Interview with Henriette Murdoch – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

In the last of our 2018 International Airbrush Competition interviews, we have a doubleheader! Henriette Murdoch was joint 3rd place in the Fine Arts (Fantasy) category with her entry: “Little Mermaid”. Being mostly self-taught, she has managed to make airbrushing her profession, doing both realistic and fantasy works which are amazing! Read about how this entry came about and also be sure to check out more of her work in the links at the end of the interview!

Little Mermaid a

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?

Henriette Murdoch (HM): My name is Henriette Murdoch and I’m from South Africa. I obtained my diploma in Graphic Design and started my career as an animator. I moved onto airbrushing in 2000. This was in the days before Youtube, so I had to learn the art of airbrushing by trial and error. I found an old motorbike tank for my first attempt at airbrushing, but used totally wrong paints. It did however give me a foot in the door to finding more work.


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?

HM: My entry is based on a photo that I took of my daughter, Robin, at an aquarium. I like to airbrush fantasy work and my daughter loves mermaids, so I thought it would be a perfect combination for an artwork of her as a mermaid.


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?

HM: Since 2000, airbrushing has become a huge part of my life. I started an airbrush business, ‘Tankgirl Airbrush Art ‘, in that year. While airbrushing is my bread and butter it remains my passion. For my commercial work the client will provide a reference of the design, and I’ll work with that until he is happy with the presentation. For my personal artwork I like taking a realistic photo and transforming it into a fantasy work.


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

HM: I present airbrush classes and my goal is to teach students, especially those who’ve never handled an airbrush before, to create something that they never thought was possible.


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

HM: My favorite surface for airbrushing  is chromadeck since it is super fine and easy to fix any mistakes.


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

HM: I would describe my style as ‘realistic with a touch of fantasy’.


S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

HM: My advice to a beginner starting airbrushing is to research the materials they are about to use. I’ve found that a lot of beginners have given up because of wrong materials. And of course watch Youtube – there are so many good demonstrations and tips to be found.


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

HM: I have posted some of my work on Facebook under ‘Tankgirl Airbrush Art’.

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