File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 50


To: <puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 13:59:16 -0500
Subject: [Puptcrit] Airbrushes: try before you buy!


Airbrushes (specially for Nancy),
 
I reccomend you REALLY try before you buy.
I dreamed of one intensively for years. Ever since I realised it was possible to go beyound that annoying blurry soft eighties look. To me that style looked as cold and impersonal as most computer 3D animations looked int he beggining.
I like grain, grit, dirt and coarseness in Art. 
Anyways, I bought two airbeush magazines, and saw great stuff in there, more real than real, with all the particulars I was after.

Then I tried an airbrush at school, in printmaking class. It was a really cheap bad one, so I figured I'd reserve my judgement until I tried "the real stuff". Years later a friend of mine lent me his compressor and airbrush, with genuine badger paints. They were gathering dust. He wanted me to buy them.
I tried, was able to learn pretty good control of it in an afternoon.
That it was so easy surprised me quite a bit, but what impressed me most was that I hated to work with it. I've never hated anything I was good at before!

I can't appreciate a tool if I feel no connection with the surface.
You are painting with air, you can't feel the surface pushing back!
Touch is a sense I can't work without. 
Even with a computer mouse, I feel a bit detached, although less so than the airbrush, since there is a physical contact with "some" surface.

That is why airbrushing to me was a detached way of working, I feel something is missing, no matter how time-saving the process is.
I still have that airbrush here, have suedit twice in two years. Second time was just to make sure I hadn't had a temporary lapse of judgement the year before.
Nope, still hate the stuff.

In the context of working for someone else, I will not refuse to use an airbrush if a particular job calls for it, but I know I'll be craving my paintbrushes!
It's totally okay for basecoating, though, since I don't need subtlety of touch for this.

-my two cents
I don't want to demonize airbrushes, I love the results of some great artists with it, but it's just completely against my nature of working.





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