Triggering the airbrush haters

When I posted my paintings to social media groups in the past, I was met with a hail of hostile remarks disparaging photorealism, claiming it wasn't real art, or that there was no point to creating it. They also accused me of posting photos and claiming that my posts are paintings, using words like "con man," or "fraudster."

It seems that the loudest criticisms always came from those who were the least capable. The louder the criticism, the more artistically-challenged was the detractor. This was verified by an examination of their online work.

I had several responses to these critics as to why I paint photorealism. The principle reasons were as follows:

Because it's fun
Because it's a challenge
Because it's difficult
Because I can

I suppose these might be the same reasons for climbing a mountain. 

At first, I was bothered by these attacks, but I later came to understand that their skepticism was a form of flattery. Even so, there were rude detractors who demanded that I demonstrate proof that I painted the images I posted. When I posted step by step images, they refused to accept it as evidence, and demanded video instructing them on how to paint it as if I somehow owed them that.

Needless to say, I did not suffer those rude individuals by offering them more. To the contrary, I offered even less proof, and let them stew.

The Ai police

Now, a new wave of accusers has surfaced regarding my experiments into other styles, such as pre-Raphaelite work and Alphonse Mucha paintings. What is most amusing is that they are making the exact same accusations as the former detractors, and demand proof that I painted the images posted. They are completely blanking out the step-by-step images I've posted as well as the testimonials from former students who posed with the original paintings. A few have even offered "proof" that my paintings were not paintings and were only Ai creations.

Again, this is all quite flattering, and I think it will be a new challenge for me to trigger these haters and see if I can continue to fool their "Ai detectors."

The real trigger

On the surface, it appears that the hatred towards photorealism originates from a deep-seated disdain for representational art. However, many of these detractors appear to attempt realism too. The origin of their hatred has more to do with their own self-esteem, where they feel threatened by paintings more true to life than their own.

The same goes for those who screech at anything that they feel resembles Ai. They feel threatened by Ai because the quality of Ai is beyond their reach, whereas the photorealists simply regard Ai as just another source of reference. For myself, I have borrowed some strong color palettes from Ai, as well as inspiration for compositions. To the haters, taking inspiration from something digital that I didn't create myself is a sin. However, the same can be said for when they use photographs taken by people other than themselves. 

They just haven't accepted their own hypocrisy.  ;-)


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FCB from D.C.

May 09, 2024



Where to Begin ???!!!

What I am about to write is not a saving grace, you’ll know it is the truth
as a Creative Professional.

First and Foremost, allow me to introduce myself.

I was introduced to airbrush when I was fourteen (14) years old taking a professional advertising art class on the vocational level in Washington, D.C. from Carleton T. Washburn who taught the only advertising art class in the United States at the time on the high school level circa 1969 – 70.

I am now 68 years young and still in love with airbrush as the day I was 1st introduced to the airbrush by Mr. Washburn.

Although, I have an enormous amount of equipment, I don’t use the airbrush anymore for reasons, I will state later in this communication pertaining to
the lack of OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 by Vendors,
to include, DRU BLAIR SCHOOL of Airbrush and YOUR STAFF.

Suffice it to say, Mr. Washburn is the only real instruction I had in my life…

I’m essentially “SELF TAUGHT” incorporating the best tried and true teaching methodology of teaching art ‘Copying The Work of a Master’.

I literally learned ZERO, NADA, NOTHING, ZILCH in College as most of the instructors in college where simply Professional Students with No Real World Experience in the industry !!!

If they did have experience they were low level paying jobs or they were freelancing for small studios, agencies and Government Agencies.

Not to put this type of work down, just to say, they didn’t have much to offer accept the process of creation is different from school working on fake projects
opposed to the the real world where the process is different dealing with clients.

In reference to SKILL SET and TECHNIQUE they had nothing to offer…

Meaning, Mr. Washburn was the Genuine, Authentic, Unadulterated, Real McCoy, “Teacher”.

If I had to label Mr. Washburn, he was an “OLE MASTER” on The Supreme Grand Master Level, such as, yourself.

If you wanted to Airbrush, Glass, Chrome, Water, Marble, etc. Mr. Washburn
would show you the technique and give you the color theory, instructing you to try various color theories, such as, monochromatic, analogous color theory, tertiary color theory, etc.

We did everything by Hand !!!


ALL TYPOGRAPHY was DRAWN by HAND using a Typography Book as Reference.

A very large Industrial Air Compressor was screwed to the floor that sounded
like a WAR ZONE or CAPE CANAVERAL where Rockets were launched into Space. When the Compressor got hot it did nothing but sputter and spite, there
was No Water Trap designed at the time to siphon water from being mixed into the paint.

Paint at the time, was GOOD OLE FASHION “TEMPERA” Paint !!!

The most DIFFICULT STUFF in the World to work with other than “FINGER PAINTING” !!!

Mr. Wasburn, wholeheartedly advised the class to use WINSOR & NEWTON
water color paints, state of the art, at the time, best of the best.

There was No Frisket in those days !!!

Our Airbrush was several High End “THAYER and CHANDLER”, Double Action Airbrushes. Considered the Best Brand at the time, better than Paasche
which we also had in the class.

I preferred the Passche single action airbrush which was the first I purchased
at 14 yrs. old.

I still own that airbrush today along with my Favorite Airbrush “DEVILBISS SUPER 63” !!!


Mr. Washburn taught that class for 38 years. I spent one year with Mr. Washburn
and learned three years of class room instruction in one year, which was the Primary Advertising Art Program, i.e. Illustration, The Principals and Elements of Design, Typography, Life Drawing, (Anatomy) which included, Advertising THEORY.

Class began at 7:00 AM every morning Monday thru Friday
we worked until 12;00 PM spending 5 hours in Advertising Art everyday.

After lunch we had Advertising Art Theory where we learned Industry Techniques, later attending, Math, English, Science and Physical Education Classes. it was also Mandatory you enroll in the Cadet Program which today would be ROTC, Reserved Officers Training Program. You could only be exempt from the Cadet Program with a Medical Execuse, sound familiar doesn’t it.

We worked from an Advertising Job Book of 100 Briefs that had to be completed in three years.

Only one person in 38 years completed the entire 100 job brief !!!

Once you Graduated from Mr. Washburn’s Class you didn’t have to attend College you were Industry Ready and Ready for the World. You received
complete Training from Mr. Washburn who was an Associate of Norman Rockwell…

Mr. Washburn had a placement program for his Senior Students many employed in The United States leading Advertising Agencies, Design, Firms, Consultancies,
Department Store, Advertising Art Departments, from “A” to “Z” including Disney, Advertising, Design, and Promotion Departments.

Yes, Yes, Yes, I wanted to be an ILLUSTRATOR, Norman Rockwell, and Austin Briggs, Steven Dohanoes, George Giusti and AL Parker were my heroes.

For my Personal Taste and Edification, like every child growing up wanting to know someone with the same surname as them that were Famous, AUSTIN BRIGGS became my HERO. He was the most Versatile and Dynamic Illustrator associated with the Famous Artist School who you couldn’t PIGEON HOLE with a TECHNIQUE, LOOK, or STYLE.

AUSTIN BRIGGS was a Master of the Airbrush !!!

You knew a Rockwell when you saw it immediately.

You knew AL Parker’s work when you saw it immediately.

You could tell, GEORGE GIUISTI’s work when you saw it, he was an Illustrator
that Designed. Magazine Covers was his Forte, Mr. Giuisti was a noted airbrush
aficionado incorporating airbrush in many of his Illustration and Designs.

You could tell a Steven Dohanoes Illustration a mile away, it was entirely
airbrush, he didn’t hide his technique with SLIGHT OF HAND like BRIGGS.

Having cited the above, to set the tome for this communication with my knowledge and history of airbrush.

Being introduced to THE BAUHAUS in College, perhaps the only good thing
about College was my Introduction to the BAUHAUS by my Teacher, Abstract Miminalist, Yvonne Carter and Typography Teacher, H. K. RAMKISOON.

The Bauhaus changed my Life Forever concerning Illustration, Design, and Art as there was No Boundaries !!!

Circa 1985, I transcended to Corporate Identity, SAUL BASS, PAUL RAND, SUPER LOU DANZIGER being my Heroes.

I still loved the airbrush and was also looking at:



A.M. CASSANDRA = European Airbrush Illustrator, Designer Extraordinaire

JEAN CARLU = Poster Illustrator, Artist, Designer, Minimalist Auteur

TONI ZEPF = German Airbrush Illustrator, Designer Extraordinaire

JOSEPH BINDER = American Illustrator

GEORGE PETTY = No Words to Express my Love…

ALBERTA VARGAS = No Words to Express my Love…




BOB PEAK = ALL TIME FAVORITE = BEST OF THE BEST = Former FAMOUS ARTIST SCHOOL Instructor on the Board with Rockwell, BRIGGS, Dohanoes, Parker, etc.

SAUL BASS Commissioned Bob Peak to Illustrate the Poster for West Side Story.

DREW STRUZAN = ALL TIME FAVORITE = KING of Movie Poster Design next to SAUL BASS, however Drew is not a better Poster Designer than SAUL BASS !!!


PHILLIP CASTLE = MY ALL TIME FAVORITE / Bought the DEVILBISS AEROGRAPH SUPER 63 because of him… over Charlie White, promotion and use of IWATA.


You have to understand my Love for these Airbrush Illustrators, this was the ERA when ALBUM COVERS and MOVIE POSTERS was the END ALL BE ALL including THE HIGHEST PEAK and PINNACLE in Illustration before Illustration
Died as an Art !!!

I will not include ALL THE FAR EAST Illustrators that took Airbrushing to another Level changing how we use the airbrush forever which gave birth
to my Current Favorite Airbrush, Illustrator, Artist, SUPER GRANDMASTER of Airbrush, SIR DRU BLAIR, which EVERY HEAD MUST BOW and EVERY TONGUE must confest if the GREATEST AIRBRUSH ARTIST working today teaching his methodology.

Nobody wants Competition which is WHY they DO NOT TEACH nor REVEAL their “TRADE SECRETS” as Mr. Washburn used to say…

The Conclusion of this communication…

Mr. Blair, I believe your lack of International RENOWN not being a "HOUSE-HOLD name has to do with EXPOSURE, although I have most of your Articles Published in Magazines.

During the time you came along there was and still is a DISDAIN for AIRBRUSH.

It’s the same, as most People watching Basketball DO NOT like the 3 point shot, due to the fact, The 3 point shot Revolutionized Basketball brought in from The ABA, American Basketball Association when the NBA, National Basketball Association and ABA merges circa 1976

I wrote on the Internet nearly 20 yrs. as a contributor to Famous Design Blogs.

I can tell you most of these people writing on these blogs are a bunch of MISERABLE "SOB’s who have never accomplished anything in their lives.

They have very little training, you are correct you can judge the Mastery of Creative Profession by their work Posted online which is laughable at BEST !!!

Suffice it to say, those that have TALENT and TRAINING haven’t had The Best Instruction; there-in lies the problem !!!

School can screw you up, meaning Colleges and Universities, including Art Schools.

One doesn’t get the benefit of knowing who the Instructors are at a Univ’t or College before they enroll.

If you are a Realist, Portrait Painter, Figure Painter or Photorealist and you enroll in a school who’s Painting Instruction staff are Primarily “ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST” you’re Screwed.

You will not get the Instruction nor Attention you need !!!

Unfortunately, this has been the business model of many State and Local Art and Design Schools, including Renowned Art and Design Schools.

Due to the Personal Computer taking over Visual Communication, the HAND CRAFT, SKILL SET isn’t taught anymore.

Drawing is an after – thought and not stressed anymore in favor of computer generated work.

Most of the Kids going to these FAMOUS Art and Design Schools paying enormous fees for instruction aren’t learning anything !!!

Just read the complaints on noted Art and Design Blogs.

These Teachers are making an enormous salary and the kids feel they are getting RIPPED OFF, the teachers aren’t teaching them anything except grading them on classroom assignments.

I’m speaking on noted Art and Design Schools, including, State and Local Colleges and Universities.

With all the Distractions today, Internet, Social Media, Gaming, nobody has time
to Practice and Master a SKILL SET and TECHNIQUE !!!

Did somebody say, “AI” not that ‘AI", I’m talking about “ALVIN IVERSON”, “YOU TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE” !!!

Back on Conversation concerning blogs, most of these people have an AXE TO GRIND due to their MISERY and will ATTACK anything with the ZEST and ZEAL of a RABID ANIMAL !!!

The Biggest Lesson I learned from Mr. Washburn concerning the Airbrush,
you really, really, really have to know how to Draw and Paint, meaning complete mastery, including color theory.


SIR DRU BLAIR, (Yes, you are Airbrush Royalty) You have to Learn to IGNORE the IGNORANT !!!
Conclusion: I have Respectfully stayed away from your courses online and in person due to age, being 68 with a Family it is difficult to get away.

My Interest in Airbrush as it has been for the last 20 years is to Master Fine Art Airbrush Painting, such as:







Others too numerous to mention.

Future reference I wish you would reach out to Williardson and White and many of the airbrush Luminaries I listed.

More over, I wish you would have a Video Interview with many of the Living Fine Art Airbrush Luminaries I have listed to discuss their work if not Technique.

Last and surely not least, I stopped airbrushing due to the Health Risk of Inhaling airborne paint.

I have an IONIZER with a Collection Plate, however it has stopped working.

This machines zapped paint particles out of the air rendering them negative collecting them on the plate or any surface in my apartment which could be wiped up with a damped cloth.

Although, most of the magazines back in the day, Airbrush Action and Airbrush Magazine which took over for airbrush action advertised Exhaust Fans for
Airbrush Artist or booths for Minature Figure Painting, many of those companies
are No Longer in Business…

I make a MORALE APPEAL to you Mr. Blair to use your RENOWN and CELEBRITY to EDUCATE your Students concerning the Health Risk of Airbrushing without the necessary OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health equipment which I never read on your website or heard you discuss.

At the same time, I make a MORAL APPEAL to you MR. BLAIR to use your CELEBRITY and RENOWN to Develop OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Equipment for Airbrush Artist, to include, IONIZER COLLECTION PLATES to ZAP PAINT PARTICLES out of the air collecting them on the plate, MASK with FILTERS and Purifiers supplying FRESH AIR to Airbrush Artist, Airbrush Booths,
and EXHAUST FANS for Airbrush Artist to be used in the Condos, Apartments and Homes.

If you Develop these Products MR. BLAIR I will surely come out of Retirement
not airbrushing in nearly 40 yrs.

Thank You for Your Time and Attention to this Matter.

FCB from D.C.

Craig Files

April 16, 2024

I agree 100% with everything you have stated, at least you haven’t been called a cult

Frank Wright

April 16, 2024

Hater’s are going to hate Dru. Keep doing what you do!
They’re just jealous because they can’t do it.

Robert Wright

April 16, 2024

One can always tell the true leader by the amount of arrows in his back.


May 09, 2024

Well Dru, having attended several of your workshops, I can vouch for the authenticity of your work. I’m still air brushing, but I doubt that I’ll long enough to ever achieve your level. “Haters” like the ones attacking you, are people incapable of accomplishing anything, especially anything of beauty. They praise “Jack the Dripper”, but claim Raphael was a hack. Your detractors would be challenged to complete a ‘paint-by-number’ work. Keep painting! You’re an inspiration to me and countless others.


Jorge Gálvez

April 16, 2024

Cuando una persona se vuelve consciente de su incapacidad y no lo puede manejar, recurre a mecanismos de defensa para resguardar su estima personal, tales como la negación o la racionalización. Si niegan la capacidad del otro y racionalizan que es imposible acanzar tales niveles de calidad, ello les permite manejar su displacer y ansiedad ante el desafio que representa reconocer la capacidad y calidad de otro artista. Felicidades Mtro. Blair.
Desde Toluca, México.

Tom Johnson

April 16, 2024


Curren John

April 16, 2024

Art has no boundaries , the limitation is in one’s own mind. Always good to have mastery of skills and continue learning from those who share their gift. Creativity is different all together and only with humility can we expand the boundaries of our imagination

Nick Knezic

April 16, 2024

“Haters Hate, Painters Paint”
The same haters that say airbrush art is not real art.

Katharine Andrews

April 16, 2024

I have to admit that I cringe when people refer to AI as art, that’s because it is computer generated rather than an artist creating it. However, as you have said it is good to use as a reference. I recently painted some pets, the photos given to me didn’t provide an image for a nice portrait. Once I had decided on a pose I was struggling with form and placement. I discovered what I needed looking at AI images, and just applied the pets individual features. So I agree, there is definitely a place for AI, but I still cringe when people call it art lol

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