Airbrushing means something different for every artist.
Deon writes . . .
Creating artworks to get signed by touring car racing drivers pushes me to the pinnacle of my art skills. I am very proud of these works and the appreciation the drivers show is something that is very special to me.
If you think about it . . . What other hobby would enable me to invite myself to become an active part of the motor racing community? My art gets me great recognition and respect from the very people that I look up to. These airbrush artworks take my love of racing to the next level, and opens doors that would normally never be open to me.
I’m inspired by these drivers. They are people trying to be the best they can be, at what they do. I asked Mark Winterbottom what his greatest fear was? He didn’t hesitate . . . “mechanical failure”. Think about that for a minute. When I say I “crashed and burned” when I’m airbrushing . . . I didn’t really. I just put some dots and lines in the wrong place – it’s not like my race car caught on fire and hit the wall at 100kph+.
This artwork was a baptism of fire, but in the end it was my “Bathurst win”. I remember at the start, thinking I could do this in a week. Wrong. Two suggestions from Tony absolutely destroyed this idea . . . “do the portrait in silver metallic, it will look great” and “do a full colour race car, it will be awesome”. Oh! there was third suggestion from Tony . . . “use chiselling – it will capture the essence of Mark Winterbottom’s face.”
Boy did I over estimated my ability, when I agreed to follow all three suggestions. I was humbled by the artwork many times over. I did learn a lot and my airbrush never burst into flames.
I don’t think I could ever consider selling this artwork; it is too special to me.
Chiselling is a process that my teacher is very passionate about. He believes that when Chiselling is used well, that you can capture the true character in a persons face. Learning to “Chisel” is HARD! Learning to Chisel with metallic silver is #$%* HARD. I had to stop and “re-evaluate and seek advice” on many occasions as I tried to pull this artwork together. Yes, Chiselling was invaluable advice . . . and now with therapy, I use this technique all the time.
His advice changed how I airbrush and it does help capture the essence of what I want in my painting.
Q: What are the good and bad points of using metallic’s . . .
The Good . . .
Amazing paintings are achievable with metallic silver. They reflect the colour of the environment that you display the artwork in. For example, at home on the terracotta tiles, the colour of the artwork take on their hue. At the panel shop where I went for the clear coat, the artwork took on the hue of the candy apple mustang in the workshop on the day. The metallic artworks are like Chameleons!
The Bad . . .
It is hard to get metallic’s right. Flat tones are tricky. Some of those little silver particles have a mind of their own. The artwork looks different at every angle and in different light. Just when you think you have it right, you move to a different angle and it looks wrong. You have to ensure that it looks right at three different angles, at a minimum. Your work space lighting is critical.
I painted the portrait then painted the car. I brought it in to class quite happy with it, but after some “robust advice” from Tony regarding improvements I should make . . . I masked the car off and blacked out the portrait and started again! Seriously. That’s when I really started chiseling a foundation to build from.
• The images are from the internet. My teacher Photoshopped the layout for me. The artwork is PPG Deltron on composite panels (1200mm x 800mm).
Airbrushing a race car with all the sponsors stickers proved to be very challenging. I started hard stenciling, but it just didn’t work. I still don’t completely understand why. Making it more “cartoony” seemed to work better.
I was tested by every element of this artwork, but it made me a lot better at understanding what I needed to do. I found the whole thing very difficult. Both design elements really challenged me. I was not as good as I thought I was that’s for sure.
This second artwork of the Monster Energy Team of Cameron Waters was much easier. I was so “battle hardened” from the previous artwork, that this artwork was much more enjoyable. It really showed me how much my understanding of my airbrushing had improved.
I did my own composition. I had some OHP transparency’s printed and marked up each element in the position that I thought was best. I was very happy because this layout was my own. I am not good with Photoshop. Transparency’s on the old OHP for me. I changed mediums, to standard O & T inks from Airbrush Supply Network, so I could paint inside. “Don’t worry I only got a wee bit of overspray on the couch.” MDF . . . T’s & O’s and an OHP . . . simple mans tools.
The photo above shows a big ink spill on the artwork. Yeah! I just needed a little bit of red . . . and the jar dropped from the airbrush. It was a direct hit on the artwork. It’s funny how this didn’t phase me at all. Of all the things that can go wrong in our airbrushing, this is so easy to fix. It is terrifying for the for students when they start training but the inverse rendering that we teach makes this situation quick and easy to fix.
Currently, I’m working on an artwork of David Reynolds from his 2017 Bathurst win. I have lined up the sponsor who can help me get the signature!!
Thank you to Deon Pateman for all his effort, in sending me the photos and answering my 11 emails of questions. This is great article.
Creating fan art can be a lot of fun. The act of meeting your hero and getting them to sign the artwork is the sort of life experiences that you remember forever. We can teach you to create highly accurate illustrations that you can get signed – knowing that your hero will be amazed by the quality of your artwork.
If you would like more information about the courses in the Berwick and Frankston regions of Melbourne, go to the Airbrush Venturi course timetable, HERE.
If you have questions please ring us on 1300-247-278 (1300 AIRBRUSH) or email us HERE.