In this exercise I followed similar steps to those in the first exercise of the drawing course. The aim was to see what marks I could make wit the airbrush and record what I did to make those marks.
Unlike the pencil where you can hold it at different angles with your fingers at different distances away from the tip or press down with varying pressure to get lots of types of marks, with a gravity feed airbrush it always has to be upright. Nonetheless, you can still achieve different marks.
Materials used for this exercise
Iwata Eclipse HP-CS
Badger Air Compressor
190 gsm drawing paper
Thin Lines – If I held the airbrush close to the paper with minimum pressure on the trigger (pulling back) I created light, thin lines. If I applied more pressure I created dark, thin lines. If I applied to much pressure then to much paint come out and the lines smudged. Although thin lines would be good for drawing outlines I’m not sure if an airbrush artist would draw first in airbrush… would he draw in pencil or chalk first?
Broad lines – Broader lines are made in much the same way as the thin lines but with more distance between the airbrush and the surface being painted on. However if used to fill in blocks of colour or shading it is pretty difficult to layer the paint evenly, this will take a lot of practise.
Covering large areas – The Eclipse HP-CS seems to be for finer detail, although I bought it believing it was a good all rounder. It doesn’t seem to cover large areas very well so a larger spray gun will probably be needed.
Spots and dots – As above with thin lines and broader lines the same effects can be achieved with spots, with the airbrush close to the paper it makes a more defined spot, moving the airbrush away from the paper for a larger spread.
A wide range of marks can be made with the airbrush, which with a bit of practice can create some really smooth lines and effects but at this stage what I am lacking is control.
Due to lack of funds and earning a wage less than what i needed to live, I returned from Thailand last June in the hope that I would earn more money and be able to continue my degree in the UK where the course fees would be cheaper. Unfortunately I missed my assessment deadline on my painting course and had to drop out of the painting degree programme.
However, I’m not one to be held back by something like that and will do everything I can to continue my art journey, wherever that will take me, and for now that seems to be in the direction of airbrush art work.
While in Thailand I came up with an idea to do custom paintwork for motorbikes, helmets and snowboards etc with a friend of mine, so prior to my departure from the land of smirks I bought some airbrush equipment and paints and had them to delivered to my friends house who had a year to practise with them before my arrival.
The equipment I purchased was an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS along with a Badger Air compressor, Auto-Air Colors water-based paints, various cleaning equipment and Artool Freehand stencils. Still, the challenge is that I have never used an airbrush and before being able to produce work for paying clients, I have to become not just competent but excellent with this this type of media.
And so I will start this drawing course again using the airbrush as my chosen drawing tool in the hope that I will develop my skills with a tool that so far I seem to have no control over, as can be seen in my first airbrush piece above.
Nevertheless, I don’t just plan to be a commercial artist, I still want to continue experimenting and try to find my own style so that I can continue top produce contemporary paintings as well, hopefully airbrush can play apart in those.
I hadn’t managed to get out to a life drawing class during the drawing figures part of the course due to the unrest here in Bangkok but I wasn’t quitting, prior to going home for my second visit in 15 years last month I had arranged to meet a friend in my hometown Wakefield who would take me to a life drawing class.
After choosing my medium, soft charcoal I set up my easel for the first pose which was a 15 minute pose. I was quite nervous and very self conscious, it being the first life drawing class I had ever been to and due to this I seemed to forget everything I had learnt and tried to hard to make a picture.
On the second pose, the first of three 5 minute poses I was still in 15 minute pose mode and went at it it too slow, what I should have done here is smoother longer lines focusing on the essential shapes and elements.
By the third pose I had settled in and was putting most of what I had learned from the figure drawing sections of the course into practise, I was loosening up and you can tell by the drawing I was starting to put some of what I had learned into practise.
By the fourth drawing the lines were getting smoother and I was thinking how addictive life drawing could be focusing on the essential elements but still going at it quite slow.
From here it was back to a 15 minute pose and my favourite out of the five drawings, I focuded on all the essential shapes and elements as well as stance and force which I had learnt to do in my earlier gesture drawings but the pose helped.
Like most of my figure drawing, the quality of the drawings I produce depends on whether I like a certain pose or not and this also applied in the life drawing class. I will be returning to England next year for good and will hopefully be attending life drawing classes on a regular basis.