtle shifting of color across the canyon walls reminded me of airbrush fades and the reason why we were in Utah. The Nation’s premier airbrushing event is held in Salt Lake and I was there with my wife Pamela, who is an instructor at the Ultimate Air Affair.


The Ultimate Air Affair (UAA) brings together some of the top airbrush artists in the world to share their artistic insights and airbrushing techniques with the attendees of the event. The three days of hands-on classes that are taught by each guest artist at the event encourage the students to expand their airbrushing repertoire with new ideas and fresh approaches to standard airbrushing problems. With the aid of the latest cutting-edge tools and techniques, the classes use the world class Iwata airbrushes and air-guns to keep up with the demands of these exacting artists.


There were 10 artist/instructors for the 2011 UAA, led by the “Godfather of American Airbrushing,” Craig Fraser. Craig is most likely the most published and traveled airbrush artist in the world.  With the benefit of his considerable knowledge of art and painting techniques, he has done an admirable job of representing the U.S. “Kustom Airbrush Kulture” to the world.

—The “Uber” talented Mike Lavalle, who is best known for his flames but excels at every aspect of creative custom painting, was on hand to instruct and entertain.

—The legendary multi-talented airbrush artist Steve Driscoll was present to share his wit and expertise with students.  Steve is a great communicator and excellent instructor.

—Steve Vandemon brought his ‘40s-‘50s hot rod coolness to Salt Lake City, which he wielded at the end of his air and dagger brushes. Steve’s classes always include a “jagged edge.”

—The “Godmother of American Airbrushing,” Pamela Shanteau, displayed her prowess as both an artist and instructor with her supernatural offerings and non-standard painting techniques.


—Aussie Darren Wenzel showed why he was invited to the party with some awesome artistry and patience with us “Yanks.”

—Gerald Mendez always impresses with his attention to detail and patient manner. His multiple techniques for rendering images are amazing to watch.

—Michigan’s Bob Soroka manages to bring popular culture to bear in his display pieces and classes.

—Paul Stohl from PPG gave the most amazing wood grain lesson that I’ve ever seen. It was fast easy, and produced superior results.

—Last but not least is Jason Doll, who always puts fun first with his airbrushing and choice of painting subjects.

These instructors really strive to design classes that will challenge the attendees to give their best efforts in order to duplicate each instructor’s class example.

A new twist was added to the UAA program for 2011. “Special” guest artists were invited to attend the UAA and display only. While these guests did not hold classes, they did paint for demonstration purposes. The guests Martin Bouchard (“FITTO”) and “Shannon” showed what they do best for the benefit of everyone present, students and instructors. 

Shannon is a Beatles portrait artist from New Jersey. Her works hang in the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. She was working on a portrait of John Lennon for an upcoming promotion there and it doubled as her demonstration piece at the UAA.

Fitto is from Montreal, Canada and his artistic style could be reasonably termed as demonic. I watched slack jawed as he airbrushed exquisite details into rather dark subject matters. I found that Fitto and his interpreter Gilles have an advanced sense of hell-raising humor that I could relate to. We bonded immediately.


What everyone likes about the UAA is the accessibility of the artists. When they were not on stage instructing, they could be found painting five-foot-tall bowling pins in the Artists Lounge.  Students were free to come and go as they pleased and ask questions of the artists while they worked on their bowling pins. When completed, the pins will be added to the best and biggest airbrush art gallery in the United States, Air Space.

Air Space is the gallery inside the ASET headquarters, where the UAA is held. It has a plethora of items that have been airbrushed by the “giants” of the airbrush art world. Everything from pedal planes to oil drums has been painted by some of the best airbrush artists ever and is displayed from the walls, floor and soon the ceiling of the huge gallery that separates the class area from the Artist’s Lounge. If that isn’t enough, the Artist’s Lounge boasts giant panels on the walls and floor that sport airbrushed imagery from the very first years of the Ultimate Air Affair.


Saturday evening after the last class ended and the dust settled, Bill Williams, Ray Odette and the most excellent staff at ASET treated everyone to an exquisite banquet to send them home fully sated with airbrushing knowledge and a good meal.  Special thanks to the staff of ASET (Mike-Carol-Kari-Christy-Glenda-Josh and Keith) for making this Air Affair a very pleasant experience. If airbrushing is your thing, this is one airbrushing event that you should not miss. It’s a one-of-a-kind affair.

Sponsors included ASET – Iwata/Medea – Anest Iwata – PPG – House of Color – DuPont – Artool – Willy’s Garage.

If you want to experience the Ultimate Air Affair for yourself, contact   1-800-628-5449.

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.


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

Gardening is the passion of many of us; and as the season begins to wind down, I, for one, continue to look for ways to remember the bounty of the blooming season. I also like unusual planters and flower containers. Here is a way to combine both interests, gardening and creating unique décor, but first let’s talk about the container.

Along with my love of the unusual is my interest in bargain shopping. I love to explore second-hand shops, flea markets, garage and estate sales and even dumpster diving for treasures. Recent shopping at a resale store netted a pair of boots that were in great condition and just begging to be included in an art/craft reformation. So, this segment will be how I transformed a boot into a neat floral container and added dry flowers, the remnants of blooms that had once been in our gardens.

Even though I am using a boot, the container could be any unusual (or common) object that suits your décor and interests. Plastic, wood, metal and some ceramic, plaster or glass containers can be “repurposed.” Although the redecoration is major fun, finding the objects to recommission is equally as much fun. Old kitchen containers (canisters, bowls, glasses, mugs, cups, etc.) are always an option. Mechanically oriented stuff, such as old cans, buckets, hubcaps and the like could be the start of a great presentation. So, once you start to look around, ideas will simply appear. Super slick surfaces might need some sanding for good adhesion.


Photo 1: Ready to paint found “container” ready for transformation.

This project will be to paint the boot that will hold a dried arrangement. (Photo 1) The arrangement will be flowers gathered at the end of the growing season, dried and arranged for autumn display. To echo the tones of the season, the boot will be airbrush decorated in appropriate fall colors. I begin by gathering my materials: The Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500); an air source (I always rely on my quiet and reliable Smart Jet); acrylic paints in ready-to-go colors; textural materials to assist in the surface decoration of the boot; dried flowers; painter’s tape; chalk; small baggie of beans or pebbles to weight the boot for stability.

Start by planning the airbrush application of paint colors and make ready the colors you want to use to complete the designs. For mine, I will use oranges, browns and greens. For overpainting you could consider using some metallic tones so that there is an element of “sparkle” in case you’d like to use the arrangement for the holiday table. Either way, it will look great on the mantel.


Photo 2: Masked off, airbrush colors are applied in the chalked sections of the boot.

After the heel and sole area are masked off with blue painter’s tape (Photo 2), the red boot is overpainted with a mix of light green, brown and orange. Colors are applied within the areas I defined with chalk lines – just to keep the look a little uniform. The tones were mingled to cover completely the original color of the boot. (Photo 3)


Photo 3: Colors that complement the natural dried items were selected.

The completed boot shows how something not ordinarily thought of as a “container” becomes a showy, interesting and unique design element for fall. This method could be used for almost any seasonal décor and would fit into nearly any decorating situation. Use of the unusual, even bizarre things, used in unexpected places makes a room vibrate with personality. (Photo 4) Boots full of dried blooms is just a small sample of what you might include in your fall room planning. Switches from willow trees, reeds, ornamental grasses, a bouquet of dried roses…you see this idea is quickly and easily expanded to include a wide range of materials.


Photo 4: Finished mantel arrangement or table centerpiece.

You could insert a slender water glass into the top of a boot, thereby enabling a display of fresh rather than dried flowers.  Include a bit of trailing ivy, or other draping plant material and you have a one-of-a-kind floral centerpiece. Easy and fun!

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.

Airbrush Products

New Artool Website

Visit to access Artool’s newly designed website.  You’ll see a new look and much more content, including artist profiles and your favorite airbrush templates.

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 Workshops

“Basic Airbrush Techniques”
6-Hour Hands-On Workshop
With Robert Paschal, MFA

Date:   Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011
Time:   10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
Place:  McKinley Hall
              First Presbyterian Church
              Beacon, NY
              (65 miles north of NYC on the Metro North Line)

For thirty years Robert has used this curriculum to teach thousands of students the basics of airbrush technique in this hands-on workshop.

Designed for the person who has never before used an airbrush or for those who have used one without success, this time-proven class in basic airbrush techniques has been taught throughout the U.S.   Students will learn how to handle and hook up an airbrush, air sources to use, compatible materials, suitable work surfaces and their preparation and the simple maintenance procedures that are required.  A high-quality Iwata airbrush will be used by students as they render a series of pre-printed exercises, while learning the fundamentals of airbrush technique.

All materials/equipment are supplied for use in class. Space is limited.

Registration/Info at:

Call:  845.831.1043


Since 4 generations the traditional Schmincke goal is making and providing the very best finest artists' colours for demanding artists. The artists' satisfaction motivates us. Those who donate their valuable time to creative activities usually wish to use best possible material.


Robert Paschal Airbrush Workshops


 October 14-15 2011
 Fulton Street Collective
 2000 W Fulton Ave
 Chicago IL 60612
 Robert Paschal

Robert Paschal, Author of ‘Basic Airbrush Techniques A Complete Course’, ‘Airbrushing for Fine and Commercial Artists’ and ‘Advanced Airbrush Techniques-The Art of the Dot’, will be conducting his revered workshops here in Chicago!

– Three 3-Hour Basic Airbrush I Hands-On Workshops.
– One 3-Hour Basic Airbrush II Hands-On Workshop.
– Friday October 14th and Saturday October 15th.
– The use of all equipment and supplies is included!
– Seats are limited and workshops fill up fast!

Visit for more information.


...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 November 2011!