Volume 8, Number 6, March 2007
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Fancy Picture Frames
A Little Decoration Goes a Long Way
By Janean S. Thompson
Why settle for the same old photo frame or picture frame for your home or office? Why not create a great frame that will complement the photo or art and be unique? It is very easy to do whether you are a seasoned veteran with airbrushing or a beginner.
You will need to gather some basic materials in order to complete this project. Select a frame that is unfinished or has a finish that can be easily sanded to give the surface some “tooth” or grip for the painted surface. My choice for demonstration purposes is a small photo frame that has a dry, out-of-date finish. This is perfect for the repeated layers of color that will be applied and the paint will grip nicely to this surface. (Photo 1) If you choose a frame that is already painted, use fine sandpaper to remove most of the paint or at least rough up the surface. Slick surfaces do not hold paint well and allow the finish to be easily damaged.
When you are ready for finish work, assemble the other items you will need. My faithful standby choice for airbrush and air supply are the Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500 and Smart Jet Compressor; acrylic paints; cleaning station for quick color changes; and a flat bristle paint brush.
The frame should be elevated slightly above the work surface so that all sides and edges can be evenly painted. (Photo 2) Airbrushes have the unique ability to cover in a smooth, even layer so that no application marks or other texturing shows. This gives a perfect finish to any project you complete. Plan to use at least three light layers of paint. Final topical coloration for textures or ridges on the frame could be added with a flat bristle brush, if desired.
(Photo 3) After you have elevated the frame, apply your base coat and allow it to dry. Apply coats two and three, drying between each layer. When you are finished, you can add topical interest by dry brushing some textural elements along the outer edges. This can be done with a brightly contrasting color, a soft metallic tone or perhaps a complementary color. Since you are creating this frame you can choose what you want.
When tackling a larger frame, one tip is to work very cautiously, applying paint in very thin layers so that you do not over spray and create drips or runs. The look you are striving for will be built up, so don’t hurry the process. Again, you should plan on at least three coatings to achieve an even look.
Topical additions can be done in the same manner on large frames as on small ones. Textures really pop out when they are applied over a solid surface. Dry brushing these colors will yield great results. (Photo 4) If you have a heavily textured frame, you might want to try an antiquing technique. Do this by applying very fluid paint over the three base coats. While this color is still fluid, wipe off almost all of it. What remains in all crevices or patterns will add great interest to the frame.
Try this fun project soon and you‘ll see how simple these frames are to complete. Whether you recycle old frames, buy new ones, or simply want to tie your frames and décor together, you can do it! When grouped on a wall or shelf, these look great. (Photo 5) They create a decorating center point and draw the eye. Because they are simple and fast to complete, they make great gifts for friends and family, too.
Body Makeup with a Twist
By Bradley M. Look
Almost a year ago I received a phone call from makeup artist Barry R. Koper. Barry was the Department Head on the feature SANTA CLAUS III. I worked as the Elf Supervisor on that same picture. It seems that Barry was calling to see if I would be interested in working with him on an upcoming commercial which would involve extensive airbrush body makeup. The commercial was for a well-known soft drink that would have two large sumo wrestlers running through a dark forest to converge on an unsuspecting man who was sitting on a tree stump. The enormous bellies of the wrestlers were to squish the man between them! Oh, and I left out the most important part of all to this scenario. Each of the two wrestlers would need to be airbrushed from head to foot, one lemon yellow and the other lime green!
To prepare for the makeup job, Barry and I drove to Gower Studios in Hollywood to meet with the two actors who were cast as the sumo wrestlers. We set up our supplies in a nearby makeup room. After doing a number of makeup tests on the performers, it was determined that for the yellow to look concentrated enough on the skin an underbase of white would be necessary. For the green, a mixture of white, green and a dayglow green created the perfect match to the “hero” can of the soft drink that the producers wanted the colors to correspond to.
With liquid samples in hand, I drove out to Canoga Park, which was some 45 minutes in the opposite direction of Gower Studios. There I met with Fred Blau, the owner of Reel Creation. To airbrush the two performers, we were going to need a quart of white, two quarts of yellow and a gallon of green in temporary tattoo ink! The yellow was fairly easy to mix, as it was similar to a canary yellow (a mix of yellow and white). The green was a much more elusive color to obtain. It took many tries by Fred to finally match it.
Because of the extensive amount of body surface to be covered and the time factor involved, and since the commercial was to be shot in Angeles Crest Forest, Barry negotiated for two additional makeup artists. Steve Anderson and Mike Smithson were hired, as they both had extensive knowledge of airbrushing.
On the day the commercial was to be shot, I drove the long, winding road up into the mountain, car loaded down with lots of airbrush equipment and various makeup supplies. My choice of equipment was the Iwata RG-3 Spray Gun and the LPH-50 Spray Gun, the HP-CH Hi-Line, the Power Jet and Power Jet Pro compressors. A complete airbrush kit was also brought along in case anything had to be fixed on the fly, but that never happened.
A tent was erected near base camp. Portable heaters were placed inside for the comfort of the performer. The heater, while a good idea, had to be placed a fair distance away as we were to be spraying an alcohol-based product and safety was of utmost importance. After all, none of us wanted to become a human Roman candle!
To begin the process, everyone placed filter masks on. Our performer sat in a swivel chair as we lightly hazed the white underbase on. It was extremely important that this first layer not be sprayed on too heavy, as any running would be visible under the yellow and ruin the effect. It was a slow process to build up this “primer” coat. I should also note before going on that when we first met with the two performers, it was explained in detail that they would need to shave every inch of their bodies so that the airbrush product would take evenly on the skin. Further, on the day when they work, they were to use only a roll-on deodorant and not an aerosol. Aerosol deodorants leave the skin with a large overspray area that won’t allow the makeup to adhere properly. And lastly, they were not to use oily moisturizers on the skin for the very same reason as the aerosol deodorant.
The Hi-Line was used on the face. In Photo #1, the performer has been covered, with the exception of his hands, feet and upper eyelids. This took approximately an hour and a half with the two of us applying the white. The white tattoo product was lightly dusted with Colorless powder to remove any stickiness on the skin. The excess was dusted off.
Before applying the yellow, I strained the color using a fine mesh strainer that I purchased in the baking aisle at a grocery store. This helped to remove any large particulate matter so as not to clog the spray guns. In Photo #2, the yellow is hazed carefully over the white. Steve begins work on the lower section of the legs, while I work on the stomach.
The makeup has progressed still further as seen in Photo #3. Matching yellow cream makeup has been applied around the eyes and the edge blended off before being powdered to set. The Hi-Line was used to base out the entire face with the yellow. It’s now time to begin work on the hands.
In this closer shot, Photo #4, the hands are nearly complete. As with the white primer coat, Colorless powder was applied over the yellow base to remove any tackiness. The excess was dusted off. To seal the makeup, Reel Creations Blue Aqua Sealer was airbrushed over the entire body. Then Barry instructed us to pat a light coating of Derma Shield (a skin protectant) over the entire body to give the makeup a more lifelike sheen. This was a technique he developed when he worked on the feature HOLLOW MAN (with Kevin Bacon).
The airbrush was also used to enhance the hair. The hairline was sprayed in after being styled to give it a more structured appearance. A similar approach was taken for the other performer who had to be green. Once the two men were totally ready, we were driven by van up to the set where the rest of the crew was finishing last minute lighting. Some of our airbrush equipment was brought up to the set, where a small tent was set up for any touch-ups that would be needed throughout the night.
The director placed all three of the performers in their respective positions as the First Assistant Director called for several rehearsals with the camera on the dolly. This is commonly referred to as a dolly shot. A dolly is a track that the camera sits on so it can move smoothly as an actor walks or runs through a scene.
While the performer in yellow needed only minor touch-ups from time to time, alas, that was not the case with the green one. It took all four of us to maintain his makeup. Granted, he was running through a forest; however, it was night and it was probably only 30 degrees out! It took many hours to get the shot. The shoot might have gone longer, but one of the guys sprained his leg while running.
To remove the makeup, a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and isopropyl myristate was used on powder puffs. This easily broke down the tattoo inks.
The commercial was an interesting use of airbrush makeup. After all, it’s not everyday you get a makeup that comes with a twist of lemon. Or do you prefer lime?
NOTE: A special thank you to Barry R. Koper for supplying all photos for this article.
Pin-Up Girlies Part 2 - Step-by-Step
By Deborah Mahan
Hello! Deborah Mahan here to bring you another step-by-step on using the Artool stencil set, Pin-Up Girlies Part 2. Last time I showed you how to do a traditional pin-up of a girl in a martini glass. She was done on a black powder-coated panel using House of Kolor urethanes. This time I wanted to do something in a tattoo style, so this step-by-step is for the military men out there; they are, after all, the reason pin-ups are so popular.
I am using a white powder-coated panel, House of Kolor urethanes, three of the new Iwata Kustom series airbrushes and, of course, Artool stencils.
Check back again to see how I will be doing some work with the newest pin-up set—Deborah Mahan’s Sailor Girlies pin-ups.
New Artool Freehand MINI SERIES Airbrush Templates
Artool Products Co. has announced availability of their long-awaited Freehand MINI SERIES Airbrush Templates. The Artool MINI SERIES contains all of your favorite eye-popping and useful designs by artists Craig Fraser, Mike Lavallee, Deborah Mahan and Dennis Mathewson…in a new smaller size! The Artool Freehand MINI SERIES Template original designs can now be easily rendered on smaller projects such as 1/8th—to 1/25th model scales, RC cars, model airplanes and trains, model cars and kits, figure models, body art and a myriad of kustom automotive applications! All Artool MINI SERIES Templates are sold as a set, and each template is approximately 5" x 7". Be on the lookout for more Radically Original Artool creations in 2007!
The new Artool Freehand MINI SERIES Airbrush Templates are now available at your favorite Iwata-Medea-Artool supplier. For a complete listing of the Iwata-Medea-Artool catalog on the Web, go to www.artoolproducts.com
New Web Site: art-howto.com
ARTtalk is pleased to announce a new web site, www.art-howto.com. This site features how-to articles in airbrush technique, watercolor, acrylic and oil painting, and printmaking techniques as well as pastel tips. New articles will be added throughout the year that help to answer technical questions of both basic and advanced artists. Visit www.art-howto.com for tips, tricks, and techniques!
Artist & Display
Robert Paschal, MFA—artist, author and publisher—returns to Milwaukee to teach this popular six-hour hands-on workshop. This class is designed for the person who has no airbrush experience or for those that have used an airbrush but want to learn more: how to handle, hook up and maintain an Iwata double action brush; how to render in black and white and in color and more. Through a series of pre-printed exercises students will learn glazing techniques, paint reduction, development of highlights, color mixing, working with stencils, templates and frisket, plus more. All equipment and supplies are provided for use in class. For further information, call 414-442-9100; email email@example.com; www.artistanddisplay.com.
Learning & Product Expo: ART!
Immerse yourself in a unique experience for artists where you can visit an exhibit hall packed with art material manufacturers and choose from a program of 200 art classes—including airbrush. Learn new techniques from some of the most popular instructors in the country; experiment with new materials; stock up on art supplies at great prices; and see free demonstrations! Visit www.learningproductexpo.com for more information and to register.
Look for your next issue of AirbrushTalk in May 2007!