For Every Airbrush Artist!

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

Register

Avoiding Masking

Discussion in 'How to Control an Airbrush' started by st.bede, Aug 14, 2019.


  1. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    California, USA
    I do not want to tape or mask. I am trying to get enough control to minimize the mixing of colors. I would like to be able to keep things clean. I think it can be done. For example: if I know exactly where the paint will spray and use a soft thin line to start filling in a space, it logically would work.

    Is it possible?

    Are there any tricks or techniques I should know about?

    If it is not possible (to be that precise), then is there any approaches that would help facilitate (or get closer to achieving) the desired ends?

    I have tried to use a French curve, I feels like I would have to make my painting using the curves to start with. I do not know if that makes sense. If I draw a shape, the curves do not match. Is there any examples if how to use a French curve to mask off a boundary that would help me?

    Any knowledge, experience, thoughts, or ideas are appreciated and gratefully respected by me.

    Thank you
    basepaint, Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  2. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    4,636
    Trophy Points:
    126
    I hardly ever use tape or masking if I paint portraits and use shields if I need sharper lines , I have the french curves but like you stated the curves hardly ever match up so I dont use them
    custom painting however is a different matter and I do use tape and masking when I need straight and sharp lines
    Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  3. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    3,103
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  4. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    California, USA
    Thank you both...

    Dave, I scrolled through a lot of pics but was not able to find your example or description of lose paper masks. (... lots of airbrushes, parts and cool holders ).

    Thank you Roland. Anything I should know other then: lots of practice?
    Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  5. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    3,103
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Oh, if you click the individual photo's, they should open in a new window with a description on the right. In albums, there s generally quite a bit of information attached to each photo in that album.
    Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  6. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    4,636
    Trophy Points:
    126
    DaveG has you covered on the masking only thing I can add is the matter of over spray : if you paint free hand for most of the time like I do you can either use the over spray to your advantage but in that case you need to be able to erase your paint if you cant erase the paint you will need to mask parts off or spray away from the part you dont want any over spray and yes practice is key it teaches you how your paint acts and how your airbrush works
    Franc Kaiser, jord001 and DaveG like this.
  7. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,778
    Likes Received:
    3,103
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    West Virginia
    One more thing about over spray, you can help to limit it by altering the direction of your spray. If you turn your work, so that you are spraying towards the center of your shape, or color, you will limit the amount of unwanted over spray around it.
    Franc Kaiser and jord001 like this.
  8. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    623
    Trophy Points:
    91
    get the Daniel Powers airbrushing DVD series if you can find it.
    jord001 and Franc Kaiser like this.
  9. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    7,104
    Likes Received:
    14,684
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I use paper shields to protect anything that needs to stay “clean”
    I test the area by spraying air - if I can feel the air where I don’t want paint to go then overspray would be an issue if that makes sense. Overspray destroys painting with ease :(
    C0y0te, jord001 and Franc Kaiser like this.
  10. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    2,313
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Shanghai
    My biggest challenge with airbrush is getting a clear edge done. It’s the opposite to when I used to paint with oils (where blending was a pain in the neck). I cannot get a really clear, well-defined area done with the brush I got (a 0.2 mm Procon ps-270), and the eye still subconsciously sees the blurred areas. I do basically everything freehand, but for selected parts I use a French curve for very small sections that I work on maybe a few millimeters at a time, and I use it more as a shield (putting it on its edge rather then lay it down) than a mask. You can use French curves even for forms that don't correspond exactly in the shape - you simply slide the curve along whilst you’re spraying.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    jord001 and musicmacd like this.
  11. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    California, USA
    Thank you all. You guys are awesome.
    jord001 likes this.
  12. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,041
    Likes Received:
    6,763
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    I'm agreeing with you. Just his cut and blend technique was worth the money.
    jord001, Leakyvalve and doc1 like this.
  13. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5,378
    Likes Received:
    4,128
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    Card from a breakfast cereal box is great stuff to make shields out of. stiffer than paper but easy to cut and lasts for ages as long as you don't saturate it.

    Lee
    doc1 likes this.
  14. wickedartstudio

    wickedartstudio Mac-Valve Maestro!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    678
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Great advice already given above and the answer to your question is, yes! It is absolutely possible! The art of working freehand with clean results takes practice just like anything else and there are tips and techniques that help accomplish that. Pointing your airbrush in the direction you want the overspray to go has already been mentioned. That's a big part of it. Using freehand shields is another important technique to master when it comes to airbrushing freehand. I normally prefer purchased freehand shields compared to cutting masks because they will last a lifetime (provided you buy quality plastic or Mylar shields). They are an investment that pays off over, and over again! If you choose to purchase freehand shields, buy generic shapes (instead of skulls or something to that effect). The generic shapes can be used on everything you do. I'm not a fan of French curves simply because they are too rigid. You mentioned not having the correct shape when you've attempted to use a French curve. That is normal. The trick is to paint a small portion of what you need while controlling the overspray, then reposition the shield and continue painting another small portion of the shape and/or line you need. In a short time, you will complete what you're trying to accomplish. I'll add a portrait video I did years ago. There is no instruction in this particular video, but this portrait was completed without any masking whatsoever. I started with a light sketch on the canvas and airbrushed the entire design with the help of freehand shields. It's all paint. I didn't even use erasing techniques on this painting. The video is kind of a time-lapse. So, you won't get to see everything, but pay attention when I'm rendering the shadow under her nose. I didn't have a freehand shield in that exact shape and repositioned the shield a few times to make it work. Hope that helps!
    doc1 likes this.

Share This Page