Volume 9, Number 1, May 2007

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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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.

Distinctive Garden Tools

Easy to Find, Easy to Organize

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

As any gardener, handyman or fixer-upper person knows, finding the right tool for the job at hand is sometimes frustrating.  Because there are dozens of tools in the bin or tool box, it is sometimes difficult to locate the specific tool you need.  However, there are a number of ways to simplify the process.  One such way is to color code the tool handles so that you can visually eliminate some right away and zero in on those you want.  Gardeners usually have several tools that do the same thing…trowels, weeders, etc.  If you organize the tools into groups that indicate the primary purpose of the tool and then color coordinate each group, you can quickly and easily find any given tool.

Items for painting and all the materials needed to do the project.
Decide on the number of colors you will need to divide the tools into proper groups.  In my case, garden tools fall into three main categories:  trowels, cultivators and weeders.  Bright colors are much easier to find – in the garden and in the tool box - so I chose three bright colors to help coordinate my tools.   Gather your paint, your airbrush and air supply.  (I continue to use my Iwata Revolution CR Airbrush and the incredible Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet Compressor because they are so dependable, easy to use, easy to store and always ready).  Other things you might need include masking tape to keep the edges of the painted handles nice and neat; sand paper; and optional: small paper lunch bags.

Covered with tape and a paper lunch bag, the metal parts of the tool are protected from overspray.
Begin by masking off the collar of the metal part of the tool.  This will prevent overspray from getting on the metal and make the finished coloration much neater.  For additional protection, use a small paper lunch bag to cover all metal parts of the tool.  Then you can spray with total assurance that the metal surfaces will stay clean.

Color coordination is easy and helps you find what you want.  Trowels one color; cultivators another, etc.
Wooden and synthetic handles can be painted easily with opaque acrylic airbrush/craft paints.   Just be sure the handle is clean and there is no oil or grease on it.  Sand if the wood is rough or if it has a slick finish.  Then paint the handles in each group.  Allow the first layer to dry and then repeat with a second, if needed.



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Adding personal touches is fun.  Some gardeners even name their tools.

When the paint is completely dry, you can add topical decorations if you are so inclined.  Use a brush to add decoration or you can add airbrushed tone-on-tone coloration if you desire.  Any decoration makes the tools very noticeable when tossed into the garden with pulled weeds and dead-headed plants.  You are in charge, so you can do whatever you want.  Color is the main idea here, both for visual pleasure and for practicality.

After the small hand tools are finished, you might want to continue the coordination/decoration with other projects.   Hoe handles, shovel handles, wooden tool storage boxes, even the handles of your wheelbarrow are likely candidates.  It just depends on the degree of color you want.  You could end up with the most organized and color-coordinated garden in town!  (I wonder if there is a prize for that?)

With a collection like this, you will surely stand out in your neighborhood.
This might seem a simple and pretty lame project but, take it from me, bright colors in the garden are a big help.  I don’t know why garden tool manufacturers don’t make more brightly colored handles from the start.  You can locate them from a long distance, find them in a rubbish pile, reach into the tool box and find the exact tool you want.  What could be more helpful?

NOTE:   The Gardener's Color Wheel from The Color Wheel Company is a handy item that was designed to help create exciting color combinations for the garden and understand color relationships.  Included with the 9-1/4” two-sided color wheel is a fully illustrated instruction booklet.  For more info, visit


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“Air Affair East” Custom Automotive Airbrushing Workshops

By Donn Shanteau

Hosts Al Thomas and Sheri Candland speak with the University Provost (center).

The University of Pennsylvania Technical Campus was the venue for the recent inaugural Air Affair East. This show is the natural extension of the very popular Air Affairs that have been held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Iwata spray gun distributor ASET hosted the event along with the University Auto Body Repair and Painting Department. Sheri Candland represented ASET and Professor Al Thomas hosted for the University. Representatives from DuPont and PPG paints were also on hand to support the event.

Air Affair attendees and instructors: Front row from left to right, Instructors: Bob Soroka, Steve Driscoll, Jason Doll (behind Sheri Candland's boot), Pamela Shanteau, Ron Gibbs, Bones, Paul Quinn.

The Air Affairs were conceived to bring together the top airbrush talent in the country and those who desire to become custom airbrush painters in a casual learning experience. The two-day event (April 27 – 28) was packed with eager students and instructors who were willing to share their decades of experience.

The instructors of the event were: Bob Soroka, Steve Driscoll, Jason Doll, Pamela Shanteau, Bones, Ron Gibbs and Paul Quinn.  Highlights of the show included a demonstration area where each instructor painted a panel with a subject matter of his or her choice.

Driscoll and Doll airbrushed pin-up art. Soroka did a portrait of “Davy Jones” from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.”   Pamela Shanteau rendered a dragon head.    Bones painted a “wicked flying eyeball with airbrush.”  Quinn airbrushed a flaming chrome lion head and Ron Gibbs chose to airbrush a lovely mermaid with serpent. These panels were clear coated in the state-of-the-art paint facilities at the University campus and now hang at the ASET world headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Monochromatic Flying Eyeball holding an Iwata airbrush by Bones was a fan fave. Paul Quinn airbrushes his flaming chrome lion head demo panel. This amazing image was painted using mostly freehand airbrushing by Canada's own Ron Gibbs. Ron worked on it off and on over two days. It was incredible to see how fast he worked.


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Pamela Shanteau explains her stencil making methods. Ron Gibbs explains the easiest way to lay out symmetrical flames on a car hood. Ron Gibbs sprays flames while explaining the operation of the new Iwata HVLP spray guns.

Every instructor also ran a two- to three-hour hands-on lesson that the attendees could emulate.  Each session covered paint mixing methods along with airbrush techniques. In addition to airbrushing, Ron Gibbs and Paul Quinn taught and demonstrated pin striping basics that included pin striping brush choices and modifications, layout methods, paint choices and pin striping techniques such as how to hold the brush and ways to trim the brushes to better fit the painting application.  Essential info on restoring a dried out brush was also covered by Paul Quinn.

Paul Quinn gives a hands-on pin striping lesson. Paul Quinn shows the proper way to pull a line with the dagger brush.

Pamela Shanteau revealed her secret methods for rendering details by marrying fine art techniques with standard airbrush methodology. Bob Soroka taught special effects that included wood grains, marble and torn metal. Steve Driscoll did a comprehensive breakdown on portrait painting and mixing skin tones. Jason Doll taught the ever-popular “real fire” effect and Bones worked with the students on employing the Artool stencils to render skulls.

Bob Soroka demonstrates his wood effects for the class to follow. Attendee emulates Bob Soroka's wood, diamond plate and ripped metal effects.


Pamela Shanteau and Bones mug for the camera in the instructors’ demo area.
The students were exposed to a wide assortment of styles and effects and were led through each lesson with the help of the main instructor. The other instructors aided the students as each main instructor led the lesson from the front of the class. This format was very productive and the students really got their money’s worth with the personal instruction they received.

Air Affair West 2007 will be held from August 29 - September 1 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It will be the fifth year for the event and the instructors will be:  Steve Vandemon, Pamela Shanteau, Deborah Mahan, Jason Doll, Bob Soroka, Dean Loucks, Ryno Templeton, Abel, Dennis Mathewson, Steve Driscoll, Fonzy, Gerald Mendez, Mike Lavallee, Paul Quinn, Bones, and Craig Fraser.


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A Little Airbrush History: Airbrushed Restaurant China

By Robert W. Paschal

Sterling China’s hard-to-find Fong’s Garden dinner plate.

Airbrushing has been a common method of underglazing and decorating commercial china since the 1920’s.  It was particularly useful for banding rims of plates, cups and saucers as an accent.  In the pottery, a compressor supplied air to either an airbrush or a spray gun that was used to spray a fine mist of color (ceramic glaze) onto green ware, bisque or glaze-fired ware.  This was a quick and convenient way to achieve a smooth application, particularly when developing a fine color gradation for a soft effect.  The airbrush was also used to create a heavy, solid coverage of opaque color.



Large platter, Jackson China’s Velvet pattern from the Maitre d’ Collection. Notice how the soft blending of color is applied with a freehand airbrushing. 

Late in the 1920’s, the Onondaga Pottery  introduced an airbrush process they called “syratone” that consisted of spraying solid colored bands and overall solid decorations to the face of flatware (plates and dishes) and the outer surfaces of hollow ware (bowls, platters, etc.).  (The Onondaga Pottery was established in 1871; in 1966 it became Syracuse China Corporation; and today it’s known as the Syracuse China Co., established in 1993) 

Three major china companies used airbrushing extensively.  The Syracuse China Company began a stenciling airbrush technique called “shadowtone” in 1937.  Other manufacturers followed, producing commercial china that is now highly prized among collectors.


This is an example of Syracuse China’s shadowtone saucer.  This style is sometimes called “Fish Bowl.”  This is an example of Syracuse’s Millbrook pattern, cup and saucer, commonly used in luncheonettes.
Jackson China’s Lobster design serving platter is a highly sought pattern seen on cups and saucers, plates and bowls. Notice in this close-up how a simple stencil was used in the development of the lobster image.

The Jackson China Company was originally known as the Jackson Vitrified China Company that started in business in 1917 and continued until 1987.  Today, this airbrushed china is in high demand by collectors.  Jackson China did airbrushed pieces of cowboys on bucking broncos for steak houses; elk, deer, fish and pine trees for mountain resorts; palm trees for seaside restaurants; and the now hard-to-find lobsters for seafood restaurants.


This Jackson China cup and saucer with a pine tree and mountain motif might be found in restaurants in the Adirondack or Rocky Mountains. Notice how the stencil conformed to the shape of the saucer to develop the image. A lead stencil was wrapped around the cup to create the design.


In Sterling’s Fong’s Garden, the lettering for the name was developed by spraying around lead letters.
The Sterling China Company, East Liverpool, OH, went into business in 1917 and still produces china today.  One of the pieces produced by Sterling was Fong’s Garden—for an oriental restaurant in the Kingston, NY, area.  Note that when the name of the restaurant is included on the china, it becomes more valuable to collectors.

This airbrushed decoration of restaurant china was especially popular in the 1950’s and 60’s and could be found in diners throughout the United States.  The glazing was usually done on heavy, durable pottery that held up well to usage.  It was inexpensive for the restauranteur and could be easily customized with a specific scene or logo.  The china could be ordered through restaurant supply houses. 

The banding technique was applied freehand using the airbrush; but whenever an image was required, the color was sprayed onto the surface using a stencil.  Most of the stencils were made from lead sheets because lead was easy to cut, pliable and held the shape, i.e., the curved shape of a cup, the bottom of a bowl, etc.  Most designs required several stencils and some were sprayed with a number of colors.

For more information on collecting restaurant china, refer to Barbara J. Conroy’s Restaurant China, Volume 1.


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.

New Products

New Artool Evil 3 Freehand Airbrush Templates

Designed by Craig Fraser

Artool Products Co., Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA, is happy to announce the release and availability of the new Artool Evil 3 Freehand Airbrush Template Set (FH SK LTD) designed by Craig Fraser.  Whoever said that good things only come in small packages was dead wrong!  The Artool Evil 3 Set is the perfect embodiment of “See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil.”  And what better way to ensure this than to stitch eyes, mouth and ears shut!?  We have combined all of this fun into one package in 4 sizes.  Now you can create the same skullicious design on your model car, RC car, model plane, bike, hot rod or off-shore boat and not worry about scale!  Be on the lookout for more of this new Artool Chemtox Lab concept in the future.  

“Stencil the World: Because one size does not fit all!!!”
                                                                      ---Craig Fraser 

The new Artool Evil 3 Freehand Airbrush Template Sets 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 features informative articles on Watercolor paints, brushes, paper, techniques, tips and products.


Learning & Product Expo:  ART!

This popular art event, which includes airbrush workshops sponsored by Iwata-Medea, has been expanded to three dates for 2007, so mark your calendar:

Washington, DC
Metropolitan Area
Marriott Inn & Conference Center
June 1-3
Classes begin May 31
Registration opens March 30

Chicago, IL
Western Suburbs
Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel
July 13-15
Classes begin July 13
Registration opens May 1

Location to be announced.
October 19-21
Classes begin Oct. 18
Registration opens August 1

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 for more information and to register.


...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 July 2007!