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Struggling to get fine detail

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Young Tutorling
Hi guys.
Just joined. Great site. I live in Cape Town South Africa and around here Airbrushing is still pretty much underground, let alone trying to get some pointers from the few that CAN actually airbrush. Hopefully somebody can help me out. Getting quite frustrated.
I am airbrushing for almost a month now, using a busted up bonnet and an old helmet a buddy gave me. I have done these attached. I'm struggling coz I just cannot get the effects I want and squeeze out more detail out of my work.
Is the answer just keep practicing and go by trial and error or a method of gaining photorealism in my artwork.


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Detail comes from control . Learning and building muscle memory comes from Practice. A month in aribrush time is no time at all.
It also has to do with what airbrush you're using , what paints and what PSI or Bars .
But being this is your first post and you have not made a introduction to tell us what equipment you are using it is hard to really help you a long .
That being said for someone with one month you are off to a good start , Do you practice dots , dagger strokes ?
Check out the Airbrushtutor youtube page
But being I remember back when I started and bought a lot of airbrushing videos and watched anything I could find on the net. I found one thing to be true and that was I was a beginner and did not have the years of practice that the ones making the videos did. They make it look easy but like anything you want to be good at you have to put in the practice time.
So go make an introduction and read through the many many post and hang around. You will get to where you want to be but Rome was not built in a day and airbrushing takes time .
As Craig Fraser loves to say he is always learning new ways every day and every paint job he does is just practice for the next one. So hang in there
Hi mr. Micron. Thanks, and sorry for the poor intro. I use a Badger 100 (siphon feed) and Badger 150 (bottom feed); Werther X1 airbrush compressor and usually spray with around 2 bars to get as thin lines as i can. I agree that a month is nothing. i kinda feel i am making the same mistakes. i downloaded a few tutorial videos from the howtoairbrush website and studying those. i do dots an dagger strokes before I start a piece while at the same time checking out the flow of the paint. I spray on a bonnet and helmet; that being said i use urethane.
What do u think about the ones I've done thus far? Any tips when scrutinizing it?
Well lets start with the eagle , It looks to stenciled , So here is a tip spray a light coat just so you can see the image and get rid of the stencil. The hard edges is what takes away from the piece on that one . you can always go darker but you can not go lighter . So if you plan on using say 3 different shades of brown pick the lightest of the shades and use that to layout you pattern .

The bald guys face on the helmet actually looks pretty good in my opinion as does the samurai warrior
But mainly the eagles are just to dark .
the airbrushes you have while detail can be gotten from them in the right hands it is a lot harder for a beginner .
I started with an Paasche VL and quickly moved to an Iwata Eclipse CS , I found with the gravity feed I had more control and could go to lower pressures. When I got to a point where I could not feel I was getting the detail I wanted I then bought a Iwata Micron CM-C+ and my control and small detail grew faster. Granted there are many on here you can paint far more detail then I can even see I was happy with the detail I was able to create .
But I have bought a few other airbrushes over the year Badger Krome a very affordable detail gravity feed airbrush, The H&S Infinity with the .15 nozzle. That thing is an amazing airbrush . But all my airbrush are gravity feed that is my preference , Many love the side feed Micron sb which I have used but they did not play well with how I airbrush.
If you can find it the dvd set that helped me the most was Daniel Powers series 1 he starts you out at the very basics and then moves you up to do hands and half a face.
Hey thanks a lot man. seriously. that helped. most constructive advice i got thus far. hopefully we can keep in touch and in the near future i can update this chat with some new and improved work.
We do have a couple of members on here from SA that are really talented artist . Who knows you hang around here long enough you may even be able to meet them and get first hand pointers .
But I do know how hard it is to learn something when you just have videos to watch and trying to learn from that .
But a lot of pro painters use stencils to do the lay out the trick is making it look like you did not use one when you are finished .
When I started I was in the same boat as you. I had no one to get the proper advice from and u-tube confused me more than helped because they made it look so easy....
Until I found this place....
I am far from an expert after 4 years, but I think I have progressed farther than I could have without the great people here....stick around, get to know everyone and have fun....
I live in the UK, and do not know anyone else who airbrushes (in real life anyway), have to get all my paint etc online, so I can relate. Maybe @AndreZA can help you out. Did you have an SA group or something Andre? Plus he's an awesome painter.

I'm a bit of a slow learner, bit even I'm getting there, and everything I've learned has been either trial and error, or from the great guys around here. So just keep doing it, it will come.

As far as detail goes, a decent brush helps a lot, but its more about nailing your paint and psi to work at lower pressure. Everything becomes much more controllable. Plus trigger control, its still early days for you, so you may still be building up your muscle memory too. Keep doing the exercises to build them, and also so that you can do them without thinking, then your freehand skills will come on leaps and bounds.

As Herb says choose the lightest colour, and use your stencil more like a template to just lay down a guide of where everything goes, then freehand I in for a more natural look. Unless a hard edge is what you need of course. :)
@Alroy, your work is really good for the time you've been doing it. There is a Airbrush SA group on Facebook. Link is in my signature. I know there will be a class in CT one of these days. Info is on that page.
I pm'd him and told him to contact you , You would be more in the know of where to get supplies and things .
The images you've crated are really good bases, add some lighter, tighter detail work in on top with some contrasting colors .PS Maybe spray a little lighter in some area's to better build up the shading as detail isn't only doing millions of strokes to represent feathers, its also about the shading aspect of the work, even more so..But they are all very good starts, ust need that omph, perhaps also try some free hand shield work, helps tighten up edges..
Hi mr. Micron
I did this over the week. If u remember I am the guy that said I am struggling to get sufficient detail in my work and started airbrushing almost two months ago now.View attachment 49374 Is there any improvement?
I remember and this is looking great. Mainly it takes time to learn how to create detail with an airbrush even if you have a micron
But this one is one to be very proud of and just keep at it you on your way .
I think these all look fine considering the short time you've been painting. Keep going, you've shown you can follow instruction so keep listening, learning and practising. :thumbsup: