Volume 13, Number 5, January 2012
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Take to the Skies
Using the Airbrush to Accent Your Illustrations
By Thomas Adams
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Fig. 4 Thin out your paint and build up the reflection slowly.
Also, while we are on this area, let’s pick up some light and drop it on the propeller blades. Time to go back to the Artool freehand stencil. This stencil set is a must-have for any airbrusher because it saves so much time. There is no need to mask and frisket everything when you have one of these handy freehand stencils. For the larger props, I just use a wide light line to give them a “shape.” Since the lower prop is in a different position, you must show the twist in it.
Fig. 5 Throw a spin in that prop.
Next we will start to kick in the clouds. Now there is an entire lesson behind the clouds; if you would like to read more, please refer to the AirbrushTalk Archives and find my article on clouds. For a quick lesson, though, the clouds are made up of very light wispy strokes of white, followed by some light to medium bursts in random places. I use the HP-C once again and about 40 psi of air. Never use a template on the clouds, as they need to come out light and blurry.
Fig. 6 I put clouds all over the illustration and ran some over the body of the plane to make it feel like it is in flight.
After a few other easy highlights and general touch-ups, the B17 is ready for the wall. Remember to look at the illustration as a whole. It is good to do a little work and then stand back and take it in. Make sure that your light reflections point in the same direction and your shadows are cast the opposite way. And after all the fine tuning is done, make sure that the whole tone of the picture is correct. You may have to add and subtract a few elements before you are happy, but don’t give up. Until next time—Keep on Paintin’!
Fig. 6 Take your time; this painting was long and frustrating.
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In this issue I would like to discuss in greater depth the gentle effect that washes can lend to a painting. As you can see from my rendition of Elton John, it is a very vibrant and colorful piece with a great deal of texture. This painting wasn't entirely planned. It was, as many of my paintings are, an evolution of its own. In this article, I outline the steps used to create this painting.
First, I found an outstanding photo reference which I then turned to black and white and bumped up the contrast and sharpness a great deal on my computer. I just used Preview... but when I sometimes need a little help, my hubby is the Photoshop King!
I then used my projector to project it onto Ampersand Gessobord (http://www.ampersandart.com/gesso.html), which has become my favorite surface to paint on by far! The painting is only 11x14 inches, so I used the projector facing down and created my drawing flat on the table.
I then used gesso to create texture with thick brushstrokes in the background, where nothing else was happening visually. Using acrylic inks, I washed magenta and violet and a little yellow over the background, being careful not to go over the face. I did let a little seep into his right shoulder so there would be an organic quality to his shirt. I let this layer dry overnight.
Note on Washes: A wash is simply a pigment with a binder in which a medium is used to thin it out to a very thin, almost watery consistency. With acrylics, I use water as my medium. A large flat brush is generally used to lay the wash across the surface. The wash can then dry flat or the surface can be tilted to cause the paint to drip down. The variety of effects that you can achieve using this technique can be amazing!
After the wash has dried, I used brush with gouache and watercolor to loosely paint the colors into the portrait.
Now for the airbrush...Using my favorite Iwata HP-C ( http://www.iwata-medea.com/index.php/products/hp_c_plus), the inside and outside areas of his glasses are glazed over using my Artool shields, of course, with ComArt Smoke (http://www.iwata-medea.com/index.php/medea/comart_colors) to make the glasses pop out and the face in those areas recede. The same is true around the outside of his head and in the areas of shadow.
The magic of Com Art Smoke is that it lends a gentle sepia color to the chosen area and at the same time darkens ever so gently when used with a light touch. I really enjoy using this color because it doesn't take away from the hues I originally used in my underpainting.
Finally, I used some opaque white gouache in the glasses and in a few areas for highlights.
Some examples of other paintings that have been done with this technique are pictured here.
Looking forward to hearing about your journeys with the airbrush and other media in the New Year! May yours be filled with blessings of all kinds, especially wonderful artistic discoveries! Please contact me at http://shenstudio.com/ with your questions and/or comments or to view more of my work.
|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.|
Bargain shopping is a great deal of fun and I find neat treasures at resale shops all around our town. Usual purchases include small items like glassware or kitchen things, but recently I stumbled across a neat little shelf that needed some TLC. I bought it with the purpose in mind to refinish and revitalize it.
The shelf is rather unusual in that it is not glued together but the pieces snugly interlock to form a neat geometric. The shelf caught my eye because it was so different and the right scale for displaying some small items. (Photo 1) The lack of glue makes the project easier because the pieces can simply be unfastened and resurfaced.
Photo 1: Unimpressive green, resale shop simple shelf.
As for color/texture/adornment, I think the clean lines of this what-not shelf should be maintained. Color selection is unlimited…but I hesitate to “Fu-Fu” it too much and ruin its versatility and simplicity. That doesn’t mean that I can’t have some fun with it. So, color selection will be a clear, soft red for the overall finish.
First, properly clean the item and then lightly sand the surface. (Photo 2) That gives the paint something to grip and will make the finish smooth and even. Also remove tiny splinters or irregularities from an unfinished surface by sanding with very fine sandpaper. Either painted or unfinished items are ready after light sanding. Then you are ready to apply a base coat. It is always best to apply two or three coats of the base color in order for the final tones to have a good ground upon which to build and for the surface to be smooth. (Photo 3) When covering dark finishes, several base coats will allow good coverage and no “bleed through” of the dark tone. Notice the shelf was disassembled to make the job easier.
Photo 2: Properly prepared surfaces make painting more permanent.
Photo 3: Base coat colors are applied.
With the red I selected I chose bits of bright yellow, green and purple to accent the corners of each shelf. I now add accents and punch up the character a bit. (Photo 4) Because these areas must be controlled, it is easiest to apply with a brush. The colors add interest without being too flashy. Those types of details may add a lot or may make the finished piece look too “over the top.” You will have the opportunity to make those decisions for yourself. It is your project, so you can pick what you like best. (Photo 5)
Photo 4: Topical spots of color can be made with a paint brush.
Photo 5: Completed and ready to fill with small treasures.
To make the shelf even more “one-of-a-kind,” you might want to add metal medallions, trinkets, faux jewels, ribbon and the like to the shelf edges. These types of personalization give the shelf a very unique appearance. But, I am more of a minimalist, so I choose to do my decoration with paint colors – both airbrushed and dry brushed.
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As a finished piece, this little what-not shelf is perfect for some of the tiny things I have around. They seem to fit very well in the spaces of the shelf and give a more unified look to such small pieces. (Photo 6)
Photo 6: The re-purposed shelf – new look, new use!
To coordinate with a shelf of this type, one might want to decorate a small storage box or other décor item to make it look like a set rather than just a small shelf on its own. You might want a shelf above your night stand or near your office desk area and that would look great with other coordinated items like a waste basket, lamp base, picture frame, etc. I guess it pretty much depends on what you like and want to work on. So, look around and see what you might already have that could be “coordinated” into a unified look, convert an old into a “new” or go through thrift/resale stores and explore. There is so much stuff to investigate, and the sky is the limit when it comes to re-purposing goodies.
|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.|
The new BioMech FX Freehand Airbrush Templates designed by Mike Lavallee include Skull Buster and Spinal Trap and were inspired by the 70’s and 80’s sci-fi cinema with bio-mechanical backgrounds and alien creatures. So you can now experience the biological side of things with alien skulls, spinal columns, bone, teeth and claws and be able to create a plethora of biomechanical images. Included in this Artool Series is the Tech Support Template, containing several repetitive patterns to replicate a myriad of machined textures. See more at http://www.iwata-medea.com/index.php/artool/freehand/biomech_fx.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
6 Hours – Hands-On
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.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
6 Hours – Hands-On
Prerequisite: A working knowledge of the airbrush
This step-by-step class demonstrates Jürek's unique method of painting portraits using an achromatic approach. The use of greys, black and white is clearly illustrated in Jürek's great way of learning the basics of portraiture with dramatic theatrical results.
Using the modern tool, the airbrush, and his distinct techniques, Jürek explains in detail how to use the “Old Master's” methods to paint an underpainting.
Then he reveals the secrets of glazing and turns this underpainting into a full-color finished portrait. This class is highly recommended for portrait art students!
All equipment/supplies are provided for use in class.
Seating is limited. For info/registration, visit www.arttalk.com/workshop/workshop.htm. Call 845.831.1043.
Saturday, April 14th, and
Sunday, April 15th
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 workshops in Chicago!
– Three 3-Hour Basic Airbrush I Hands-On Workshops.
– One 3-Hour Basic Airbrush II Hands-On Workshop.
– The use of all equipment and supplies is included!
– Seats are limited and workshops fill up fast!
Genesis Art Supply - Chicago Airbrush Supply
2417 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL, 60647
Fulton Street Collective
2000 W. Fulton Ave
Chicago IL 60612
For More Info/Registration:
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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.|