For Every Airbrush Artist!

Ready to get involved? Register for free and you won't see any google advertising!

Register

An Introduction to Pinstriping..

Discussion in 'Pinstriping' started by Madbrush, Jun 9, 2012.


  1. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I am a Painter and Decorator by trade, I also did much sign writing years ago before tradition went out of the window with the advent of plastic and vinyl signs, My work also involved a lot of pin-striping, I personally did not use the special short handled long haired brush you've seen used for the this fine art, the reason was that most my work revolved around lettering on company vehicles and shop signs, mostly on the shop signs was there pin-striping involved.

    The difference between the 2 types of brushes is, the sign-writing brush has a long handle with sable hair between 2 and 3cm long varying thickness's for different size letters, they can have a pointed tip have a chisel edge, pointed tips are great for making sharp corners although this was possible with the chisel edge which I always used, the chisel edge was ideal when there was pin-striping involved because it was easier to achieve a uniformed thickness of line.

    The pin-striping brush has a very short handle and has hair between 6 to 8 cm or longer depending on the thickness, the hair is also very wide at the ferrule and decreases in width as it nears to the point, some of them are also slightly chisel edged, but the main reason for difference in form is that the pin-striping brush is designed hold a vast amount of paint which allows the user create extremely long continuous and uniformed lines, thickness of line can be controlled by increasing or decreasing pressure on the brush, the short handle is held in the palm of the hand and the index finger is placed over the front of the ferrule ans close to hair as possible, this is as if you were pointing at the work, the pinky and next finger are used to guide the brush and also keep it steady.

    The biggest problem with a tutorial and I assume the reason no one will do one, is that there are certain aspects of the art which cannot be taught, the main one being the steady hand required, but also your brush will behave differently using different paint, automotive and oil-based paints behave and work better than water-based due to the finer pigments.

    The good news for those of you wanting to learn how to do this is that if you have been airbrushing for a while and can control your airbrush good enough, and understand the importance of distance from the work surface, you already have 2 of the most important skills required to carry it out, the rest is the same as airbrushing, simply practise until you get the feel of it, you will be surprised how easy it actually is.

    I would be more than happy to make a video of the process and and describe what is happening, however I feel this would be pointless because it would be pretty much the same as any other video you've seen, it not easy to describe anything while working because there is high degree of concentration required (one other trick no one can teach you) this would mean stopping in the middle of a line and with pin-striping that just isn't wanted because it would create a seam in an otherwise perfect line.

    The best advice I can give you is to go buy a pin-striping brush of medium size, it doesn't matter if it's cheap as long as it has real hair and is not synthetic, e.g. nylon or polyester, have a little play around and discover that you have more talent than you think, you can use your normal airbrushing paint for practising or literally any kind of paint, bearing in mind thickness will influence the behaviour of the brush.

    One last important factor, when airbrushing the closer you get, the thinner the line, with pin-striping this is reversed, the closer you get (more pressure on the brush) the thicker your line.

    Since I've taken the time to post this I would love to see some of your progress, so go to it guys, shock yourselves, and just Maybe our friend and mentor Mitch will put something up for best beginners piece.

    P.S. should you decide to have a go and you get stuck, do ask, I'll keep tabs here and answer all your questions, good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2012
  2. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Oh and I forgot, any videos you have watched, watch these again but try to concentrate on the artists hands rather than the work he's/she's doing, this will show you how they hold the brush, you will notice differences, this because it's all a question of personal comfort.

    And here are examples of the brushes used for sign-writing (left) and pin-striping (right)

    View attachment 2117 View attachment 2118
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2012
  3. FARAM CUSTOMS

    FARAM CUSTOMS Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    there you go, ask and thee shall receive. i,ll have a crack since you went to all that effort.
  4. worldofglasscraft

    worldofglasscraft Elite Member! Elite Member!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Badlands near Bristol. U.K.
    I'm a million miles from trying that I think.
  5. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    It's closer and easier than you think, it's really a simple case of dragging a brush and a little practise, some self confidence is also a helpful tool.
  6. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    A big thank you to Mitch for organising our now official pin-striping section, thanks also to Max Chickens who started the ball rolling.

    For those of you wanting to learn how to pin-stripe, I will try as best I can to help you under way, the art isn't as difficult as most of you may think, and if you've never tried it, some understandably think they can't, but if you can airbrush and you can write your name you can.

    I mentioned in the introduction to this section that a video would be pointless, however I am playing around with the idea of making one and using voice over or text to describe in detail what is happening at each stage, but I will do this only if there is enough interest, my understanding of video editing is not so great, so it would be some work for me, but I'm willing if it helps my buddies her.

    I know there are other members who have dabbled in one way or another in the fine art, and I would say to them any input would be welcomed and greatly appreciated.

    I've already mentioned the tools you will require, But since most Pin-striping these days is usually on auto-mobiles or motorbikes (even "Optimus Prime" has some and that's what makes him so damn cool), a lot of what you will do will involve curved, convex and concave surfaces, I plan to get you used to this from the offset by throwing you in at the deep end.

    If you have or can get hold of a simple plastic bucket, preferably white but any light colour will do, and if you can cut the bucket in half or get someone to do this for you, this will give you an ideal practise medium which is curved, convex and concave, this will prepare you for almost any eventuality.

    You won't need your bucket straight away, since you will want to practise first on a flat surface, but when you are a little more confident practising on your bucket will save you a lot cleaning and toilet paper the first time your asked to pin-stripe a mudguard or motorbike tank.

    If your intention with airbrushing is custom painting of rolling stock, then Pin-striping is definitely an essential tool, customers will ask for it, and your chance of closing the deal is greater.

    P.S. if you have children and they have a pedal tractor or car and you can prise them off of it long enough, this might save you hundreds of dollars on a bucket, and who knows, your child could end up with best in the street.
  7. worldofglasscraft

    worldofglasscraft Elite Member! Elite Member!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Badlands near Bristol. U.K.
    Good on ya, a video would be great......with text whose gonna understand a Jockanese accent :encouragement:
  8. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    I had completely forgot about that, thanks for pointing it out, I could really have made a fool of myself:tongue-new:
  9. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    OK Guys and Girls, and update

    Our friend Red Baron has graciously taken the valuable time to create a starters thread,

    http://www.airbrushforum.org/showthread.php?962-Pinstriping-starter-What-you-need

    In this thread Red has listed all the things you will need to get started and also some valuable tips, I would you you keep the tread free for Red to add to when he has any other info or tips, you may of you wish, post ideas you think will help others or any interesting tools or brushes you come across, since the thread can be used as our "at a glance guide"

    Please take the time to check out Reds thread and you will see his rather clever photo frame practice panel idea, Red has also agreed to make PDF of one of his designs for you to download, this can be inserted into your frame and I know it will help you immensely.

    Please post any further questions you may have here, also should you decide to have a ago, do post your progress here, you will not be criticised, but we will be able to waht areas need attention

    Good luck everyone and happy striping.

    P.S. I have decided not to make a video, mainly because I have too little understanding of video editing and that sort of thing, but also I have came across many videos on Youtube that could be helpful, I will however link some videos that I think are important.
  10. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Here are some pin-striping videos, the first video shows clever use of a woollen glove with the index finger and thumb cut away to help the artist glide over the work surface, this particular artist is holding the brush just as I would, however this is not by any means compulsory, holding the is a matter personal comfort, the artist is also working one handed also as I would, but some artists as you will see use both, this could be a nuisance if you need hold your work surface still.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3UEBC9cTWE&feature=related

    This video shows the artist using both hands, I threw this in because I liked the job at hand, and if your into custom painting, you will definitely be asked at some pint to do this type of thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsdtyhJRgbk&feature=related

    Here an example of typical sign writing, this is closer to the type work I did, note the stick in his hand, this is called a "Mall Stick" in my language, and believe it or not I still used this even for my airbrush.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G86C6yK1Ucc&feature=related

    I advise checking out a few other videos, even if there boring, you don't need to watch all the way through, but flick through to get an idea of the varying techniques different artists use, including choice of brush and how they hold it, you may see something you think will be suited to your own personal style.

    Thanks to Red Baron's extensive starters guide in his thread "Pinstriping starter: What you need", there isn't much more I can add at this moment, except that I will, as I'm sure Red will, be on hand to answer any questions you may.

    The rest is up to you now, have fun practising and please do post your progress
  11. Red Baron

    Red Baron Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    353
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Hey MB,
    Nice work with the links to those vids. I'm gonna have a look at them tonight. Hey i was thinking maybe you want to, why not bring in some of your knowledge into this part of the forum with some lettering. I reckon that it would tie in just perfectly. It would also tie in with the airbrushing projects as well. Just a thought?

    I watched a Kafka vid on You tube with his lettering and it was awesome, and thought of you straightaway.

    Cheers, Red
  12. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Hi Red, your absolutely right, they all go hand in hand with each other but the process is more or less the same as for pin-striping, the only differences are the types of brush and the fact that your doing letters instead of lines, well actually your still doing lines but arranging them to form a letter rather than a shape.

    And yes videos were good examples, but I threw in the sign writing one for my self because the old guy looked exactly like the old who was teaching me, and he was an American who had a fantastic sense of humour, he gave me my first set of real brushes, which back then were really expensive.

    If anybody wants a demo, of course I would do one, but I'm 54 years old now and almost 40 years serious benders has taken it's toll, so I'm not as steady as I used to be, I still use that stick even for airbrushing, it's a real handy tool.
  13. Red Baron

    Red Baron Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    353
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Hey MB, I totally hear what you re saying. I gave up being a photo/jouno for personal reasons. I'd show anyone tricks a tips to do with photography but I'm not keen on doing it myself. So in saying that there's no pressure on you buddy. We are all here to have a great time not to feel overloaded.

    Cheers, Red
  14. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

  15. Max Chickens

    Max Chickens Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    how'd you know that wasn't me in the vid?
  16. worldofglasscraft

    worldofglasscraft Elite Member! Elite Member!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Badlands near Bristol. U.K.
    The guys not upside down !
  17. Max Chickens

    Max Chickens Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    hahaha...i was waiting for the Aus dig........hahaha

    was expecting "cause he's not riding a kangaroo"
  18. worldofglasscraft

    worldofglasscraft Elite Member! Elite Member!

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Badlands near Bristol. U.K.
    You can ride a kangaroo, digger?
  19. rick

    rick Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    471
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Netherlands
    To pull this one up, I'm also trying to learn pinstriping, but im pretty nooby at it lol. I hear you all speak about reducing you paint, i've been using straight out of the can one shot so far, but what will reducing change? will it give a different drag or something? i've seen om kafka's channel that u need to keep adding reducer when painting so the the paint doesnt dry out or something, but can anyone clarify it a bit for me?
  20. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    When you get it right it will simply flow better so that you can get excellent uniformed lines in one stroke, but to get it right takes a little practice, try different mounts of thinners, too much will cause it to run off your brush at an uncontrollable rate.

Share This Page