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chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Judi's amazing before and after tiger shots had me sharing with my family.  The tiger is blowing everyone away.  My sister had an airbrushing system from her college days that she used once or twice!  And she gave it to me!! :dance:  It looks brand new, in the box. Only problem is I have not a clue as where to begin.  I don't think my sister used it enough to know how to teach me anything really.


What's the best approach for the basics? What books do you suggest, classes, (do community colleges offer classes on airbrushing??), try to find a teacher??

I remember as a kid standing in the Surf Mall on Ocean City's boardwalk mesmerized by the guys airbrushing tshirts and jackets. I'd stand there forever and I always got a tshirt.


:hug:
~Chrissi

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Chrissi, That's great that you want to learn to airbrush.  I teach a basic class at North Country Teddy Bears.  I don't teach how to do the tigers but I do go through step by step how to prepare the paints and how to layer the various colors on a bear. 

If you can find a comminity college that teaches it that woudl be great.  There are some book s available but I can't comment on how good they are.  I attended a school that specailized mainly in airbrush art.  It is called the Gemini School of Fine Art and Airbrushing.  I am so glad I went there.  I learned so much.

You will need to practice practice practice a lot before attempting airbrushing on a bear.  Airbrushing is a strange feeling because your tool never touches the surface you are working on like when using a paintbrush.  If can master it youwill be amazed at what you can do with it.  bear_thumb

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

I wouldn't even attempt to massacre a poor tiger or bear with my beginners splattering!!  :crackup:  But I think I may just look into the online class and be perfectly happy learning the skills with tshirts...this year will be "Merry Christmas here's a tshirt" :crackup: he he he   

I'm going to look into what's available in my area too. 

I do a lot of cake decorating with small detailing so I'm use to the sensation of a tool not touching the "canvas" as your working bear_original I'm sure it's not quite exactly the same.

Thanks Judi!

:hug:
~Chrissi

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Hi Chrissi,

While I have never tackled an air brushing project as involved as Judi's fabulous tiger (although someday I may as I have a brother who loves tigers), I have been using an air brush to accent my bears for about seven years now. I would say just play with it to get a feel for it. First, I airbrushed on fabric, paper towels and even purchased an inexpensive plush bear to try it out. Different fabrics will take color differently. Mohair seems to "grab" the color more easily than alpaca, and alpaca accepts color better than most synthetics. The paint I like to use is Dye-Na Flo silk paint by Jaquard. It really works well on the mohair.
Of course if you can take Judi's class, it would be great, too. Anytime you take a class you get a head start because you get to learn from the instuctor's experience as well as your own!

Have Fun bear_thumb ,
Tami

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Tami,  I just wanted to drop in and say I'm a HUGE fan of your bears. You are very talented. The expressions you capture and the feet you do are wonderful.

Chrissi, all I can say if go for it, take Judi's class, or just buy some paint, read the manual if you can and go for it.

Show us pictures.................... :clap:

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

Chrissi, I looked on North Bear, and Judi's starting an airbrush class next week!  Its too soon for me to join, but as you've got the supplies at hand....I'd say go for it  bear_thumb   If you've all ready 'airbrushed' cakes, I'll bet you've got a leg up on knowing how to do this airbrushing.  I can't join this time....but I'll certainly be in the next class!  I wanna learn this too as it looks like soooooo much fun  :love:

TamiE...I peeked at your teds, and they're adorable!!!   bear_flower Its so nice to see the larger, more huggable size, and your tootsies on your teds are amazing  bear_happy

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Chrissi, sounds like with your cake decoarating you have a great head start, so you're on you're way girl! :dance:  :dance:  :dance:

Tami, Welcome to Teddy Talk.  My apologies for not saying "hi" in the new members area...I have been on vacation for a week.  I have to say that I simply LOVE your panda bear!  Just beautiful!

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Judi, Debbie, and Heather, hello and thanks for the welcome and complements on my bears! I love Teddy Talk! I've been trying to check out as many folk's websites and workas I can. So much "eye candy", this could really become addicting. I may have to set a time limit for myself so I still get my own bears done.
Tami

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

Thanks for all of the great feed back guys!!  Tami- Love the toes on your bears! (just saw Deb commented on too!)  It is completely addictive out here! bear_grin

Judi- What paints do you recommend for the class??  I've been poking around online and a lot of sites say Golden..the class has another paint specified (Createx Airbrush Colors).  Which is going to to create best use and results or they comparable??  I'm a real "chemical exposure" nut..so I like what I saw on Golden's site so far...Createx doesn't give a label to read (toxicity stuff).  The Dyes Tami mentioned read as non-toxic as well.

Thanks for any additional info!!
:hug:
~Chrissi

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Chrissi, The Createx brand of paints is what I recommend to start eith becase they flow very smoothly with very little preparation.  They are acrylic based and say "Non-Toxic" on the side of the bottle.  Alsmost any kind of paint will run through an airbrush with the rigth preparations but I find the acrylics give me great results.

Bonnie Mountain Dreamer Bears
wooly woods of Missouri, USA
Posts: 1,538

Well, I've been dabbling with my airbrush, trying to find what works for me. so far it has been hit and miss. I tried Creatix and thought it made my fabric scrap stiff. Has anyone else had this problem with Creatix or is it just me?

I've dug out my artist acrylics and will play them next. There is no doubt Judi gets fabulous results with them! Judi, one of these days I reallyneed to take your class I just don't have the $$ right now. bear_sad

Tami, I have been wanting to try airbrushing with Dye-Na Flo silk paints and even more so now that I've seen your lovely bears and the results you get.  I don't know if my dryer gets hot enought to set them though. How do you set yours?

so much to learn, so little time...

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Hi, Bonnie,
For me the Createx paint makes the fur a little stiff too. I wondered if I was putting it on to heavy, but when I was introduced to the dye na flow dyes, they worked so well I didin't think about it much more. The dye na flow stays fairly soft ( I think you will notice a slight change in the fur's softness no matter which paint you use.) On the ultraseude you can't feel the paint at all.
When I did my avitar panda's eye patches I had to put the dye na flow on pretty heavy ( in several layers not all at once) so it is a little stiff there. As I said before the alpaca doesn't accept the color as well as mohair and he's alpaca. Since it was so close to his eyes---not an area you touch a lot--I didn't feel it detracted from the bear, though. 
Whew! I'm long winded! Now to answer your question! I just set my hair dryer on high and take a fairly close aim at each of the airbrushed areas and hold it there for about two minutes. No bouncing around in a dryer for my bears--if they take after me, they'd probably throw up! bear_wacko  bear_wacko

Bonnie Mountain Dreamer Bears
wooly woods of Missouri, USA
Posts: 1,538

HI Tami,
Thanks for the input! I am very interested in the dyna-flo paint and plan to try them as well as artist acrylics and see how I like them. I agree with you that any paint is bound to change the feel of the fabric at least a bit. I guess it's just a matter of minimizing that as much as possible and finding what you personally get the best results with.

No bouncing around in a dryer for my bears--if they take after me, they'd probably throw up!

Me too! bear_laugh  Hee hee. This gave me a visual that had me giggling for a while. I don't let my bears bounce around in the dryer either. My dryer has a nifty rack that goes in the middle of the drum so you can set things on it to dry without them being tumbled.

Thanks again! bear_flower

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Hi Bonnie.  I would never put a bear in the dryer...ouch!  bear_shocked  bear_wacko  bear_wacko  bear_wacko  bear_wacko  That would hurt!  When using a hair-dryer I would keep it moving and  like Tami said for a few minutes.

One way to really avoid "feeling" the paint afterwards is to build up your layers very slowly and lightly.   Airbrushing should dry on contact or almost be dry on contact...otherwise it will be stiff.   I wish you could feel my tiger...all you feel is the mohair.  It takes me around four hours to airbrush a tiger...whereas it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to do the accents on a bear. bear_thumb

K Pawz Guest

Wow this is an awesome thread....hubby has given me his airbrush from his model airplane days, and keeps saying he is going to teach me how to use it, but you know how this story goes, so it is still sitting in the drawer.....I would love to learn the proper way to use it, and then of course go on to learn how to use it on my bears.

If Chip sells on eBay I just may sign up for that class Judi!!!! I just did my monthly withdraw from my paypal account, so I have to wait for it to replenish itself now!!! I have made it a rule that bears pay for bear stuff, and I don't touch the household money for bears, so if I want to keep the peace here I have to stick to the rule. :crackup: Hopefully it isn't too let to register if he sells.

Hugs,
Krista

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

I airbrushed the first bears after we got the airbrush. Then after that I left it up to mom.
Let's just say I value my life... :crackup:
I need to buy my own... bear_whistle
Next time I have some money... bear_wacko
If the paint ever gets stiff mom just brushes it out with a fingertip brush.
I like to airbursh when I can. I would rather do it myself.
There were some dyes that I found on dickblick.com that are steam set that I would like to try airbrushing.
All it takes is money.

Judi is the master of the airbrush!

Bonnie Mountain Dreamer Bears
wooly woods of Missouri, USA
Posts: 1,538
Judi wrote:

I would never put a bear in the dryer...ouch!

Truly, I DON"T bounce my bears around in the dryer!!  Bear abuse! Yikes.  I would never do that.  They just sit quietly and STILL on the rack as the air circulates around them.  I just wanted to be clear so no one thinks I put my bears through that!! :wacko:

Judi wrote:

One way to really avoid "feeling" the paint afterwards is to build up your layers very slowly and lightly.   Airbrushing should dry on contact or almost be dry on contact...otherwise it will be stiff.   I wish you could feel my tiger...all you feel is the mohair.  It takes me around four hours to airbrush a tiger...whereas it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to do the accents on a bear.

Ah! Thank you Judi! I must be too heavy handed with it. I will work on lightening up and muddle along until I can take your class.  Practise, practise, practise!

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Ah Bonnie, you have one of those dryers!  How wonderful!  I wish I had one.  That is perfect.
You've got...practice, practice, practice....then when you're done practicing...practice some more.  You can only get better and better with practice.

Also, begginers do tend to spray heavy and I think this may be because of the excitment and anxiouness to see instant result.  Heck, I'm like that too...I still want  rush at times and have to force myself to go   s l o w l y   and lighlty.  It takes longer to see the results but well worth taking you time to achieve them.

As long as anyone wants to learn and I here to help, and so is the class.  They are continuously run.

Jared, you made my day! :hug:  :hug:  :hug:   I would love to see some of your airbrushing.

clare14 Country Bears
England
Posts: 3,066
Website

So just to reiterate, with regard to the heat setting, do you all use a hair dryer??   And can I use normal artist acrylics (you know the ones in the tubes) with a fabric medium to make it a fabric paint? 

Am I complicating matters?   :crackup:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379
clare14 wrote:

So just to reiterate, with regard to the heat setting, do you all use a hair dryer??   And can I use normal artist acrylics (you know the ones in the tubes) with a fabric medium to make it a fabric paint? 

Am I complicating matters?   :crackup:

Bonnie you are not complicating anything! :hug:   We all learn from questions.

The artist acrylics in tubes are great paints to use.  Buy the high quality brands like Liquetexx  or Golden.  I am sure there are others but I have had super results with these. They flow beautifully through my airbrush.
  You will need to water them down, and possibly need to strain them with an old piece of a nylon stocking.  Just stretch it over the jar you are mixing the paints with water. The umbers and siennas tend to be gritty and can more easliy clog an airbrush.  Also,  a little goes a very long way so you won't need to mix much.

I also can't over emphazie how important it is to airbrush LIGHTLY  in LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS.  The paint should dry on contact for the best results. This way you will not feel the paint.  A hair dryer works great for heat setting but honestly...when will you never actually wash a bear?  Infact , when I wash the towels I pre-spray on, the paint never washes out.  It's permanent.

Never feel badly about asking questions :hug:  :hug:  :hug:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

oh..PS...no need for fabric mediums.  Use the paints as they are in the tubes just watered down so they flow nicely. bear_thumb

K Pawz Guest

So now that hubby has given me a new airbrush for Christmas I am going to pick up some paints tomorrow to play with, along with register for the next class at NCTB with Judi....

Question though, I see Createx mentioned, but was wondering what is used to thin it for bears, water? Hubby says he used to thin with isopropyl alcohol as it dries on contact (Models) but I worry that the alcohol would hurt the bear...advice?

Hugs,
Krista

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

oooh how exciting can't wait to see the results!!

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

bear_thumb I've been avidly reading this as I'm still waiting before I can take airbrushing.  ...sigh...but there's so many great tips on here all ready!! 

Thank you Judi!!!  :hug: And everyone who's been asking these great questions!!! :hug:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I am so glad this thead has helped Debbie.  I just know you'll be very pleased with the results you get with airbrushing.


I am looking forward to trying out my new compressor.  I have used a CO2 tank for more than 20 years but decided to give an Iawata compressor a try. 

Deb if you ever have any questions at all I would be very happy to help in any way I can.

Happy painting!

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