December 31, 2012

December 29, 2012

Fiddling with 3D


Lately I've been fiddling around with 3D programs, because I was fed up with the programs I was using that crashed too often which caused a lot of effort to be lost. This is very frustrating so after having the usual crashes in trueSpace, I changed to Hexagon which crashed less often, but enough to annoy the crap out of me. After visiting some friends who I hadn't seen for 8 or 10 years (...) I suddenly remembered that I had the same program - Cinema 4D - that one company I used to work for planned to throw away because they couldn't get it to work. I never gave it much attention until recently.

One of the first tinkerings with C4D - the EFC logo

December 7, 2012

Very fine and sharp dagger strokes


Here is a trick to take dagger stroking to the next level. Gravity feed airbrushes are particularly suited for this technique, since the paint cup is not in the way when you hold the airbrush at a very sharp angle relative to the surface. The risk of involuntary becomes larger however...., so a lid to close the paint cup would be handy. Or you can use a gun like the Iwata Custom Micron SB which is perfect for the job.


CM SB with paint cup mounted on the 'wrong' side

Inbetween project - Panther


With this portrait I try to see if it is possible to closely approach urethane paint airbrush quality with water-based paint, Holbein Aeroflash. Set-up is follows:
  1. Aeroflash thinned to 1 paint : 20 water : 3 drops of Talens Retarder
  2. Air pressure just high enough to push out the paint
  3. Airbrush CM SB with Aztek paint cup, polished needle. no air cap
  4. Dagger strokes while airbrush is at a very sharp angle relative to surface
  5. Hansa airbrush paper A4 size
  6. Projection method: lightbox that I described in an earlier blog entry
  7. 99% freehand (a little erasing here and there)
Newest image on top, older stages below.



Experiment failed



December 2, 2012

Make Iwata CM SB gravity feed


Testor's Aztek paint cups fit snugly onto the Iwata Custom Micron SB. It is easy to fit the siphon side cup on the Iwata which gives the benefits of a slightly larger volume and a lid that prevents unwanted paint spills plus an excellent balance since the Aztek's plastic side cups weight is next to nothing. It feels like mounting a Skoda wheel onto Ferrari, but for those who will stop at nothing, it works...


Aztek siphon paint cup on Iwata Custom Micron SB

November 30, 2012

Iwata CM SB cleaner mod


Iwata's are great airbrushes, but they don't fit well in many cleaning pots, because the air duct kind of slopes into the front end that is partly outside of the cylindrical main housing. Most cleaning pots are designed to accommodate cylinder shaped airbrushes that have no protruding parts outside the main housing. There's a simple solution to modify them.


Left side of the Iwata CM SB

November 28, 2012

Erasers

Erasing is part of many airbrush artist's skills. When spraying with waterborne acrylics, there is a distinction between easily erasable and difficult to erase paints. Easy to erase paints (to my knowledge) are:
  1. Holbein Aeroflash
  2. Lukas Illu-Color
  3. E'tac
  4. Createx
A difficult to erase paints are Auto-Air and Wicked. There are also different types of erasers. In this blog entry I will discuss the manual type eraser pencils, which are often used by artists who create detailed fine art.

Meanwhile...


OK, after being stupid to spray uros without precaution I am recovering from inhaling the fumes and / or some kind of flu, I am airbrushing with bloody waterbornes again (for the time being). It is an old project that I postponed several times due to circumstances. This is a double portrait of the parents of a good friend. Here is the reference photograph (which is not really that good).



Reference photograph

November 27, 2012

DYI Isocyanide extraction system


After starting to spray with Uros again as can be seen in this post, I was having problems with my respiratory system and I am not sure if this is caused by the careless neglect of not using a fume extraction system or by seasonal influences in which humankind is periodically bombarded with pathogenic viruses or both. Just to be sure I am in the process of building an extraction system.


DIY extraction system under construction

November 23, 2012

Modern style management


It may have escaped the attention of a number of comatose people, but today's world is brutally being managed to shreds by a new breed of 'managers' that mindlessly apply all imbecile crap that was drilled down their dysfunctional brains in expensive bogus courses where they can get yet an other certificate to glue to their office wall for not falling asleep during a carnival of passing on useless bunkum conducted by some arrogant clown dressed in a three piece suit.


Congratulations to Karl here, who actually
picked up his phone and spoke with a customer.
This might be a breakthrough for our company!


November 22, 2012

Prevent image deformation of analog projector


Airbrush artists often project a reference image onto the surface on which they are airbrushing to trace the image with a pencil before they begin to spray. Many use an analog projector that radiates light on the image that is reflected by mirrors to a lens. Besides a flood of light, this lamp produces a lot of heat. This heat deforms the photo or printed reference image that gradually expands as a result of the energy induced to it. These deformations often show in the completed art work; most notable is that one eye is placed higher than the other. Tracing fast minimizes the image deformation but it almost always shows that an artist has been using a projector. There is a simple solution to this.


Glass plate supported by foam strips

November 20, 2012

Giger guitar WIP


Still in the process of becoming familiar with Inspire paints. I prefer to prepare decently, because I hate to mess up property of other people. So trial and error is performed on my own guitar that I bought when I still had money for 100 Euro. First wet sanding with 2500 grid (because the original clear was still in mint condition), then several layers of white base coat. The base layers behave pretty well, they're strong and provide a good surface with enough grip to spray fine detail. Below is the result of a few hours of spraying a Giger inspired image. I'm not copying Giger's fabulous art accurately. Unlike portraits this type of work allows me to use my intuition.


Giger guitar - Nov 20

November 16, 2012

Custom paint cups for Iwata Custom Micron


My Iwata Custom Micron SB is a stunning airbrush. Excellently suited for ultra fine detail and is useful to spray larger areas as well with excellent control. Only problem is that the standard paint cup does not have the capacity to spray larger surfaces without frequent paint refills. But, being a siphon feed airbrush that allows the paint cup to be taken off, provides the solution for spraying base layers and backgrounds that require relatively much paint.


Custom paint cups for Iwata Custom Micron SB

November 12, 2012

Things I hate to airbrush


Almost from the instant I became capable of coherent thought, I have felt an alien in this world. As if I was accidentally sent to this planet as a result of an administrative error made by some temp angel who could not care less about the consequence of his efforts. I really must have a chat with this chum if ever I will meet him. This alienated mindset applies to all occurrences in my life in which I am involved. That of course includes my efforts to achieve a decent level of creating airbrush art. One of the things I never felt drawn to, is to spray portraits of perfect, flawless faces, that exist only in imagination. I made several exceptions to that.


The stunningly beautiful and smart MM

November 7, 2012

Next project - Giger Ibanez


Preparations for the Ibanez guitar with Giger design. Messing about with various options. Gathering reference material, positioning, moving, scaling, composing images, whatever is necessary to come to a good design. Meticulous preparation is everything. Below you see one of the trials. I'll probably use Inspire uros for this one.


Concept Giger Ibanez guitar


Click the pic to see it big.

November 6, 2012

Everything is different here


Everything in this blog is different; most of the topics on this site are different, the way of airbrushing, the techniques used and tested, the way the airbrush classes are conducted. If you are looking for what everyone else is doing, you won't find it here. I don't care for what is hot, fashionable, popular or whatever else mindless masses chase without ever wondering why. I care for quality, sharp wit, compassion and empathy - I'm not in love with things or trends, but with human nature and talent that anyone has in his or her unique way.

November 5, 2012

A note on storing water



In an earlier blog entry I wrote about the treatment of water in a Reverse-Osmosis system. I feel I have to add a note on storing water, whether it is specially treated or came straight out of the tap. It is certain that the quality of water can be improved in such a way that it flows better and is better capable of dispersing paint particles, provided the paint is also treated which I also described in a previous blog entry. Water, however, is a living organism of a unique and powerful kind. 

November 4, 2012

Particle dispersion by high voltage field


As I described in the paint's pigment particle dispersion blog entry, the agitation of the liquid can be done with any type of energy. This particular article is about agitation of the paint by inducing a high voltage electric field of 20 kilo-volt. The field is created by a small generator that can be bought on sites like Ebay. A photo of the device is seen below.


High voltage field generator surrounded by paint bottles - 1

Shake, baby, shake!


Most airbrush paints are thixotropic, which means that they are quite viscous while not in motion, but become less viscous (having a capacity to flow better) when agitated or stressed - in other words when they are vigorously shaken. In the automotive business, before spraying, paint cans are shaken in a paint can shaking machine for a few minutes, sometimes up to half an hour or more. Many of the better quality airbrush paints are contained in a bottle that also has a ball inside of them to improve the effect of the shaking process. Also empty bottles for airbrush artists to mix their own paints should contain a kind of ball bearing (making them not empty in a literal sense) to make paints less viscous when shaken.


Empty (well, almost) paint bottle with ball


November 3, 2012

Ficticious vision


We have all heard about optical illusion. It refers to the perception of visual images that differ from reality. Illusions can be false perceptions of shapes, (intensity of) colors, and dimensional misinterpretation. They are things humans perceive but rarely become aware of, such as subliminal images hidden in moving visuals as (illegally) used by the advertisement business. Subliminal images are recorded by human eyes and brains, but the person observing the image(s) does not become consciously aware of what (s)he sees.



Animation by Edward H. Adelson

November 1, 2012

Ultrasonic dispersion of organic pigment particles


I continue to stumble into methods that have the potential to improve the handling of paint. In 1989 BASF (one of the big paint manufacturers in this world) filed patent 4929279 in which an invention is contained to improve the dispersion of pigment particles by irradiating it with ultrasonic waves. The optimal frequency range is between 40 Kilohertz and 2 Megahertz. These can be generated with relatively simple and low cost devices that use very little energy and are commercially available, more in particular with pond foggers... Below you see one of those.

Ultrasonic pond fogger

October 31, 2012

Pigment particle size in airbrush paint


Up to a few days ago, I used to think that airbrush paints could roughly be divided in two categories that determined the ease with which they could be sprayed:
  1. Paint consisting of coarse pigment particles
  2. Paint consisting of fine pigment particles
After reading two rather deep digging articles about the measuring of particle size and their behavior, I began to realize that matters may be slightly more complex than I had been thinking before reading those. In case you want to read what is written in them anyway, article numero uno you can download by clicking here and the second one by clicking here.


Paint pigments

October 28, 2012

Airbrush newbie info


When browsing on airbrush forums there is one problem that bugs newbies always: the spraying of fine lines. In the process of mastering this technique, the possibility to create more types of art comes within the reach of the artist - as the artist's skill increases, the level of art goes up. All experienced artists at one point were newbies and had to find ways to grow beyond this stage. There are several matters that affect the ability of the airbrush to produce a fine line:

  1. The quality of the airbrush
  2. The quality of the paint
  3. The adjustment of the airbrush
  4. The mix-ratio of the paint and added liquids
  5. The quality of the compressor
  6. The setting of the compressor's air pressure

October 25, 2012

Rafael exhibition


Today I visited the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands where an exhibition was held of Rafael (Rafaello Sanzio), Italian painter of the High Renaissance who lived from 1483 - 1520. I don't want to go into too much of his history, but more into the aspects of his work that astounded me.


Rafael at 15 or 16 years - self portrait

October 23, 2012

In-depth info on paint additives


To understand the properties of paint is imperative for airbrush artists. The best equipment will not make bad paint spray well, especially when attempting to spray fine detail.

Media spray cone of an airbrush

October 21, 2012

Indians in my living room


One time there were seven great indians on a wall in my living room. Portraits that are freehand airbrush paintings that I sprayed on T-shirt.


Indians in my living room

October 13, 2012

Iwata Models Tip to Trigger Compare


Artists hold a color pencil as close to the tip as possible to draw detail. The same goes for an airbrush as the outlandishly talented Alberto Ponno indicated. In the design of many airbrushes this is an underrated construction feature. In side cup or siphon feed airbrushes and gravity feed (with the paint cup placed on top) airbrushes the distance between tip and trigger are different which is inherent to their construction.

Nature of the airbrush classes


We made a clear choice to share freehand airbrush knowledge. It is definitely not a technique that will allow you to complete an airbrush painting in no time. Those who are looking to master such fast spraying techniques would do better to look for a different school. Freehand airbrush requires meticulous working methods, specific adjustment of equipment and mixing paint in a particular way. Progress is commonly slow, but you will learn how to master the airbrush in every aspect. We will even teach you how to tune your airbrush gun and make it spray better than when you bought it from the store when it was brand new.

October 9, 2012

October 6, 2012

Easy Iwata Trigger Mod ! ! !


Today was the first day I sprayed with the Iwata Custom Micron SB and it swept me off my feet! Now the CM SB is at least on par with the Paasche Turbo where the control over fine lines is concerned. Not only does it spray ultra fine lines, but the measure of control over variations in the lines is absolutely fabulous... From now on I will no longer need the Turbo to spray ultra-fine detail; The Iwata does the job equally good!

Iwata Custom Micron SB Trigger Mod

Interactive PDF resumes


In times in which jobs are becoming more scarce by the day, applying for a position becomes a task that requires a lot of thought to increase the chance to be successful. One of the first instances of contact between an employer and the person who is applying for a position is the exchange of the resume. As we all know, first impressions are important. It contributes a major factor to the decision of the human resource department people who are responsible for hiring a person or not.

Adding Interactive Tabs to your resume makes it appealing and orderly

The future of airbrush is ultrasonic


Possibly the Iwata Microns (and their tuned variations) mark the end of an era in which the limits of mechanical and chemical design have been reached. The mechanical limitations are caused by the physical options of the construction of airbrush guns, the chemical ones by the paints and additives. So after the Microns different ways have to be found to make airbrushes produce a finer, more consistent and easier to control spray.


Ultrasonic atomizer

October 4, 2012

How to make great PDF's


There are two programs capable of creating excellent across platform PDF-files for those who do not own Adobe's costly InDesign application, both of which have distinguished properties. These programs are:
  1. CorelDRAW
  2. Apache Open Office


October 2, 2012

Thin line between thin lines and spiders - II


Modifications that can be considered to make an airbrush better capable of spraying fine lines are the following:
  1. taller trigger
  2. lower needle rocker spring tension
  3. polished needle
  4. processed water
Taller triggers have to be moved over a slightly longer distance than short standard triggers to make the needle travel the same distance. This means that the artist has finer control over the needle movement It is made visible in the image below.


Tall trigger modification

October 1, 2012

Thin line between thin lines and spiders - I


There is a thin line between thin lines and spiders (or splatters). Spraying with ultra low air pressures tends to make airbrush guns react in a more critical way to trigger action than is the case when using higher pressures. Using a low pressure is not always the best way to avoid the dreaded spiders. But if an airbrush is adjusted in an optimal way and tuned correctly, it is among the best solutions to spray fine detail.

Spider - rampant splatter of paint

September 26, 2012

Added Airbush Class page


Today I have added the Airbrush class page where you will find detailed information about the courses. That page will be updated whenever changes will occur.


Harley Davidson tank, not yet sprayed with clear coat



September 25, 2012

Airbrush class to start soon


We have been planning to conduct airbrush classes for some time now, but when you want to do things right, it takes time to arrange matters in the way you see fit. Preparations for the airbrush classes are almost done. Designs for the promotional post cards I submitted yesterday. Here they are, front and back:

September 24, 2012

An other way of tuning airbrushes

While scientists and tinkerers think of ways to tune airbrushes to improve their performance, I tried a different approach, since the airbrush is only one of the components used during airbrushing. The others are water, air and paint. Paint will always be the result of the manufacturers choices; all artists can do, is change the mix ratio by adding more water to less paint. There's also not a lot private persons can do about the quality of air. But there is something that can be done about the quality of water used for spraying.


Combo meter

September 17, 2012

DIY lightbox projector


A cheap and effective way to accurately project drawings or photos for airbrush artists is explained in this blog entry. It has several advantages over traditional projection methods that involve art / tracers projectors and does not necessarily cost s ton of money. These advantages are:

  1. the drawings or photos are not heated by the projector's lamp that generates a lot of radiation heat which tends to deform the reference material, resulting in inaccurate or incorrect projection
  2. the image can instantly be made visible while the artist does not have to worry about maintaining the position of the photo / drawing relative to the surface (s)he is airbrushing on
  3. it is not necessary to trace the photo / drawing on the airbrush paper or canvas with a pencil. No pencil lines have to be erased later which is difficult or impossible to do with some types and brands of paint
  4. prints are used that give an accurate representation of the reference image
  5. the printed reference image can be made visible at any time it is necessary by the flip of a switch while the artist is never blocking a traditional projector's light beam

September 14, 2012

DIY polishing airbrush needles


Polishing airbrush needles can be quite rewarding for artists that often spray fine lines and don't like to clean their needles too often between paint refills to remove tip dry (paint accumulated around the needle's tip) that disturbs the flow of the medium and breaks concentration. To the naked eye stock needles may seem shiny and smooth, but when viewed under a magnifying glass or microscope it becomes clear that the needle's surface is not smooth at all. Cracks, grooves and puts are all over it. These spots allow paint to adhere (which paint finds difficult to achieve on really smooth surfaces) to the needle's surface.

September 10, 2012

Work in progress - Chief Plenty Coups


Here are some images of the various stages of my September 2012 project, a freehand airbrush portrait of the legendary Nez Percez chief Plenty coups.


Note: clicking on any image will show it against a dark background in a slide view in which you can watch all images on this page. You can browse through them by turning the scroll wheel of your mouse. 

 







September 8, 2012

Why every airbrush artists should have a microscope or magnifying glass


Airbrush needles are important parts of the guns. If their bent you can not spray correctly, because the jet of paint and air mixture that the airbrush is disturbed. If their scratched you will get tip dry in no time and the airbrush does not spray nicely, because paint will flow into the minute cavities and build up from there since paint is made to adhere.

What happens beyond your capacity to see? I got a USB microscope today that allows me to see what is actually going on in the area of the needle's tip. Below you see a magnified capture of the needle of the Iwata Custom Micron SB I recently bought. I sprayed one A4 size portrait with it that contains 8 drops of Holbein Aeroflash paint:

Iwata CM SB's needle after one portrait and 8 drops of paint

September 6, 2012

The magnificent uselessness of the Paasche Turbo


To a certain number of maniacs among airbrush artists (are they all maniacal in a way?) the legendary Paasche Turbo has a strange kind of appeal. I always felt something similar as seeing a woman that is too beautiful to approach - an out of my league type of beauty. Only difference is that if you safe money persistently you can actually buy the Turbo in a shop... Like many women the Paasche soon starts to frustrate its owner (sorry ladies..., don't take it personally) - adjusting it to a level where you can work with it is an ordeal. But once you have managed to accomplish that, you fall in love forever.


Various generations of Paasche Turbo airbrushes


August 30, 2012

JFK portrait finished


The airbrush portrait of JFK is finished. It was a test to become familiar with the Iwata Custom Micron SB. I sprayed the portrait on A4 office paper, because spraying on a small size surface is the best way to test the limits of an airbrush. The Iwata passed the test, although the low quality paper was not the best surface to work on.


Iwata Custom Micron SB test - JFK

Airbrush classes / cursus


An increasing number of people are affected by the crisis. It means that they have less to spend on matters that are not basic requirements of life. We have taken this into account when determining fees for the various classes and will be offering flexible courses that will allow students to acquire what skills they need.

We prefer to teach in a way that is tailored to human beings, which means you will learn more than just airbrushing skills. We believe it is of no use to teach skills if people's eye sight is not as good as it can be. So we offer methods to improve it as well. We do not believe that good airbrushing is possible if one has tremors; exercises and dietary suggestions to decrease them are therefore also offered.

The art of airbrushing is best done when the mind is quiet and relaxed. It means the urge to rush matters is taken away and means to reach such a frame of mind will be taught alongside effective training methods to improve your spraying skills. We do not want you to bring home practice examples that you can show off to friends and relatives - we want you to be the best airbrush artist that you can possibly be.

See our Contact page and talk to us for more information.


August 28, 2012

Paasche's Turbo airbrush


Today I thought I would fire up the Turbo again. I had not used it for years, but the thing still spins and screams like a dentist's drill. Not an airbrush for beginners or for artists that forget how to adjust it after not using it for too long...


Paasche Turbo


August 26, 2012

CorelDRAW & Corel PhotoPaint


I have been using the Corel packages since version 4 and am now using X5. Occasionally I tried Illustrator and Photoshop, but I could never get used to the interface which in my view does not present a lot of functions that are visible at first glance. Corel on the other hand does this abundantly without becoming confusing. The interface is very comprehensive and coherent. Drawing shapes in DRAW is super fast, easy to learn and comes with a shipload of editing options.

Designed from scratch in 8 hours using CorelDRAW

August 25, 2012

Side cup vs. gravity feed cup


When reading information in postings on airbrush forums comparing the properties of airbrush guns with gravity feed paint cups with those of siphon feed cups, I feel a lot is being written that does not really have a sound rational foundation. A few of these I would like to elaborate on from my perspective in this blog entry.

Below this paragraph you see an image of a gravity feed airbrush (Iwata HP-BH) on top and a siphon feed airbrush (Iwata Custom Micron SB) underneath it. The solid red line indicates the paint level in the cups and the dotted blue line indicates the center of the needle / nozzle combination.

Gravity feed vs. siphon feed airbrushes

August 22, 2012

Iwata Custom Micron CM-SB


Ok, my Iwata HP-BH, started to give trouble after working flawlessly for 8 years or so, never asking for a replacement of parts... I bought it on an airbrush show after my trusted Paasche V#1 was stolen when I decided to interrupt demonstrating and start walk around to see what else was going on at the fair. Almost immediately after I bought it (at the Airbrush-Services Almere stand) my business partner of that time tripped over the hose.


Iwata Custom Micron CM-SB

August 18, 2012

Testing 1


After repairing my compressor (Sil-Air) I was able to begin testing the Paasche V#1 airbrush and the Createx Wicked and the Inspire paints. The air pressure regulator / moisture separator unit of the compressor was broken. In order to change it the pump unit had to be removed, because there is not enough space to unscrew the above mentioned unit and screw the replacement back on. After replacing it, the Sil-Air worked as if it was new again.

A drawing of the Paasche V#1 (V, VV and VJR are also included) for identification of the parts, to which I refer in this blog entry, is placed below. Please click the image to see the larger actual size version for readability.


Click to see a larger image


August 17, 2012

Inspiration


Discovered a paint I was unfamiliar with. Inspire custom paint - the European alternative for House of Kolor that was way too expensive due to high transportation costs. Paints are not allowed to be carried by airplane because they are considered to be a fire hazard. Inspire is made in the UK, which significantly reduces transportation costs therefore resulting in a good price for European consumers.

Inspire Royal Blue Candy



The image above shows the Royal Blue Candy, a category of paint that is particularly pretty. Eager to test them, but I have to repair the compressor first. HOK was uniquely pleasant to spray; if Inspire comes even remotely close, it will be my prime choice of paint.

The friendly and skilled staff of the Airbrush Services Almere store (Eric & Trees) were so kind to bring this paint under my attention.


Stay tuned!




Looking for sponsors


Tomorrow we will try to acquire some sponsorship for our airbrush classes. We'll see what is still possible in these dire days. In any event, spirits are high, air pressure is low, paint is fast to dry while expectations grow. Stay tuned.

DAZ Hexagon 3D rendering




August 15, 2012

The art of looking


You can only express what you observe. If there is nothing to see or you don't see what actually is there, it will never become part of your art.

Corel PhotoPaint tinkering

August 9, 2012

Tests in planning


We have planned some exciting tests to tune airbrushes in a simple, affordable and effective way... Will post results here if it all works out as we hope they will...

CorelDRAW / PhotoPaint cartoon




August 6, 2012

Downloadable airbrush class outline


A course outline you find here. It is in Dutch since students most likely live in The Netherlands.

DAZ Hexagon 3D rendering




August 5, 2012

Found a location for airbrush classes

This week we found a location (in Hoofddorp near Amsterdam Schiphol airport) perfectly suited to conduct airbrush courses. It has a well lit room for the course, separate restrooms for ladies and gentlemen and a lunchroom with coffee machine and refrigerator where break periods can be spent in a relaxed atmosphere. There is also a separate space where small custom-paint training can be given. Adequate parking space behind a gate that can be locked during classes is also present and the location in general feels good and friendly.


Corel PhotoPaint edit

July 31, 2012

If the fire rages

If the fire rages inside...


Let us add some fuel.


Contact us if you want to attend airbrush class.