Volume 13, Number 4, November 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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Opportunity Knocks - Stenciling Addresses and Phrases for Fun and Profit

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

Well the holidays are approaching us and what better way to welcome your family into your home than actually writing it on the entrance to your home. One of the more commercial and profitable uses for airbrushes today is stenciling.

Stenciling is very versatile and can be done on virtually anything. I have had great success with stenciling in house painting, on yard ornaments, address plaques and even large branding for commercial use. This use of your airbrush can be beautiful and profitable. The magnificent thing about this process is that it is probably the simplest thing one can do with an airbrush. Stenciling was the very first technique I used when I learned to airbrush and it still is just as fun today as it was then.

To begin stenciling you don’t need anything more than you can get at a local art supply or hobby store or online. I now make stencils with a sign plotter because I use it for my business; I also understand that not a lot of regular hobbyists have access to one of these machines, so I am determined to show the original techniques that have been used to stencil.

Stencils can be made of many things, (plastic, contact paper, acetate, etc.) but an inexpensive, cheap and easy solution for one-time use is Photo Frisket. Frisket is a clear material with a light adhesive backing that allows you to trace your designs on top while adhering to your surface; and frisket is available at almost any hobby store that carries airbrush products. Artool makes a Frisk Film and another product called Ultra Mask, both available at Frisket comes in several different sheens, which is the finish on top of the film. Though there is a clear gloss sheen, I most often choose the matte finish. The matte finish helps the artist discern what is masked from what is unmasked, which will become a very important factor later.


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Once you have chosen a frisket, you must make a design. This project will be stenciled lettering on a metal door. My wife has been bothering me to put some lettering on our door for a while now and this seems like a perfect chance to appease her. I chose the word “Wilkommen”, which is German for “Welcome.”


FIG. 1 Choose your design and print it out. Welcome, as they say in Deutschland!

We live in a historic building in a town built over 150 years ago by German immigrants.  I myself am over 50% German descent and the tradition is very alive in my family, so it seems a fitting tip of the hat. Once I chose my design for the lettering I used my sign plotter to cut it out, but now I am going to show you how to do the same with Frisket Film.

Take the design you printed and tape it to your desk or table. Then lay your sheet of film over it and begin to trace the lettering onto the film.


FIG. 2  Make sure to keep the design and cover sheet taped down so they don’t move.

A marker or rolling ink pen works best for this.  As you may see from the photo, if I were doing this project completely in frisket, I would need to do it in several sections. This is one reason you may want to buy Frisket Film in a roll as opposed to 8X10 sheets.


FIG. 3 The finished section is traced onto frisket and ready to cut.

Once your image is transferred via tracing, the next step is to cut it. You may want to protect the surface underneath from being cut as well. When cutting frisket I use a very sharp #2 X-Acto knife.


FIG. 4 Cut carefully to avoid cutting through both sheets.

As you cut, try to be precise and avoid cutting past the lines, as it may show up in your final image. Once everything is cut, remove all of the material you want unmasked. In other words, pull out what you want painted.


FIG. 5 Pull out what you would like to be painted.

Now that it has come time to peel and stick the image, take care in lining it up on the surface you are painting. If you had to make the stencil in sections make sure they line up perfectly. In some illustration projects the image is drawn on canvas or illustration board and the frisket is put directly over the top and cut on the board.  This technique is tricky, though.  Once your stencil is applied to the surface, smooth it down tight and mask off the rest of the area to protect it. Now it’s time to spray.


FIG. 6 Apply the frisket to your project.

Sadly, spraying my stencil on will be a little quick and underwhelming, but it still gives me a perfect chance to use my Iwata G6. This gun is made for this kind of thing, being a bit larger than an airbrush but smaller than a full-sized spray gun. I used a black exterior oil paint, since this is on the outside of the door and will see plenty of weather. Also, since the paint is fairly thin I am using a lower pressure (around 25-30 p.s.i.) on my 5 gal. compressor. I feather on two light coats and let them dry in between. The less paint the better in this situation, as large buildups of paint make the lettering want to raise up with the stencil.


 FIG. 7 Keep it light, keep it tight!

If I had my choice I would add some cool detail with my airbrush inside the lettering, but I only run half the house and apparently it is the back half. Oh, well, you airbrushers do whatever you want with your lettering and designs, add color and make it fun. When you are finished, carefully peel up your design and there you have it--a quick, easy way to make a subtle (or bold) accent. Till next time, keep on paintin’!




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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Winter Airbrush Projects

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

When we are held captive by winter weather, those of us lucky enough to experience snow and “real” winter often long for indoor projects to fill time and create new and interesting items. I have made a short list of winter “to-do’s” for the coming season - some are worth sharing. Maybe they will spark an interest and rekindle or start you on airbrush projects.

First project, one for the coming holiday season: Decorative Placemats/Table Runner. The colors of holiday décor are always complementary to any home, and I look forward to trying new ways to use old fashioned reds, greens and silver/gold to embellish items for gifts or home decorations for the holidays. Also, today’s newer trends of blues, purples and others make holiday colors POP. Nearly any home can be coordinated to a season by creating personal décor.

Second: Create a planter for the garden, something unusual, something large enough to hold a nice shrub or large perennial. Colors here could be any that strike your fancy and go with your garden. WOW! This could lead to a collection of planters in a regiment of colors, or lawn furniture refinished or ….

Third: Because travel is part of the holiday season (for that matter, any season) a decorative tote bag would come in handy.  A tote that is canvas will hold a lot, plus be easily folded and stored when not in use. Can do! This would also make a super gift for co-workers, gardening friends, grocery shoppers who remember to take their bags to the store and save a tree/or a drop of oil!

Four: Wall décor. Make or find star-shaped stencils and create whimsical wall ornamentation. Different sizes of stars make the look really neat. Gold or silver stars showering down the wall towards the sink in a small half bath gives it a unique and interesting feel. Or my favorite: Use glossy paint of the same color as the wall to create a subtle galaxy of stars cascading from ceiling to headboard. For kids, paint the ceiling with star shapes in light-absorbing/reflective paint. They can search for constellations as they drift off to sleep.

Five: Refurb something that is in need of a “face lift”—perhaps a container for the umbrellas at the front door or maybe the trash receptacle on the patio or a small table that needs to be refinished and transformed from old to awesome. Nearly all of us have some item that could use some TLC. Find a protected area and “just do it.”


Photo 1: Materials you’ll need for your crinkle sheets.

But, for now, I will share my choice for a quick and fun project: Crushed/crinkled paper (or fabric) that is fun to create and makes neat materials from which to create other artworks. Fabrics can be turned into pillow covers, aprons, curtains, table cloths, etc. Decorative papers can be used to create personalized greeting cards, wrapping paper, stationery, gift bags and more. Gather papers of different surface qualities and sizes along with the colors you would like to use. (Photo 1) The crinkles make neat shapes and designs when airbrushed with a mingle of colors—lots of shapes, lots of neat designs.


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.

These unique papers use crinkled up sheets of paper (even recycled gift wrap if the back is opaque and a good base color). Airbrush a range of colors that complement one another—blues and reds, pink and aqua, burgundy and royal, red and green, whatever you choose. The crinkles will catch or reject color depending on the folds and crunches in the paper.  Unroll and allow to dry and then re-crunch and add other colors (or metallics). Again, unroll and allow to dry.


Photo 2: Balled paper, airbrushed in first tone – the basis for art paper perfect for many applications!  Photo 3: Crinkled, airbrushed paper, multi-toned, with linear designs.  

Once dry, you have the choice of using the sheet as-is or adding some linear designs. (Photo 3) Follow some of the painted areas and create a good contrast of line and shapes. What you have when completed are gorgeous, personal art papers for wrapping or card making, etc.


Photo 4: Create a gaggle of pages and be ready for any occasion. 

Warning: You won’t do just one of these sheets, so have plenty of paper ready. (Photo 4) Once you see the resulting beauty, you will want to make several sheets and use them for every occasion—colors, textures and an unusual and unique appearance! 


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.

Journey from Dark to Light

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

Combining Brush and Airbrush

Hello fellow airbrush lovers!

In this issue, I will be working on a painting that explores the use of rather loose brushwork smoothed out via the airbrush. I didn't use a great deal of airbrush in this particular painting, but really wanted to emphasize the way that airbrush can add depth of color and shadow and can really make selected areas pop.  I hope you enjoy!



Step 1:  Using Ampersand AquaBord ( and having projected my initial sketch with the Artograph LED 200 (, I begin to fill in basic shapes with washes in acrylic paint. I do not want my under painting to be easily removable. At this point I try to disregard detail, which is sometimes challenging!  The purpose for the wash is because I want an organic look for this subject matter.



Step 2:  Starting to fill in some basic shapes and designs inside the larger basic shapes.



Step 3:  Used brushwork with acrylic to develop the shadows and lines in the banner.

Through a painstaking process (which I secretly love!), I decide what color to add next.  This may seem like the obvious choice to some, but I knew originally that I wanted to use the "split complementary" color scheme from my color wheel (which is more important for me to leave the house with than lipstick, and yes, I actually have a "pocket" version!).  The original scheme was:  yellow-green, blue-green, and red...  but red was going to be too much for the background- was planning to use for accents only.  Black too dark...  White too light...  so then it occurred to me...  pink!  I can always choose later to add darks over the pink as I wish if it turns out too girly!  But it might just be kinda cool...  Thinking it might be nice for a young girl's room.  (I do happen to have three girls myself!)



Step 4:  Using white, a muted pink and a darker pink, mixing sporadically, I lay varied tints of pink down for the background with a flat brush. 



Step 5:  Add Lettering and detail in eyes using a brush with a mixture of Prussian Blue and Pure Red acrylic to maintain my color scheme.



Step 6:  Powering up my Iwata HP-B airbrush (, I paint the feathers with ComArt Colors ( using a combination of freehand and shield work.  My fave Artool shields are the FH-1, FH-2, and Bird (  I also add a little more detail with brushwork.



Step 7:  Using Pure Red and Carmine Red gouache (so it's removable if I don't like it) through the airbrush, I add emphasis in several areas of the pink background- wanting to make some areas "vibrate" through the use of complementary colors.  Finally, I add a little red in a core line shadow at the bottom of the birds’ bodies as well as a random touch here and there.  I love how the brushstrokes come through the airbrushed areas so I don't lose the organic "brushed" feel.

This was a fun and loose painting, not meant to have much realism, but more to have a joyful and vibrant impact via color palette on the viewer.  I wanted this piece to exude happiness and make people smile.  Most importantly, my three- year-old loves it!  Mission accomplished! 

Thanks for sharing the process with me, and please keep in touch through, as I love to hear comments, feedback and see the work of my peers!  Peace, Power, and Paint On!


Airbrush Workshops

—Workshops with Jürek

Introduction to Freehand Airbrushing with Jürek

December 10, 2011
6 Hours – Hands-On
Beacon, NY


This class is designed to introduce those with no or limited airbrush experience to the exciting technique of freehand airbrush by master painter Jürek.  Students will work on preplanned exercises, utilizing techniques for developing images without stencils.  And more advanced projects will challenge even those who have some experience with airbrushing.  Students will learn to create images with amazing realism and soul. 

Wildlife Art with Jürek

December 11, 2011
6 Hours – Hands-On
Beacon, NY
Prerequisite:  A working knowledge of the airbrush

Students will be introduced to Jurek’s unique freehand system for painting animals in an incredibly realistic manner with the energy and emotion necessary to bring wildlife creatures to life.  From under painting to fur painting and glazing to painting distinctively powerful eyes, the techniques learned in this class can be applied to all subject matter above and beyond animal portraiture.

All equipment/supplies are provided for use in class

Seating is limited.  For info/registration, visit  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.

—Workshops with Robert Paschal

Hosted by Genesis Art Supply
January 14
th and 15th, 2012
Fulton Street Collective, Chicago, IL


Robert Paschal, author of Basic Airbrush Techniques—A Complete Course, Airbrushing for Fine and Commercial Artists and co-author of Advanced Airbrush Techniques—The Art of the Dot, will be conducting hands-on airbrush workshops in Chicago.

Choose from the following workshops on Jan. 14/15:

3 – 3-Hour Basic Airbrush I—Working in Black and White

1 – 3-Hour Basic Airbrush II—Working in Color

The use of all equipment and supplies is included.  Seats are limited.

For information/registration, visit  Call:  1-800-937-4278


...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 2012!