Volume 9, Number 2, July 2007

Published six times a year by The Paschal Group, Inc.
Publisher: Robert Paschal
Editor: Jeanne Paschal
Also see — The Newsletter for Visual Artists

SUBSCRIBE to Airbrush Talk — It's FREE!!

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.

Back to School Projects

By Janean S. Thompson

Well, it’s that time again—time to think about gathering all the tools and gadgets for going back to school. But rather than go back with items that look just like every one else’s, why not create some original art on the covers of notebooks, binders, sketchbooks, day-planners, calendars, etc.?

The concept is very simple. By creating new designs and color schemes on the otherwise boring notebooks and binders you can transform them into personal statements of style and show off your artistic skills at the same time. Airbrush details can be very intricate or simple. It is entirely up to you.

Materials you’ll need to create neat back to school notebooks and binders.
You will need your notebooks, binders, etc.; your airbrush (my choice is my old friend – the Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500); a compressor – again my choice is the quiet and reliable Smart Jet – always ready to go in a flash; several design ideas drawn out or stencils if you choose to use them (I’ll be using common, inexpensive alphabet stencils.); acrylic airbrush paint in the colors that coordinate with your designs; line markers; and fine sand paper.

By enlarging the outer parameter of the stencil, you protect the surrounding area from overspray.
Our first project will be the transformation of a common spiral notebook cover. We’ll take it from blah to boss! For this item, I selected inexpensive alphabet stencils like those used for creating hand-lettered signs and posters. They can be found at any craft, discount or office supply store. I add pieces of masking material around the letter stencil so that overspray will not spoil our design. But before we work with the stencil, we need to cover the notebook with a tone of acrylic that will work well with the letters. Ideally, the tone would be a light to medium tone so the lettering will show. But you decide what colors you want, which designs you want and go for it!

Base coats are applied and ready to start topical decorations.
Apply at least two light coats of your base color to the front cover of the spiral notebook. You can use more than one color if you wish. When the base color/colors dry, decide how you want to lay out the stencil designs. I love texture, so I want to overlap the lettering—some upright, some upside down, sideways, every direction. That will give the effect of depth. This same method can be applied to other projects where texture adds depth, such as canvas paintings, van and motorcycle art and the like. These small projects prepare you to do bigger and better projects down the road.

With stenciling and marker decorations the notebook is ready to go!
With dry base coats, begin to apply the stencil letters. Remember to move the stencil. (No matter what shapes you select, reposition the stencil with each application.) Use as many colors as you want – more will be interesting; less will be clean, simple and easy.

To decorate plastic-covered ring binders, rough up the surface of the plastic with fine grit sandpaper to give the surface “tooth” that will hold the paint in place. If you don’t sand lightly, the paint might rub off. After sanding, use a soft cloth to remove any surface dust. Then apply the paint as above…base coats and then decorative additions. If you want to jazz up your projects even more, use metallic markers to add highlights. The more you do the more special each item becomes.

These projects prove that you can have fun with school things even before school starts. Be creative, have fun and keep painting!


Artool Products Co.
Art bridges for painting and drawing with soft and wet mediums. Safety non-slip rulers, and cutting mats for use with art and utility knives and rotary cutters. Low-tack film for airbrushing, illustration and fine art. Airbrush templates for illustration and graphics. Body art and finger nail art accessories and paint. Manufacturer of innovative art materials, tools and airbrush accessories for fine art, illustration, T-shirt art, body and finger nail art, sign and automotive art and graphics. Artist Bridges, Cuttingrails, Freehand Airbrush Templates, Friskfilm, Artool Cutting Mats, Body Art and Nail Art supplies.


Airbrush Troubleshooting: Why Does Your Airbrush Clog and Spit?

By Pamela and Donn Shanteau

Over the course of 20 years of airbrushing instruction, we have noticed that the number one problem encountered by airbrush painters is the tendency and the frequency of their airbrushes clogging up or spitting paint when the trigger is depressed. This very common occurrence can be attributed to a number of causes, which can make diagnosing it difficult. However, resolving the clogging/spitting issue can be simplified if the user is aware of four main concepts. The first is how the airbrush transfers the pigment from its source to the surface that is being painted; second is the size of the paint nozzle on the particular airbrush they are using; third is the viscosity of the pigment that is being sprayed; and fourth is poor trigger control on the part of the user.

This photo shows the route that the air and paint must travel to spray in a siphon feed airbrush.
Let’s address the first issue. How does the paint get from the airbrush reservoir onto the surface? The siphon-feed style of airbrush pulls the pigment through the paint nozzle with a suction action that is caused by a Venturi effect. The Venturi effect is created by the compressed air that flows through the airbrush. The air is guided through passages in the airbrush body that create a low pressure area or suction above the tube that leads to the paint reservoir. This suction draws the paint out of the reservoir and forces it into the paint nozzle. This nozzle allows the pigment to exit the tip of the airbrush and mix with the air that is also exiting the airbrush through its own path at the same point. The combination of the air and pigment create the spray pattern that is seen during the operation of the airbrush. Understanding this principle is important because if the paint path or the air path is obstructed in any way, the final spray pattern will be compromised and the airbrush will not operate efficiently.

If your airbrush is a gravity-feed model, it has a pigment reservoir affixed to the top of the airbrush. The paint is forced into the paint nozzle in a fashion similar to the siphon-feed airbrush model; the only difference is that there is no tube to draw the paint into the paint nozzle. Because of the close proximity of the fixed color reservoir above the paint nozzle, gravity serves to aid the Venturi effect in spraying the pigment out of the airbrush. Gravity-feed airbrushes are more responsive than siphon models because the paint travels a much shorter distance during the painting process, and the pigment doesn’t have to overcome gravity to be sucked upward before it enters the paint nozzle. If the paint or air passages in the airbrush body or paint reservoir are blocked in any way, even marginally, the airbrush will spit and sputter during the painting process. Make sure to understand how your particular airbrush works and keep the air and paint paths free of any paint buildup or other obstructions to eliminate clogging or spitting.


Dixie Art Supplies since 1935
2612 Jefferson Hwy. • New Orleans, LA 70121
Phone 1-800-783-2612
Order online safe, secure and easy at Dixie Art and Airbrushing

Airbrush Paint Nozzle in the .035mm size is appropriate for painting small details and works best with paints that are not too viscous.
The size of the paint nozzle refers to the tiny orifice that serves as the exit hole for the paint at the end of the nozzle. The orifice size can be anywhere from .018mm to .05mm. Take the time to determine the size of the paint nozzle orifice on each airbrush that you use. Airbrushes with smaller orifice sizes (.018mm - .035mm) will spray tiny details much easier than airbrushes that feature larger orifice sizes (.036mm-.05mm). Smaller sized orifices do not spray viscous pigments very efficiently. Paint that is too thick will not be drawn out of the orifice by the Venturi action of the air passing by the tip of the paint nozzle, causing it to spit and clog. The problem can be resolved by thinning the pigment or changing to an airbrush with a larger paint nozzle. The larger nozzle will accommodate the thicker pigments without sputtering or clogging but sacrifices the ability to render the tiniest details. Paints that are viscous, such as thick textile paints or artist acrylics, require an airbrush with a large paint nozzle to spray them efficiently.

If you cover all your bases and match the airbrush nozzle size with your paint viscosity, have a clean airbrush and the paint still clogs and spits, you may want to check if your paint has congealed in its container due to setting on the shelf too long. This is also a common cause for airbrush blockages.

The last point to consider, and the most unwelcome to the airbrush user, is the chance that the user is not properly operating the airbrush. Improper user technique is very common and usually consists of the user pulling the trigger back and then pushing down for air. This is a sure way to create a spit. Every airbrush stroke should begin with the trigger pushed down to deliver clean air; then ease the trigger backwards to initiate paint flow. Ease the trigger forward to curtail paint flow while continuing to hold the trigger down to deliver clean air. As the clean air continues to flow, ease the trigger backwards again to initiate a new paint stroke. This method moves the tapered needle backwards and forwards with the trigger movement and allows it to open and close the tip of the paint nozzle, effectively starting and stopping the Venturi effect. This action is akin to a windshield wiper on a car—every time the needle moves in and out of the paint nozzle’s tip it is wiped clean and will not allow enough paint to build up on the needle tip to create a spit. The constant flow of air over the tip also retards any paint buildup that might occur at the tip of the paint nozzle.

Follow these rules and surely your spitting and clogging problems will become a memory.


Reuel's Art Supplies
Reuel's Art Supplies, Drafting Supplies and Picture Frames, Framing supplies and we ship worldwide. All Major Brands of Art Supplies. Art books, Projects, Art Information and Drafting materials for all your artistic needs. Call us toll free at 1-888-355-1713 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Time or shop on-line at


“Simple Pleasures”

By Wes Hawkins
Start Over/W.A.D. Productions

Hello everyone! I would like to present you with my review of the vinyl kit “Simple Pleasures,” currently produced by Alternative Images.

This large-scale figure depicts Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster in a more innocent moment, smiling happily, holding a pair of daisies and standing upon a stone base. This kit requires a steady hand with the airbrush to bring it to life, so what say we have at it? My tool of choice is the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS.


Here you can see the kit primed and ready for paint. My base coat will be grey primer to pick up the green tint flesh tones more easily. One can already see the magnitude that shadows and highlights will play in this subject.


The head has been sprayed with Freak Flex FrankenFlesh and the body has been sprayed with flat back. Some touching up by hand was required where the masking was not properly secured.


Some people paint their colors from light to dark, adding the shadows last. In this case, I decided to paint the clothing beginning with the shadows and build the highlights. Here I have added highlights to the clothing with Model Master Rust.


For a long time I was nervous about trying to add shadows and highlights to flesh tones with an airbrush—reason being I didn’t believe I had the skill required to spray fine lines and control the airbrush. To remedy this, I used pastel chalks to add shadows. This eliminated the use of an airbrush altogether. However, I realized that unless I took risks, I would never increase my skill with the airbrush. After completing shadowing the figure with chalks, I decided to take the plunge and spray the shadows in, using the previous pastel work as a guide, sort of like tracing the lines in a coloring book. By thinning the paint down to a proper consistency (basically, heavily tinted thinner) and lowering my air pressure down to less than 10 PSI, I could control the spray and simply trace the pastel work. Try it, it works! To complete the shadows, I misted rust over the face and hands. This allows the colors to properly blend. On a side note, it is easy to sometimes spray a color on too thick and leave a harsh change in the base and shadow/highlight colors. Misting the shadow color helps eliminate this, thus making mistakes easier to hide.


A few details had to be done by hand, such as the cuts, eyes, and metal parts, since they were so small. However 98% of this kit was airbrushed. It was certainly a learning experience for me and I have no doubt that in the future I will use what I learned on this project for all my figures. Thanks for reading and feel free to email any concerns or questions to me at


Coast Airbrush
Coast Airbrush is a specialty store primarily for everything Airbrush. A massive warehouse full of every airbrush supply imaginable. Our 130 page catalog will make any airbrush artist drool for more. Attracting the worlds most famous Airbrush Artists as their customers. Take an airbrush class from the industries most celebrated artists, or just surf the website and check out new things or take some serious hang time in the Tiki Lounge..


New Products

New Custom Airbrushing Book from Iwata

Iwata-Medea has announced the release of the much-anticipated book by renowned airbrush artist Pamela Shanteau—Custom Automotive and Motorcycle Airbrushing 101. Her first book, The Airbrush Handbook, covered the basics of general airbrush techniques. This new title focuses on custom painting, from what it takes to set up your own shop for custom auto painting to finding the ideal compressor. You’ll be shown in detail how to get up and started in no time. In addition, you’ll learn about the right accessories for perfectly completing your works of art without runs, blemishes or a lackluster finish. By the end, you’ll be ready to proudly showcase your own artistry on airbrushed metal.

Custom Automotive and Motorcycle Airbrushing 101, of “coffee table” quality, is chock full of airbrush how-to’s and finished artwork, with most shown in high-gloss varnished photos. A foreword written by Craig Fraser introduces the book and stresses the importance of focusing on the basics in “how-to” books, and he describes how Pamela Shanteau has nailed the concept with this new title. Whether you’re pursuing custom painting for profit, fun or both, this essential book was written by artists who have survived and thrived in the business for over 30 years. It will help you gain knowledge that you can immediately apply to any project imaginable. Available where Iwata/Medea and Artool products are sold and at select bookstores. 160 pages, hardbound . Visit


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 From Artool:

Hobby Mask and Stretch Mask Mini Series Masking Film
Freehand Instructional DVD
Long Line Series WIRED Freehand Templates

  • Artool Hobby Mask MINI SERIES

The popular 6” x 10 yd. roll of Artool Hobby Mask is now available in a smaller size: 4” x 5yds! Artool Hobby Mask is a stretchable, SOLVENT PROOF, repositionable clear masking film, which is perfect for all 1/8th—1/25th model scales, including RC cars, model airplanes and trains, model cars, kits, figure models and a myriad of kustom airbrush applications! It’s also great for use with sculpture, ceramics or any 3-D artwork.

  • Artool Stretch Mask MINI SERIES

Artool Stretch Mask is a multi-medium, stretchable and repositionable clear low-tack adhesive masking film, which is now available in the new MINI SERIES size: 6” x 10yd rolls! Artool Stretch Mask is especially suited to conform to curved and irregularly shaped compound surfaces such as motorcycle fenders, tanks, helmets and a myriad of kustom automotive configurations. It will not bleed or flutter under airbrush spray, and will not lift up paint when removed and/or repositioned. No more playing the wrinkle game when trying to mask a tank or helmet. Artool Stretch Mask is a definite must for any painter working with kustom urethanes!”—Craig Fraser

  • Artool Freehand Airbrush Instruction DVD By Bob Soroka

In this new Artool Instruction Video DVD, Bob Soroka guides you through his original creation using Artool’s Signature Series Essential Seven Templates by the well known artists in the Artool arena, the Angle Master, Matchmakers and the MASTER SERIES, designed by Radu Vero. Armed with these Ol’ School Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates and your airbrush, you can follow along to learn the tips and tricks of creating new and exciting freehand kustom artwork! “Artool Freehand Airbrush Templates are the ultimate weapons for your airbrush arsenal!”—Bob Soroka

  • Artool Long Lines Series WIRED Freehand Templates
    Designed by Dean Loucks

With the new Long Lines Series WIRED Freehand Templates designed by Dean Loucks, you will now have an unlimited length to easily create artwork and graphics, which will also save time for achieving professional results on either flat or compound surfaces—from kustom rods and bikes to hot race boats, motor homes and even big-rig trailers! The ends of the WIRED Freehand Templates can be interfaced for a completely seamless transition to either the next length of barbed wire or the gnarly knot of your choice. You can also fill your WIRED artwork with colorful airbrush gradations for illusions of multi-layered 3-D relief FX. The possibilities are endlessly kewl! “Caution: Can you handle the attention!?” —Dean Loucks

See your retailer and visit 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, was expanded to three dates for 2007, so don’t miss the last one in California.

Pasadena Conference Center
Pasadena, CA
October 12 – 14
Classes Begin Oct. 11
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 with Pamela Shanteau. 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 September 2007!