Volume 9, Number 2, July 2007
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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.
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!
Airbrush Troubleshooting: Why Does Your Airbrush Clog and Spit?
By Pamela and Donn Shanteau
|This photo shows the route that the air and paint must travel to spray in a siphon feed airbrush.|
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.
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|Airbrush Paint Nozzle in the .035mm size is appropriate for painting small details and works best with paints that are not too viscous.|
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.
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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 email@example.com.
|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..|
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 www.iwata-medea.com.
|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.|
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 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
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
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 www.artoolproducts.com.
|WatercolorTalk.com features informative articles on Watercolor paints, brushes, paper, techniques, tips and products.|
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
Pasadena Conference Center
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 www.learningproductexpo.com for more information and to register.
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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.|