Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This day, the day before Thanksgiving, I suppose we're all thinking of FAMILY. But I'm thinking of something more powerful: FRIENDSHIP. Friendship is more powerful than family because we CHOOSE friendship. Now, I'm not talking about acquaintance, or working relationships, or roommates. I'm talking about friendship we choose for no other reason than mutual respect and agreement, and perhaps something more, something beyond what I can quantify at the moment. These are the people who share our views of the fundamental questions in life, as well as, perhaps, our most pleasurable pursuits, hobbies, interests, whatever, as well as that undefinable thing, you know what I mean, an attraction, a tug at our souls. These people, these true FRIENDS, meet us deep in our hearts, and dwell there for our whole lives, no matter the geographical separation.
But such people are rare. How many can you name? If you have ONE true friend, count yourself lucky. More than one? You're a god. ...Is your spouse a true friend? Now THAT is a good question for many.
Real friendship is the most powerful political entity we'll ever experience. We gladly will die for such friendship, not because we're brave, but because it's an act of survival. To have a true friend is to look in the mirror.
Thanksgiving is an artificial occasion FORCING us to be with family briefly. Friendship is it's antithesis.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Well that didn't work!

I started to paint a pic of Tinkerbell today, but I soon learned I was rushing it, and was in a bad mood, and kept smearing the wet paint. It was looking good at first, as I cut-out the stencil section, and started a nice flesh tone, but, like I said, I was in a bad mood and rushed the whole thing. You must REALLY MASK WELL when dealing with such small images. My airbrush isn't as finely detailed as some, and I'm not yet adept at its control, really, so careful masking is essential. Trial and error. And error. A bit tedious. ...
...Yet, afterwards, I went back through a book or two, and I think I've figured-out an excellent way to do masking in an easier (and more "fool-proof") way. I need to get a couple of items, but the stores are closed now (it's late), so I'll get my stuff tomorrow. This new technique will be perfect for murals. Man, there's not enough time in the day anymore! I really really really need to get my skills solidified with murals, and start making some money! I'm broke broke broke...*whimper*whimper*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Better Set-up

I realized pretty quickly that I would need MANY hours practicing the handling of my airbrush, so I got myself a chair and a table. Much better. I don't know what I'm doing, just repeating dagger strokes and dots and shading over and over and over, and some lettering, too. And I tried to draw another girl freehand, but on this smaller scale (thus, VERY fine control is required). It's amazing how technical an airbrush can be. One thing I discovered is that I needed to thin my paints with water much more than I was, as in 1 to 1 or even 2 to 1, water to pigment. The needle tip still clogs a bit after a few minutes, so I must clean it over and over. Is this normal? It happens mainly when I'm doing a lot of LIGHT work, just spraying tiny amounts up close. I think maybe it's normal. Like everything, you must learn to clean it efficiently and quickly, and get back to work. Takes about 30 seconds, I guess. ...
Man, don't let paint dry inside your airbrush! It gets everywhere, especially is it's too thick. If it's too thick, it doesn't atomize properly, so, later, you find dried chunks THROUGHOUT the gun. Another way to solve a too-thick paint problem: increase the air pressure. Unfortunately, my compressor has only one setting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First day with a real airbrush

It took two days, and trips to Michael's and Target and Home Depot, but I finally got my airbrush system working (almost) properly. And, this evening, I spent a few hours playing. All the books say to practice making dots and lines of various sizes, and then DAGGER STROKES. The dagger thingys are fairly difficult for a newbie, because you must simultaneously: 1)Move the airbrush across the paper smoothly; 2)Start the movement/stroke high-off the paper, and then smoothly slide downward toward the paper; 3)Start the stroke with full color pressure on the trigger, and smoothly lower the color pressure/amount until there's nothing; 4)Go the direction/angle/curve you want! But I was kinda able to get the hang of it. The photos show my practice sheets and "studio." Wow, the mystery of the airbrush. But I'm starting to understand it. Sweet.

Got Myself a Real Airbrush!

Woo-hoo! So I finally got a real airbrush and a real airbrush compressor. They're USED, but nearly new. Man, that compressor is TINY. But that's standard, and it's quiet. The color cup and jars were all clogged (with old paint from the previous owner), but I'm making headway cleaning it all up. (Think SPRAY PAINT REMOVER.) The airbrush is a Paascha VL, and I've taken it apart and put it back together a few times already. The pic shows my messy new set-up and toys. Woo-hoo!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spray Paint: Version 2.0: Airbrush and Murals

Ah, the airbrush. I love the "look" of good airbrush art. "Like a dream," I heard one artist say. Sweet. But I've never used one. Sure, I've used spray cans a little, but am unsatisfied. What I've discovered recently is that airbrushes can produce VERY fine lines, and can be manipulated like any DRAWING instrument. Yet they can produce perfect soft fades. ...So, yeah, I bought one. OK, OK, it's just a super-cheap airbrush, and I'm using a pressurized air can as the air source, but that's all I could afford at the moment. (Actually, tomorrow, I'm getting a whole, nice set-up from a friend: professional airbrush, quiet airbrush compressor, and a bunch of paint. I'm stoked!)
Anyway, so I've played-around a little with the super-cheap set-up, practicing making dots, lines, fades, whatnot, and then I "drew" a quick face, which took about five minutes, and stands about 4 feet in length. Fun! I mean, this lousy airbrush only produces a THICK line, but practice is practice. Any new instrument has a big/steep learning curve. Then again, this feels darn natural. (As my friend Mike says, I haven't found my artistic "niche" yet. Perhaps murals [in airbrush] is it. We'll see. I hope so!) ...So I continued to practice, but I had to stop. The air line kept freezing-up with the propellant, so you must stop after a few minutes, and let it warm-up. Frustrating!