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Took the plunge after many years of oil painting....

Discussion in 'Introductions!' started by Franc Kaiser, Mar 22, 2018.


  1. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Double Actioner

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    Hello everybody

    I am a 42 year old Swiss, living and working in China since nearly 2 decades. I have been an oil painter since I was around 18. I got increasingly frustrated with the slow process of using oil on canvas. Furthermore, I always wanted to try out AB as my fellow compatriot H.R. Giger is one of my favorite artists.

    So, a couple of weeks ago, I went the cheapest route possible and bought a Chinese no-name airbrush (that comes with a 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5mm needle), and a small portable diaphragm compressor… for a total of around USD 30. I wanted to see whether AB is for me, and if does live up to its promise, but wanted to learn things from ground up, and not take the risk of wasting (or damaging) a high-end brush such a Micron or Infinity.

    I spent a couple of evenings trying out the equipment – well, I spent 80% of the time disassembling, cleaning, and fixing the airbrush. I got what I paid for, obviously, but I still found the experience worthwhile. I wrongly installed the trigger. I damaged the needle. I broke off the nozzle. And so on! In terms of spray quality, the Chinese airbrush is admittedly a piece of excrement, making a consistent (non-dotted) line impossible, and often it sprayed and stained without any real control. I found it to be more of a color “thrower” than a color sprayer. The only thing that kept working was the small compressor, albeit at very low and rather pulsing pressure rates.

    Anyway, the outcome of my first few evenings painting on a large cardboard sheet is attached. I tend to switch off my consciousness and simply paint what comes to mind, without sketching, and without stencils or masks. Typically, the results are organic shapes of some sort. I only use 2 colors, Golden High Flow carbon black and titanium white, plus a lot of water to thin / stretch the color.

    A week ago I have upgraded slightly… I bought a Sparmax Sp-20x, which does provide much better control and consistent lines. However, due to the better airbrush, my small mini compressor is now suffering much more, pulsing with decreasing rate the longer I use it. I will need to buy a decent compressor soon to achieve stronger pressure and consistent airflow, but I like the simplicity (and also, relatively noiseless) of the thing, so I guess I will keep using it until it completely dies. So far, it worked ok for around 15 hours total, sometimes several hours in a row.

    I found this forum to be really good and value-added, and hope to share my own experiences and questions with all you folks out there!
    file-21s.jpg
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  2. Samantha Freeman

    Samantha Freeman Banned

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    Welcome to the forum from Canada. Nice pic btw it has a feel of H.R. Giger. He is one of my favorite too :)
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  3. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Welcome Franc. Sounds like you’ve already had some fun with the kit you’ve got, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with sampling it through a cheap setup, but there’s no surprise that you already upgraded the brush LOL. Nice piece by the way, it has a very Giger feel to it already.


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  4. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Hi Franc, welcome to the forum, i do like your doodle, its very Giger'esque and he is one of my favourites too, I painted an alien themed crash helmet some years ago. I'm glad you got a better airbrush, Sparmax are pretty decent kit which you can see from the painting. Sorry you had to find out the hard way with the airbrushes though, this is unfortunately the more common result however you do sometimes get a good airbrush in the kit. The compressor will be ok as a short term option but you do need to upgrade to something better if you want to continue on a more serious level. They tend to get very hot after about 15 - 20 minutes and so you need to give them a rest. Not sure what you have on your side of the world but look for something with a decent size tank and noise below 60db 'ish for nice quiet sessions. Golden paints are good, you will always get more trouble with black and white paint no matter what brand due to the pigment load, but like you already have done, thin them down and they will flow much better. Not sure if there is a specific reducer/thinner for golden but if there is then get some as it will help the paint perform. Anyway enjoy your stay with us, if you need help you may find your answer with the search function but if you can't, then feel free to post up your question and someone will get back to you pretty quickly, we have a real worldwide membership here.

    Lee
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  5. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Double Actioner

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    Thank you, Samantha
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  6. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Double Actioner

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    Thank you, SiRoxx
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  7. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Double Actioner

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    Thank you Lee . I agree that a small compressor is not a sustainable solution. The painting I posted I made actually with the Chinese airbrush (almost couldn't finish as the brush died during the process ) - I still have to break in the Sparmax. Also, I agree that a medium helps to bind the color together (and avoid a flat appearance) - i saw that GOLDEN offers a Flow Gloss Medium or something called like that - i will need to check that one out.
  8. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish "The Hi-Line Bandit" Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Hello and welcome to the forum from Canada Franc :)
    I believe Mr. Giger has had an positive impact on a lot of the users on this forum ( I know he has for me). He was nothing short of a genius.
    H.R Giger Fun Fact:
    When Giger would have an art show in a town new to him, he would often visit the cemetery. While there he would inspect the gravestones and would take note of the family surnames. The more elaborate memorials were the ones he would remember. These families were his focus because they had money to spend.
    I look forward to seeing more of your work Franc and the pic you posted definetly has a biomorphic/Giger tone.
    Welcome aboard
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  9. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Nice factoid!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  10. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Welcome to the forum, aka O.A.F. or madhouse as its know by some:D! Looks like your catching on fast with your oil painting background it will help a lot on the colors and layers used in Airbrushing too. Enjoy yourself and if you can't find what your looking for just ask and someone will be along to help you out in your new Quest!
  11. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Welcome aboard, Franc! That's a nice painting. You're off to a good start already :)
  12. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Welcome from New Zealand. Good to see your learning curve! I'll look forward to seeing more of your work.
  13. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    Welcome to the forum!
  14. Micha der Wolf

    Micha der Wolf Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Welcome! Nice style!

    Gesendet von meinem SM-G390F mit Tapatalk
  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Welcome aboard Franc,

    learning with a generic brush is what a lot of us did, its a bit like your first car, you never buy the Ferarri, you just know youre going to put a scratch on it and put a dent or two in a panel before to long :)

    with your art background you will find the learning curve a little less than some of us and once you get your PSI & reductions dialled in i think you'll find it great fun.

    Be warned, this hobby can be addictive :)
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  16. Samantha Freeman

    Samantha Freeman Banned

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    I don't think addictive is a strong enough word . . . . consuming? maybe? :evil: It will consume you all mwa ha ha lol
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  17. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

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    Yeah don't worry about buying a cheap chinese airbrush- you coulda bought a Paasche! lol
  18. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Double Actioner

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    So true! There is something about the whole craft, equipment, procedure that’s very absorbing and fascinating.
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  19. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Addictive and consuming lol, i spend way to much time looking at airbrushes/ paint etc i dont need,
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  20. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    No you need all of them ....
    Yes cause it is like the hunt for the Holy grail on finding that one airbrush that is magic when it hits your hand and that paint that never ever has tip dry and flows so sweet :D
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