Flag advice and idea's please.



Hello, I am currently working on one of my first airbrushing projects. I am painting a helmet for myself. I did some basic lay outs with just plain masking and would now like to ad an airbrush effect on the sides of the helmet. Here is my idea... I basically would like to paint a flowing German flag on the sides of the helmet... perhaps torn on the edges... perhaps make it look like it is torn and underneath the white paint on the side... can anyone give me some tips on how to lay this out to make it look like it's underneath or having some depth? Maybe some frayed edges?? Here is what I have so far.. any tips ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!! Colin.


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First a good reference pic of a flag in whatever state you want is needed. Meaning, flat, flowing the the wind, whatever. Many paint flags as a moving thing not flat. Once that is determined. A tattered flag will be hard to get a reference for, I think, never looked for one. I know there are vids on YouTube of airbrushing a flag, most I have seen are of a US flag, but the steps should be the same. Rick Primeau and Simon Murray both have some vids in this and I am sure there are others.

As for showing it under your yellow section, your ill want to mask the yellow, paint the flag, then before removing the mask over the yellow, add a drop shadow to the flag to show it is behind the yellow area. Just to do shade with black . It will be too dark. Typically a shading color is made out of the color you are shading over with a drop or so of black to darken as needed. This same color then can be used to shade the flag In any other areas to show movement or where it may overlap its self.

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get a good jpeg of the flag, put it into your chosen software. copy and then put one of those ragged edge frames effects onto the copy.
put the "normal" jpeg on top and fade it intil you get the ripped edge on one side.
THis might give you your reference.
Strange combo Chinese hiragana with a German flag? But the advice given is on the money. The better the reference picture you can find the better the painting will be.
I do look forward to seeing your ideal come to life ..
Thanks for the info everyone. I will see what I can first find for a reference. Yes the combo is a bit different, but I am basically just using a few ideas to get some practice. I don't have much else to practice on at the moment and I am trying to get the helmet ready to use for a few karting events yet this season. As far as the drop shadow, I just want to clarify, not to use just black?? Take my original color and darken it a bit?? Thanks again, Colin
Here is what I had in mind.


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Nice. Plan the folds. Watch where the lines between black and red, and red and yellow go, then pick a shadow, and work each shadow with an over reduced black, and highlights with a REALLY over-reduced white!

Well, I opted out of the folds... I honestly think its above my talent level at this moment. Here is what I came up with on one side... not that great but I gave it a shot! Looks like a LOT more practice for this guy is in order!


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Doesn't look too bad. Where you have a slight wave in the flag, if you had done more of an overlap, you would have shaded as you did the edges. Do a practice one as a next project. Then you will have it down for next time.

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I can practice on the other side ha ha.. I'm going to replicate the same thing on the other side... a few more logo's to put on and clear it. What do you mean overlap??
Had a quick play
Haven't got the white and black ripples quite right but the idea is there.