Scale Aviator International Magazine Issue 3 | Page 56

MASTER CLASS in PILOT PAINTING with an equal amount of Windex. Yep! plain old Windex window cleaner. The Windex thins the acrylic and helps keep it from drying so quickly when it goes through the airbrush. Airbrush the skin color in very thin layers. It is better to do multiple thin layers than one thick, and usually runny, one. This should give us a very even base coat without obliterating all that nice detail I sculpt into Best Pilots faces. It also gives the surface a microscopic “tooth” for the Pastels in the next step to cling to. Don t forget to clean your airbrush when complete. If one could only invent an airbrush that didn t need to be cleaned he would be a millionaire! Pastels? Since I paint a lot of pilots, I need to do it fairly quickly. Using pastels or chalk, is the quickest technique I have found thus far to achieve that subtle airbrushed look. People think Pastels are not very lightfast or durable, but they actually are the most durable medium in the art world since they are practically pure pigment. When applied, it is surprisingly durable, but becomes permanent only when under a protective clear coat. Pastel colors we need - Burnt Umber, Dark Rose, Burnt Sienna, Light Ochre, Orange, Red. Using a ne piece of Sandpaper as a pallet, grind some of the chalk onto the sandpaper creating a ne dust of pigment. I hate to admit it, but I found that using a make-up brush (gasp) works very well for this part, because as much as my he-manliness detest the idea, applying this pigment is a lot like, well - is exactly like, applying -dare I say- make-up! Never mind getting thrown out of the RC “he-man club” for applying “make-up” to your pilot, when they see how good he looks, they will let you back in. Load the brush with Burnt Umber dust and lightly brush anywhere there is a shadow area on the head; eye sockets, nostrils, under the chin, under the helmet all the way around the neck and a little around the eyebrows. This area around the eyebrows will help the painted on eyebrows blend in to the face better. Subtlety is the KEY here! You don t want to see a big change. My rule is as soon as I see the color start to change, STOP. HE should look like he was down in a coal mine for about 20 minutes, not all day! A very realistic effect that makes separates the men from the boys. - If you become very observant about the subtle changes in color in people s faces, you will see that most men (and some women in Arkansas!) have varying degrees of a beard shadow. I think this shade helps make the gure look the most “real”. Dust on the Burnt Umber to simulate shaved facial hair. The heavier the application the more “surly” your pilot will look. I would err on 56