Sunday, July 23, 2006

I think I've found it

My Pinky:St obsession has been back-burnered for the summer, in part because the fumes associated with casting, priming and painting are harsh; opening the windows means turning off the air conditioning. I've been whiling away time sketching studies in my sketchbook and researching modelling techniques.

For the past year, I've had an airbrush at the top of my wish list for completely professional-quality paint jobs on my customs, but knew that investing in an airbrush also meant an investment into an air-supply (probably an air compressor), moisture trap and regulator, possibly an air-hose and spare, high-wear parts (like needles). My initial decision was to go with the Paasche VLSTPRO, an airbrush which is generally acknowledged as being an excellent all-purpose airbrush.

I spent a good portion of my time today further researching airbrushes and air compressors, and have changed my mind. Cody's Coop has been an inspirational resource for me during my custom-Pinky-making process, so when he advised that the Iwata Custom Micron was outstanding at doing detail work, I listened. It's a prohibitely prohibitively pricey airbrush, but is reknowned for it's ability to provide fine detail. Airbrush Depot has it for the best price I've seen, but Curry's has it in Canadian dollars, and I could -- in theory -- get it locally. They also have the Iwata SmartJet air compressor for relatively cheap.

Yeah, this post is a total artist-geek out, but bear with me, I haven't even played with an airbrush before, never mind owned one.



At Sun Jul 23, 04:51:00 am GMT-4, Anonymous fa_homewood said...

Wow, you really are into your Pinky stuff, aren't you? Your mom did mention that to me sometime ago but I didn't realize the extent of your passion.

I've heard about 'airbrush' and wondered exactly what it was each time I read about it like you know, in those fashion magazines when those unusually beautiful models are featured and the word 'airbrush' was always part of a caption. (I really thought that it's mainly about computer-imaging effects or techniques why these women always look so good in print.)

So this is how this gadget looks like, huh? How very impressive but knowing how good hands you have from your arts and sketches and drawings, I think to actually hold an airbrush and use it should be like a walk in the park for you.

I honestly had no idea how passionate you are about your Pinky creations. I'm so glad that I can visit you here because each time I check in here, I get to know more about you - a real treat indeed. And to think that, only a few years ago, you were just a baby....

At Sun Jul 23, 10:28:00 am GMT-4, Blogger ghanima said...

Usually, when fashion models get "airbrushed" for magazines these days (their blemishes get removed, lighting is adjusted), it's done with computers. That's the sort of thing I do at my job, but it's not the only thing I do, whereas the professional retouchers don't really do anything else. I can't even begin to imagine how boring that would be, actually!

Any way, "airbrushing" used to be done with actual airbrushes before computers were used in graphic design. A high-quality print of the model would be produced and airbrushing would occur on clear plastic sheets (acetates) on top of the print. The print and acetates were then re-photographed for placement into the magazine/ad/etc. When graphic design went digital, Adobe Photoshop quickly introduced the "airbrush tool", which does the same job, without the messy clean-up.

An airbrush is good for making subtle changes in colour and tone, because you get soft edges and thin layers of paint. Most often nowadays, people use them to do custom paint jobs for their vehicles, t-shirt art, models (airplanes, trains, and other kits -- like Pinky:St), and random things like nail artwork.

At Sun Jul 23, 02:26:00 pm GMT-4, Anonymous fa_homewood said...

Thanks a lot for the added info on 'airbrushing' - I've learned something totally new to me today. I even checked out the links you have here about these gadgets. I'm sure you have made a conscious decision on where to buy it from. It's a little fortune, alright, but to have the best tool for an enthusiast like you, is the name of the game.

The most I had ever held in my hand was a box of crayons when I was in grade school and markers whenever I'm asked to do some odd jobs at the office..(this is really nothing...Our EA at the office, sometimes asks me to do some kind of fancy lettering on special occasion cards instead of sticking labels on envelopes).

And you are into 'airbrushing' - good stuff, kiddo. It's great that you keep focused on what you do best.

Did your mom ever tell you that after she finished high school and even when she was still in grade school, she wanted to take fine arts in one of the best universities in Manila but didn't get to do it for economic reasons? But the thing was that your Lolo thought there was no money in a fine arts degree in those days.

Your mom is re-living her unfulfilled dream through you and Caty - it doesn't get any better than that.

Good going and know too, that you are your parents' pride and joy...

At Mon Jul 24, 07:22:00 pm GMT-4, Anonymous Bruce said...

Ooo.. shiney!! :)
I had no idea airbrushes cost that, though I can't say it surprises me that much. I tend to think that it is the price of tools of art that make artists so typically poor and starving. :) I get the feeling though that you'd be far more constructive with this than I have with the many dollars I've spent on my hobbies.

At Tue Jul 25, 10:34:00 am GMT-4, Blogger ghanima said...

Matt and I were just talking on the weekend about our respective college expenses: he bought the books and tools which were recommended, whereas I bought *one* book and materials as required. Despite that rather large difference, our expenses were comparable because the tools and presentation materials were so costly. It's not cheap to be an artist, for sure, and we made a point of going into a relatively lucrative field! I really feel for the painters and sculptors -- hence my assertion that the painting I really liked in Gorilla Monsoon was a steal at $350.

Also Bruce, you might not have noticed, but my hobbies are generally more creative than yours to begin with. Don't feel bad about me being more constructive with my recreational expenses. :)


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