Custom Painted Yamaha YFZ 450 Tutorial Added

Custom Painted Yamaha YFZ 450 Tutorial Added to the Airbrush Tutorials section. Not really fair to call it a tutorial. More just a few pictures of the finished pieces and a short description of what was done.

Redid the Airbrush Signs and the Airbrush Wall Murals galleries. A lot of the pictures were way too big and taking forever to load. Also noticed that the Galleries work best with Internet Explorer or Firefox. Google Chrome sometimes stalls out or doesn’t load the next picture.

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

Airbrushed Poker Table Build

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”

History of the Airbrush pt 2

Charles Burdick Aerograph Airbrush www.getpainted.com

Pre-School Part 3:
History of the Airbrush cont…

1891-1893 – The reign of the Liberty Walkup external mix airbrush comes to an end when Charles L. Burdick from Chicago invents the internal mix airbrush. This new airbrush had several unique features and more closely resembled the airbrushes of today with a centralized fluid tip, needle, and air cap. It was sleeker, more refined and produced an atomized spray that was softer and more controllable than current external mix airbrushes. In your face Walkup!

The Burdick airbrushes were dubbed Aerographs, and the process of painting with one was called aerographing instead of airbrushing. The first Aerograph was labeled the Model A, it featured a dual action trigger and interchangeable paint tips. Apparently when you upgrade something that already exists, you can call it whatever you want to. Which is why I’ve taken a standard airbrush and welded a samurai sword to it. I call it a Samurair Sword.

Thayer and Chandler Airbrush by Olaus Wold www.getpainted.com

1893 – Norwegian Henry Thayer, and Englishman Charles Chandler’s new and improved internal mix airbrush makes it’s debut at the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair. The new, new internal mix airbrush was easier to use, simpler to maintain and it gave better results with less training. About 4 years later, thanks to a guy named Olaus Wold, who was working with Thayer and Chandler at the time, a breakthrough airbrush design is created where the paint is isolated from the trigger assembly. This made it much easier to switch colors and to clean.

1904 – Jens Andreas Paasche from Norway starts Paasche Airbrush Company.  Offering “The most complete line of Airpainting equipment for Art Studios, Factories and Maser Painters” Paasche continues to refine and improve upon current designs, securing several patents of his own. Notable airbrushes include the iconic red handled Paasche VL Series  (one of the most used airbrushes in the industry) the Paasche AB-Turbo with it’s unique turbine system and more recently the Paasche Talon.

1926 – Iwata Seisakusho company is established. Initially started with manufacture and sales of spray guns and small-sized air compressors in Japan. Credited with developing the world’s first electric, multi-articulated painting robot together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Started manufacture and sales of Airbrushes in 1973. Changed the name to Anest Iwata some years later.

Famous for their Eclipse and Micron line of airbrushes.

1964 – Badger Airbrush Company is born. The founder’s grandfather owned a swiss screw machine shop that was making parts for three airbrush companies (Paasche, Thayer & Chandler, and Wold).

Teflon seals, free standing color cups, and one piece triggers were the first notable advances as well as doing a left handed side feed gun. Badger was also the first to offer different airbrush models with interchangeable parts to help dealers and consumers reduce spare parts needs, two piece break away handles, easy needle access, stainless tips, the first airbrush ready paint, the first airbrush holder, the Universal dual feed airbrush.

History of the Airbrush

The First Airbrush - Francis E. Stanley's 1876 "Atomizer" (Photo www.airbrushmuseum.com)

Pre-School Part 2:
History of the Airbrush

1876 – Like most everything else in life which is awesome or cool that I’ve invented, I also claim to have invented the airbrush but in reality, most sane people agree that Francis Edgar Stanley (the same guy who invented the Stanley Steamer Automobile) invented the Airbrush. Since there’s no real proof though, we’ll just say I invented it. I’m joking, Francis is the man! (genome re-sequencing was my idea though.)

Francis Edgar “Airbrush”  Stanley was living in Newton, Massachusetts and created what he called an “Atomizer”. According to the patent, the Atomizer was used to “spray water colors, India-ink or crayon and also for all kinds of shading in which color can can be used in a liquid state.” The patent office classifies Stanley’s “atomizer” as the first patent of its type and the first in its class and subclass.

The Atomizer was similar in looks/function to an old fashioned hand pump perfume bottle. It consisted of a spray head assembly attached to a paint bottle and a hand pump. There was a small chamber inside the head where paint was drawn up from the bottle via a needle and mixed with the incoming, hand pumped air. The Atomizer also featured interchangeable heads to regulate the spray pattern. This is kind of a strange coincidence because I’ve always used my airbrush to apply cologne. I feel like I get better coverage that way.

1879 – A professional inventor named Abner Peeler from Webster City, Iowa invents the “Paint Distributor”. Patented “…for the painting of watercolors and other artistic purposes.” According to Andy Penaluna of www.andypenaluna.com, “In 1879 an eccentric jeweler from Iowa assembled;

The Paint Distributor - Illustration by Andy Penaluna www.andypenaluna.com

* a jam spoon
* a sewing machine needle,
* a bent over screwdriver,
* old soldering pipes,
* some bent metal
* …. and screwed it all together on some blocks of wood!”

The Paint Distributor featured a spinning wind-wheel with a needle attached slightly off center. As the wind-wheel spun, the needle would dip in and out of the ink reservoir in the spoon. The tip of the needle would pass right in front of a small tube blowing air  and the paint would be blown off the needle tip. The Paint Distributor was powered by a foot pump that fed air into a tank, where it was compressed, and then forced along an attached hose up to the distributor. Cool stuff.

1882-1891 – A dude named Liberty Walkup purchases the patent to the “Paint Distributor”. Some time later he forms The Airbrush Manufacturing Company of Rockford, Illinois. Thanks to some improvements like the revolutionary “walking bar” and a hard rubber handle to enhance appearance, the new and improved Walkup Airbrush was introduced and became an immediate success.

1885 Liberty Walkup Airbrush

Soon after the introduction of the Walkup Airbrush, Liberty forms the Illinois Art School. Housed in the same building as his airbrush company, the school specialized in airbrush technique but taught other disciplines as well. Later, Walkup would go on to publish a quarterly pamphlet dedicated to all things airbrushing called The Airbrush Journal.

*Random note: From the Atomizer to the Paint Distributor, early airbrushes were used predominately for photo retouching. Typically, artists would paint directly on enlarged portrait photos to enhance the photo’s appearance and eliminate unwanted scars or blemishes. This is similar to the way that digital airbrushing and Photoshop are used today for re-touching and enhancing photographs of models before displaying them on magazine covers.

So the next time you’re’ holding an airbrush, pour a little paint out in honor of all the vain people who’ve passed before us and helped to advance the technology of the airbrush to make it what it is today. Just think, if  everyone were happy with the way they looked, the airbrush might never have been invented.

Part 3 – History of the Airbrush continued…

Intro to Airbrushing

Pre Newbie

Pre-School: Intro to Airbrushing

An airbrush is a small, hand held air powered tool that’s used for applying paint or other liquid media to a variety of surfaces in a highly skilled and suave manner,  thereby increasing the pulchritude,  monetary value and overall coolness of said surfaces. An airbrush is connected to an air compressor via an air hose and it works by forcing a stream of fast moving, compressed air through a venturi (I.e., small cone…or french sports car) which creates a siphoning effect, drawing in paint from an interconnected reservoir (or detachable paint bottle) and shooting it out through a nozzle. The paint mixes with the air to produce a very fine atomized spray pattern which allows an artist to create highly detailed, awe inspiring works of art that make everyone else jealous.

Using a variable trigger on top of the airbrush, the operator can stop or start the airflow and control the amount of paint being released. On a dual-action airbrush, pushing down on the trigger starts the airflow and pulling back on the trigger, controls the amount of paint being released. I.e., pull back a little and a little paint comes out. Pull back a lot and a lot of paint comes out.

Badger Airbrush Diagram

Depending on the thickness of paint being used and the surface to which it is being applied, an airbrush typically operates at an air pressure anywhere from 5 to 65 PSI. Using a thinned down paint/ink and low PSI allows an artist to create the small, fine details you typically see in fine art illustrations or on motorcycle tank murals. Using a bit thicker, water based paint at a higher PSI is common practice for airbrushing on T-Shirts and using way too much garlic salt on scrambled eggs is common practice for my wife. Bless her soul.

The amount of air (PSI) getting to the airbrush is usually controlled at the air compressor but it can also be raised or lowered by an inline adjustable hose valve or other such device. A water filter trap is also recommended for removing moisture and other contaminants from the air line before they reach the airbrush. If an air compressor is not readily available, connecting one end of the airbrush hose to a “gut advantaged”  friend or relative and having a small child jump up and down on their stomach repeatedly, is an acceptable temporary solution.

The fine-tune-ability of the paint to air ratio and the nature of the spray application allows an airbrush artist to produce a variety of different textures and spray patterns quickly and effectively, from small, seamless color blends to photo realistic portraits and murals.

In short, the airbrush is a sexy, versatile precision instrument of art that will blow your mind and transform even the lamest tenderfoot wannabe into a super-mega, awesome artistic genius adored by one and all…(pause for effect)…with a little practice of course.

Part 2: History of the Airbrush

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.

how to airbrush

How To Airbrush Painting

How To Airbrush Painting is covered in depth at our online Airbrush School here at Sid Vicious Art.com. Everything you need to know to go from average Joe to seasoned Pro. Start with the basics in Airbrush Pre-School, work your way through Elementary School, Junior High, High School and College.

Learn how to airbrush painting here and take the  fast track on your road to airbrush success.

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!

how to airbrush