Football Fever – artwork by Damien Darroch

This is the finished artwork of Shaun Grigg (the ex Richmond AFL player). I created it just for fun, and to test where my understanding of colour has moved to, in the past couple of years.

Hi Guys.

Damien Darroch here. I just finished an artwork, that I thought you might like to read about. The artwork is of Shaun Grigg. Shaun was a football player with Richmond, but has just retired from the game.

I am going to write about three seperate ideas that I hope you find interesting.

• Firstly, I want to write about “making time for your art”.
I am married with young children, and have a full time job and I teach airbrushing each Saturday. In other words, I am extremely time poor. People ask me how I find the time to create artworks like this. The answer is simple . . . in half hour blocks when ever I can find the time.

The artwork is on paper. I taped it up, projected the image and just started airbrushing. I started with the background. The Colour Matrix made the whole process so much quicker simpler and more complex at the same time . . . because I had every hue, every tone and every tint that I could require for every part of the background.

To create this artwork, I sat down with the photo reference before I started, and I listed all the small sections that I thought I could do in 30 minute blocks. I counted 32 x 30 minute blocks. Then I just got started and ticked each small section off the list over the coming weeks.

It took me five weeks to complete the artwork.

As busy as I am, I find the deeper I get into the artwork, the more it draws me back sooner for the next block. Also, often when I thought I only had half an hour, it turned out that I had two hours available.

I started with the face first. I always do. It is the most important part of the artwork and I like to get in early while I am as clear headed as possible. Once the face is complete, it is a huge relief and I feel that I can relax a little. The skin colours are the most complex I have ever created on a portrait . . . so much more complexity and subtle nuances now.

Planning for 30 minutes seems to make a huge difference to my motivation to create artworks.

• Secondly, I would like to write about the new Colour Systems in Units 4-5-6 of the Venturi System. This is my FIRST full colour artwork since the release of the new Units.

In the old days, I was able to do artworks to this standard, but I had a lack of confidence about developing the right liquid colour mixes to ensure that the surface mixing was precise. This meant that some layers worked well and others didn’t. The inconsistencies meant that there was always doubt while I was airbrushing the artworks.

The clothing can be a challenge, simply because of the sponsor lettering and logos. These are all created completely freehand – no stencilling!

I enjoyed creating this artwork more than any previous colour artwork before, because there was no doubt in my mind while I was airbrushing each layer, that the colour in the jar was exactly what was required and that I knew exactly what was going to happen when I layered it onto the artwork.

I remember painting a colour mural in my daughters bedroom and I accidently splashed paint on the wall in one small spot. I felt so unconfident about removing the spots and being able to replicate the exact colours, that I ended up leaving the spots. They are still there to this day. But these days I would have removed them without any hesitation.

I never stop learning, and I never should . . . but being a teacher, it is hard to “know what you don’t know”. The research into the development of the new Unit 4-5-6 has given me a whole new understanding of colour . . . and I am enjoying my artworks more than ever before.

Here is the finished artwork. I DO NOT USE STENCILS! This artwork is completely freehand, just using my Venturi with a medium nozzle and the standard classroom O & T inks.

• Thirdly, I want to write about the new Colour Matrix.
Previously I was the worlds messiest and most unorganised airbrush artist. I had jars everywhere and the further I got into the artwork, the more chaotic it became.

The idea of an airbrush holder that enables you to arrange your colours in a neat order may seem obvious, but it alluded me for 20 years. I would always try and keep them in some sort of order, but it never lasted long.

The new Colour Matrix is so much more than just an “airbrush jar holder / sorter”. Every colour has a place and every jar is kept in its place. The idea of every colour having “a place” is only possible from the new Graphology in Units 5 and 6.

I was telling my students in class . . . in the old days, I would mix up all my background colours and paint that section of the artwork. Then I would set them aside and mix all new colours for the skin tones, and complete that section . . . and repeat this process for the clothing, etc. I would often mix the same colour multiple times. I wasted a lot of ink.

Now that I am using the Colour Matrix, I was pleasantly surprised by how many times I was able to reuse colours previously mixed for another section of the artwork; saving me lots of ink and time.

I could not paint an artwork without the new Colour Matrix now. It makes painting an artwork so simple.

If you live in Sydney Australia, and would like to learn to airbrush, who better to learn from, than from Damien. He runs classes on Saturday mornings in Penrith (on the western edge of Sydney NSW).

If you are interested to train with Damien click on the below link
or ring 1300-247-278

To enrol, go to this link for the enrolment form . . . click here

Written by Damien Darroch