“Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work.”
Artool 7-Craig Fraser-Mastering New Kustom Kulture Stencils
In the previous column we covered the use of the Diamond Plate, the second stencil in the FX line. Just to be different this time, I decided to jump ahead a few stencils to introduce the new Flyballs, and Martini Time stencils. Flyballs is my favorite in this series because the flying eyeball is the classic icon of the kustom kulture. Not to infringe on anything Von Dutch, this eyeball transcends all that's kustom without looking like one of Ashton Kutcher's hats! The Devil and Angel eyeballs work nicely as a centerpiece in your artwork, and a flock of flyballs make for a killer eyeball landscape. Martini Time is a grouping of cool kustom pop icons: nautical stars, crowns, martini glasses, and broken booze bottles. What more could you ask for? Although you may not be able to count on winning a Gugenhiem fellowship with these designs, this stencil will most definitely earn you the popularity award with the local hoodlums. So, without further ado, let's see what we can do with these cut-up pieces of plastic!
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Flyballs and Martini Time. To give myself something to stencil around, and to make the demo more interesting, I added a masked off flame design. I also thought it would look cool to airbrush the designs onto a black panel.
Because I used a black base, I sprayed a layer of House of Kolor PBC-40 violet pearl to separate the black flame design from the area I stenciled in. Ultimately, I added this panel to my shop display to further show clients the graphic and stencil options available.
I mixed HOK Violet Pearl with some BC-26 white, and airbrushed the eyeball pattern with the Flyball stencil. I used a combination of the large flying eyeballs and the smaller ones to create a cool landscape of eyeballs. Hot tip: You can achieve the appearance of an unending pattern by simply rotating the stencil.
With the same mix of white and violet, I hit the other side of the flame with a nice combination of icons from Martini Time. The cool thing about Martini Time and a number of my background stencils are the multiple sizes to play with. So, if you organize them well, you can create seamless patterns that'll never replicateâ€”and they'll most likely look incredibly bizarre.
Here, I wanted to show the stencils used solely as a point and spray toolâ€”little skill requiredâ€”without any kustom airbrushing done on the images. Using a mix of transparent violet kandy, I blended the kandy from the center out, sinking the images back into the background violet for an almost ghosted look. These stencils function exceptionally for pearled ghost work. However, pearls never photograph well.
Here, I unmasked the flames to see how these suckers came out. If you want the flames to be less conspicuous, yet stand out more then a pearl job, you can layer in more kandy or you may use the same color as the underlying graphic on your car applying a slightly darker tint.
With the background/graphic demo complete, let's take the stencils and play with a little freehand airbrushing. Using the stencils for reference in free handing allows you to airbrush the tell-tale stencil cuts, giving the illusion of a freehand rendered design. Using more of the white/violet, I airbrushed the devil eyeball first.
Generally, I lay in all of the stencils to be freehanded before I do any spraying. With the overspray wiped away from the top eyeball, I airbrushed the angel eyeball directly underneath it. Flipping the stencil, I swapped the direction of the eyeball to obtain an alternating effect.
Combining stencils, I airbrushed a crown from Martini Time onto the flying eyeball. Masking off the stencil keeps the overspray to a minimum. You would be amazed by how many of the Artool stencils work together; some by design and others by sheer coincidence. The fun part is experimenting with them.
To make the crown work, it's necessary to mask off the halo on the Angel Eyeballâ€”when done correctly, it looks like it was made for it. Again, mask around the stencil to prevent overspray. The masking also serves to hold the stencil to the surface for hands free spraying.
With the flying eyeballs finished, I filled in the areas between them with a few nautical stars and other goodies. You may render the stars in dark or light depending upon your background value. Martini Time includes three stars, so knock yourself out.
Putting the nautical into the nautical star is my favorite part. A little highlight or darkening in this stencil gives a killer sense of depth. The other stencil's icons are just screaming for a little airbrushing!
After adding some white background smoke, I connected a number of the stencil breaks with the white. Mixing a batch of black kandy, I airbrushed some details, and added the necessary shadows to give the individual pieces their depth.
With the Flyball stencil, I brought back the pupil and retina of the eye with the black kandy. You can see what just a little bit of freehand airbrushing can do to liven up these simple stencil designs. Just remember, you control how much your stencil art looks like stencil art! Well, there it is! A cool way to combine two of the newest stencils to hit the market. Whether you use them solely as a background graphic or to lay out a freehand piece of mural work, these new Artool stencils are definitely going to give your latest masterpiece the desired Kustom Kulture look.