December 7, 2012

Inbetween project - Panther

With this portrait I try to see if it is possible to closely approach urethane paint airbrush quality with water-based paint, Holbein Aeroflash. Set-up is follows:
  1. Aeroflash thinned to 1 paint : 20 water : 3 drops of Talens Retarder
  2. Air pressure just high enough to push out the paint
  3. Airbrush CM SB with Aztek paint cup, polished needle. no air cap
  4. Dagger strokes while airbrush is at a very sharp angle relative to surface
  5. Hansa airbrush paper A4 size
  6. Projection method: lightbox that I described in an earlier blog entry
  7. 99% freehand (a little erasing here and there)
Newest image on top, older stages below.

Experiment failed

Update Dec 17 2012 - Experiment failed

The Mircon does not handle the water-based acrylic as fine and controllable as the urethane (thinner based) paints. The lines are less crisp and less fine, while colors are more dull. Water-based will from now on mostly be used to teaching purposes while the project work will be sprayed with uros as much as possible.

After 10 hours

After 9 hours

After 8 hours

After 6 hours

After 4 hours

After 2.5 hours

After 1 hour

After 0.5 hour

Inspiration was an airbrush portrait by Alberto Ponno's very talented student Luca Roccaforte.

Update Dec 8 2012
After 5 hours I already begin to become severely annoyed by the properties of water-based acrylic paint. The black is coarsely grained and the white is total disaster that urged me to spend more time cleaning the airbrush than spraying; it clogged everywhere in the cup and brush, but not on the paper. The white paint that the airbrush actually managed to push out had poor coverage in spite of the fact that it was labeled opaque. The coarse pigment grains and the poor properties of the water-based solvent do not allow to spray the fine lines with good coverage that thinner based paints seem to effortlessly enable.

I recently learned that House of Kolor is producing a new urethane paint - Shimrin 2 - that has a low VOC (2.8) which is better than many water-based and waterborne paints. I may give that a try when it will become available in The Netherlands. I've basically had it with water-based paints and will be going back to airbrushing with decent paints.