Interview with Emanuele Diletti – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

Our next interview is with the winner of the Fine Arts (Fantasy) category, Emanuele Diletti, from Italy. He talks about his passion for art and ultimately how airbrush became the perfect fit as the conduit for his creativity! You can see more of his work from the links at the end of the interview:

ST3_3800 copiaSparmax (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?

Emanuele Diletti (ED): Hi, my name is Emanuele Diletti, I am 27 years old and I live in Rome. I started airbrushing when I was 20. At the beginning, I learned airbrushing as autodidact, then I attended some courses near Rome, specifically the Marissa Osterlee’s one who taught us how to make a portrait, and a custom painting one.  I have always enjoyed painting and since I was a child I drew a lot, most of all animated cartoons such as Mickey mouse or Donald Duck. Even though I love art, I did not attend an artistic school, one of the thing I regret. I bought my first airbrush, an Iwata Revolution, because I liked the effect of the airbrush more than any brush.

 

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?

ED: I have chosen “real in wood” because I wanted to link two subjects I like a lot. Usually when I start a painting, I try to think about subjects I like and this time I imagined an elephant and an oak, two natural elements which shares a lot in common, like size and longevity. It took me about 4 months, working on it about 10 hours a week during my free time.

 

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?

ED: I consider airbrushing the form of art which fits the best for me, and I can make shades better than brush for example. I can make better works with airbrush than any tool, and I am more satisfied with the final result, colors and expression, I can make more details and playing with colors. I like the sound too! I catch everything around me and I try to invent, and link the ideas I get, finding a way to paint them. If I see something attractive I want to paint it immediately.

 

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

ED: My goal is working as an airbrush artist, not just an activity during my free time. It is a passion and I want to live for it. I imagine my future with my airbrush in my hand.

 

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

ED: I prefer painting on paper and canvas because I can make effect of light better than other surfaces. Since I attended my first course I got into realism, painting portraits of famous and pretty subjects. But I like surrealism too, in order to free my mind and link subjects that could not have been linked, usually.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

ED: For the ones who want to start, I would say not to discourage, at the beginning it could be difficult, but the it is only habit! And results will see soon.

 

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

ED: Here is my web site: http://www.dilettiemanuele.it. You can see my facebook page diletti aerografie too or on instagram.

 

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Interview with Jordon Bourgeault – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

Next up in our interview series, First Place winner of the Automotive Arts category, Jordon Bourgeault, talks about the deep meaning behind his entry, the path that led him to becoming an airbrusher, and the experiences that set him up to being an ‘everything guy’ when it comes to airbrushing! Be sure to check out more of Jordon’s amazing 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 was like for you?

Jordon Bourgeault (JB): I would draw a little bit as a child but then stopped during high school getting into drumming and skateboarding. One of my first real jobs was automotive / industrial painting, where my coworkers suggested since I had a bit of an art background I should get an airbrush. I did and I watched some videos and bought a book, but mostly I would just learn from trial and error. I painted a few things for myself, family and friends and eventually got a job at a large prop making company in the paint shop. We would make and paint large scale props and art pieces like dinosaurs for museums, parade floats, movie sets etc. I did that job for a year and was still doing jobs on the side till eventually I had enough jobs piling up that I started doing it full time. That was about 8 years ago and have been working as an airbrusher out of my garage ever since.

 

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?

JB: This piece is entitled Blue Eyed Angel and it is a memorial piece for a woman who lost her 3 year old daughter to a car accident. This was a very heavy theme and I did not take it lightly and struggled throughout trying to make every part of it as good as I possibly could. I worked completely organically on this job, and by that I mean I did not have a drawn up design or an idea of what the product would look like at the end so I just started with what I knew I wanted and worked from there, letting what happened next and the design process progress naturally as I worked.  The design includes portraits (or memories) of the girl painted in sepia tones bordered in filigree with her favourite types of flowers. A blue sky background with the girl as an angel is the focal point on the front fairing, as well as marble and frost accents that signifying strength and innocence are also featured throughout the design. This was one of the most difficult pieces I’ve done, both in its technicality and it’s concept. This job took me around 300 hours making it one of the most time consuming jobs I’ve done as well as one I’m most proud of, all these reasons combined are why I chose to enter this particular piece as my only entry in this competition.

 

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?

JB: Airbrushing is one of many passions and hobbies of mine, and I am grateful that I get to have my passion become my job. I think what inspires me the most is my customer, I generally only do commission work and I really try and get myself into the head of my client, after all it is their piece and they are the person you are creating this for. This is what allows me to be the most creative, the customer brings me an idea, and I get to go from there, a lot of the great concepts I’ve been able to work on were not originally my idea, but I got to take them and shape them into something more and put my twist on it. That as well as the technical side of always trying to learn and try new techniques is what keeps pushing me.

 

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

JB: I just want to keep growing and learning, I feel like if I keep getting better and keep challenging myself I will constantly feel rewarded and stay interested in the craft. I feel like the achievements and recognition come from time to time but those are secondary, or the result of the hard work, but not the aim of it. I just wanna keep getting better and expand my skill set, any success will come naturally as I progress.

 

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

JB: I’ve sort of set myself up as an ‘everything guy’ in that I’ve painted large murals, shoes, helmets, masks, cars, bikes, even body paint… I’m kind of willing to tackle any challenge. However lately I’m wanting to put my focus on detail. In the near future I am aiming to try and make every piece high detailed and as crazy as can be.. The simple jobs that don’t challenge me are becoming of less interest and want to set myself up in the niche of extremely high detail. Whether it be body paint, a car, a goalie mask… The medium can be anything, as long as the art and the challenge interest me.

 

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

JB: Well definitely a detail guy, I like realism as well and portrait work, however I don’t think I’m confined to any of those things. Again I would probably put myself as an everything guy, especially because I’m working on commissions, rather than pieces for myself.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

JB: My advice is just to simply learn as much as you can and grow always, even if you think the price you quoted is too low, or you’re losing your shirt because you are spending to much time.. It’s temporary, if the work is good, the reward will come in time. I truly believe that.

 

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

instagram: @jboairbrush https://www.instagram.com/jboairbrush/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jboairbrush/

Web: www.jboairbrush.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx2vasPBBfUsVB9HG-9DbHg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jboairbrush

 

 

Interview with Keith Goodson – 2018 International Airbrush Competition

In the first of an ongoing interview series with the winners and top ranked artists in the 2018 Sparmax International Airbrush Competition, we asked the First Place winner of the Fine Art (Realism) category, Keith Goodson, about his journey and artwork, in what is a very enlightening discussion!

We also met with Keith at the Orlando Airbrush Getaway event, organised by Airbrush Action Magazine, in May 2018. (Photo from the event below)

To see more of Keith’s stunning works, visit his website, Instagram, and Facebook page!

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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?

Keith Goodson (KG): My name is Keith Goodson and I live in central Florida, United States. I have been working as a professional artist for over 25 years. Over these years I have worked in probably all the various mediums and techniques from airbrushing to traditional painting styles.

I started out in my late teens working with an airbrush and it found it to be a really amazing tool to use for my art. It seemed to come easy for me to be able to understand the fundamentals of how an airbrush works and how to make it work for me in creating works of art. I have always loved Fine Art especially realism. I remember as a passionate young artist I would buy books on modern artist that painted realism; I was so inspired by their talents and techniques.

 

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?

KG: I have always loved painting realistic subject matter. I realized that a big part of creating your own body of work is to select a good subject matter. I started painting modern day Items that had related to things people would drink socially, mainly coffee, tea, and wine. So, I remember seeing a beautiful had crafted silver tea set at a friends house. I know that I just had to paint the subject. It was after that that I loved painting highly reflective items. The process for painting “Silver Tray” was very much a learning experience. All together the painting took 2 weeks to paint probably 8-10 hours a day.

 

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?

KG: When I started airbrushing at a young age…I realized that it was not quite accepted as a technique for fine art. It didn’t really bother me I just realized that airbrushing is just another way to apply paint and to express yourself the way that makes you happy. I have always felt like a renaissance man when it comes to my art and I loved trying new things.

Being a self-employed full-time artist you have to steer clear of the preverbal “starving artist” mentality. So, sometimes you have paint what the client wants you to paint.

As far as my personal work and how I get me ideas I have learned to just be patient and wait for the ideas to come. I would do things that “pampered” my soul. Things like… go to a museum, see a movie, or anything that would inspire me.

 

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

KG: At this stage in my life I would love to be able to teach what I have learned over the years to other young artist.  I feel it’s my responsibility as an accomplished artist to pass down ideas and techniques to others.

I continue to work with the airbrush to not only do fine art, but murals and illustrations as well. I love to be able to use different kinds of paints as well such as gouache and watercolor. I am working on creating a new body of work to be able to show in museums and galleries.

 

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

KG: The type of surface I work on depends on the type of subject and what the project needs. Most of the time I prefer to paint on stretched canvas. I find that if you prime (gesso) your canvas several times and then wet-sand to get a smooth surface. In the past I have painted on hot-press illustration board, mostly for doing illustration work. Doing mural painting can be a challenge for airbrushing because of all the different surfaces. My preference is of course a smooth surface.

 

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

KG: I have learned to develop a style that I feel comfortable with and can just focus on creating instead of technique. I usually start with a detailed drawing of what I am going to paint. I then start to use my reference or still-life reference to begin mixing my colors of what I am going to spray. I then begin spraying those colors very freely on the canvas as if it were a blurry image. I then begin to tighten up my image as much as I can with the airbrush. I then begin a process of painting with a brush into the spray. I will fade back and forth this way with the airbrush as well.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

KG: Airbrushing is a tool to create; it is a way to express yourself. This is not to say that learning about how to use the airbrush techniques is easy. It takes time to develop as an airbrush artist. My advice is to just be patient and just develop the skill and enjoy the process.

 

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

KG: My website :    http://www.keithgoodson.com

Instagram:         https://www.instagram.com/kmgoodson/

Facebook:         https://www.facebook.com/KeithGoodsonArtist/

40th Year of Sparmax

This is the 40th year of the Sparmax brand as you may have heard! As part of this special celebration, we are running the second International Airbrush Competition (which has already started to accept submissions!),  with many (many) prizes thanks to our amazing sponsors and supporters. Categories include Fine Arts, Automotive Arts, and of course, Hobby / Model!

As part of this, modelling website DN Models has also very kindly written about his experiences with Sparmax products on their blog, which you can see here. You can also check out his reviews and instructional videos from his Youtube channel, linked from the website.

Thank you to everyone for making this 40th year possible!

Airbrush Lessons in California

Interested in taking up airbrush or refining your skills? Sparmax-sponsored artist, Daniel Barriga (who was also our featured artist at SEMA 2016), has various classes available. You can check out details on his website: http://www.barrigasfinearts.com/airbrush-lessons/

Here are some photos of previous classes

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Interview with Ivan Drond – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

In the finale of our interview series with the winners of the 2016 edition of the Sparmax International Airbrush Competition, we feature Ivan Drond, 3rd place in the Hobby / Model category.

Ivan is from Russia and took up airbrushing to complement his passion for building scale models. You can check out his work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artarmorstudio

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Sparmax (S): Can you give us a little insight to your background?

Ivan (I): My name`s Ivan Drond . I`m 36 years old.
I was born in and grew up in Moscow. I like military stuff since I was a child. One day I was walking around town and saw the local scale model shop, I decided to go in, saw a complete model of a tank and thats where it all started. Some time later I find out about airbrushing techniques and how it works well on AFW models. Then I bought my first airbrush and compressor and started to pick up techniques and tricks from the internet and DVD tutorials.

S: What inspired the creation of the model, and how long did it take?
I: The work was inspired by historical chronicles and photos of WWII. Model of tank T-34 isn`t the most difficult model and so it took about two weeks to complete.

S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?
I: My inspiration I take from many sources – historical literature, documentaries which shows armored vehicles. Looking at pictures or footage I imagine how I would build my next work. Also, works of Miguel Jimenez and others is a good motivator for me to get better. Airbrush is an indispensable tool for me and thousands of another modellers around the world.

S: What are your goals / objectives for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?
I: I can`t say surely about final target, I’m just doing what I like to do and airbrush is my only friend and helper. However, the important thing for me is easy-to-use and usability.

S: What does airbrush mean for you?
I: It`s a day by day routine work that brings me a pleasure through the painting process andof course, the final result when you see a completed model.

S: Any tips for beginners who want to start airbrushing?
I: The more time you spend to understand how it works and what it gives to you, the more you’ll get in final.
My advice – do not be afraid of this amazing tool.

 

Interview with Holly Hughes – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

Our next interview is with talented artist, Holly Hughes from Australia, winner of third place in the Automotive Art category. She offers some insight into the making of her winning entry: Star Wars Car, and also delves into her experiences with airbrushing. Be sure to check out her website: http://www.2hartistry.com, and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HollyHughes2hDesignsAirbrushing

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Sparmax (S): Please provide a brief background about yourself; including, when you started airbrushing and what the learning process was like?

Holly (H): I began airbrushing in 2010 and fell in love from the first day. Even though I have spent most of my youth experimenting with art mediums and techniques, I found airbrushing both challenging and fascinating, which has fueled my desire to go further ever since.

 

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

H: After I had a couple of years experience and a qualified course under my belt I became eager to try my skills on automotive projects so I turned to my own vehicle. I had always nicknamed my car the Yoda Mobile as it was a small, reliable, green machine so I decided to give it more character. I began with just the bonnet and a couple of years later continued the design around to the drivers side. Unfortunatly I couldn’t finish the whole car as I had run out of time but eventually the whole body will be complete. So far I have clocked up 75 hours on the artwork (not including the prep or clear coat) with many more to come.

 

S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?

H: I am constantly trying new projects that challenge me, whether it be fine art, body art or automotive. This keeps the world of airbrushing interesting –not that it could be boring- and it still has a certain ‘wow’ factor to the audience who don’t have an artistic knowledge. Almost like a ‘magic trick’.

 

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

H: Everyday I see new goals on the horizon but I don’t have one that stands out in particular. Mostly they are focused on improving techniques, whether it be portraiture, body art, or combining contemporary art with the medium.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you?

H: Airbrushing allows me to create super realistic paintings that I struggled to create using traditional paints such as oils and acrylics.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

H: Doing classes and courses really helped my skills improve rapidly. It’s always fun to experiment and make your own mistakes but having a teacher pull you up on bad habits and provide small tips that you may not have thought of even considering definitely helps in the long run.

Interview with Steve Gathercole – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

In our next interview, we learn more about Steve Gathercole, 3rd place winner in the Fine Arts category of our 2016 competition. Steve only took up airbrushing a few years ago and has been mostly self taught, so he offers some very helpful advice for newcomers and people thinking about taking up airbrushing! Visit his website, www.stevegathercole.co.uk, to see more of his work!

Sparmax (S): Please provide a brief background about yourself; including, when you started airbrushing and what the learning process was like?

Steve (SG): Although I had always been able to draw I had never tried painting but often wondered about the art of Airbrushing , then at the grand old age of  55 my wife bought me an ‘Airbrush Kit’ for Xmas. My first painting (a skull), was a mess I had no control, no idea about paints or reductions, didn’t realise the effect different media had and felt very confused over Opaque and transparent paints. I soon started searching the Internet for every free video or tutorial I could find, slowly but surely I started to get better.

Soon after I discovered http://www.airbrushtutor.com and eagerly attempted the free tutorials. Now in my third year of Airbrushing I am still self-taught through Youtube videos and help/advice from the excellent airbrushtutor forum.

My main subjects are wildlife but also like to attempt the occasional portraits, I have also attempted T-Shirts and a little Automotive work. After trying several paint supplies I settled with ETAC Efx and ETAC Private Stock, (Private Stock for T-Shirts and Automotive work) all water based paints. Just lately I have been experimenting with different media such as Synthetic paper, MDF coated with Gesso, Canvas and Metal, I still however prefer Claybord or Schoellershammer G4 paper, for overall versatility with regard to erasing and scratching.

 

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

SG: I made friends with an amateur photographer in my village and asked if I could use any of his photographs for references. He was more than happy to give me permission, this particular shot was taken at the wildlife sanctuary on the edge of my village, I chose it as a challenge due to the water effect and the different levels of focus, I wanted to try and reproduce the feeling of depth. It took me 20 hours to paint, in five, 4 hours sessions.

 

S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?

SG: There is always something new to learn, a new paint to try, different media or a new technique. I am continually trying to achieve better detail, I can see improvements but then I look at fantastic artwork from one of the professionals and think ‘Wow I want to paint as good as that ‘.

 

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

SG: My goals are to achieve greater detail and paint photorealistic paintings, whilst my main interest is wildlife I would like to progress further with colour portraits and attend a professional portrait class.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you?

SG: Airbrushing to me is an escape from the real world where I can focus my mind and body producing artwork for my own and other people’s pleasure. Airbrushing rewards me with a feeling of relaxation and pleasure.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

SG: I started with the no name Airbrush supplied with the kit, this was not ideal for learning, don’t make the same mistake, a poor airbrush will hinder your development without you realizisng it, buy the best you can afford form the start. I quickly upgraded to a Badger Krome and immediately had more control, then finally last year I was bought an Iwata Custom Micron SB, the micron paired with ETAC paint is a match made in heaven. Research all the free video tutorials you can find and join a good forum, where you will find plenty of advice and help, such as http://www.airbrushtutor.com.

Interview with Milan Radulovic – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

Next up in our interview series is Milan Radulovic from Serbia, who won 2nd place in the Hobby / Model category in the 2016 competition. A photographer by trade, Milan has been building scale models for the past 6 years. You can check out his work on his website: http://www.artradulovic.com.

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Sparmax (S): Please provide a brief background about yourself; including, when you started airbrushing and what the learning process was like?

Milan (M): My name is Milan Radulovic. I was born in Cuprija, Serbia in 1972. I studied photography, and for the past 20 years that is my profession. My interest in aviation began in elementary school and continues to today. For the past eight years my primary interest is modelling and Aviation Art.

 

S: Can you tell us a bit more about your work? How / why did you choose it?

M: Building scale model kits is one of my hobbies for past six years. My interest is mainly for Jet Aviation, especially for the the Cold War era.

When I got, as a child, my first model airplane I knew what would be my hobby in the future. Unfortunately, it was a long time until the conditions are met for that but it is important that I have achieved my goal.

 

S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?

M: Magnificent effects that I can achieve as well as constant improvements of my airbrushing skill that I can get with each new project looking at other fellow modelers works and experimenting with techniques are the main things that keep me going.

 

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

M: My main goals while using airbrush during my work on scale models are to try to achieve both realistic and artistic look for my models in one. Airbrush is definitely the tool that gives me opportunity to achieve this goal.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you?

M: Airbrush is a special tool that gives me the opportunity to express my creative ideas.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

M: My advice to others using the airbrush: “Practice make’s it perfect” don’t be afraid, just try, experiment and don’t be afraid to pursue the ideas that you have yourself.

 

S: Do you have a website or blog?

M: Besides modelling, I have another hobby and that is Aviation art. So far I have finished over 60 drawings, mainly using, pencils, colored pencils and ink pen. Except drawings of Serbian AF, I have given a lot of attention to the Hellenic Air Force. Some of my drawings  you can see on my site www.artradulovic.com.

Interview with Andrew (Slatts) Slattery – 2016 International Airbrush Competition

In the latest of our series of interviews with the winners in the 2016 competition, Andrew Slattery – 2nd place in Automotive Art – gives us his candid thoughts on his winning piece and airbrushing.

Be sure to check out his Facebook page here, and website here.

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Sparmax (S): Please provide a brief background about yourself; including, when you started airbrushing and what the learning process was like?

Andrew (A): I am a graphic designer by day, airbrush artist by night. I started airbrushing as a hobby about 18 years ago but only started to do it more seriously about 5-8 years ago. I learnt to airbrush through Airbrush Venturi and found their teaching process very structured and effective (I believe that anyone can learn to airbrush, it’s not a talent that you are just “born with”).

 

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

A: The “Sin Bin” was painted as a promotional vehicle for myself. It was designed to showcase the versatility you can get with an airbrush: Photo-realism, solid stencil style shapes, metallic & candy inks, matte clear etc. It seems to have worked, it’s not a subtle car and gets a bit of attention whenever I drive it.

 

S: What inspires you to continue airbrushing?

A: Long story short, i enjoy it! It’s challenging at times, but the satisfaction once you’ve finished a piece is a great feeling.

 

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

A: A challenge I have given myself to is to be recognised in a major fine art prize (like the Archibald or Moran Prize). I love the fact that the airbrush isn’t generally considered as “Fine” art, and would love to challenge people’s perceptions on this by taking one of these out.

 

S: What does airbrushing mean to you?

A: It’s fun and a creative release for me. I can jump into the studio and airbrush a weekend away – no problems.

 

S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?

 A: Give yourself double the time you think it will originally take for you to complete the piece!!  Learnt that the hard way more than once….