Volume 9, Number 6, March 2008

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.

Transforming Old into New

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

If you have a pair of shoes or boots that is especially comfortable, one that you select over most all others but that is beginning to wear out…here’s a solution.  Give them a face-lift, a makeover, and give them a new life.

For me, there is no question.  My favorite is a pair of low-top boots that I have worn over several months.  They are well worn and generally ready to be tossed.  Well, not today my friend.  I intend to give them a new look and new wear at the same time. 

Photo 1:  Materials are gathered and ready for the project.
What I will be using to transform these old comfortable veterans is my airbrush and a few colors of acrylic paint.  Acrylic, by the way, adheres very well to anything leather, as long as the leather is not recently oiled or wax treated.  So, almost any type of acrylic/water-based paints can be used.  Select a color theme and go for it.  I will use my Iwata Revolution HP-CR 4500; a compressor – again my choice is the quiet and reliable Smart Jet – always ready to go - very quietly - in a flash; vivid colors in acrylic paints; a few bits of shimmer in the form of acrylic glitter paint; texturing materials such as plastic mesh if you want it; cellophane tape; miscellaneous clean-up materials such as a damp rag and paper towels plus my cleaning station; hair dryer – optional  (photo 1); and a mental idea of how I want the finished items to look.   (See “New Products” below for the newly formulated Medea Textile Colours by Jürek, which can be sprayed on a variety of surfaces including leather.)

First, use a damp rag to clean the leather boots.  Allow them to dry completely so that the pigments will adhere.  Note:  Setting the paint with a handheld hair dryer is pretty smart, since it helps adhere the paints and dry the layers, so that over-painting is possible almost immediately.  Before I start the painting, I also run a covering of cellophane tape around the sole to prevent overspray.


Photo 2:  Starting to apply the selected colors. Photo 3:  Color applications are completed.

One color at a time, I begin to add tones.  (photo 2)  I use multiple passes of the airbrush for an even application of colors rather than one thick coat.  Dividing each boot into sections, I add colors within the sewn borders.  I do both boots at the same time in order to retain an identical look in regard to color placement and edge overlap. (photo 3)

With all colors in place and dry, I begin to add a bit of small detail.  (photo 5)  This is also a great point at which to add implied texture.  Lacey textures look great on this type of item transformation, but I opt for a bit simpler look – simple dots of shimmer.  You could use plastic netting from a sack of cherry tomatoes to create a crosshatch pattern.  Turkey netting is good too.  I think these two plastic waste materials make really neat textures; maybe next time.  (photo 4)


Photo 4:  Finished and ready to wear, these boots will seem new and will be fun to wear. Photo 5:  Close up detail of the surface shimmer detail.  Acrylic sparkle paint dots applied with the flat end of a pencil eraser!  Nothing could be easier.

This project could just as easily be done on newer boots or shoes.  Workout shoes take the paint very well too, so you could create some eye-popping athletic gear in no time.  Perhaps the best tip is to work on the cleanest surface you can create.  If the workout shoes are soiled, wash them and allow them to dry.  Then you’ll be ready to create some really cool gear.  Leather that has been heavily polished can be cleaned with a solvent such as “Oops”, cleaning fluid or other wax removing solution.  Do this in a well ventilated area or outdoors and allow to air for a while before decorating.


Artool Products Co.
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Triple the Action!
Part 2:  The Triple Action Handle Earns Its Wings

By Thomas Adams
(Click on any image for a larger view!)

There are few hunks of metal that become legends, and though the new Iwata Triple Action Handle is carving its place in the Airbrush Hall of Fame, our tools will never mean as much as the things we use them to create.  I mention this because my Triple Action Handle is flying its maiden voyage in a painting called Ace in the Hole, a pinup-clad

B-17 “Flying Fortress.”  This painting commemorates the aircraft not only as a weapon that helped liberate Europe and win WWII, but more importantly it salutes the brave men who flew, worked on, and painted these powerful giants.   I just want to remind everyone that our art is not just a chance for us to create something new and out of the ordinary, but it is also an opportunity for us to pay homage to the people who have done extraordinary things in this world and changed our lives. 

That being said, lets get to painting with our new Triple Action Handle. The pinup I chose was one done by another artist of the period. The name and likeness of this fighter does not actually exist; I made it up, but I used a lot of inspiration from real aircraft of WWII. I learned a lot of interesting things researching for this painting, and I encourage all artists to use your art as a way to learn about and experience new things.


Fig. 1 - Cut the mask and remove all of the fleshtone areas. Fig. 2 - Spray an even consistent fleshtone as a base for the skin.

Once the pinup is drawn out, choose the areas you want to paint first. On a pinup I usually start with the skin because it sets the tone for the whole piece and lets you know the shape of the body. I cut the mask and remove these areas to lay the base skin tone.(fig.1) Herein lies the first use for our new Triple Action Handle, the preset handle. You can unscrew the barrel of the handle pushing the needle chuck back to achieve a preset spray pattern, kind of like an old single action airbrush.  When spraying large areas this keeps you from cramping your fingers by having to hold back the trigger.(fig.2)

After laying the base skin color, we get to business shading and toning the skin. For this you will definitely want to pick up some Artool Freehand Stencils, which allow you to create the little curves and lines in the shading without having to mask off. When doing this fine tone work you want to use a transparent pigment over the skin tone. A transparent color begins light and builds to dark as you go over it more. For example, in the photo I am actually using a dark brown transparent paint but it appears a light caramel pinkish; as you build on it in the darker areas, it becomes more shadowy brown. (fig.3)


Fig. 3 - Use transparent colors to "Build Up" areas of shadow. Fig. 4 - Airbrushing with the needle cap off allows you to get a much finer spray. You can also store the cap conveniently on the back of the Triple Action Handle. Fig. 5 - Gotta Clog? No Prob. just pull back on the Triple Action Handle and your brush will be clean as a whistle.

With many hours of airbrushing behind me, I finally get to move on to the garment my pinup is wearing. I chose to do this in violet because I have this beautiful vibrant transparent violet that really sprays amazing for a job like this.  I re-covered the areas that were unmasked to spray the skin on the pinup; then I cut out and uncovered the area of the dress. After basing it in white I lightly started working in the shadowed areas and darkening the folds and crevices. (fig.4) As you will notice, I am still using my Iwata HP-C, because this is probably the most versatile brush on the market. The HP-C can spray large areas and has great coverage, but it can also handle this fine hairline work like a champ.  You may also notice that I mostly spray with the cap off, and that is because on these brushes it concentrates your spray to a thinner pattern, allowing you a finer line. This brings me to another awesome feature of the Iwata Triple Action Handle. On the back of the needle chuck there are threads to hold the needle cap while you spray with it off—which eliminates the time spent previously looking for this tiny cap when it was misplaced.   (Fig5) With the clothing done I replace the mask that I cut and pulled out, and I now move on to the hair.

Hair is challenging in any photo realistic project. It is everywhere and it is nowhere, meaning it has no true definition strand by strand, but you must use the illusion of coloring and shading to makeup its form. I go back to the transparent brown and mix it with transparent red to build in the waves and curls. Another tip you need to remember is work light to dark. Leave your light areas alone and work up your dark areas; you cannot go back and spray the highlights with too much white because it will make them look fake.  I also used a very fine brush to let some of the hair drape to the arm and paint in the eye and eyebrow. Though I think this could have been better achieved with an Iwata Micron, this is a superb brush for ultra fine jobs like hair strands, but I just don’t own one yet.


Fig. 6 - Always test your spray pattern when using the preset. Fig. 7 - Mask off and spray a little makeup. Fig. 8 - I think Iwata's Triple Action handle has definitely earned its wings.

Finally, we will use the Triple Action Handle one more time to put some blush on the cheek. I wanted a consistently light mist of blush, so I unscrewed the handle a tiny bit and tested my spray. (fig.6) Then with a single light swipe of transparent red I finished the face of my pinup. (fig.7) After some touch-up and a brush-painted Ace card, this girl is ready to take to the skies just as soon as I finish her plane. (Fig.8)  Until then, so long everybody, and get out there and paint!


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Air Essentials Redux

By Bradley M. Look

Back in July 2003 I wrote an article for AirbrushTalk (Volume 5, Number 2) that gave readers a breakdown on all the current products developed for cosmetic airbrushing.  Since that time several new product lines have come out, and I thought it was time to add them to that original list.

If you can recall, I wrote that airbrush makeups are divided into six different formulas: water-based, polymer-water based, polymer SD alcohol 40, silicone-based, and DHA-based.  Let’s quickly review each of these cosmetic formulas.

6 Base Formulas for Airbrushing Make-up

Water Based

This type of makeup is not unlike the more traditional liquid variety—finely ground cosmetic approved pigments that have been dispersed in water.  Water is the most common solvent found in cosmetics and it’s usually referred to as aqueous dispersion.

Polymer-Water Based

Airbrush makeups based on this formulation are common, with the other being the polymer-SD alcohol 40 variety.  Typically, acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymers chemically act as a film former.  When a polymer product is airbrushed on the skin, it dries creating a continuous film on the skin. Polymers are used in the manufacture of many standard cosmetics, such as mascara, eye shadows and eyeliners.

Polymer-SD Alcohol 40 Based

SD alcohol 40, like water based formulas, is standardly used in airbrush cosmetics. Alcohol is routinely used in the formulas of many cosmetics and toiletries such as hair sprays, skin fresheners, and colognes. I would also like to point out that many of the airbrush makeups currently available generally also contain a percentage of water in their formulation as well.

Alcohol Based

This formulation of makeup is normally known within the makeup industry as the “temporary airbrush inks” used to produce faux flash art (tattoos). Cosmetic pigments are dispersed into a poly vinyl alcohol resin that, when dry, produces a durable film that is quite flexible and strong.

Silicone Based

This is a newer formula of all of the airbrush makeups available, which has a great deal of longevity for those twelve-hour plus working days. Cyclomethcone is one of the secret ingredients in silicone makeup that gives it that “just applied” look for all daywear.  Makeup artists will also take brands like Revlon Colorstay (which contains silicone) and add 244 Fluid (available from most beauty suppliers who cater to the entertainment industry) to thin the product down sufficiently so that it can now be atomized by the airbrush.  This technique will only work on product lines that are silicone based.

DHA Based

The main ingredient in all sunless tanners is DHA, which stands for dihydroxyacetone, an approved component by the FDA for the last 30 years.  How does it work?  Well, the DHA reacts with the amino acids in the outer layer of the skin, causing the appearance of a brown pigmentation. DHA’s browning effects, as with many medical discoveries, was made purely by accident.  In the mid 1950s, at the University of Cincinnati at the Children’s Hospital, research was being conducted to study the effect of large oral does of DHA in children who suffered from glycogen storage disease.  It seemed that some of the kids would spit up some of the sweet concentrated material getting on their faces.  Researcher Eva Witttgenstein observed that after a few hours, those kids who had spit up the medicine developed brown spots on their skin where it wasn’t wiped off.

The use of the airbrush has made the application of tanless products more foolproof, getting rid of the biggest complaint by consumers: streaks.

Here are some new airbrush products that makeup artists should know about.  Some are updates and additions to lines I discussed previously and some are completely new.


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13 New Formulas

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Available in a water-based 1-ounce formula, which is called, OCC Skin.  There are five yellow base shades, five red base shades, five shimmers, and five primary colors available in the water-based line.  Use distilled water to clean out airbrush when finished.  There is also an alcohol-based formula which is called OC Ink, available in 1 oz., 4 oz., and 8 oz. sizes. The alcohol-based formula is broken down into eight “new school” shades, eight “old school” shades, sixteen metallic, eight F/X colors, and eight skin tone and corrections. It is recommended that 99% alcohol be used to clean out the gun when you’re finished. 


The GlamAire line is a polymer-water based formula available in forty shades, with matching cream based foundations for on-set touchups.  Additionally, there are also six adjustor colors that can be mixed with any of the glamour bases. The product is available in 1 oz. size bottles and is water resistant.  Graftobian also manufactures a GlamAire thinner as well as cleaner for the airbrush.

Kett Cosmetics

Hydro Proof is a polymer-SD alcohol based formula available in 1 oz. bottles in five olive tones, five ruddy tones, two color additives, and five color theory colors. An airbrush cleaner for their product is also available.  Hydro Proof is waterproof.  Kett also has formulated a crème foundation that matches their airbrush makeup line called Transfix Crème.  Kett’s other product line, as you might recall is Hydro Foundation, which is water-based and is not intermixable with the alcohol line.


JoMo is a polymer-SD alcohol 40 based water-resistant product. Available in 30 standard colors plus 54 custom colors in 1 oz. bottles. Larger sizes are available by special order only. JoMo also manufactures matte and glossy airbrush sealers, as well as a palette extender that can be added with any color in the line if you wish to create a dry format for a palette. Use isopropyl alcohol 99% to clean it from your airbrush.  JoMo will soon be carried at Motion Picture F/X Company (123 S. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502, 818/563-2366).

Marvaldi Makeup

Available in a water-based formula in either 2 oz. and/or 16 oz. sizes.  There are thirteen colors in the line.  Also, they manufacture an airbrush blush as well.  The company suggests the use of water as an airbrush cleaner when through.


MAC has produced a new line of airbrush foundation that they call Micronized Airbrush Formula.  The silicone product is densely pigmented and contains vitamins A, C, and E.  Silica minimizes appearance of fine lines.  Available in 10 skin tones and 13 primary/secondary and skin adjuster shades in 1.7 ounce bottles.  MAC also makes a Micronized Airbrush Cleaner in a 5-ounce bottle.


Air Craft has its Air Base airbrush foundation now available in a touch-up wand and paired it with To-Glo primer/highlighter. The water-based Air Base To-Glo Primer Duos come in six shades.


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..
AirPro Airbrush Makeup

AirPro Airbrush Makeup is available in a water-based 1-ounce formula. Currently, there are seven foundation shades and a pearl tone that can be added to give the makeup a luminous, diffusing glow.  AirPro sells its own Airbrush Cleaner available in a 2 oz. bottle.  Also, available is the AirPro Bronze Sunless Tanning Solution (DHA based) in 4 ounce bottles. Use 99% alcohol to clean out the airbrush when finished.

O2 Cosmetics

Available as a water-based formula in 1 oz. bottles. Currently there are six foundation shades in the line.  O2 also carries their own DHA tanner, which is called Tanning Mist.  Available in 4 oz., 8 oz., 32 oz., and 1 gallon.  It is recommended to clean the airbrush out with 99% alcohol when finished.


For the 2004 summer Olympics, Kryolan developed Aqua Proof Airbrush Makeup.  It is an alcohol SD-40 based product available in .5 ounce bottles.  Currently there are six   primary colors (including black and white), plus three foundation tones (light, medium, and dark).  Isopropyl alcohol 99% is used as a cleaner when you’re finished spraying.

Mist Mirage

Available in 10 ml, 20 ml, and 60 ml sizes, it’s a silicone–based formula.  Available in 20 colors: off-white. gray pink, pink brown, orange beige, orange pink, red brown, mustard brown, yellow green, gray blue, violet, gray green, blue violet, black blue, alabaster, ivory, beige, natural, tan, bronze, ebony.  Airbrush cleaner available in a 2 oz. size.


Spray on tanners in DHA formula. Available in two formulas, one that gives the skin a natural kiss of sun look or use the more concentrated version for a deeper coloring. Both are sold in 19 ml bottles.  Use isopropyl alcohol 99% to clean the gun out when finished.


Airbrush Liquid Color is a water/alcohol-based product available in 10 primary colors in 2.02 ounce bottles. While the company suggests that their product can be diluted with water, a representative from Makeup Forever told me that he likes to add a small amount of 99% alcohol to thin down the product first before spraying. Use water to clean out the airbrush when done.

All of these airbrush makeup lines have been pre-reduced so that they can be used straight from the bottle.  However, if you do decide to thin them further, please use the company’s thinner. If one isn’t made for the line, get in touch with the company and ask them what is the appropriate product to use.

Generally, most airbrush makeups are best atomized at a low PSI (pound per square inch), say between three and six PSI.  It’s extremely unhealthy for both the talent and you to be spraying at a higher PSI unless you’re in a spray booth.  The higher the pressure used to spray a product, the more bounce back you get sent into the air.  Bounce back is the particles that you see hanging in the air when too high a pressure is used.  The lower the pressure the less bounce back is created.  I’ve walked into makeup trailers before and seen a cloud hanging in the air where an actor once sat.  A regulator on your compressor is highly recommended!  Iwata now makes a series of airbrushes (a part of their Hi-Line series) that also have a regulator built in near the front of the brush.  While this doesn’t replace a regulator on the compressor, it does further ensure that if properly used, a more controlled atomizing of product can be made. Makeup artists also need to take proper precaution so that there is good ventilation in the work environment.  This is extremely important for the health of everyone in the trailer.

Be safe out there and good airbrushing!

Article previously published in Makeup Artist Magazine, Issue 65.


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 For The Airbrusher

New Textile Colours from Iwata-Medea

Medea Textile Colours by Jürek feature a new, more versatile formulation that allows for spraying on a variety of surfaces:  leather, wood, canvas, found objects and, of course, textiles (including silk).  This new and improved formulation even sprays great on hard surfaces such as license plate tags, metals, plastics and more!  Use Medea Topcoat (water-based polyurethane) for a final durable finish.

Medea Textile Colours’ free-flowing brilliance and non-clogging nature are due to the finest ground pigments and a special additive called the “Lube.”  This provides an exclusive wetting agent and a flow enhancer that allow for hours of hassle-free spraying.  Additionally, the flow enhancer breaks down the surface tension of the paint, resulting in better fabric absorption (when applied to textiles) for greater washability and wear.  See your retailer and visit

New Texture and Piracy Templates from Artool

Artool Products Co., Inc., Portland, Oregon, has announced the release and availability of the new Artool Texture FX Freehand Airbrush Templates, FH TFX 1 & FH TFX 1 MS (Mini Series) designed by Gerald Mendez and the new Artool Piracy Signature Series Freehand Airbrush Templates designed by Craig Fraser.  These will rock your airbrush world! 

Click on this image for a larger view!Texture FX Freehand Airbrush Templates by Gerald Mendez — Thanks to an advanced proprietary technology from the Artool Chemtox Lab, natural and organic illustration effects can now be easily achieved like never before.  You can add hyper-living qualities to your artwork in a snap!  Create unlimited textural possibilities with Artool Texture FX: stone surfaces, outer space scenes, splashes, an endless variety of backgrounds, graphics, detailed reptilian skin effects and so much more! 

“Let your imagination soar!”  —Gerald Mendez

Click on this image for a larger view!Piracy Freehand Airbrush Templates by Craig Fraser — Since everyone seems to be going pirate crazy nowadays, we thought it only proper to create and release six Artool Piracy themes for yee pleasure: Tell No Tales, Jolly Roger, O Cursed, Tortuga, Flyin’ Dutchman and Pieces Of Eight.  You can purchase Artool Piracy Templates separately or as a complete set (FH PRY 7).  Plus, you can pick up all six in the newer Artool Mini Series sets.

“Avaster dram of skullduggery I hath neer spied! (Pirates have bad diction.) Pirates and Stencils Rule…ARRRGH!!!”  —Craig Fraser

Artool’s Texture FX and Piracy Freehand 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  E-mail: features informative articles on Watercolor paints, brushes, paper, techniques, tips and products.

Airbrush Workshops

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn basic airbrush techniques with instructor Robert Paschal!  Learn a new skill that will increase your income potential.  Knowing basic airbrush technique will allow you to apply the technique to painting or enhancing decorative murals, nails/makeup, cakes and pastries, automotive/motorcycle design, temporary tattoos, artwork, crafts, and much more.  The use of all equipment/supplies is included, and seats are limited.

Basic Airbrush Techniques

6-Hour Hands-On Workshop

Choose from two locations:
Beacon, NY – Saturday, April 12
(Approx. 65 miles north of N.Y.C. – On the Metro North Line)

Milwaukee, WI - Saturday, May 10 or Sunday, May 11

For more information, visit or call 845.831.1043.


...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 May 2008!