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We all know that edges in nature are not always perfectly sharp and crisp. On the other hand, not every edge is a big fuzzy blur. Oftentimes, edges (transitions) are between hard and soft.  Freehand airbrushing will create edges that can be too soft, and stencils can create edges that are too sharp. We need an easy way to create intermediate edges. The...

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Have you ever wondered why many great artists seem to be modest about their work, and less-competent artists tend to have over-inflated egos? You've probably noticed that some great artists don't recognize their high skill level.  They are so focused on improving their work that all they see are the mistakes in their work. Never satisfied, they are constantly trying to overcome...

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Where does ability come from? We've all seen the child prodigy who dazzles the world with a display of extraordinary skill, which we often refer to as talent. We imagine that this child emerged from the womb immediately able to amaze us. But is this ability a talent or is it a result of practice? Did the child's genes or their...

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I'm often asked, why do you prefer to paint photorealistically? Why not just take a picture? I take it to mean, why copy a photograph if a camera can do the same thing? To be honest, I don't see a purpose in competing with the camera. It's a wonderful recording device.So why paint photorealistic imagery? 1. Gratification. There is something...

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Recently I saw an advertisement for a freehand stencil, and I wondered how is this possible? The very act of using a mask is a denial of freehand, and the definition of freehand means to spray without a mask. This made me realize that there must be a major misunderstanding of the concept of freehand airbrushing and the use of...

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Mistakes are inevitable. Sometimes we unintentionally go too dark. If you've ever attempted to correct a mistake on a portrait painting using white (or any other light opaque paint), you will encounter a color shift that moves everything towards blue. How it beganIn the world of airbrushing, this "blueshift" remained a mystery for a long time. It wasn't until the...

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Airbrushes produce overspray. Plain and simple. For those who work indoors, overspray is a dangerous lung hazard, and it can linger in the air for hours. We all know that a proper mask offers protection from overspray, but masks are often not worn for a variety of reasons.    Here is a simple way to reduce your exposure to overspray of...

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Rather than simply list the tools I use, I thought it more helpful to explain WHY I choose this equipment.  Airbrush: Iwata CM-SB. I prefer the CM-SBv1 compared to the newer CM-SBv2, because it doesn't have the tall square trigger. But even more importantly, the older version 1 has a slightly smoother trigger operation, in part due to its free-floating auxillary...

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There are many ways to learn how to paint, with each method having pros and cons. Here we will examine and compare methods of learning. Most emerging artists give up out of frustration, and never attain their dreams of artistic excellence. Why? Because there is so much knowledge that is needed to gain command over the image, and it takes...

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If we are going to paint a object, we often need to be able to identify the color of that object at some point. It's not always as straightforward as it sounds, and there are several ways to describe how to identify the color of an object. Local color is the natural color of an object unmodified by adding reflections,...

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