Masking A Airbrush Design

Masking a airbrush design tutorial covers back masking tribal graphic’s on a Harley tank before painting. Brought to you by Airbrush Technique Magazine published monthly now!!

Now, if you need to back mask your design and don’t know how to back mask “in place” you could be in for some real trouble……especially if you masked your tank in this fashion (green tape), or you don’t have usable “cutouts” that you weeded out earlier, easy solution.┬áby Tom Banks

masking before painting 1
masking before painting 2


I use some left over vinyl Paint Mask (tackier than transfer tape). I press it down very well over my design and onto my original masking. I ensure that I don’t have any wrinkles anywhere on my tribal design….I push them to the outside.


masking before painting 3


masking before painting 4

I can’t see through the paint mask, but because I left my original masking “in-place” there is a physical difference in thickness that I can determine. There is only 1 layer of tape (paint mask) on my tribal design, while there is now 2 layers of tape everywhere else. I will use my fingernail to trace this edge, and really work the paint mask down. Now I have a usable guide for my razor cuts.


masking before painting 5


masking before painting 6

Using the sharpest razor I can find I carefully begin cutting along the groove I just put in with my fingernail.

Once I remove all the masking around my tribal design, you can truly tell how accurate of a mask I’m able to create this way. You are ready to keep on painting at this point, with no worries about overspray because you effectively protected your artwork.

ABOUT Tom Banks:

Tom Banks provides airbrush graphics and custom paint on anything that will stay still long enough to paint! Whether it is a custom chopper, crotch-rocket, metric cruiser, car, truck, van or human – Tom “Big Daddy” Banks will take it to another level. Tom is self taught, as well as trained by the world renowned Airbrush artist, Richard Markham…..all to provide airbrush designs that are unique and in high demand. From classic designs to hardcore-in your-face schemes, dreams (or nightmares) will be brought to life. Award winning designs include;

Easyriders Magazine Rodeo Tour 2009 – 1st Place Ride in Bike Show, Artist of the Month – December 2008 in Airbrush Technique Magazine, 1st and 3rd Place at the Niles Expo Center Bike Show 2008, 1st Place May-June 2008 Airbrush Competition in Airbrush Technique Magazine, 1st and 2nd place, metric cruiser at Gatto’s Harley Davidson Block Party 2008.

In addition, Tom is an airbrush demo artist for Ohio Technical College and spends much of time on the road and in high schools demonstrating the art of airbrushing and the career options for students in the field. Over the past 2 years, Tom has demonstrated at over 100 high schools to over 7,000 students. He has also appeared in dozens of Autorama, World of Wheels, and International Motorcycle Shows as a demo artist and charity auction artist.

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