Come and join us as we embark on another airbrushing journey, this time focusing on the delicate beauty of a flower. Through this practice painting lesson, we will put to the test all the fundamental airbrushing skills that we’ve previously acquired in our basic airbrush lessons.
Additionally, we’re excited to introduce the concept of layering colors to further refine and elevate your art. For the uninitiated, layering colors involves a meticulous process of blending different hues to create a multidimensional effect that will make your artwork pop!
Penned by the inimitable Don Johnson, an acclaimed airbrush artist, this lesson will make use of Frisket Film, a masking material renowned for its unparalleled efficacy in airbrushing.
But remember, when working with Frisket Film, less is more. A little paint goes a long way, so don’t be tempted to overdo it. We hope you’re as excited as we are to take your airbrushing skills to the next level!
How To Airbrush a Flower (Steps)
Airbrush Supplies Required:
- If you want to paint this well, you will need a good airbrush. This type of airbrush uses gravity to help get the paint to the brush. However, if you don’t have this type of airbrush, any airbrush will work as long as it has a compressor.
- An X-acto knife is a sharp knife that can be used for many different things. It has several blades that can be changed depending on what you need to do.
- Frisk Film,
- You will need a sheet of matt masking film that is at least 8 by 12 inches.
- I used Strathmore Bristol Board 8 by 12 inches regular surface, but you can use whatever you have on hand, such as illustration board.
- The colors are Com-art Transparent Burnt Umber, Op. lime green and transparent cadmium yellow.
Step 1 Above
I used several drafting French Curves to come up with this flower design. These can be bought at any office supply store. Once I had the design laid out, I applied Frisk masking film. This will help to keep the paint from getting on the background. Work any air bubbles out by working from the center outward on both sides.
Carefully cut the design out of the Frisk Film with a sharp knife and a new blade. You will need to apply very little pressure to cut through the film. Let the blade do the work; your hand should follow your eyes. Cut the design out so that pencil lines are inside the area you will be painting. This way, when you remove the Frisk Film, you can erase any pencil lines that are left behind.
When you pull the film off, be careful not to rip it. If there are pencil lines showing, erase them. Make sure you keep the paper that the film came on so you can store the cut-outs later. We will be replacing some of them later.
Start by taking the center and stem Frisk off first. Make a reference mark on the center Frisk film as we will replace it back on the center. Now use transparent Burnt Umber airbrush to put in an area of shading into the center, leaving the very center much lighter as the sides are in the shade much more than the center would be.
Choose the direction your light source is coming from and apply your Burnt Umber accordingly. If you want an area to appear further in the background, use a darker color like Burnt Umber. This will cool down that area.
Leaving the center of the painting white will help to define the center of the flower. Use lime green on the stem; make the sides darker and make the center lighter. This will help to push both sides back and make the center of the stem look closer.
Step 2 Above
With the Cadmium Yellow, airbrush color into the center of the flower and down the very middle of the stem. The yellow will warm up that area and make it look more forward. Replace the center and stem Frisk Film.
Step 3 Above
With the Frisk Film in the center of the flower and on the stem, pull the uppermost peddle off (uppermost being upper as I have airbrushed above).
To add shading and shape to the peddle, use lime green. Pull the next Frisk Film off and do the same. I do not replace the Frisk Film as I move on to airbrush the next peddle. Use low PSI so over spray will not be a problem; 10 to 12 psi.
You want to use these practice paintings to learn how to control your airbrush. The best way to do this is by getting the air pressure as low as possible. When the pressure is low, you can move the airbrush more slowly and have more control over it. This will make it easier for you to create fine details. So make sure to crank down the pressure!
Step 4 Above
Keep going one peddle at a time. After you do one, do the other one. Make sure to use the green peddles.
Step 5 Above
Now that all of the peddles have been painted green, the next step is to do something else.
Step 6 Above
Apply Cadmium Yellow to the flower peddles by staying back a few inches and using light strokes. Then, using Frisk Film, remove the center and stem of the flower. Touch up any areas that need it with the yellow. You can see all the over spray on the Frisk Film around the flower.
Step 7 Above
Remove the remaining Frisk Film from your painting and sign your name. Hang it on the refrigerator door as your first airbrushed painting.
So, keep practicing and have fun! Remember that it’s just paint and you can always fix mistakes. So don’t worry if something doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better and better.