Killer Airbrush Q&A: Painting on Matte, Neon Shirts

Airbrush Q&A

Got questions? What airbrush artist doesn’t? Gear and equipment, materials and additives, techniques and tools—the options are legion, and keeping up with it all can be overwhelming. Fortunately, when you’re confronted with a puzzle, Airbrush Action has got your back! We’ve asked top artists to help us get answers for these readers’ questions. Log on to our Facebook page to pose some of your own, or e-mail ceo@airbrushaction.com, and we’ll answer them here, and in future issues.

On the Matte

Can you airbrush over matte black? Or matte finish? – Donte Adams

Absolutely. But it’s a good idea to test the paint you plan to use on a scrap piece of the material before you get down to business. “Sometimes paint of different manufacturers has a different sheen,” notes photorealistic painter Kirk Lybecker. “It happens a lot in artist colors. If you are not intending to put a clear coat or varnish coat on the work, this is going to matter. One of the laws of airbrush survival is to try it out before you screw up someone’s motorcycle.”

In general, though, “You can airbrush on anything that will stand still for it,” Lybecker says. “I don’t recommend trying this out on the cat, for reasons that I don’t care to explain.”

Neon Knights

Has anyone ever worked on color shirts (neon green, yellow, and pink)? Do I prep as black shirts? – Albert Avila

Neon shirts, a major fad in the 1980s, are making a comeback. “There’s no prep needed, really, you can paint right on them,” says Terry Hill, master of T-shirt airbrushing. But you do have to keep that background color in mind.

“The majority of T-shirt paints are transparent, so the shirt color is going to come through the design,” Hill explains. “If you spray blue on a neon yellow shirt, for example, what you’ll see is green.” Color contrast is affected, too; fluorescent paint on a neon shirt won’t pop the way it will against a white background. So it’s important to think the design through carefully before you start.

“Fluorescent shirts make very nice backgrounds for sunset designs and such,” Hill finds. “You just have to create your design and make your stencil with the color of the shirt in mind. It can still be contrast-y enough to look great.”

FOR ALL THINGS AIRBRUSH:

Airbrush Getaway Workshops: http://bit.ly/1kvcNaE
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NEW Blog: http://www.airbrushaction.com/blog/
Airbrush.TV: http://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest selection of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

SNEAK PEAK: ROD FUCHS’ CREATING KILLER SKULLS Airbrush Getaway Class Project is the Bomb! May 5-9

Rod Fuchs is clearly the bomb (I know we’re beating this pun to death, but I couldn’t resist!) when it comes to airbrushing amazing skulls onto any surface.  Here’s a sneak preview of one of the great projects Mr. Fuchs’s has in store for his  CREATING KILLER SKULLS class at the ORLANDO AIRBRUSH GETAWAY May 5-9.  Seats are still available for this incredible opportunity to learn airbrushing, all hands-on, from one of the World’s best. INTRO KILLER SKULLS, the 1-day class, will take place May 5, followed by the 4-day KILLER SKULLS, May 6-9. All supplies and equipment included. To register call 800-876-2472 or 732-223-7878. Airbrush Getaway Sponsors: Createx, Iwata, Anest Iwata, Artool, FBS Tape, Airbrush Action Magazine

Here is one the great projects that students will airbrush at the upcoming Orlando Airbrush Getaway, May 5-9.

Here is one the great projects that students will airbrush at the upcoming Orlando Airbrush Getaway, May 5-9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR ALL THINGS AIRBRUSH:

Airbrush Getaway Workshops: http://bit.ly/1kvcNaE
Airbrush Action Magazine: http://bit.ly/1gGWzny
NEW Blog: http://www.airbrushaction.com/blog/
Airbrush.TV: http://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest selection of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

The Micro Airbrush Art of Steven Leahy

Steven Leahy has mastered the art of micro airbrushing, painting mini masterpieces few can achieve.  To see more of Leahy’s work, go to www.stevenleahy.com.

Airbrush Getaway Workshops: http://bit.ly/1kvcNaE
Airbrush Action Magazine here: http://bit.ly/1gGWzny
NEW Blog: http://www.airbrushaction.com/blog/
Airbrush.TVhttp://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest selection of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

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GREAT TIP: HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HELMET

Anybody have experience with flex additives? I’m painting a skating helmet and want to make sure my paint doesn’t crack if it’s dropped by accident. Do they come in a rattle can? Anonymous

AIRBRUSH PRO ANSWER:
A little spritz of spray-on clear won’t protect your work. The paint job on a skating helmet has to be tough enough to stand up to hard hits. That’s why the pros pour a small amount of liquid flex additive into their paint before they work. “I’ve used Elasto-O-Actif by Sikkens as a flex additive for years,” says hockey helmet painter Jason Bartziokas, whose creations were seen on the ice at the Sochi Olympics this year. “I add 10 percent to both my clear coat and my primer.” Watch for new products on the horizon, too. One of the latest is Tamco’s Hi-Impact Clear, specially formulated for use on sports gear.

Airbrush Getaway Workshops: http://bit.ly/1kvcNaE
Airbrush Action Magazine here: http://bit.ly/1gGWzny
NEW Blog: http://www.airbrushaction.com/blog/
Airbrush.TV: http://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest selection of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

Happy Easter from Airbrush Action. Featured artist: Jerry Ott

Happy Easter from the Airbrush Action family to yours. Enjoy this gift, a new and amazing painting by fine artist Jerry Ott, one of the great photorealists of the modern era. To see more of Mr. Ott’s work, go to http://www.jerryott.com/

http://bit.ly/1gGWzny

Also, check out http://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest seleJerryOttBction of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

TANK BLANK MADNESS AT ORLANDO AIRBRUSH GETAWAY MAY 5-9

RECEIVE A FREE TROLL TANK BLANK when you ATTEND the 1-day STENCIL MASTERY class (formerly Stencils 101) Rob Churchill adat the Orlando AIRBRUSH GETAWAY, May 5 (4-day classes run May 6-9) at the Doubletree Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld Hotel.

LEARN AIRBRUSHING FROM THE WORLD’S BEST.
(http://www.airbrushaction.com/airbrush-getaway-workshops or call 800-876-2472 or 732-223-7878). More than 20 courses offered!!

Also, check out http://www.airbrush.tv/ for the largest selection of online instructional videos on airbrushing.

$700 Airbrush Getaway Swag Bag Offer to End Soon!

Don’t miss out on the incredible $700+ Swag Bag AIRBRUSH GETAWAY Promo!!

Click here for full detaiABA_SWAG_BAG_2013ls:http://www.airbrushaction.com/airbrush-getaway-700-swag-bag-deal-expires-sept-10

NAMTA Show

I’m off to the National Art Materials Trade Association Show today in Minneapolis.  I’ll report back tomorrow on any new airbrush and related products or cool art news I uncover. Stay tuned.

NEW Power Portrait DVD Available Next Week!

BIG NEWS!! Power Portraits, the long-awaited step-by-step DVD featuring Javier Soto will be available next week. This title is a 2-disc, 3 1/2-hour long comprehensive presentation by one of the World’s best, and is available for only $29.95.  Also, for anyone interested in learning from Javier in person, he’ll conduct the Power Portraits class in Las Vegas, October 9-12. For more info or to order/register, go to www.airbrushaction.com

After the Funk and the Slump, The Airbrush Action Blog is Back

I gotta be honest.  I was in a deep slump for more than a month and I’m happy to report that I’m back physically (the shoulder’s doing very well) and mentally.  It was a combination of a number of things: the shoulder surgery, Holiday funk, a brutal winter, and the enormous stress of publishing the January-February Airbrush Action, which, I believe, is one of our best.  Did I actually experience post-partum depression from the issue?  The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  The 90-minute airbrush instructional DVD (a huge success, by the way, and an effort I’m very proud of) we included ran late and over-budget at the replicator.  As a result we had to pay exorbitant rush fees, and overnight the shipment (for Saturday delivery no less!) to Wisconsin from Brooklyn, New York for a whopping $3,900!!! 

Also, this issue was, to be candid, good by accident.  We really had no great airbrush cover feature, and had to put our best foot forward because of a $10,000 promotion we committed to that better penetrated the Canadian market (Wal-Mart Canada, 7-11, Macs West, and others).  Ah, the price for airbrush evangelism.  I turned to my biggest weapon, airbrush pin-up artist, Olivia, and she was generous enough to help out last minute.   Historically, all Olivia covers sell out.  She and her husband, Joel, are wonderful people, and I love ‘em to death for always being there for us, and for their dear freindship.  By the way, many of our strongest issues have come via serendipity. 

As the leader of my company, I’m certainly responsible for motivating my employees, but there’s really no one to give me a boost when I need it.  For anyone going through this, all I can advise is work through it and know that you’ll rebound.  It’s a difficult process, but you’ve got to tough it out and have faith. 

Again, as always, I thrive on your feedback about Airbrush Action, and airbrushing, and wish to know how we can make it a better airbrush publication for you.  Airbrush on.