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Drawing for the Airbrush Artist

Posted on | September 16, 2013 | Comments Off

The reference drawing that the airbrush artist works upon is
extremely simplistic in the sense that it consists only of line. No
shading is required because it will be applied with the airbrush.
Normally, the less pencil work done in the development of an
airbrush rendering, the better.
The drawing that the artist works on is a well-planned guide that
gives him the visual information needed for the development of
a painting, as well as where and when frisketing (stenciling) is
needed. Several drawings are usually completed before the
airbrusher is ready to execute the line contour reference
drawing.
To begin, thumbnails are small preliminary sketches in which
the artist develops the initial composition. Several small and
quick thumbnails are done, and then one is selected.
Next the artist develops a more complete rendering called a
“rough” drawing in either black and white or in color. This is an
elaboration of the selected thumbnail, where more detail is
applied and shading is used to develop a complete drawing of
the proposed rendering. If done in black and white, the rough
drawing is used as reference for the artist in developing the
three-dimensional shapes to be painted. If done in color, it can
be used as a guide for the colors to be used in the final airbrush
painting.
Then, if necessary, detailed drawings of specific areas of the
rough drawing may be executed. These will aid the artist in
working out textures, highlights, etc.
In airbrush technique, the artwork is usually pre-conceived. The
artist must know in what order he will paint.
After the preliminary information is determined (composition,
textures, light sources, color schemes, etc.), the artist is ready to
do the line contour drawing upon which he will paint. This can
be developed from the rough drawing. If the rough drawing is
the size of the painting, tracing paper is placed over it and,
using a fine-point black felt tip marker, the line is traced onto the
tracing paper; then it is transferred onto the work surface by
using either transfer paper or covering the reverse side of the
tracing paper with carbon from a pencil. If the rough drawing is
either larger or smaller than the end image, the line contour
drawing can be enlarged or reduced on tracing paper with the
use of an overhead or handheld projector.
While airbrushing, keep the thumbnail, rough and detail
drawings at hand and refer to them for the development of the
image. The contour line drawing is simply a guide as to what
the shapes are and where they exist in space. In airbrushing
you usually work from the background to the foreground, and
the line contour drawing tells you which shape is closest to the
two-dimensional plane and the order in which the shapes
recede into space.
TIPS:—To prevent smudging, make light pencil lines when
preparing drawings.
—Refrain from using a fixative on the work surface; it will fill in
the pores of the paper, resulting in a different look from where
no fixative was applied.

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