July 12, 2016

Johan Cruijff airbrush portrait

I started airbrushing this portrait in December 2015 before Cruijff passed away in March 2016. Then didn't touch it for months until July 12 2016. Airbrushing on linen textured paper is more difficult than on smooth paper. Textured paper is wrinkled - furrows and ripples - which causes the jet from the airbrush to miss the lower parts while depositing more paint on the higher parts. To avoid inconsistencies the airbrush has to be moved slow and mix ratios of reducer and paint require more attention, generally spraying with more diluted mixtures in more layers to obtain the required colour intensity. Difficult as it may be, the surface texture gives the airbrush a traditional atmosphere.

In last December I still favored the Iwata HP-BH to spray with. That changed when I focused more on using Inspire H2O paint, which is process perfectly in the Iwata Custom SB that has a slightly smaller nozzle and a sharper needle point. When airbrushing a lot of detail on difficult surfaces, such properties matter. The SB and the H2O are an ideal combination that make it possible to effectively airbrush on textured surfaces. Especially since the SB is a syphon type gun that has the paint cup on a side (the SB is interchangeable). It results in an unobstructed view to the paper, while this positioning of the cup shortens the distance between trigger and nozzle tip, which means the artist has a more accurate control over the placement of the spray. The H2O paint has wonderful characteristics; it barely clogs and flows excellently while drying quickly after hitting the paper. I used Black Smoke once more with allows to spray any grey hue necessary between white and (almost) black.

Oldest stages at the bottom, newest on top.

I'll stop here before I ruin it...
Virtually framed in 3D