Space skull (Soft edges, loss of detail)



Hi everyone,

I started this drawing a few months ago. It went pretty smooth in the beginning but I decided to add some background and everything went down hill...

so here's the skull done, without any background. Just black and white.

I felt the need to add some detail and some background. Maybe some color?
So I did.

The problem is that the artwork loks so soft... I lost all the sharp edges and tried fixing that with a brush.
Didn't really go well.

The transparency of the glass also failed pretty hard...

Any tips? Im done with this one but wanted to start a new one. Im thinking about trying to paint Chesire Cat from Alice Wonderland (Tim Burton).
Since its a cat... there's A LOT of hair... I don't think ill have the skill to paint all the hair with the airbrush. Should I paint the big shapes with airbrush and then get a fine brush and paint each hair?

I dont know...

Also, since I moved to an apartment the big ass compressor I had is way too loud. Thinking of getting a O2 tank and try using that.

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Well sarge being this is your first post it will not allow you to post links or pictures yet.. ya need 5 post for that..
But it is nice to welcome you home and to your new family .
But may hop up to the introduction section and tell us a little about yourself , Where ya from and how long you have been airbrushing.

Oh PM me the links and I will fix the post for you so we can see your work..Never mind got the links to work and now we can see the pics :D

Other than losing some texture and shading on the wing of the helmet is look great in color.
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Okay If you like the Cheshire cat might look at the american mcgee one No hair and cool tats:D
O2 tanks are cool if you can afford to fill them , Might look into either building your own silent compressor of one of the California air compressor . Unless you have a huge bank account and then just get a silent air 50 ..
But yes hair takes a lot of control I still struggle with it.
Took a quick look on ebay and theres a bunch of cheap "silent" air compressors... last time i checked they were like 500euro (600+ dollars).
Any of these worth having?

About the drawing, i just noticed i "ate" a bunch of the rear part of the helmet when i painted the background. Looks a lot more oval.

I did tried handshield but it wasn't sharp enough and the helmet has very precise curved lines. Didn't work very well...
I remember seeing masking this huge masking tape for sale. I thought that maybe covering the drawing with a bunch of masking time and then using a box-cutter to cut some parts and airbrush it. Removing the masking tape after should give me the sharp edges I need...

Indeed air is hard to control... I got a bunch of "spits" trying to make the smoke hehe
As soon as I pressed the trigger, the paint was too thin or too think and would splash, making this... star-like dot.

I guess this goes with practice.
Hi Sarge.....I use a scuba tank with the standard first stage regulator - but that's because I kinda had all the stuff already and didnt have to pay for anything. :) there is the inconvenience of having to refill them, but there is absolutely no noise. :)
Otherwise Mr Micron's suggestion is good.

I too battle with spidering - control, reducing and psi ..... and practise :)
Hi sarge, welcome aboard. I think the pic is great. o get a harder edge a hand shield will give a nice hard line if kept flat on the surface, if it is even slightly raised you will get underspray which will soften things, very useful in some cases but not what you want here. You could use masking tape, or frisket. It can cause it's own problems a it can damage the surface of your work, so test first. Just cutting a stencil out of paper for a one time use could work. Also maybe reducing your air pressure a bit might help you get a cleaner look.
Hmmm....personally I like it! The supposed softness to me kinda of throws my imagination into a mode as if one were a space traveler themselves and seeing this thing float into view of your somewhat foggy visor itself. The only thing I would change....... the wing.... throws me off a bit.

The Skull and Helmet and everything has a whole "Heavy Metal" (any one remember that gem of a movie?) kind of style to it, then you kinda get to that wing that has a style like the artists from the Kirby video game.
Just a personal taste thing so don't take it is a negative critique. Heck this cold (for the south) weather has me having to go back to day 1 of dots and lines as soon as it warms up a bit. No matter how hard I try a line is next to impossible while shivering.
Awesome piece!
Well thanks everyone for the advice. I'm considering buying some frisket film and see what happens.

Also, I feel everyone is congratulating on the drawing itself and being an amateur artist I really need to say that, I didn't draw the artwork.
This was a project to start practicing, so I searched for an image (in this case, took it from pinterest) and tried drawing from that, adding some custom stuff.

So the original image is : media-cache-ec0.pinimg. com/originals/c0/1d/71/c01d71b1eacd4cb8de3f01a7cf091a5d. jpg
Unfortunatly I dont know who the artist. But he sure did a great work!

Im starting to plan the next artwork. Hopefully it will have more detail. More sharpness.
Just in case anyone is curious, i'll be trying to paint this: home.deds . nl/~nielszuurbier/img/backround-box8. jpg

PS: Still can't post links. someone will probably fix this :)
If you want to use frisket, consider getting Contact paper from Wal Mart. It comes in a large roll, is cheap and low tack. I have always used this and do not have too much trouble with release on good quality airbrush paper. I have also used it on Watercolor paper.
Yep yep, clear contact paper from wallyworld, great to work with ...(most projects) my automotive frisket doesnt like to stick to good to canvas, awesome for plastic, and paper, good for canvas..not good on metal lol