May 22, 2019

Airbrushing that relativity bloke

I hadn't touched an airbrush for over two years, but picked up the tool again yesterday after a visit to Airbrush Services Almere that has redecorated their shop excellently. Not sure if I'll continue this old trade again, but it was nice to do. Therapeutic more or less. I used the Iwata HP-BH airbrush with Inspire H2O sepia paint on a canvas structured paper (Canson for oil- and acrylic paints). 100% freehand airbrush and some erasing with Faber Castell 7057 eraser pencil. No pencil- or hairy brush strokes added to enhance accents or add detail. I may be testing other airbrushes and paints while at the analog airbrush craft again.

The Canson paper is extremely strong and allows erasing (even with fiber glass erasers if done carefully) after which airbrushing over the erased area can be continued without a problem. In some places I sprayed Inspire white over the erased area before continuing airbrushing. That is somewhat similar to applying a layer of gesso onto which the portrait is sprayed. No spiders or absorption blobs due to too much paint accumulating in the damaged area where the paper surface was erased (which results in unwanted dark spots). Excellent!

This paper is well suited for artists who want their painting to have an authentic canvas effect, but in fact works a lot easier than real canvas.... It does not allow as meticulous details as on smooth paper, but real canvas doesn't allow too much detail either.

The H2O paint was I recalled it to be; the best a available on the market. Using reducer works better than mixing the paint with water. It makes the paint flow well, gives less clutter and keeps it usable / sprayable in the airbrush paint cup longer. In addition it allows erasing with more control. Finally it makes the airbrush easier to clean. These are properties not all paints combine.

For fine details I added Vallejo Flow Improver to the mix: paint : reducer : flow improver = 2 : 8 : 1 The Flow Improver really does its job well; add too much and the paint will slip (and cause 'spiders'), but it significantly extends the period in which very fine details can be sprayed or postpones clogging of paint in the airbrush. Nice stuff. Mind you, fine details are better applied on smooth paper or special airbrush board. Use low air pressure, push the trigger carefully to barely let paint come out and work very close to the surface (1 to 2 mm) with the air cap removed.

Oldest stage at the bottom, newest at the top. Hint: click on an image and you'll be taken to Google's Lightbox which is a type of slide show that allows you to scroll tbrough the stages (on a PC that is) for easy compare of the stages.

Really finished. 19:44 hrs June 11 2019
Only varnishing still needs to be done.

Finished. I think. 11:16 hrs
June 2 2019. Daylight photo

Further hair detailing 10:45 hrs
May 29 2019. Daylight photo

Added hair contours and texture accents
23:22 hrs May 27 2019. Daylight photo

Adding background for accent balancing
11:22 hrs May 26 2019

Adding texture detail 10:24 hrs May 26 2019
Daylight photograph

Accent and balancing by erasing 23:33 hrs May 24 2019
Photo shot in artificial light

Added texture detail 21:39 May 24 2019
Photo shot in the evening with artificial light

Corrected left eye and added some detail 12:02 May 24 2019

After another half hour 14:00 hrs May 22 3019

After airbrushing half an hour 14:00 hrs May 21 2019

May 14, 2019

Crystal Reed 100% vector portrait

Haven't been posting for a while. Life kept me busy. Started a new project recently: a vector portrait of Crystal Reed who plays Sophia Falcone in the television series Gotham. 100% vectors, zero pixels. Created once more in Affinity Designer, no other program was used. Below I post the progress sequence, which will be slow I suspect. Oldest stage at the bottom, newest at the top. Please bear with me as I complete this portrait, that for the time being is a work in progress.

Tip: if you click on an image, you're taken to Google's Lightbox (which are slides basically) that allows you to scroll back and forth through the various stages, that makes it easier to compare the stage differences. On a PC you can use the scroll wheel to flick through the stages, on a tablet you must click the thumbnails at the bottom of the screen and on a smartphone the Lightbox is unfortunately not available.

Colour testing

Stage 13 - hair background added

Stage 12 - accents, highlights, shadows & lip creases

Stage 11 - upper lip details

Stage 10 - accents highlights and shadows

Stage 9 - working on accents and shadows

Stage 8 - added some shadow backgrounds on right side of face

Stage 7 - fine tuning location and shape of face components

Stage 1 to 6 - setting up face components