In this free excerpt from “Introducing the Airbrush” in The Artist’s Magazine (May 2013) by Daniel K. Tennant, he describes how he painted Apple and Strawberry (gouache, 8×10) using a traditional brush, in combination with an airbrush, for a flawless finish.
1. Underpainting: I applied the gouache underpainting with a traditional brush. The colors are flat and there’s hardly any detail or shading.
2. Stenciling: Once the underpainting dried, I traced the apple on tracing paper and then put the tracing over a piece of newsprint. With an X-Acto knife, I cut out a newsprint stencil whose entire perimeter extended ¼-inch beyond that of the traced apple. (When cutting stencils, you may want to secure the tracing paper and newsprint to the glass with masking tape.) I attached the stencil over the underpainted apple and then used thin drafting tape to cover the ¼–inch border around the apple. This enabled me to apply a crisp, controlled airbrush spray and also helped keep the stencil attached to the painting.
3. Freehand Spraying: After removing the stencil of the apple, I used freehand spraying to create the cast shadows of the strawberry and apple, as well as the shading on the strawberry.
4. Detailing With Brushes: With watercolor brushes I added details—leaves, apple stem, highlights and some lighter accents in the background—thus finishing Apple and Strawberry (gouache, 8×10).
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