That Red Head

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
Hello everyone reading!
Thought i'd make a bit of effort to give something decent back to the forum that gives so much to everyone else involved. Some of you may have seen the Red Head lady I completed just under a week ago now - well i took step by step progress pictures specifically to give some little insights as to the process i used to render the artwork :triumphant:
Here it goes you cheeky galahs!
redhead.jpg

1. The first step after finding the image that inspired you to 12 hours of work, is to come up with a line drawing or guide so that you can transfer it to your canvas. Now while there are several ways of doing this such as printing a copy of the reference at the exact size and cutting it out i find this takes quite a bit of time - it's certainly not any less accurate but i guess i'm just accustomed to the way of the projector.
The first thing i do is a line drawing in a vector program. I use Illustrator CS6. The strongest reason i do a line drawing beforehand is because it allows me to identify where the shapes are in the drawing and how i can go about airbrushing the edges of them. My lines are somewhat indicative as to how i'll create them, generally a broken line means a softer edge and a harder line means a harder/ darker edge. It also allows me to share the file to others!
redhead1.jpg

2. Next step is to mix up your colours. It's up to you if you mix them all to begin with or as you go, I prefer to mix all at once because it's like jumping over a big hurdle. The disadvantage to doing that is that the longer the colors stay stangant, the more white pigment that sits at the bottom of the color cup. This can change the color.
Other than that all materials and tools are there and i'm set and ready to go!
redhead2.jpg

3. After getting the line drawing onto my board (by the way i'm using SchoellersHammer), i begin my masking the background with frisket. i'm going to be applying the green background first and i will keep certain parts masked up for nearly the entire duration of the artwork.
Using frisket isn't something you have to do, you could do it all with the airbrush alone by taking care & going in close, but the use of frisket eliminates the risk overspray. It also eliminates the benefits of organic edges.. so it's up to you? To frisket or not to frisket!
readhead3.jpg

4. After i've sprayed the background and back-masked the appropriate areas, I decide that the teeth are extremely white and so i'm going mask them also using frisket until i'm ready to complete the mouth. The teeth will later prove to be the hardest part of the artwork due to my poor choice of colors.
redhead4.jpg

5. The first color layer is applied. It is a near identical match to the base skin tone on her forehead, which is the lightest skin-tone on the image. The reason I chose one of the lightest skin tones is because i know i can always darker other parts of it using translucence + i will be using mid-tone and shadow-tones, so by the end of the image it will have different color influences anyway.
Once this layer is applied, it's time to work some eraser magic as textures and realism are added with the use of erasers and scalpels.
This was my first time using ShoellersHammer board and coupled with Createx Illustration Colors I don't think the pair get along very well. Some may blame the colors for not being erasable enough, however i blame the board for being too absorbant. I didn't like working with this pair but I think once you've committed to an artwork that you should finish it, because generally you get a good result. Except when it's a paint pal card.
redhead5.jpg

Probably enough reading for you for now, i'll get the rest up over the next few days:)
 
K

ko.

Guest
Mitch.. Your centipedes are Way to cool.. (step 3) Luvin the step by step also You are a giver
Thanks, Kurt
 
R

Russ Allen

Guest
Love it Mitch! Thanks. This is right down my alley! Will definitely have to give this one a go!!!! One question, could you list your colors so I can try to get it as close to what you have as I can? Would really appreciate it! I've been wanting to try the illustration colors and this is a good excuse!
 

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
Mitch.. Your centipedes are Way to cool.. (step 3) Luvin the step by step also You are a giver
Thanks, Kurt
Hahaha! i didn't even notice that! how did those cheeky buggers get there! would have been when i was testicle spraying probably.

Love it Mitch! Thanks. This is right down my alley! Will definitely have to give this one a go!!!! One question, could you list your colors so I can try to get it as close to what you have as I can? Would really appreciate it! I've been wanting to try the illustration colors and this is a good excuse!
No worries Russ, i don't have any ratios but the colors i've used to mix up this artwork were:
Cobalt blue
Scarlet
yellow
illustration white
black
sepia
burnt umber

you can mix all the colors if you just have the top 5 and some reducer. I didn't use any transparent base, never do..

The lighter skin tone i believe was mainly white, tiny bit of yellow and tinier bit of red

mid tones you start to add a bit more red and blue comes into the equation

shadow tones are mid-tones with more blue and red added.
Darkest colors are sepia and i think i used black around the eye only?

hope that helps mate :culpability:?
 

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
6.
Here is a close up of the developing textures of the eye. The first layer is one of the most critical layers for texture and realism as is the foundation that everything else is worked off. If you get a build up of too much paint by the last layer then erasing can be quite difficult depending on your substrate and adding white paint may be your only option (with the risk of blue-shift). Here is a close up of some of the textures in the eye and nose.
redhead7.jpg

7.
The second color layer is added. As all colors were mixed beforehand all i had to do was give my little color cup a shake, stir up the white pigment and it was ready to go. there's quite a large contrast between the base layer and the mid-tone of this mid-late 20's female specimen.
redhead8.jpg

8.
This photo demonstrates just how losely i'm applying the second color layer within certain parts. Here i know i'll be using an eraser or blade to create detail so i don't bother trying to get things perfect yet. I definitely improve with this the more i practise, learning where you do and don't need to add detail and in which layers.. you can waste ALOT of time adding detail.
readhead9.jpg

9.
Just wanted to show you that i wasn't too proud to not use frisket. This is quite a crucial edge in the artwork as it's the most foreground, so it's value should be quite accurate and it sets the perspective of the picture. I'm using a cool little technique here that alot of you may already know, but for those of you who don't - take a look at how i backmasked this in image 10.
redhead10.jpg

10.
There's a particular name for this type of back masking, i learnt it many years ago from an airbrush artist in Sydney, however during my time working in panel shops we'd use it alot for 'quick' mask jobs. I can't recall the exact name of the technique, however if you click on the picture the arrow shows what i'm trying to demonstrate. You don't just stick the mask down onto the artwork, instead you mask it in such a way, that the mask will deflect the overspray from your artwork. This doesn't mean you can spray close to the edge of don't have to pay attention, but it does give you a little more control and means that you don't have to back-mask large areas. Also if you do get overspray, more of it will be able to be removed with erasers as it potentially won't be direct overspray - but you don't want to get to the stage where you have to fix it any way!!
enjoy ;)
redhead6.jpg
 
A

ad fez

Guest
This is brilliant mitch! I learn so much better from a detailed step by such as this compared to videos etc......great job and can not wait to see more.
 

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
11.
Hair time! To create the hair i mixed up three colours. I found what i thought to be the base tone - which you can see just above the ear and to the left - i haven't sprayed this in the same was as a skin tone however, i've only laid down the color where it's required. So the lighter colour goes where the lighter color is and the darker color goes where the darker color is.
You need to make sure the you establish all of the darker areas and are aware of the darker shapes that exist in her hair. If you get these right on this step then there'll be no need to revisit them - allows you to create realism in a matter of 2/3 layers.
redhead11.jpg

12.
Texture time. This is where you find out how well your paints and medium get along. I didn't like using the createx with Schoellershammer as the board just seemed too absorbent, you need to be quite rough with your erasing and I had to be careful not to tear up the board too much.
To create these textures i used a typical hobby blade - number 10 or 11 i think they are? just a flat blade, no surgical scalpel or anything.. used an electric eraser for some parts also which did get along very well with the Schoellershammer.
redhead12.jpg

13.
The darker tones are added. Again i haven't place a huge amount of care with the accuracy of how i put this down, i just made sure the shapes looked correct and have used my textures to sharpen the look of it. This is the best way I've found to create detail as it allows you to create excellent detail in a matter of a couple of layers. Very quick.
redhead13.jpg

14.
I began doing the eye completely freehand as i was trying to mirror my reference picture, however i found that adding frisket, masking up the darker parts of the eye and using the old mask and spray method worked a bit better. In the next step you'll notice how i softened the top edge by creating textures across it.
One of the sticking points re-incforced to me while doing this artwork was to make sure you have a great quality reference. I find that I can produce a result 85 - 90% similar to the reference, so if your reference isn't above and beyond the detail you're looking to add, then your end result won't be photorealistic. As I found out:(
redhead14.jpg

15.
The top part of the eye here was laid down with a bit of the ole mask and spray. You may notice some brighter colors appearing in the eye where you need to use straight transparent to heavily increase the saturation. This occurs heavily with the eyes and is fairly consistent across every portrait. Even though i couldn't see hard edges on the reference i did create harder edges than what i saw and the result came out just as good as the reference - re-inforcing the old adage 'use a great reference'.
First time i've ever used 'adage' in a sentence, not sure if i used it correctly.
redhead15.jpg

16.
The bloody eyebrow. This took about 10 minutes. I used the mid tone of the hair for the eyebrow, the color was slightly in accurate, but who's checking? I laid down the shape of the eyebrow and then grabbed and eraser and createx all the detail with that. There's not much detail in the eyebrow at all and i just created what i saw. It looks like it could have been a little sharper but that's what i saw okay? don't hold it against me.
After i'd created the detail using an eraser i went back in and added some of the darker detail with the airbrush and the same colour. There's just a few basic lines here and there. When you are up close it looks nothing like hair, but when you step back an eyebrow appears.
redhead16.jpg

If you have any questions please ask away.
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
Does anyone else hear Mitch's voice in their head when reading this? It's kind of creepy.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 
A

ad fez

Guest
11. When you are up close it looks nothing like hair, but when you step back an eyebrow appears..
thats like my mrs moustache, can't identify them as hairs up close but from a distance... BAAAMM! Shes ben mistaken for tom seleck our whatever his name is.....that guy off of magnum
 

Squishy

Queen Clown Slayer
thats like my mrs moustache, can't identify them as hairs up close but from a distance... BAAAMM! Shes ben mistaken for tom seleck our whatever his name is.....that guy off of magnum
Hence your penchant for the Southern Comfort guy! Your poor lady, I hope she gives you a slap, and not in a good way Lol!
 

Diegojavbau

Air-Valve Autobot!
Excellente !! , It's amazing the progress between the step 11 and 12 .

Can you please be more especific with which kind of paint (opaque or transaparent) use in every layer ? In the hair and skin , doing textures ..
 

airbrushtutor

Love Spreading Overseer
Haha the perfect Jack. I reckon we start thread jack awards for jack of the month.
That's going to happen.
Diego- illustration paints are all considered transparents except white. Arguably pigment based paints shouldn't be called transparents because they're not transparent.
Any color I've laid down so far has had white mixed in which means that every color to this stage was opaque!
:)
And babies come from Stalks.. vagetables.
 
Top