January 9, 2013

Reconsidering course methods

After considering many things we have decided to go about airbrush classes differently. Different than what is commonly done. There is a strong dislike of the commercialized approach. Commerce and truly creative skill are rarely good companions. One always violates the other to some extent. And since humans are analog beings we aim to focus on that - on the creative side. It still requires skill, but it should not serve commercial means in our view.

So the proper setting for sharing the knowledge we have, is to go for 1 to 3 students max at the time. Intensive guidance and advice that will give the maximum result for the maximal effort. I conducted courses in the past where I had 15 students in every class. I hated it and always had the feeling that students were not given the information that they should have gained. There simply was not enough time to address all issues that required improved skill or a different approach.

If people feel comfortable with this vision they should not hesitate to contact us. The revised vision is a guarantee for better teaching and better learning, that is, if commercial applications are not the main issue. There will also be matters not directly related to airbrushing that will be incorporated in the courses. Things like reaching a meditative state in which the creative mindset is given an unobstructed right of way. Also vision improving exercises and even dietary suggestions that improve general health and reduce tremors of the hands may be part of the information we plan to share.

The beginner's course outline looks something like this:
  1. How  airbrushes work - we don't just want to tell students, they must feel how they work and we will help them become aware of the principles (with a little theory) behind the functions so they don't forget
  2. Take airbrushes apart, clean and maintain them, put them together again and adjust them for each spraying purpose
  3. Tune airbrushes - considerable improvements can be made to any standard airbrush bought in the shops
  4. Try different airbrushes. We have Harder & Steenbeck Infiniti and Evolution, Paasche V#1, Paasche Turbo (not recommended unless very experienced), Iwata HP-BH, Iwata Custom Micron SB, Badger 150, Sata spraygun and Testor Aztek - students can try any of these to figure out the best airbrush for their purpose
  5. What type of compressors there are and which is best for students to use, how to maintain them, what air pressures to use for different types of jobs and different types of paint
  6. Try different types of paint - Createx, Auto-Air, Detail, Schmincke, Illu-Color, Holbein Aeroflash, Inspire (solvent based), AquaFlow (alcohol based) and others, how they must be diluted, what additives to use
  7. How preparations to various surfaces must be done (various types of paper, board, canvas, metal, plastic), water-based paints, solvent based paints, opaque and transparent paints
  8. Media's - candies, reducers, base coats, clear lacks, intercoat-clears, cleaning agents for the various types of paints, lubricants for airbrush maintenance
  9. Safety measures, masks, fume extracting systems
  10. Projection methods - the transfer of images: projector, lightbox
  11. How to set up a painting - working in layers, detailed airbrushing
  12. Different types of techniques - freehand airbrush, masking or use of stencils and cutting masks, liquid masks and use all types of materials for masking purposes
  13. Erasing methods and materials, the use of pencils and hairy brushes
  14. How to interpret a reference image and translate that to an artist's own personal taste in the painting, how to look at details
  15. Where to buy your goods - if there is time we may introduce Students to a seller that has all they need for airbrush. He ships world wide and is able to give excellent advice
  16. How to relax (meditate) before starting to airbrush to enhance creativity, dietary advice if you have hand tremors, eye-improvement exercises
  17. We also have information (in digital form) related to the above mentioned techniques, hardware and exercises that can be forwarded to students if so desired
If students prefer to do the course in a consecutive period of time (usually a few days in a row) we encourage them to contact us in order to work out an appropriate schedule.

Portrait classes will focus on the techniques to be applied that are taught in the beginners' class on a more advanced level. There will be separate courses for monochrome and color portraits, freehand and freehand mixed with certain other techniques. In these classes mainly water-based paints are used.

There will also be courses to teach spraying solvent based paints of which more detail will be published on this site in a future blog-entry.