BMW Mural: by Aldo Coetzee

“I caught one this big. And it didn’t get away from me.”

Aldo Coetzee is based in Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand. He has only been airbrushing for 4 years, but is a very passionate Venturian.

* You will be very impressed by Aldo’s little step by step video at the end.

Aldo writes . . .

I am really not sure that my airbrushing is good enough to go into Airvolution, but Tony is keen to write about this artwork, so I am very pleased. But I am very proud of this artwork.

I got interested in airbrushing for Spearfishing. Yes, spearfishing. I made a wooden speargun for myself and wanted to paint something on it. Bought a cheap compressor and airbrush and that is where it all started.

I did the background with a B&W treatment and then added the colour over the top. The masking tape border worked very well. I folded it in half to create a “wall stencil”.

I want to start by saying how grateful I am to Airbrush Venturi for the training that I have received. In the last 4 years, I have airbrushed portraits, animals, landscapes, cartoons and obviously cars (hence the article). I have airbrushed on paper, canvas, wood, steel and ceramics. The sheer diversity of the subject matter, surfaces and paints is a tribute to the Venturi System. I am a very proud student of the Venturi System.

• The BMW Racing Team Mural:

This was a commissioned work for a private car collector that has a racing team. The mural is of his racing car, with him behind the wheel.

The mural is 3 metres x 4.6 metres; 14 square metres in all. The reference images are actually A1 in size, but they don’t look that large when placed on the mural.

The mural area was first covered with black interior house paint, using a roller. I did not have much room to move the OHP back, and I couldn’t get the projected image large enough. So the OHP transparencies had to be printed in two halves. After some careful aligning of the image, it was ticked on the wall with white pencil. This took most of the first morning.

I managed to paint the grass and background on the second half of the first day. I had a company produce huge A1 prints of the different parts of the image as references. This was just after I finished the colour course and figured anything smaller would make visual scaling too hard.

Here I have almost finished the grill, bonnet and driver. Again, I did everything B&W and then colourised it afterward. I used the 3D colour wheel to mix the colours really precisely.

I have found in the past that I get hung up on parts of an artwork and start going in circles without progressing much. To combat that I set my phone on a hourly alarm. This forced me to take 10 to 15 minutes break after every hour of painting. This also made me take the time to to step back and keep a clear perspective of my progress. This strict time management kept me going for 8-10 hours a day.

• Great advice Aldo !

I started by painting the detail in white and then overlaying colour as needed. The colour wheel we made during the colour course was one of the best tools I had. If there is something that I really want to say in this article, it is how amazing the Venturi 3D Colour Wheel is, as an artwork planning tool. At that stage I only had 6 bottles of paint. (Black, White, Grey, Red, Yellow and Blue) Using the colour wheel I managed to achieve all the colours I needed.

To create the signwriting across the windscreen, I just created a handcut stencil for each letter. I sprayed the strip white and used each paper stencil for the letters. Very low tech.

Everything was done freehand apart from the taped edge of the car and sporadic use of loose stencils for some curves and the windscreen signwriting.

Using the inks manufactured by Airbrush Supply Network (O & T inks) worked really well. The inks made this mural very quick and easy to do. People think these inks are just for the Airbrush Venturi classroom, but they work really well under commercial conditions.

Once the painting was done, I covered it with a clear satin water based polyurethane varnish using a paintbrush. The painting took me 5 days and I cleared it on the 6th day.

On the 7th day I rested 🙂

The audio track had to be removed for copyright reasons, but just play your favourite music and you will get the idea of what was playing.

This was a first for me, for such a large scale as well as my first colour painting after the Venturi course. Fortunately the Venturi System enables you to take on any challenge, knowing that if you apply the principles you will be OK. (Thanks Aldo – cheques in the mail.)

Tony asked me if I would do anything differently. The only thing I would do different is to suggest to the owner to paint it on ACP panels and mount them so that the owner can always take them with him.


It was wonderful to see my mural on the TV program Skyspeed with Greg Murphy and Steven McIvor.

To say I am proud of what I achieved with the mural is an understatement. I love the artwork and will always remember this one as the first on so many levels. The client was very impressed and happy with the result. I do not think he envisioned it to be so close to the real thing. I had many people comment that they thought it was a photo. 

Thank you to Aldo Coetzee for letting me write about him and his wonderful mural. If you would like to see more of his artworks go to his facebook page HERE.

If you live on the North Island of New Zealand and would like to learn to airbrush, we have courses in Auckland every 6 months. The course is a 10 Day Course. You see the next course dates HERE. The next course is only weeks away – May 6th – 17th. Then there is the October program.

The courses are taught by the founder of Airbrush Venturi, Tony Vowles. If you would like more information please send an email HERE or text Tony on +61 418 324 530.

To enrol in the next course simply click HERE for the enrolment form and the process to follow.

Written by Tony Vowles