First portrait


Stevie G

Yesterday evening I decided to push the envelope ....... I couldn't find one so I decided to try airbrushing my first portrait instead :D
The Cameron Diaz tutorial to be precise.
Here's how it turned out .......


If Cameron Diaz looked in the mirror and this stared back at her I suspect that she would not leave her house .....
Having said that, though, I'm not totally disappointed with my efforts. She does look vaguely human !

Anyway, to the post mortem.
I used 10 drops of Createx opaque black mixed with 5 drops of transparent base and 20 drops of reducer.
I went straight in to the picture ..... first mistake.
I looked at the reference pic and found the shapes I needed to replicate (helped by the pre-drawn lines on the AT exercise sheet :encouragement:).
I still managed to go too dark too soon but I managed to back off part way through.
All went reasonably well until I got to the hair.
Up until now I had painted shapes ...... painting from the right side of my brain.
Then I let myself think "now I'm going to paint the hair" ...... big mistake.
The left side of my brain took over and thought "hair ... must use dagger strokes for this" and produced what you see here.
Instead of fair hair my girl is quite dark.
If I had just carried on thinking in shapes things would hopefully have turned out better.

So, what have I learned ....
Before I attempt this or any other picture again I will cover an A4 sheet with dots, lines, blends and daggers just to "warm up" and get the brush control sorted.
I will see shapes and nothing else.
I'm going to try reducing the paint a bit more.

In all seriousness I really enjoyed doing this one.


Royal pain in the air hose
Well being you have already gave your self your own C&C :D
I will simply say great job for your first go at it.
I still do a page of dots and dagger at least once a week. sometime more. Nothing wrong with practicing , A like have been told many times over every piece you will ever paint is practice.

But the bigger lesson I still have to remember is paint what you see and not what you think. paint the shapes let the picture take care of itself...
It does help to repeat those phases while your painting..

But I do look forward to seeing your next go at a portrait .


First of all Stevie, you seem to know what it is you've done wrong, so even if I could give advice I think I wouldn't need to.

Secondly, I actually like this, I don't think it looks like Cameron, sorry about that, but it looks like a beautiful girl who's just suffered some kind of set back and it has an air of loneliness about it, this is heightened by the darkness overall, so the picture tells a story and it draws me in, art is about capturing the audience and this definitely succeeds in doing just that.

Be pleased with it and keep it, it is worth it.

My comment is in no way intended as criticism, I'm simply saying what I see and I like it.


You should be proud with your first attempt, it really turned out pretty good.


Air-Valve Autobot!
Not bad at all for a first attempt!! My first attempt diidn t look this good...


I Love it, Detail on the lips is very well done. Something I still need to work very hard on achieving.


Queen Clown Slayer
A good effort, and the important thing is you recognised what you need to do to improve next time, which is awesome, that kind of thinking will bring it's own reward next time. Wish I had your insights when I did my first portrait.


Mac-Valve Maestro!
I agree with your own assessment and think it's great you see where and how you need to improve yourself. And I think you might just be being a little hard on yourself. I think it turned out rather well for your first portrait! Most of what I've learned over the years came from mistakes. Hell, I'm still learning from my own mistakes... The fact that you can identify what went wrong and how to fix it is half the battle. Now you just have to put it all into practice on your next portrait. Keep up the good work!

Stevie G

Thank you all for your very kind words and encouragement.
I'm going to keep her on my hobby room wall so I can gauge my progress on the next portrait and as a reminder of the things I need to watch out for !
It's all too easy for me to go ploughing-in to my next picture and make the same mistakes again.
Yes, I analyse what I've done and see my errors but, just like my wife, I don't listen to me :redface-new:

A lot of credit must go to the Airbrush Tutor. Many times I've tried airbrushing in the past and got nowhere at all. The very informative and light hearted AT videos and the tutorial exercises have really sparked my enthusiasm this time and I feel I'm finally getting somewhere with it and having a lot of fun in the process.
Add to that the really positive comments I've had from you all on this forum, I feel really inspired to go further.
This is a brilliant place to be. Thank you.

Right, let us spray ......


Good first try.Better then me.Im still try to figure out how to mix with the same color with extender .

Russ Allen

For your first portrait Stevie, that turned out great!!

My recommendation: Paint the same portrait 3-5 times, challenge yourself to do it better each time and to build on your previous mistakes. Take what you learned in the previous portrait, then, knowing what you did wrong, make the changes on the next one. You will really impress yourself, let alone, everyone else! It really works. Some think its too repititious, but it really lets you see first hand the difference and your progression from one pic to the other!!! I didnt have time to read everyones post as Im in a hurry as usual, so maybe Im not repeating what everyone else said, if so, my apologies!!! In all seriousness, thats a damn good first portrait

ad fez

hey stevie, I agree with both your comments and that of the other members, for a first attempt this is great, maybe the top lip is a little full for cameron but all in all a great job, well done! whats next?


Air-Valve Autobot!
Well done Stevie for 2 reasons, 1. for pushing your boundaries and having a go and 2. for not being afraid to show your results. I have done the portrait twice, the first time mine came out a little dark like yours and i too struggled with the paint mix etc. The second time round i sorted my paint mix and it turned out 10 times better. My paint mix was 2 drops of paint to 10 drops of trans base and 10 drops of water, it took longer to build up but you couldn't go too dark too quickly which helped so much on the 2nd attempt. Like the others said your first attempt is great and future ones will get better and better. Keep on painting!!



For a 1st portrait, it is one hell of a beautiful woman! How long have you been airbrushing for? Curious to get a feel for how long it takes some people to get to this level.

Stevie G

For a 1st portrait, it is one hell of a beautiful woman! How long have you been airbrushing for? Curious to get a feel for how long it takes some people to get to this level.

Thank you for your kind comments.
I started the arty airbrushing after visiting the Kustom Kulture Blast Off last September.
I've airbrushed model cars in the past so I was no stranger to the airbrush as a painting tool but seeing the work the artists produced at KKBO just blew me away and inspired me to want to do more.

Again, thank you to all who have commented on my humble efforts.
Your encouragement is very much appreciated.


WOW!! FIRST portrait?? dude that looks sick!! I love how you even broke down your mistakes, dude I can't wait to see what you do next!! Im a nooooob to the airbrush but this is inspiration for me to push the envelope also! Well done brotha!!