Interview with Thomas Andreasen – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

This next interview is with Thomas Andreasen, who placed 3rd overall in the Automotive Arts category in the competition with the excellent entry: Noir. An artist by profession, Thomas is skilled in various mediums and designs as we can very well see in his works! Read about how the Noir piece came together and Thomas’ continuing journey to improve and try out new techniques in airbrushing. Be sure to visit his website and social media accounts at the end of the interview to see more of his works!

NoirBike_6

Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?

Thomas Andreasen (TA): I am a full time 3D artist running my own one-man company a3d.dk

I started airbrushing in the 1980’s when I was building scale model cars (which I still do) and wanted to paint murals and custom effects to the hot rods I was building. With an interest for drawing and painting this led me to create airbrushed illustrations which in turn landed me an apprenticeship at an advertising agency. Computers took over in the 90’ies and it wasn’t until 2012 I really got started again.

I watched all I could on YouTube, coast airbrush TV and more, purchased some DVDs and took classes in Denmark with Mike Lavallee and Dru Blair. All the while landing some paid jobs for various customers – including Lauge Jensen Motorcycles that created some of the most exclusive and spectacular custom built motorcycles.

 

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

TA: I was given complete creative freedom on the Noir project. The black basecoat was to be kept but apart from that I could do what I wanted. I wanted to create something that stood out from the more often seen flames, skulls and pinups and kept the design monochromatic and with a classic theme. Inspired by a style/project Ryan Townsend had done I came up with the Film Noir theme and went to work. I gathered reference material online and created Photoshop collages, which I printed in 1:1 size and used to give me a roadmap. I’ve roughly spent 50-70 hours on the artworks.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?

TA: Airbrushing is a way of releasing my creative drive. I create illustrations and animation behind the computer all day, but I need to create something “real”, experiment with techniques and create something that challenges me. Watching the mind-blowing works of some of the influential world-class airbrush artists makes me want to learn the techniques and apply them in my work and hopefully come up with something that’s unique and good enough to inspire others.

My ideas come from all sorts of influences and I can’t really point to any specific way or process that I use. When I’m doing commissioned work the base idea comes from the customer and then we elaborate on that together.

 

S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

TA: First of all, I want to get better, learn new techniques and master the ones I already know better. Learning, improving and growing as an artist is really a strong driving force for me.

In regards to my artwork I’d like to get more into fine-art – both in terms of straight airbrushed artworks and mixed-media. I have done a little of this and have thoughts and ideas for several other pieces, but we’ll see how it goes – its all a matter of balancing spare-time, clients, family and my day-time work.

On the custom/automotive/helmet side I’d like to steer my work towards more realistic murals and less graphics.

 

S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?

TA: I am definitely an all-rounder. I like to paint on vehicles, helmets, artboards, canvas and scale models. Each medium has its own strengths and challenges, but my preference would probably be a tie between MC tanks and artboard.

I just recently painted my own skydiving helmet and that market might just open up for me now – I’d like to make that market one of my specialties so I can meet my clients and artworks on the various dropzones around the country…

 

S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?

TA: I have none…

Well – I hope the quality of my work is my trademark. As I like to experiment and adjust my approach to fit the subject and medium I end up doing many types of work so I haven’t really developed my own style yet. Although with an added focus on fine-art works this may very well come by itself.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

TA: Get a good quality compressor, airbrush and paints from the beginning so you won’t struggle with that (and the compressor and airbrush will easily last the next 20 years if you take care of them).

Watch lots of tutorials on YouTube and attend an airbrush class if possible.

….and then just practice, practice, practice.

 

S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?

TA:

https://www.facebook.com/airandinkdk/

http://airandink.dk

https://www.instagram.com/airandinkairbrush/

https://www.facebook.com/a3ddk/

I used to have airbrush work displayed here on my company FB page, but have now moved all newer stuff to the Air&Ink page – there are still a lot of pictures and WIPs here though…

 

Interview with Eyan Higgins Jones – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

This next interview is with Eyan Higgins Jones, who placed 3rd in the Fine Art (Realism) category with his entry: The Great Horned Owl; an amazing piece of work which is done using a technique he developed to paint in great detail on a large scale. In the interview, Eyan talks about his early adoption of airbrush and how he uses oil paints with it! At the end of the interview, you can also find his website and social media details – be sure to follow!

Horned Owl Head 12x12 300

Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?

Eyan Higgins Jones (EHJ): I first picked up an airbrush when I was 12 in school in Wales. I had never seen one before and instantly thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Since then my admiration for the sprayed line grew into using spray cans and air guns to paint with. I studied Art at various levels in two Universities in England, after which I found work in Theatre and Film productions; painting sets, props and backgrounds. My love of sprayed paint grew and grew and led me to keep painting for over 25 years. Now I paint my own work and have been fortunate so far to exhibit in the UK, Spain, the US and Canada.

 

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

EHJ: The Great Horned Owl is a favorite of mine that is part of a larger collection of animal portrait titled Kindred Kingdom. These works depict animals under threat from extinction or endangerment. The Owl holds it’s own really well and showcases a lot of variation in how I paint with an airbrush.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?

EHJ: I’m always working on something, some idea. I have developed a technique that allows to paint very large scale pieces with great color and detail – all in oil paint. With an airbrush. Since picking up an airbrush as a kid in school, many moons ago, I fell in love with it. The metal, the feel, the weight, the components and accessories – I just though it was the coolest tool around, and that has never wavered. So my passion is to get the airbrush into the fine art world and have it become a true contender for producing high end contemporary art.

I find my ideas by working and working on ideas until something holds up. then to imagine how it would hold up on a larger scale. If it works it will be painted.

 

S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

EHJ: I want to push the limits of airbrush painting – I love what’s already out there – but there aren’t many AB’ers painting with Oil paint. I do – always, and I love it. Mixing in the gravity cup and never having to deal with tip dry are just a few bonuses.

 

S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?

EHJ: I usually work on primed canvas. Sometimes paper (heavyweight Rag) or boards.

 

S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?

EHJ: I had to think about this one. I like to experiment with paint and that can lead to some interesting results. Most of my work I would call Stylized Photo-Realism – other works are truly abstract.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

EHJ: Dont go cheap! – Buy a really really good airbrush to start with. You wont look back – Starting with an airbrush that offers better control and atomization is key to become a better painter. Stay away from the cheap brands.

 

S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?

EHJ: My website for my Fine Art is eyanhigginsjones.com I can be found on instagram intagram.com/eyanobi & Twitter under @eyanobi.

thanks guys!

Interview with Josh Mackay – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

This next interview is with Josh Mackay, who placed 2nd in the Fine Art (Fantasy) category of our 2018 competition with his entry: Yoda, done with UV paint! Josh started airbrushing not so long ago and does it as a creative outlet outside of his job. Read about how he continues to set higher goals and targets for himself to learn and also his tips for beginners to get started! Also check out his other works in the links at the end of the interview!

Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process like for you?

Josh Mackay (JM): I started airbrushing around 4 years ago through a local airbrush course in Melbourne-Australia, I was personally taught by Laurent Machado who is an incredible airbrush artist. The process was structured and intensive, frustrating at times (which you need to push through to see results) but I can say for sure that I would be nowhere near the level I am without the training.

 

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

JM: I purchased some Wicked UV glow paint and decided something with a lightsaber in it would be appropriate. I decided on Yoda as I had the reference image on my phone as a future piece to paint, so it was the perfect time with the UV glow.  It took less than 10 hours over a week or so (finding time between work and other commitments) which included setting up/packing up and my usual procrastination.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?

JM: Airbrushing is my creative outlet, I’m an Engineer by day in a corporate environment. If I were to airbrush for my day job, I would want to be doing automotive work, I don’t really have experience in that area yet, but I think that would be my driving force.  The ideas just come from finding cool pictures that I think I would enjoy painting, I never put that much thought into it, I just make sure I enjoy it.

 

S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

JM: To learn more about airbrushing in colour which is a weakness, I haven’t spent much time on it. To push my detail and realism further.  Then finally work on the speed that I can produce an artwork without procrastinating which is another issue I have.

 

S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?

JM: Hard surfaces are the best. But I mostly paint on paper and canvas as most customers prefer them.

 

S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?

JM: My paintings need to look like my reference, it bugs me when they are too different.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

JM: When you’re frustrated, walk away, take a break then come back, frustration means you’re about to learn something. Go and learn about the relationship between paint reduction/paint thickness and your psi settings, I notice a lot of beginners have issues here.

 

S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?

JM: Instagram: @artworkbyjosh and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/artworkbyjosh

 

Interview with Dale Daniel – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

Our next interview is with Dale Daniel, who placed 2nd in our Hobby / Model category with his entry: Hand. Although highly skilled in all manners, he prefers working freehand. Read about his winning piece and his 20 years of airbrush experience. You should also check out his website and social media, links at the end of the interview!

hand3

Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did youstart airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?
Dale Daniel (DD): I have been airbrushing and custom painting for over 20 years. Past projects include walls, RV’s, Motorcycles, and Automobiles as well as odd items like prosthetic hands, a 5 foot tall dough mixer, and many, many more. I am mostly self-taught over hundreds of projects. I continue to learn something on every project. Currently I stay very busy with a 3-4 month backlog of projects waiting to be started.

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you
choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?
DD: The winning piece was one of my most challenging projects. It is a prosthetic hand a
customer brought to me. He wanted it to look as realistic as possible to be like the
“Terminator” hand. I studied images and references for hours, and then determined a
freehand approach would be best on the surface. I lightly airbrushed the shapes, and then used my Iwata custom micron to paint in as much detail as possible all freehand. I believe I had about 30 to 35 hours in the project.

S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing
and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?
DD: Airbrushing has always fascinated me since I first learned to use one in school. I always thought it looked like magic to see the paint appear on the surface as if it is almost invisible as it leaves the airbrush. I fell in love with the softness of the medium, as well as the speed you can paint. Also, I love the ability to do very tiny freehand detailed work, and then use the same airbrush to paint in a large gradient. I strive for very clean detailed artwork. Ideas mainly come from my customer’s requests. I then take that request and come up with renderings and sketches to start a project.

S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?
DD: My goals for airbrushing are to continue to improve my quality as well as efficiency and continue to operate a successful business. I want to achieve the approval of each client I paint a project for with good customer service and quality. I strive to provide a final project they can be proud of, because that is the essence of custom painting. It’s all about helping the customer’s idea come to reality on a project that is dear to them. Whether for their own enjoyment or as a gift to honor someone in their lives as in the many helmets I paint for retiring military pilots.

S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?
DD: I prefer freehand airbrush work instead of complicated masking techniques. My preferred surface to paint on is sanded automotive clear coat because it is very smooth and forgiving. I do at times use complicated masking and multiple steps depending on the desired result.

S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?
DD: My style is very detailed, clean, and accurate.

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?
DD: Beginners should practice all the time just as if you are doodling in class with a pencil. Get to where you can draw with an airbrush as good as with a pencil. If you can draw well, you can airbrush if you learn how to control it. Practice drills to help learn how to control the flow of paint and line thickness.

S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?
DD: My website is http://www.daledanielart.com
I can be found on Facebook under Dale Daniel Art & Design and Instagram is dale_daniel_art

Interview with Neimar Duarte – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

This next interview is with Neimar Duarte from Brazil, who placed 2nd in the competition for the Automotive Art category with his piece: Traveller Skull. Read about how he uses airbrush as the medium to express the creativity in his mind and how he utilises this talent for his own art and commissioned pieces! Links at the end of the interview to see more of his amazing work!

IMG_0582

Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?

Neimar Duarte (ND): I love to draw since I was a child, this passion kept growing, so in my teens I started to dedicate myself more to study drawing through books and magazines, it was before I had internet at home… Due to my passion for custom cars and motorcycles, I discovered airbrush art, and later in 2005 I was able to buy my first airbrush, and make my own compressor at home.
Actually I wasn’t able to go to any art school, however my desire to learn was so strong that I decided to teach myself, through magazines and books, later by videos on the internet, artists who post step by step process on social media, and lots of thinking and practice.

 

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?

ND: This skull is part of the custom painting I did on a Harley Davidson. As it was a commission work, the idea was born out of a good discussion with the owner who told me a little bit about him and his tastes. He gave me freedom to create but I had in mind everything he told me. Things like the main element of the motorcycle culture, freedom, travel, wildness… So I came out with this monochromatic composition of skull, roads, compass, clock, birds… I tried to make it elegant. I always make a digital illustration before, once it’s approved by the customer, I started the painting process. Most of the time I do the entire process, from the metal to the clear coat. That was the case in this project.
The particular skull in the front fender took me one week to finish; the entire motorcycle took me two months.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?

ND: Airbrush for me means freedom, to create and put in to some surface, in a visual form, the crazy ideas that keeps running around my mind, being able to show it to the world, making people imagine things outside of the real world.
When I’m doing something for myself, the ideas came from elements that I collect in my mind daily, I’m constantly being inspired by things I see everywhere I am. When I’m doing some commission, I mix the customer ideas with these things that I have in my mind.

 

S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?

ND: My goal is to be able to create more pieces for myself, completely free. And to do more for the art, sharing knowledge, maybe learn how to teach.

 

S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?

ND: I like better to work over metal, but sometimes tridimensional pieces are a little tricky to work on and demands lots of time in preparation. So I feel more comfortable working on an ACM panel, which is a composite aluminum panel that comes painted, it’s a perfect surface to work, you just scuff pad it and it’s ready to go.

 

S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing

ND: I like to mix photorealistic looks with elements or scenes that do not exist or are impossible to happen. Or at least I make things with more contrast, shinier or more colorful. Now depending on the subject, I’m looking photo references with more freedom, feeling that I can change things to make it unique and more interesting.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

ND: For the very beginners in airbrush, don’t be afraid if your first contact with the airbrush looks like crap. My first attempts were really scary, at first I thought, “it’s not gonna work.” But you have to be persistent and keep going, it will get better soon.

Yes, practice is very important, but you have to stop and just think sometimes, research about what element of the paint you are trying to reach at that moment. Then you go to practice again.
Remember that painting came after drawing, and as you are painting you use drawing techniques, so it’s very important to study drawing as well.

 

S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?

ND: Yes, I got my website www.neimarduarte.com
Instagram: Neimar Duarte
Facebook: Neimar L. DuArte Fine Art & Custom Paint