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Old 04-18-2017, 08:32 AM
popculture chameleon popculture chameleon is offline
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best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

would love some guidance on choosing the right airbrush for what I would eventually like to master
portrait work and and fantasy art work (like Magic the Gathering ) fantasy style art work
any help would be appreciated. Thank you
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:37 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

You need to re-think your question...how does this sound; what paint brush is best for portrait? ...what type of paint brush is best for portraits????? You want a single small precise answer to such big question.

The answer to your question; "the right airbrush"... none or all... if your portrait is on an A4 or smaller then maybe an EFBE 0.15mm or Olympos Micron or if it's on an 8' X 10' canvas a an "8 mm" touch up gun and maybe a Paasche Millennium with a number 3-5 needle/fluid nozzle.

Last edited by airbrush_ken : 04-18-2017 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:58 PM
popculture chameleon popculture chameleon is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

ok lets try it this way- I want to be able to master both portrait work for airbrush and also create fantasy art work like magic the gathering with the airbrush. I work with colored pencil and want to use the airbrush fro background work - however I would like to eventually only need to use the air brush to paint completed works. The size paper I am thinking of working on is 11 by 14 for portrait and 18 by 24 for fantasy style art work on Strathmore mixed media or bristol board. I do know that the HP-C plus is a workhorse standard but was wondering if any other models from Iwata would do the job better or make it easier to complete the project.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:11 AM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Really..you just pasted the same question ...
"I want to be able to master both portrait work for airbrush and also create fantasy art work like magic the gathering with the airbrush."
1) Are professionally trained in illustration work or fine art?
*** You need to realize there is no different in the techniques used for fantasy or portrait work, when it comes to airbrush skill levels.

"use the airbrush fro background work - however I would like to eventually only need to use the air brush to paint completed works."
1) For background work a simple Paasche Mdl H would work fine. I set up Disney Background Artist some 20 odd years ago with the "H" and a Sparmax 250 Twin Cylinder compressor. A couple got VL's with #1 tip/needle sets. Personally I have 12 airbrushes at my work station, but for the most part I used 7 different mdls, 4 different brands; EFBE, Paashe, Sparmax and Iwata.

"the HP-C plus is a workhorse standard "
1) I was the iwata service agent years ago and that statement is news to me. I think it has more to do with your location on the planet when it comes to brands, as several companies make great brushes. The choice has more to do with availability of spare parts, price, action type (single, dual, progressive) internal and external mix and most important; the feel of the brush in your hand... keep in mind you will be holding it many hours a day.

"11 by 14 for portrait and 18 by 24 for fantasy style art work "
1) The final print size usually determine the artwork size. Such as I used A-5 board for book markers as a sample. Magazine images and center folds I usually used A3 or A4 CS10 (no longer for sale...I have got a few boxes for my own stock).

As a final note I have ran workshops, classes and seminars for professional artists and illustrators till about 13 years ago, (wounds from Vietnam caught up with me) so I retired from full time work and now work from my studio.
To reach the level of skill to produce quality professional level work takes years of pratice, but the finish results can be great.

Here is a sample of one of my students from the late 90's, this was an Illustration for a "Computer Gaming" magazine and done on A3. At that point in time, the computer work wasn't the quality (yet) of a good illustrator. His name was Jamie Tuffrey.
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Old 04-28-2017, 12:34 PM
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talisman talisman is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Airbrush is a tool. Like any other tool it has its strengths and weakness.
You say you want to use only airbrush is limiting.
My favorite Fantasy artist Michael Whelan uses airbrush but also every other medium he thinks would work in a given situation. Mostly airbrush with acrylic paint with acrylic traditional painting techniques also. He also does studies in pencil or other drawing mediums before doing a painting.
Airbrush is awesome and nothing beats it for soft blends and misty smoke or tendrils in a painting. That's what I want to get one for, the things only an airbrush can make magic!
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:30 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

I love Michael Whelan works, saying that I know many artist who use an airbrush with their work. I can tell you from my experience an airbrush is not the end all of art tools. As I learned in college (art education) and from my first trade school training as a "Bump and paint" guy... the applications that an airbrush could be used was only limited by one's imagination.
Sadly people like "popculture chameleon" ask questions and never responds to the answers. I'm guessing it's an age and experience problem. Many pros left this site for that very reason.
Knowledgeable, experienced people would take the time to answers these questions and ... nothing ... no thanks, nothing. So why take the time to even answer? Towards the end there were a few (including myself) taking the time to post a tutorial and ... nothing ... so why bother?
The only reward for such effort would be a thanks...
I've been asked even lately to post on YouTube some tutorials, not a chance. Most of the ones I see are self promotional (very limited in information) shots, so you will sign up. Many are basic level skilled people who only have experience in one application, such as "learn to airbrush a skull on an X-Box".
Breaks my heart, but the world changes and the people like "popculture chameleon" are the ones asking the questions... sadly most pros I know will never answer and it's a loss to everyone.
Ken
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:51 AM
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

airbrush ken I understand where you are coming from.
I do thank you for your time and effort. The knowledge you so freely give is appreciated if not always noted.
I will some time this year get an airbrush to aid with my art.
So your recommendations will help me out.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:42 AM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Well Dianna, I looked at your images on deviant... Going from the kind of work I saw, I'd look to start off with a Sparmax Model SP 35. The reason why is first it's price is way more reasonable than an Iwata, It's Gravity feed and having a .35mm fluid nozzle, you can airbrush Pigmented base paints with little issues. I found the .3mm Iwata HPC would have some minor issues with Titanium White and Yellow Ochre. Many parts and all of the compressors Iwata sells are made by Sparmax.
It's a great tool for glazing techniques and nothing can compete with the
tonal graduations it can produce..
I'll post some cat and dog paintings I did with that exact airbrush tomorrow all on illustration board smaller than A4... hope that helps.
Also consider the book; Airbrush: The Complete Studio Handbook, by Radu Vero ... came out in 1983 and it is the most complete, helpful publication I own and believe me I have airbrush related books dating back to 1920's.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:39 AM
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Thank you airbrush_ ken for your time and information. I do use an airbrush at work a great deal, I'm a cake decorator and use the one there. However I am looking forward to upgrading my home art supplies and tools to include one too.
I think my husband has the book you recommended also, finding it might be another matter.....so many books, we are not hoarders I swear! Just big time readers.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:31 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Here are a couple of pieces done with the sp 35;
The fur was created by making the airbrush spit and splatter "not uniform" droplets of colour over the area and dragged with a fan brush (any brush would do). With practice you can learn to control the droplet sizes and the timming to drag them to become lines.
Between coats of fur I would glaze translucent colours to create the cat's fur look I wanted. You used to be able to buy splatter caps which allowed you to create uniform droplets. It's good for an illustration effect, but looks very un-natural on wildlife paintings. Both of these are around A5 in size. I used hard masking for the chairs to create the seams and separations.
I hope this inspires you to do what I have had the privilege to enjoy most of my life and still do.
Side note; I ran a couple of training groups for Pastry Chefs in Sydney. One won a silver in an international competition and his massive cake had all these airbrush butterflies on it and some frosting (Masapam) butterflies floating on small wires just off the surface... way to pretty to eat and when I saw his 4" silver cup... really???? all that effort and TV coverage and this little silver cup...pass...lol
Go for it girl...
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:41 PM
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

What lovely cats! They are amazing!
Thanks for explaining your technique.
I'm not in that league of cake decorators, mine are for eating!
They are still lovely and great for photos in the scrapbook and such like.
Air brush I use at work is a gravity feed with a very small cup don't know the size.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:54 PM
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Those Cats are great Ken, they look fantastic ... Have never tried that technique... In what surface would it work?, Droplets don't stay long enough in paper as I can recall
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:48 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Those images were done about 18-20 years ago. They were done on "Frisk" CS-10 smooth illustration board. The drying issue can be overcome by adding retarder to your paints, or learn to use both hands; one with the hair brush and one with the airbrush.... air pressure and distance from the surface results in different droplet sizes. It's really not hard after a little time spent trying it. It relates back to using artist "diffusers".. link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BvUm0VmmUU
I have done the same technique on smooth portrait canvas, but it takes a bit more skill and or practice... saying that it isn't that hard... hope that helps you.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:56 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

I just noticed you are in Germany. I bought some splatter caps about 23 years ago from a new company then selling what were replicas if Iwatas. They were also big in Oil bath compressors back then. I was asked to evaluate their products and the offered the mini-quick release also. Note I am at a loss for their name, but I'll see if I can find any documents. I still have two working mini-quick-releases and 4 splatter caps, 3 for HPC size airbrush (very common) and 1 that fits an HPB iwata... Remove the air cap and the needle cap on sparmax, iwata, olympos , drop the air pressure (I pinch the hose sometimes) and pump the trigger back and forth while fully held down and that will also do the trick.
Also great for sandstone and works will for wood grain (like in the chairs of the cat paintings)... called thinking outside the box
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:25 PM
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Re: best airbrush for fantasy and portrait work

Learning a lot just on the exchange of info on this thread (hijacked now, but I think for good information.)
Thanks guys!
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