Making Airbrush Cleaning Station Video

 

 

What do you do with the paint left in your color cup, fast blast bottle that you’re not going to use in your painting or the cleaning solution when cleaning your airbrush? Here is an easy solution you can make out of containers you would generally just throw away. Hope you find this helpful.

Lion Helmet Airbrush Tutorial

Lion Helmet Airbrush Tutorial covers rendering a lion on the back of a motorcycle helmet using techniques borrowed from other forms of airbrushing, illustration mostly. It is also a good study on why you should never give up on a design and see it thru to completion. Written by Don Johnson, airbrusgallery.com

Sponsored by Airbrush Technique Magazine the best airbrush magazine on the planet.

The lion is not meant to be fine art by any means its helmet art but many of the techniques used in airbrushing illustration, canvas can be used just the same. Mainly the techniques of using an easer and hobby knife to remove paint from an area to help build highlights  character in your design are barrowed from those airbrushing those surfaces. You accomplish this on a hard surface much the same as you would on illustration board or canvas; you apply your paint in very thin coats and in many layers. Between layers use an easer or hobby knife blade tip to remove some of the color revealing the light back ground color.

Using this technique doesn’t make you less of an artist, doesn’t reflect your lack of skill with an airbrush it’s just another tool you have at your disposal to help you render your art. Some of the best illustrators in the airbrushing field use this same technique, Mark Frederson for one.

One thing I have learned over the year’s custom painting is to see a design thru to the end; there may come a point where you believe all is lost, the design just isn’t working. At times like this don’t throw the towel in see the design thru to the end; more times than not you will be surprised at how well things turn out in the end.

Airbrush Supplies Required:

double action airbrush, House of Kolor paint and clear coats, hobby knife

 

motorcycle helmet

The helmet the customer sent me was black so in the back where the lion will go I based it white and shot a quick coat of clear over it feathering it out on the rest of the helmet. Very similar to spotting a panel in on a car that’s been damaged in a small area where you just blend the clear in. After allowing the clear to dry, flash over night I scuff the area preparing to add the lion.

For rending the fur I will be using a scraping technique to remove paint so the clear coat over the white is required to hold up to this technique. A simple mid coat or SG100 will not work so I op for two part clear.

 

lion head stencil

Using Photoshop I resize my reference image to fit the size I need for the helmet. With a hobby knife I cut out the main parts of the lion like the eyes, nose and mouth. The foundation of your painting has to begin with having the correct prospective. The nose, mouth and eyes need to be in the correct position to help make viewers believe it’s a lion. Using this technique insures that at least to start the painting I have a good foundation to work from.

 

lion head out line

After positioning the reference picture on the helmet I airbrush a little black thru the opening I have cut leaving registration marks on the helmet. Now I know where the eyes should be in relationship to the nose, mouth, ears.

 

spraying light brown

And now the fun begins as the painting process starts, I begin by using a light brown rendering, airbrushing in the first layer of fur and base color. Keep your reference photo right there so you can refer to it often to ensure you are painting what you see in the photo not what you think you remember seeing.

 

continuing to paint fur

I tend to jump around a lot while painting working on the fur than the mouth or the nose pulling the entire painting along as one. At this point I sort of question should I continue on here it’s not looking very good, one of those moments I spoke of in the opening of this article. I think you’ll see I made the right choice to see it thru to the end. Even if it had not turned out as I imagined it would it’s all a learning process, experience that you can put to use in the next project.

 

Layer after layer build your fur up

Here you can see the sides of the snout just above the nose are way to well defined and must be fixed. Layer after layer build your fur up, build your colors in the same manner. Don’t just work on one local area of fur rather move all over the design pulling it together all at once.

 

shadow areas

In areas that are darker color I spray a very over reduced black into the area and than use my hobby knife to bring the fur back out. With House of Kolor the base black is way to the brown side of black, it’s not a true black. So when House of Kolor base black is over reduced for airbrushing you end up with a dark brown rather than a true black, the same dark brown I’m looking for in parts of this lion. If you airbrush or custom paint long enough you will come to realize there are many, many different blacks just like the other colors.

 

using hobby knife

Here is the knife pictured and a better view of the paint removal I’ve done with the knife. I have also started to work on the eyes by adding white, and our dark brown (HOK black) around the eyes, nose and lips. Notice I still have not taken care of the snout which looking at it now still drives me crazy.

I’ve also started to clean up around the lion bring that area back to black as the original factory color is.

 

airbrushing fur

At this point I have at least six layers on the entire design using the same technique of adding color, scraping to being the fur back out. Remember the warm and cool colors I spoke of from past articles? Well here is your chance to put those colors to work, transparent purple and transparent yellow. In areas you want to recede in your painting apply just a touch of transparent purple; just a touch is all it takes. On the snout, nose area use your transparent yellow to bring those areas forward in the painting.

 

add some yellow in the eyes

Almost there add some yellow in the eyes followed by brown, drop shadow the brow and add a small gleam in the eyes. I’ve found by taking pictures of my work and than viewing them on the computer it helps me see where I need to make changes to the design. In this picture it tells me I still need to work on the snout and blend it in better from the top of the nose to the bottom of the eyes.

 

before clear coat

These are the last pictures I shot before clear coating the helmet. I learned a lot during this project, having to recall the steps taken to write this article has also helped me recognize what I should have done differently.

 

helmet finished

Lion Helmet Airbrush How To

This article will cover rendering a lion on the back of a motorcycle helmet using techniques borrowed from other forms of airbrushing, illustration mostly. It is also a good study on why you should never give up on a design and see it thru to completion. Written by Don Johnson, airbrusgallery.com

The lion is not meant to be fine art by any means its helmet art but many of the techniques used in airbrushing illustration, canvas can be used just the same. Mainly the techniques of using an easer and hobby knife to remove paint from an area to help build highlights  character in your design are barrowed from those airbrushing those surfaces. You accomplish this on a hard surface much the same as you would on illustration board or canvas; you apply your paint in very thin coats and in many layers. Between layers use an easer or hobby knife blade tip to remove some of the color revealing the light back ground color.

Using this technique doesn’t make you less of an artist, doesn’t reflect your lack of skill with an airbrush it’s just another tool you have at your disposal to help you render your art. Some of the best illustrators in the airbrushing field use this same technique, Mark Frederson for one.

One thing I have learned over the year’s custom painting is to see a design thru to the end; there may come a point where you believe all is lost, the design just isn’t working. At times like this don’t throw the towel in see the design thru to the end; more times than not you will be surprised at how well things turn out in the end.

Airbrush Supplies Required:

double action airbrush, House of Kolor paint and clear coats, hobby knife

 

motorcycle helmet

The helmet the customer sent me was black so in the back where the lion will go I based it white and shot a quick coat of clear over it feathering it out on the rest of the helmet. Very similar to spotting a panel in on a car that’s been damaged in a small area where you just blend the clear in. After allowing the clear to dry, flash over night I scuff the area preparing to add the lion.

For rending the fur I will be using a scraping technique to remove paint so the clear coat over the white is required to hold up to this technique. A simple mid coat or SG100 will not work so I op for two part clear.

 

lion head stencil

Using Photoshop I resize my reference image to fit the size I need for the helmet. With a hobby knife I cut out the main parts of the lion like the eyes, nose and mouth. The foundation of your painting has to begin with having the correct prospective. The nose, mouth and eyes need to be in the correct position to help make viewers believe it’s a lion. Using this technique insures that at least to start the painting I have a good foundation to work from.

 

lion head out line

After positioning the reference picture on the helmet I airbrush a little black thru the opening I have cut leaving registration marks on the helmet. Now I know where the eyes should be in relationship to the nose, mouth, ears.

 

spraying light brown

And now the fun begins as the painting process starts, I begin by using a light brown rendering, airbrushing in the first layer of fur and base color. Keep your reference photo right there so you can refer to it often to ensure you are painting what you see in the photo not what you think you remember seeing.

 

continuing to paint fur

I tend to jump around a lot while painting working on the fur than the mouth or the nose pulling the entire painting along as one. At this point I sort of question should I continue on here it’s not looking very good, one of those moments I spoke of in the opening of this article. I think you’ll see I made the right choice to see it thru to the end. Even if it had not turned out as I imagined it would it’s all a learning process, experience that you can put to use in the next project.

 

Layer after layer build your fur up

Here you can see the sides of the snout just above the nose are way to well defined and must be fixed. Layer after layer build your fur up, build your colors in the same manner. Don’t just work on one local area of fur rather move all over the design pulling it together all at once.

 

shadow areas

In areas that are darker color I spray a very over reduced black into the area and than use my hobby knife to bring the fur back out. With House of Kolor the base black is way to the brown side of black, it’s not a true black. So when House of Kolor base black is over reduced for airbrushing you end up with a dark brown rather than a true black, the same dark brown I’m looking for in parts of this lion. If you airbrush or custom paint long enough you will come to realize there are many, many different blacks just like the other colors.

 

using hobby knife

Here is the knife pictured and a better view of the paint removal I’ve done with the knife. I have also started to work on the eyes by adding white, and our dark brown (HOK black) around the eyes, nose and lips. Notice I still have not taken care of the snout which looking at it now still drives me crazy.

I’ve also started to clean up around the lion bring that area back to black as the original factory color is.

 

airbrushing fur

At this point I have at least six layers on the entire design using the same technique of adding color, scraping to being the fur back out. Remember the warm and cool colors I spoke of from past articles? Well here is your chance to put those colors to work, transparent purple and transparent yellow. In areas you want to recede in your painting apply just a touch of transparent purple; just a touch is all it takes. On the snout, nose area use your transparent yellow to bring those areas forward in the painting.

 

add some yellow in the eyes

Almost there add some yellow in the eyes followed by brown, drop shadow the brow and add a small gleam in the eyes. I’ve found by taking pictures of my work and than viewing them on the computer it helps me see where I need to make changes to the design. In this picture it tells me I still need to work on the snout and blend it in better from the top of the nose to the bottom of the eyes.

 

before clear coat

These are the last pictures I shot before clear coating the helmet. I learned a lot during this project, having to recall the steps taken to write this article has also helped me recognize what I should have done differently.

 

helmet finished

I hope you also learned from my going over this project and will post some of your results on the forum.

Learning How To Airbrush

Learning how to airbrush will show just how important the simple dot is, airbrushing is all about the dot in fact.

No doubt you found your way here to this article because you are interested in learning how to airbrush, kustom paint. I hear most often from folks who are brand to airbrushing or those who at some point bought airbrush equipment found it to frustrating trying to learn and the equipment was stuff into the closet. Either way I’m here to provide you with a bit of guidance to finding your way thru what can be the maze of information about airbrushing. I’m sure I can get you up and airbrushing, kustom painting just like the thousands of others I have helped over the last fifteen plus years.

No matter what it is you want to airbrush, custom paint the steps you must go thru to learn how to use your airbrush are the same. No matter the type of paint you are using water based, solvent based, no matter the type of airbrush; single action or double action learning the basic fundamentals of how to get your airbrush and mind (creative side) in sync are the same.

 

dots and lines

 

I’m not going to try and mislead you here learning the fundamentals can be a bit on the boring side but as I’m about to show you it’s a chance to let your creative side take over.

I have to give a big thank you to T Shirt guru Rene Romero for providing the images for this article. Rene is one of the best T Shirt airbrush artist on the planet in my book and I’m honored to have his help for this article.

Other tutorials on this web site cover airbrush equipment and basic airbrush lessons #1 thru #5 so here I want to cover the some examples of what could be referred to as the most basic of all airbrush strokes; dots, lines and dagger strokes. In lesson #1 will go thru in detail just how to go about getting your airbrush to create these airbrush strokes here I want to try and convey just how important they are and why you need to take the time to practice, learn them.

 

airbrush dots

 

not like this

Pictured above you see a picture of airbrushed dots and lines; the top picture is of the simple dot done correctly the bottom picture is of course the dot not done correctly. In the bottom picture too much paint was applied causing the paint to spider web which is cool if that’s the effect we where looking to create but in this case we where looking to make perfect dots. The dot as simple as it might look is the beginning of most of the basic airbrush strokes you’ll need to learn in order to master the airbrush. If you where to magnify any airbrush painting you’d see it actually is made of thousands and thousands of tiny, tiny dots which are produced as the paint is atomized via your airbrush. For that matter if you where to magnify the dot you just airbrushed you’d see the same thing tiny, tiny dots of paint making up your dot. So as you can see the dot is fundamental in rendering any and all airbrush art work taking the time to learn how to create perfect dots is fundamental to your learning to unleash your creativity using your airbrush.

When I asked Rene to provide you with an example of just how powerful the dot can be and how you can turn practicing airbrushing a simple dot into some fun below is what he came up with. I think you’ll agree from the simple dot some very amazing art work can be created. (click on small image to see bigger view).

clint eastwood painting

 

clint eastwood 2

 

eastwood painting step 3

 

clint eastwood step 4

Hopefully you now have a new appreciation for the simple dot and how important it is to your mastering the airbrush. by Don Johnson with art work by Rene Romero

Jordan On Black T Shirt

by Dainon Woudstra

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait one

Michael Jordan This design begins with yellow chalk outlines that have been blown out with an airbrush at 25psi. The design needs no borders but I would like the sleeves to be kept black. There for, masking off the seam in the sleeves is a good idea.

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait two

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait three

 

The main focus in the portrait is Jordan’s face. I’ve begun with the highlight areas of his face and use the overspray to cover some of the darker areas. Detail is important in this stage of the white process so keep it clean. I’ve also misted in the back of his head and his hand.

 

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 4

The background to the left is going to be bright white. Notice that I’ve filled it in white but it isn’t all that bright. An even spray of white is what is important because this area needs another layer after the black stage to brighten it.

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 5

Now that the white is laid out, I move into black. I started this stage with the left outline of his face. I then cut out his body area from his chin and background. Then the head is defined and the area between his hand and face.

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 6
 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 7

Now that I can see the shapes of his face and hand, adding in his features is next. I’ve sprayed in the eyes and shaded his face. Since Michael Jordan has dark skin, the shading of the black will be darker.

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 8

I’ve now moved on to his hand and rings. The rings were mostly white before and they need to have more definition so painting them in mostly black will allow the white to be much brighter in the final stages.

 

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 9

Now I’ve balanced the design with black and white until he has the right contrast. Notice the blotchy areas on the right side of the face. This is a spaying technique to allow the portrait to have more life. It is created by using light amounts of white, followed by light amounts of black and repeated until the desired tone is met.

 

 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 10
 Jordan On Black T Shirt
portrait 11

 

The close up above shows the edge of the face and the detail in the eyes. Keep in mind this is without any masking. A lot of times, masking will leave the image raw and unreal.

Iwata Micron Airbrush

Airbrush technique of taking your Iwata Micron apart to clean it and putting it back together correctly.

Iwata Micron B

“Absolute Precision for the Elite Professional

For the elite professional who demands precise and accurate control of very detailed spraying, the Custom Micron Series is built to be the “best of the best,” hand-tested and adjusted by the world’s leading airbrush technicians. Special machining processes along with the meticulous hand-fitting of the parts create an airbrush with superb atomization and incredible control. By removing the crown cap and nozzle cap, these airbrushes will spray an entire range of stipple effects, from very fine to coarse textures.”

Iwata Micron Parts

Iwata HP-CS Airbrush

This airbrush video covers taking a Iwata HP-CS apart to clean it and getting it back together correctly. Presented by Airbrush Technique Magazine.

Iwata HP-CS

“This multi-purpose, high-paint-flow, high-detail Eclipse Series airbrush covers a wide range of uses. Commonly used to spray premixed or heavier paints, it is well suited for uses demanding precise control of spray when applying moderate-to-large amounts of paint to a variety of surfaces and to various-sized areas. This Eclipse Series brush has established a new benchmark for excellence in an all-purpose airbrush.

· Gravity-feed airbrush features a unique 0.35-mm needle and nozzle combination for fine-detail spraying, but with high-paint-flow capacity

· Generous 1/3 oz. sized cup is designed with a new funnel shape, which makes for easy clean up and more efficient paint flow

· Automotive artists, fine artists and students will appreciate how well the Eclipse CS sprays heavier acrylics and Medea Textile Colors, while maintaining high-detail spray characteristics.”

 

Iwata HP-CS Airbrush

Iwata HP-CS Airbrush Valve Replacement

You can’t get around it no matter what kind of paint you use water based or solvent based sooner or later the air valve is going to start sticking. Press down on the trigger and it does not spring back up you know it might be time to think about replacing the parts that make up the air valve.Written by Don Johnson airbrush artist

This problem can be pretty annoying but it really does not render the airbrush unusable as I’ve used mine for weeks with this problem. You simply hook the bottom of the trigger with finger and pull the trigger back up. In other words don’t panic if your HP-CS/Eclipse  if, when you start encountering this problem.

Iwata HP-CS

 

Iwata HP-CS airbrush parts

 

 

These are the parts you will need to rebuild the air valve in your Iwata HP-CS Eclipse:

 

Iwata part number              Part Name

1-580-1                          Packing Valve Piston O-Ring

1-608-1                          Air Valve Guide Body

1-609-1                          Valve w/ O-Ring

1-035-1                          Valve Spring

1-611-1                          Air Valve Guide

 

While we are at it we’ll replace the needle packing nut:

  1-725-1                                   Needle Packing Screw w/ Teflon Bearing

 

 

pliers

 

pliers

 

The only tool you’ll need is to get Air Valve Guide out, it screws into the airbrush. For this I use a pair of snap ring pliers filing the points down just a bit. You can buy a cheap pair of snap ring pliers at any hard ware store for a couple bucks.

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush

 

In the picture above you can see the Air Valve Guide, the two holes is where you will fit the snap ring pliers into to turn it out. Remember “righty, tighty,…lefty,loosey” when trying to unscrew the Air Valve Guide. Notice in the picture how the valve stem sticks thru the hole in the center of the air valve guide, you’ll need to ensure it does when you put it all back together.

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

 

Here you can see the air valve guide has been unscrewed and is out of the airbrush. Pictured is the old air valve guide as well as the new one we’ll replace it with.

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

 

Above you can see the air valve guide, spring and valve have been removed from the airbrush. Now we’ll remove the air valve guide body, you’ll see it just slides out. We’ll be replacing all the old parts with new parts.

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush

 

Here all the parts have been removed.

 

 

Iwata HP-CS Airbrush

 

Iwata HP-CS Airbrush

 

One more part to remove and that’s the packing valve o ring which is located inside the airbrush, the air valve guide body actually sit on top of it. You’ll need a small pick to get that small o ring out of there. In the picture you can see the old o ring which fell apart and the new one I’ll be replacing it with.

 

 

Iwata HP-CS airbrush

 

Iwata HP-CS airbrush

 

While we have the airbrush apart this much we’ll go ahead and install a new needle packing screw. The needle packing screw is located inside the airbrush between the color cup and trigger. You’ll need a long skinny straight screw driver to exact the packing screw, the packing screw just turns out like a normal threaded screw. When installing the new one be sure to just turn it a turn or two, DO NOT over tighten this or your needle will not slide thru it. In fact do not tighten it much at all…

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush

 

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush

 

Laid out in this picture are the parts in order of how they go back into the airbrush.

With the valve body be sure the tiny hole points front to back in the airbrush when you insert it. With the packing screw installed, the valve body next comes the valve (the short shaft goes in first as pictured above). next would come the spring which slides over the valve and finally install the valve guide nut using the snap right pliers.

 

Completed

 

There you have it. With my HP-CS using solvent based paints for 3 to 8 hours a day, seven days a week I have to go thru this process about every other month. If you just airbrush for a hobby once in awhile you might never have to go thru this process.

Iwata HP-C Airbrush

Iwata HP-C airbrush tutorial covers putting the Iwata HP-C back together again after taking it apart to clean it, It’s easy taking airbrushes apart to clean them but sometimes a bit difficult to get back together.  I put this article together for those that own Iwata HP-C  or the like  as this holds true with most Iwata gravity feed airbrushes.

 

Iwata HP-C parts

Well getting your Iwata HP-C apart was no problem :-), now you have to put it back together so it works correctly. Below I have listed the steps you would take to do that. This also applies to the Iwata HP-B and HP-A airbrushes.

 

Iwata HP-C inside parts

 

HP-C spring

Pictured above: You will see on the Needle Chucking Guide that it has a flat spot that runs the length of the shaft, this spot aligns with a matching part inside the body of the airbrush. First we will put the Needle Spring on and than slide the Needle Chucking Guide over the Needle Spring. You will end up with what looks like the bottom picture above.

 

HP-C Chucking nut

Pictured above: Next push the Spring Guide forward ( this will compress the Needle Spring )and put the Needle Chucking Nut on by screwing it on the end of the Needle Chucking Guide. Hand tight as you will be loosening it again soon when you insert the Needle into the airbrush.

 

HP-C air valve
install trigger

Pictured above: The very top picture we are looking down on your HP-C . The slotted area is where you will insert the auxiliary lever and trigger. You can see the top of the Air Valve , the airbrush trigger will sit on top of this valve. When you push down on your trigger it opens that spring loaded valve allowing air flow.

First we are going to put the Auxiliary lever in ( small picture might help explain this) You want the curve in that Auxiliary Lever to face the back of the airbrush just as pictured above. Hold it by the top turn it side ways , insert it and turn it so the curve faces the back of the airbrush. Just rest it against the back of the airbrush body for now.

 

HP-C trigger
HP-C trigger

 

spray lube

Pictured above: A side view of your HP-C with the Auxiliary Lever installed. You can just see the top of the Auxiliary Lever sticking out of the airbrush. The trigger is next and we will insert it just as it is pictured above. Keep the airbrush slightly tilited back wards so the Auxiliary Lever stays in place , resting against the back of the slotted area of the body of the airbrush. Once the trigger is in turn it 45 degrees and put in in place on top of the Air Valve. Check its in properly by pushing down on the trigger it should spring right back up. Now tilt the airbrush forward and the Auxiliary Lever should move to rest on back of the Trigger.

Next you can put the Needle Chucking Guide in ( also called the tube shank in some Iwata airbrushes) Be sure to put a very thin coat of Spray Gun lube on the Needle Chucking Spring Guide before installing it. Line the flat spot on the Needle Chucking Guide with the flat spot inside the body of the airbrush. The very end of this ( Needle Chucking Guide assemble) will come to rest on the back side of the trigger. Screw the Chucking Guide into the body of the airbrush hand tight.

 

putting needle back in

 

installing nozzle and air cap

Pictured above: At this point you might want to install the Needle in about half way thorough the body of the airbrush. The Needle is all that holds the Trigger and Auxiliary Lever from falling out if you tip the airbrush up side down . Just insert it enough so it goes thorough the Trigger and tighten the Needle Chucking Nut. Be sure to apply a thin film of the Spray Gun Lube on the needle before inserting it.

Next we will put the Tip in. This screws into the body of the airbrush, a small wrench is supplied with your HP-C but take care using it as the tips are very easy to snap off leaving the threaded part on the body. I just hand tighten the tip and than very gently tighten it a touch more with the wrench.

With the tip in place next screw on the Nozzle Cap, again only hand tight is fine. Now screw the Needle Cap on, hand tight.

 

install back handle

Pictured above: Loosen the Chucking Nut and push the needle in all the way. Do so gently until you feel the needle rest in the tip. Screw the Back Handle on and your done. That was easy was it not?

Iwata Eclipse BCS Airbrush

Taking your Iwata Eclipse BCS apart and putting it back together again correctly is covered in this video. The BCS is a great all around airbrush and the work horse for many T Shirt airbrush artist. This multi-purpose, high-paint-flow, high-detail Eclipse Series airbrush covers a wide range of uses. Commonly used to spray premixed or heavier paints, it is well suited for uses demanding precise control of spray when applying moderate-to-large amounts of paint to a variety of surfaces and to various-sized areas. This Eclipse Series brush has established a new benchmark for excellence in an all-purpose airbrush.

Iwata Eclipse BCS airbrush

· Bottom-feed airbrush features a 0.5-mm needle and nozzle combination

· Sets the industry standard for high-performing, general-purpose, high-paint-flow airbrushes

· Versatile, reliable performance – this airbrush does it all