Airbrush Outlet

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Title: 100 Ways to Make Money Airbrushing
Author: Sid Vicious of sidviciousart.com
Format: Adobe PDF Ebook
Length: 71 Pages

In this book you will learn…

  • How to make money in any economy
  • How to make money all year round
  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • Ideas for selling airbrushed products on Ebay
  • Ways to make money airbrushing from home
  • Ways to make money for mobile airbrush artists
  • How to rake in cash around the holidays
  • Quick and easy ideas to make money fast
  • Big ideas for bigger paychecks
  • The importance of “playing to the crowd” and choosing the market that’s right for you
  • My personal top 10 favorite ways to make money airbrushing

Sample pages from the book.

Page 3

Page 7

Page 62

Custom Airbrushed Graphics on Nissan Altima

Custom Airbrushed Graphics on Nissan Altima

1) We start with a freshly body-worked, primed and wetsanded Nissan Altima courtesy of Juan’s Body Shop. Whether you’re into the sport compact scene or not, you gotta respect a guy that takes his time and does a good job. Seamlessly molded front and rear bumpers, nicely done. The plan is to give it a two tone paint job with a tribal style graphic separating the two colors. Our job is to design and apply the graphic to help transform this regular Altima into a custom painted, head turning, fire breathing, death dealing monster Altima. Or in other words, just another day at Sid Vicious Art & Airbrush.

Normally, I’d start by laying down the graphic color, taping out my graphic, back masking it, then spraying the two colors. But in this case, because my schedule is a bit hectic and the car was ready for basecoat, I stop in and simply run a divider line with some 1/4 in. blue fine line tape. I designed the graphic ahead of time in Corel Draw, so I knew where to run the line…or at least that’s what I’m saying anyways.

2) Would you look at that! I guess I did design it on paper first. CorelDraw can be an awesome tool for doing pre sketch work. Giving your customer a good idea of what the finished product will look like before you begin painting it, is a great way to set expectations and avoid misunderstandings. Making changes in Corel Draw is much easier than making changes in real life.

3) Juan sprayed the basecoats and we’re ready for graphics. There’s a couple different ways to get the design from paper to vehicle. One option is to take some measurements on the car, scale the vector file from Corel Draw to match, send it to the plotter and create a large vinyl stencil for each side of the car. However, when working with this size/style of graphic, I prefer to lay them out by hand with 1/4 & 1/8 in. blue fine line tape. This gives me more control over the design and better versatility to make “on the fly” adjustments for things like body lines and door handles.

4) I start by pulling the longest lines first. Always pull the full length of a line from start to finish. Using my original division line as a reference, I work from the front of the vehicle to the back and proceed to layout the entire graphic. A comfortable chair or stool on wheels really helps here but there are few spots where I know I’m going to have to take off my shirt and lift the car high above my head with one hand so I can layout certain lines just right. Be careful and lift with your legs.

5) Once my graphic is layed out in fine line tape on the drivers side, I trim everywhere the graphic overlaps with a new Xacto knife, then run 16 in. transfer tape across it and cut away the inside. After masking the rest of the car, this side would be ready to spray but if we did spray it, we’d get a nasty line going through our graphic from that original division line for the two tone. I use 400 grit sandpaper to feather the division line between the two colors until there’s no ridge at all.  I should have done this before I started taping off the graphic but oh well, you live and learn…and rack up vast amounts of credit card debt.

6) I’ve run 18 in. masking paper down the length of the car over the graphic so I can trace the design in preparation for transferring to the other side.

7) Using a ball point pen at a 45 degree angle to the inside edges of the graphic where the tape is, I trace an outline of the graphic.

8) I lay the traced design on top of some foam padding and use a pounce wheel to trace it. I then tape the design (in reverse) to the passenger side of the car, being sure to line it up exactly as it is on the drivers side and use a pounce pad with blue chalk powder to transfer it to the car. (This technique is outlined in more depth in another tutorial so I won’t repeat it here.)

9) My daughter said it’s probably pixie dust but I’m guessing it’s the metallic flakes in the silver basecoat that you’re seeing flying through the air here. Don’t be a hero, wear a respirator!

10) We skipped a few steps here. After spraying the silver basecoat and letting it dry, I used 1/8 in. blue fine line and masked around the inside edge of the graphic to give it an edge. I then sprayed 3 good coats of HOK Pagan Gold Kandy over the graphic and after it was dry, unmasked everything. Ready for clear coat.

Custom Painted Yamaha YFZ 450

Custom Painted Yamaha YFZ 450

*Sorry for the lack of pics on this one

1) The key to getting a good adhesion on ATV plastics is using the right products and doing a superior prep job. The owner dropped off the original white plastics which he had already done some custom cutting on. He removed pretty much all of the rear fenders and cut some wicked flames into the front fenders. I started by thoroughly washing/sanding the the plastics with a red scotchbrite pad and Bulldog Abrasive Cleaner. Once I’m satisfied with my prep, I rinse the plastics thoroughly with water and dry with an air gun. I’ve now got clean, bare plastics that are ready to be sealed/painted.

Probably overkill but I spray 2 coats of Bulldog Adhesion Promoter and then lay down 2 coats of Dupont Plas-Stick Flexible Adhesion Sealer. I let that dry for about 20 minutes and then spray 2 coats of Dupont red base coat. Once that’s dry (about 15 minutes) I tape off what are going to be my black flames (see pic above), using 1/8 in crepe masking tape and then tape off my red flames (not pictured).

I mask the positive section of my red flames and then spray everything else basecoat black. I let that dry for another 10-15 minutes then unmask everything. Using HOK White striping enamel, I pinstripe the red flames and then switch to my IWATA HP-CS+ airbrush with an over reduced black, and spray a drop shadow on the black flames.

2) I add a YFZ pinstripe style logo to the front of the ATV using a vinyl cut stencil as a mask.

3) Another angle.

4) I used a combination of vinyl cut masks to spray the Yamaha logo with some pinstripe graphics on the rear fenders.

The entire ATV was finished with 4 coats Dupont Clear mixed with a flattening agent to achieve a matte finish.

Done.

Custom Airbrushed Mural

Custom Airbrushed Mural

1) We start with 3 sheets of 3/4 in. 4 x 8 plywood. Each sheet gets 2 solid coats of wood primer. Plywood really sucks up the primer so leave plenty of time in between coats. After being primed, the sheets are screwed together with 6 large door hinges, 3 on each seam. This is going to be a carnival fishing game prop that kids are going to cast their fishing line over the top of, to get candy and other prizes.

I mask off a 4 in. border around the outside and roll on a solid blue base using an exterior grade latex paint. After the blue has dried, I use a combination of a 3 in. paint brush and a 4 in. roller to freehand in some sand for the bottom of our fish tank.

2) I back mask the sand from our previous step and I’m going to use a full size automotive paint gun to spray in a darker blue fade going from the bottom of the tank towards the top. This helps add a little depth to our tank because we wouldn’t want people thinking we were shallow. The dark blue I’m using is a urethane base coat which has no trouble sticking to the latex base. However, if you water-reduce a latex paint enough, and make sure you run it through a strainer, you can spray that through an automotive paint gun as well.

3) You can see the darker blue fade here. I also masked off another wavy line through the middle of the sand and then sprayed in a darker brown to give the sand some dimension and make it look like the darker brown part is right up against the glass sides of the fish tank. This is going to be a quick mural, so I’m not spending the time to add a lot of texture or other detail to the sand.

4)  Using the 3/4 in. masking tape, I mask off the corners of the fish tank and paint them the same color darker blue I was using earlier. As you’ll see in the next step, using the dark blue here instead of black or some other color, really helps give us the 3D look we’re after.

5) I’ve painted my 4 in. border around the outside black. This is a perfect contrast to the dark blue. You can see how using black up front really brings the front of the fish tank forward and using the dark blue pushes the back to the back.

I switch to an airbrush with urethane paints and I freehand in some seaweed. I paint the seaweed right up the middle of the 2 seams in an effort to try and hide the seams a bit.

Switching to a white base coat, I freehand in some reflections on the top surface of the water (thank you Craig Fraser) and even throw in some rays of light shooting through.

6) I use a paint bush and small roller with white latex paint, along with some Dr. Seuss reference pics, to add my main fish and requisite treasure chest. In this case, using a paintbrush and a small roller is faster than masking off each individual fish and spraying white base coat.

7) I’m spraying the fish as I would spray them if I were doing them on t-shirts. Using urethane base coat black and my IWATA HP-BCS, I start by outlining all the fish.

8) Then adding the base color and shading from there. Again, this is a quick painting so I’m not doing much detail work.

9) I end up deciding to mask off the treasure chest anyways because it will have more detail than the fish and it will be easier to work with when it’s masked off. Notice that I’ve extended the light rays and added highlights to the fish and treasure chests at the points where the light rays are hitting them. Also, using root beer kandy, I add some more detail to the sandy areas. Switching to cobalt blue kandy, I freehand in small schools of fish swimming every which way in the background. (Thanks Robert)

10) A quick and simple fish tank.  “One fish, two fish, red fish , blue fish”

Airbrushed Helmets – Eric’s Torched Tiki Helmet

1.) Airbrushed Helmets – Lucky for us this helmet was recently painted; base coat black with 3 coats of clear. I start by removing the visor and wet sanding the whole thing 600 grit sandpaper. I use a red scotchbrite to scuff the harder reach areas like seams, corners and the visor vents. The trick to working with red scotch brite and not getting sand scratches in the final finish (especially on black) is to use a consistent pressure and be thorough. f you press too hard with a new piece of scotch brite, you’re going to get deep sand scratches. Apply medium pressure and go over the area several times. After sanding, I mask off the interior of the helmet. 1.b) I over did it a bit with the sanding in some areas and ended up sanding through the clear so I hit the whole thing with 2 quick coats of basecoat black.

2.) The owner of this helmet has a tattoo of a tiki head with glowing red devil eyes and if you stare at it too long…your soul will be devoured. This sounds pretty cool to me  and seeing as how my wife already owns my soul for all time and eternity, I’m not too worried about using it as a reference for the helmet design. I sketch out a similar looking tiki head and for good measure, I add some tribal type flames coming out of his mouth and eyes. Pretty standard stuff for any bad ass tiki.

3.a) I scanned my drawing into Corel Draw, traced it to make a vector image out of it, exported it as a .eps file to SignBlazer PRO and then cut it out on my plotter. There are 2 main things in life that actually qualify as “tricky” First, as Run DMC said: It’s definitely tricky to rock a rhyme. To rock a rhyme that’s right on time is tricky. I think we all know that’s a fact. Second: It’s tricky to apply vinyl cut stencils on round surfaces. The key is to apply them one at a time in small sections. when using a squeegee, always start in the middle of the sticker and squeege your way out toward the edges. It may also be necessary to make small relief cuts to get the vinyl to lay down flat.

3.b) I also cut a vinyl stencil for the tiki head and I lay that down on top of my flame pattern. I then trim the parts of the flame pattern that I want to be behind my tiki head.

4.) We’re going to put the owner’s last name across the bottom of the helmet underneath our main design. I use 1 in. masking tape to mask off the area. I draw the last name in pencil, trace it with a sharpie and then cut it out carefully using an Xacto Knife with a brand new blade. I think we’re just about ready to paint. Airbrushed helmets rule, girls drool.

5.) I mask off the tiki head and spray a light coat of white. I know I’m going to be using Root Beer Kandy later and so I lay this white down as a base for the Kandy.

6.a) I printed several copies of this design on regular printer paper. I use an Xacto Knife to cut out the main shapes of the tiki head, like the teeth, cheek bones and brow line.

6.b)  Using the printer paper cut outs as a loose shield, I hold it over the helmet and spray lightly with white base coat. This gives me perfect reference points to follow and I can now start airbrushing in the details.

7.) Still with white basecoat, I freehand the details. Following the contours of the tiki, I  airbrush small vertical lines over the entire thing to simulate woodgrain. If you take your time here and really work out all the details in white, the rest of the project is a breeze.

8.a) I switch to Root Beer Kandy and start adding color. Though it may look like it, I’m really not adding any new details with the Root Beer Kandy. I’m focused on adding depth and shape. I.e., I keep the tops of the cheek bones lighter and the under side of the cheek bones darker. Once I’m satisfied with the Kandy, I add a few drops of black  to the Root Beer and use it sparingly in the darkest areas like right underneath the brow line and inside the hollow of the nose. Tip: I really don’t want to have to go back  in with the white to add highlights here. So I’m very light with the Root Beer Kandy in the areas I want to keep as my highlights.

Up until about a year ago, I would have called this tiki done. It’s got a good amount of detail and it looks pretty rad. But then I learned something new. (Thanks Robert)

8.b) After unmasking the tiki, I use a small outline paint brush with dark brown/black basecoat and I go back in around the teeth, eyes and nose to add the final details. Adding this one simple step will really help take you’re airbrushing to the next level. It’s like the difference between a regular TV channel and an HD TV channel. It’s like the difference between regular pretzels and chocolate covered pretzels. It’s like the difference between good and evil.

9.) I back mask the tiki to cover it up and start laying in flame licks with white basecoat. I use a freehand stencil sparingly and focus on creating sporadic, organic lines and shapes freehand. I’m trying to make the flames look like they’re originating from the mouth vents up front, heading back and up into a flaming mohawk, then disappearing into the vents on top of the visor.

10.) More flames. I want to get a pretty good coverage with white so that my Kandy colors will really pop and be bright.

11.) I cover all the flames in a couple good coats of Kandy Tangerine Orange.

12.a) I go back in and add white highlights to just a few spots in the very middle of the flames.

12.b) I cover those white highlights with Pagan Gold Kandy, then switch back to Tangerine and blend them in a bit more. Lastly, I spray Kandy Apple Red around the outsides of the flames to add some more depth and color.

13.a) Unmasked everything. Difficult to get a good pic without the glare. I was going to leave it like this but the more I looked at it, this tiki just didn’t seem freaky enough. I felt like I was in no danger of going mad or having my soul devoured.

13.b) That’s better.

Want to know what it cost to do airbrushed helmets? click here-> Airbrushed Helmets – Eric’s Torched Tiki Helmet. This is Members Only content so you will need to Login to view it. If you’re not a member already, you can Register for FREE.

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Crystal’s Custom Cobalt with Airbrush Flames

1.) Washed, rinsed, dried and ready for action. This project is going to be a little bit unorthodox. It is going to be a classic flame job but instead of wetsanding everything, then painting the flames, then clear coating everything, I’m only going to scuff and clear where the actual flames will be. Doing it this way does have the potential to save a lot of time but it also has the potential to create some other issues, like a pretty thick paint edge.

2.) I start by measuring the hood width wise at the front and back then running a piece of 1/4 in. blue fine line right down the middle of the hood to get my center line. I always work from the center of the hood heading left over and around the fender and into the passenger door. I layout the flames using 1/8 in. blue fine line tape. Sometimes I’ll take a picture of the vehicle first, import it into Corel Draw and layout my flame pattern there, then print it out so I’ve got a good reference to follow as I lay them out in real life.

I pay special attention to make sure that every inch of tape is securely adhesived (It’s a word) to the body of the vehicle because I know I’m going to be scuffing right up against the edge of it. Once I have the flames laid out along the left side, I create a pounce pattern (Outlined here) to transfer the layout to the right side of the vehicle. I mask the positive shape of the top layer of flames and the negative shape of the bottom layer of flames with 16 in. transfer tape.

Remember, nothing has been prepped or sanded yet. I can’t very well wetsand with everything masked off, so I use several pieces or new Scotch Brite (Red. If the car were a darker color, I’d use the grey Scotch Brite) and start scuffing the exposed area of the flames. The most important step here is to make sure I get a good thorough scuff everywhere but especially right up alongside the edges of the tape because that’s the first place that paint/clear would likely lift from. I also use a Tack Rag constantly to wipe away the cleardust as I go.

3. After scuffing, I clean the surface with a wax and grease remover. I’ve decided to spray and then back mask for the pin stripe on these flames. I spray blue right along the edges of the top layer of flames and then purple along the edges of the bottom layer flames. Note: When you know you’re going to be doing a sprayed pinstripe like this, make sure you account for this extra 1/8 of an in. when you first layout your flames. If you don’t, you’ll end up with flames that look a bit too skinny. You can see the difference in the photo below. The grey flames look a little bit skinnier than the white flames do.

I run 1/8 in. blue fine line tape along the edges of both sets of flames to cover up the blue and purple I just sprayed. Then I spray a silver/grey metallic everywhere else. I remove the 1/8 in. blue fine line to reveal the new blue and purple pinstripe. Lastly, I finish with 3 coats of clear.

4.) This is the tricky part. I don’t want the clear to dry fully in place with everything still masked off. I carefully remove all the masking as soon as possible to give the clear coat a better chance to settle and flatten out around the edges. This is another good reason to keep your shop clean, you don’t want to be kicking around dust while you’re unmasking near fresh clear coat.

All in all, doing it this way did save some time/material and it’s nice to have my pinstripe protected under the clear. Not something I’d do on every job but a nice option to consider if you don’t have the tools/space/resources available to re-clear almost the entire car.

5.) I love the dual layer flame look and yes, that is a 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan with a faux painted, carbon fiber, custom made ram air hood you see parked behind the Cobalt. Sid Vicious baby!

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Abraham’s Custom Cutlass Lowrider with Airbrush Graphics

Custom Cutlass with Airbrush Graphics

1.) Our project begins with a freshly painted black Oldsmobile Cutlass. The owner would like to add some lowrider style graphics to the sides, roof, trunk and hood of the vehicle. I take a pic of the side of the vehicle, the hood and the trunk.  I’m going to be using a plotter to cut some of the graphics, I  take key measurements on the car so that I can scale it correctly when I start working in Corel Draw. For example, I measure the height and width of the door, let’s say it’s 20″ x 40″. This will make more sense in the next step.

2.) I import my pics into Corel Draw and enlarge them as necessary so that the measurements I took in real life, match up with my measurements now in Corel. I.e., make sure the door measures 20″ x 40″. (Click Here for the full Corel Draw Tutorial. Coming soon.) I always print a plain outline of the vehicle on copy paper so that I can sketch out my design in pencil first. You could certainly do the whole thing in Corel, but It’s easier for me to draw what I want in pencil first and then when I’m happy with the design, scan it back into Corel and trace it there. That way I’ve got a digital copy I could modify for potential use on a future project.

After going over some options with the owner of the vehicle, we decide on these charcoal grey metallic graphics and ornate scroll work.

3.) While the car was being wetsanded in preparation for the upcoming graphics, I cut out the more detailed parts of my design on Gerber Masking Material with a 24 in. Vinyl Cutter/Plotter. This is a huge time saver and ever since I got the cutter, I’ve used it on almost every project.  Although, I stayed away from trying to cut out the side graphics on this project for a couple of reasons. First, the side graphics are going to closely contour the lines of the body, especially around the wheel wells, it’s hard to get this exactly right unless you do it by hand. Secondly, it may look nice on the printout but often I’ll change and add to the design as I go to account for the larger spacing between the graphics that I’ll have on the actual vehicle.

4.) Juan’s Body Shop handled the prep on the Cutlass and we’re ready to begin!

5.) I layout all of the major lines for the side graphics in 1/4 in. green fine line tape first. To make this easier I stretch a thin piece of string, taped tight at each end, along the body from the front to the back to get my main center line. Now I’ve got a good reference point that I can take measurements from as needed. I use a white Stabilo pencil or a small piece of tape wherever I need to mark a measurement on the car. For the center graphic, I run a piece of 2 1/2 in. masking tape down the middle first, then run 1/2 in. masking tape on each side of that and then run 1/4 in. green fine line tape on both sides of that. I remove the 2 1/2 in. tape and now have a consistent width for the entire center graphic.

I constantly step back and away from the vehicle so that I can get a good look at the whole design and make sure everything is lining up and looking straight.

6.) I measure to get my centerline on the roof and then measure an equal distance away from the centerline on each side to create the space between the racing stripes/graphics going acroos the top of the roof here. I use some of the pre-cut stencils I created earlier to mark the front and back of the roof graphic.

7.) Then all I have to do is run masking tape from the front to the back on both sides. Nice and easy.

8.) Finished laying out the graphics on the roof, hood and trunk.  Positioned the scroll work stencils in the middle of the graphics then used 16 in. clear matte transfer tape to mask the rest of the graphics off. You can see the reflection of light off the clear matte transfer tape in the photos. I didn’t use clear matte for any specific reason, it’s just what I happened to have on hand and I like how it’s a little less adhesive then the opaque transfer tape I usually use.

9.) Masked off for the most part and ready to break out the airbrush. I always prefer to have too much masking then not enough, especially when spraying  metallics, they get everywhere.

10.) I use a roll of 2 in. lace as a loose stencil for adding detail to the center graphic. I tape down both ends of the lace and spray at around 10 psi to prevent it from flipping around too much. The key to making it look good is to keep your airbrush at a perfect 90 degree angle to the lace, use as few strokes/passes as possible for your paint coverage and only work with about a 12 in. section at a time. You can see how the lace is pulled pretty tight but there will be places (left side of left picture) where I’ll need to hold it down with my left hand to keep it centered between my graphic while I’m spraying with my right hand.

11.) Unmasked and ready for clear.

12.) Hood.

13.) Always tough not to get a glare on black. (Better pictures coming soon.)

14.) Finished.

To find out what I’d charge to do a job like this and how long it took to do it, click here-> custom Cutlass airbrush graphics. This is Members Only content so you will need to Login to view it. If you’re not a member already, you can Register for FREE.

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Mike’s Custom Corvette Airbrush Flames and Airbrush Fire

Mike’s Custom Corvette Airbrush Flames and Airbrush Fire

1.) This is a real treat, we’re starting with a beautiful Corvette that’s in great condition. The Owner of this classic ride has ordered a complete repaint with a side of custom airbrushing. He’s already done a lot of the pre-work disassembly for us, removing things like chrome trim, marker lights, emblems etc. This is a smart move on his part as the neighborhood is a little shady and rare, original emblems sometimes have a way of “disappearing” and ending up on EBAY. Unfortunate but true.

I always remove and disassemble as much as possible to give me comfortable access to all the nooks, crannies and hard to reach areas of a vehicle. Anywhere that water would be able to get to, I want to be able to get to. The more thorough you are at this stage in the game, the better the quality of paint job you’ll end up with. Note: Label everything! This car may be in the shop for a month or longer and although I may be an arrogant, conceited, attractive bastard that thinks he has a photographic memory, I’m not stupid. If you take the time to label everything now as you disassemble, it’s going to save you a lot of pain and headache when you’re ready to re-assemble. Especially if there’s more than 1 person on a project.

Have you ever sat staring at a finished project, holding 2 small bolts in your hand, scratching your head, wondering: “Where the hell do these go?” Yes? I thought so. That happened because you thought you were smarter then God and you didn’t  label anything.

2a.) This is the catalyst that prompted the repaint, (backed into by another driver) it’s a job in itself and the perfect starting point for this project.  The key to a good, strong, permanent fiberglass repair, is getting down to the raw fiberglass material and working your way up from there. On the surface, this didn’t look like much of a hit but once the paint was sanded down, the real extent of the damaged was revealed. It wasn’t life threatening, but it did require some special attention. Use a combination of hand sanding, die grinder, DA Sander and even a flat head screwdriver to remove the paint and get down to the fiberglass. Sandwich in new fiberglass mat from the front and the back, covering 6 to 8 inches around the damaged area in all directions. Apply several layers and once dry, use Kitty Hair (short strand fiberglass) to fill and smooth over as needed. Finish up with a light layer of body filler.

2b.) Doors and hood are removed, the interior and engine bay are masked in preparation for the upcoming body work. The front bumper cover is removed. It was semi sun warped and is being replaced with an updated composite version that does not warp. A front lip is also being added.

3a.) The collision repair is in full swing, you can see where the damage/repair on the upper part of the rear deck lid extended well into the middle of the car. I constantly compare and measure this side with the original undamaged side to make sure they are identical. Tip: Create a template of what the body should look like at different angles by holding a piece of poster board up against the rear or side corner of the body and tracing the profile. Then you can cut it out and match it up exactly with the other side.

3b.) Bodywork has begun. The whole car gets a once-over with 220 grit sandpaper and a DA. This is going leave major sand scratches but they will be filled and covered when I spray the primer. I don’t want to sand off all the existing paint, it was in pretty good shape and I would be hard pressed to get a better seal/adhesion then what’s already on there.  The fiberglass on these Vette’s are like a sponge. They really soak up solvents, oil and other contaminants so the less raw fiberglass that get’s exposed, the better. The exception to this was of course on the back corner where the damage was.

The composite bumper cover has been prepped and installed. We’re going to try and eliminate the seam where it connects to the car and achieve a nice smooth look, by filling it with a non-shrinking, sandable adhesive.

4a.) Are the 20 in. rims too much? Pulled the car out and tried these on for fun, they just barely fit.

4b.) After being prepped, all the individual parts are hung and sprayed with 3 coats of 2K filler primer. The paint booth may look ghetto but trust me it does the job. Right above the back door there is a killer 16 in. Dayton Explosion Proof Fan that pushes air like nobody’s business. There are 16 large gerbils running on a wheel inside that fan to keep things going smooth.  Keep your paint booth clean, always wet the floor before spraying to keep your dust down, if possible do your body work elsewhere and all costs, keep your Gerbils fed. Pretty standard stuff.

Bodywork took a while, no dents (it’s fiberglass)  but plenty of small waves in the body. Once bodywork was finished, the whole car got 3 full coats of 2K filler primer. After drying for at least a full 24 hours, it was block sanded with 220-320 grit sand paper. After that, pulled it out side, blew it off thoroughly with an air gun then washed and dried it. Time to mask everything off and get ready for sealer.

5.) Using a non-catalyzed sealer on a project like this is crazy talk. If I did do that (which I didn’t) as soon as I sprayed the basecoat, the reducer in the base coat would re-activate the sealer and I’d have a nasty little reaction on my hands (which I didn’t). In fact, I’d probably have to scrape off all the basecoat, (never happen) then scrape off the 2 coats of  sealer (no chance), then clean the primer underneath (in your dreams) and then re-mask the whole bloody thing for the third time!! (that part sucked)

After learning my lesson the hard way, switched to a high quality 2K Sealer and sprayed 2 full coats. Then 4 full coats of Debeers Metallic Blue Pearl (which really kicks ass by the way) followed by 4 coats of clear. You’ll notice the seam around the front bumper cover is looking nice and invisible.

Note: To ensure a perfect color match when re-assembled, I painted the doors, hood and head light covers at the same time as the body. It may not be necessary to do it this way, but with this metallic pearl blue I’m not taking any chances.

6a.)  Pic of the old hood to show how the seam used to look on the front bumper cover.

6b.) Things were looking good at this point, so let’s airbrush already! The hood, door jambs and back deck lid are all going to get touched by an angel. There is really no good cut lines for the clear on this Corvette so I decided to wet sand the whole thing with 600 grit then rinsed and dried it.

6c.) It took about 3 1/2 weeks to get here but we’re finally ready for the fun part. I use 1/8 in. blue fine line tape to layout some classic flames on the left side of the hood. I create a pounce pattern (same technique as used in  custom accord airbrush graphics tutorial) to layout my flames on the right hand side. Usually I would mask the negative space of the flames but for the technique I’m going to use here, I mask the positive part of the flames using 16 in. transfer tape.

I fill the airbrush with a dark purple basecoat and spray in some organic looking TRU Fire keeping my application free and loose. Once I’ve got a good fill of purple fire, I switch to white base coat and spray a second layer of fire. I prefer to use a combination of free hand brush strokes and home made fire stencils. (Sorry for the lack of pics on this one.)

7a.) I wipe it off with a tack rag then using a touch up gun, I cover the entire airbrushed area with a nice coat of Oriental Bue Kandy, make sure it’s dry and then unmask it. Looks pretty cool but it’s begging to be pinstriped. I wipe everything off again with a tack rag to get rid of the overspray and help knock down the paint edge so it doesn’t grab my brush when I try to pinstripe it.

7b.) I use Silver HOK striping paint and a 00 Mack brush to pinstripe the flames. I finished up the airbrushing on the door jambs and deck lid then the whole car got 3 more costs of clear.

7c.) You can see the darker under layer of purple flames better out here in the sun.

8.) Detail.

9.) These aren’t the best photos but quite a drastic change from the classic red Corvette that pulled into the shop about a month ago. Really looked killer once all the trim and emblems had bee reinstalled + the engine on this beast is just as clean and detailed as the rest of it.  A real one of kind custom Corvette. Thanks Mike.

10.) Door jambs.

If you’d like to know how long this project took and what it cost to do it, click here-> custom airbrushed corvette. This is Members Only content so you will need to Login to view it. If you’re not a member already, you can Register for FREE.

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Louise’s Electric Blue Skull and Flames Airbrushed Honda Shadow

Louise’s Electric Blue  Honda Shadow Airbrush Skull and Airbrush Flames

1.) The owner’s bike has recently been repainted so the paint is in great shape.  There are already light silver flames airbrushed on the tank and rear fender but nothing on the front fender. She would like to add a cool looking skull to the front fender and also some flames that will match the rest of the bike. Let’s do it!

2.) Using a reference pic from Google Images of a human skull, I create a sketch of how I want the skull to look.  I incorporate the  flames by adding a flame lick coming out his mouth and one coming out of his eye socket. To transfer this  sketch to the fender, I’m going to apply  some low tack transfer tape to a piece of copy and then send it through the printer so my skull drawing prints right on the transfer tape. I ‘ll then be able to remove the transfer tape from the copy paper and apply it directly to the fender. Once it’s on the fender, I can cut it out using an Xacto Knife with a brand new blade.

3.) Not much action in this pic, grass is lookin pretty green, could be a bit thicker though.  The fender was washed, wet sanded with 600 grit sandpaper, rinsed and dried thoroughly. This is how you want your parts to look after you wet sand them. A nice even dull finish everywhere. Compare this pic to the first pic above.

4.) And there ya go, all done! It’s that simple. I woke up the next morning and the fender was finished…what a relief!

Sorry for the lack of pics on this one, had to get it done fast and neglected to get pics along the way.  After I had the transfer tape with the printed sketch applied to the fender. I cut out the eyes, mouth and nose first (saving the cut out pieces), sprayed them black and then covered them back up. Cut out the skull and teeth next (saving the cut out pieces), leaving the flame parts still masked. I used white base coat to airbrush/detail the skull and teeth. I add texture to the skull by spraying small cracks, dots and jagged lines.

After I’m satisfied with the white, I switch to a Kandy Purple/Black mixture and use it very sparingly to add some more depth to the skull. It does not take much, I use it to push the jaw back under the cheek bones and on the sides of the eye sockets to give some shape to the head. I then switch to Oriental Blue Kandy to finish shading the skull. I’m not adding any new detail with Blue Kandy, just shading and going over what I already have.

Once the skull is done, back mask it and unmask the flame licks. I use blue fine line tape to layout some semi abstract/classic flames and spray them with a light silver metallic.

To find out what kind of airbrush I used, how long this project took, what it cost to do it and how much you should charge for it..Click Here. If you are not a Member, you will need to Register (FREE) in order to view it.

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