How To Airbrush a Flower - Airbrush Guru

How To Airbrush a Flower

In this lesson we are going to paint a flower. This is another practice painting lesson where we’ll use all the airbrushing skills we’ve learned in basic airbrush lessons and introduce you to the concept of layering your colors. Written by Don Johnson, airbrush artist.

In this lesson we’ll work with a masking material commonly know as Frisket Film. Please remember that LESS paint is more, the least amount of paint you use the better off you will be.

Airbrush Supplies Required:

  • Good double action airbrush, gravity feed airbrush would work best for this but use whatever airbrush you have,
  • X-acto knife with several blades,
  • Frisk Film,
  • matt masking film a sheet 8 by 12 inches at least.
  • I used Strathmore Bristol Board 8 by 12 inches regular surface but you can use what you have on hand , illustration board etc.
  • Com-art colors Transparent Burnt Umber , Op. lime green , transparent cadmium yellow.

Step 1 Above : To come up with this flower design I used several different drafting French Curves; these you can buy at just about any office supply store. With the design laid out on the painting surface, apply Frisk masking film. Work any air bubbles out by working from the center out toward both sides.

Carefully cut the design out, use a new blade in your knife and you will hardly need to apply any pressure to cut the film; let the blade do the work your hand will follow your eyes. Cut the design out so that pencil lines are inside the area you will be painting; do this so you can ease the pencil lines as you pull the Frisk Film off too paint.

As you pull the frisk film off be sure to ease any pencil lines showing. Make sure you keep the Frisk backing paper to store the Frisk cut outs on as we will be replacing some of them later.

Start by pulling the center and stem Frisk off first. Make a reference mark on the center frisk film as we will replace it back on the center. Now using transparent Burnt Umber airbrush an area of shading into the center, leave the very center much lighter as the sides are in the shade much more than the center would be.

Chose which direction your light source will be coming from and apply your Burnt Umber accordingly. Use a darker color like the Burnt Umber and it will make that area seem further in the background (it’s a cool color).

Leaving the center white will pull that area forward in your painting helping to define the center of the flower as being closer. Use the lime green on the stem; here you want both side’s darker with the center of the stem lighter. This should appear to push both sides back and the center of the stem forward.

Step 2 Above: With the Cadmium Yellow, airbrush color into the center of the flower and down the very middle of the stem to warm that area, bring it forward. The yellow being a warm color will trick the human eye into bringing that part of the painting forward. Replace the center and stem Frisk Film.

Step 3 Above: With the Frisk Film replaced in the center of the flower and on the stem pull the upper most peddle Frisk Film off (upper most being upper as I have airbrushed above).

Use Lime Green to add shading where the peddle goes under the center of the flower and to give the peddle some form. Pull the next Frisk Film off and do the same; I do not replace the Frisk Film as I move on too airbrush the next peddle. Use low PSI and over spray will not be an issue; 10 to 12 psi.

The goal with these practice painting’s is for you to learn to control your airbrush; the best way to do this is get that air pressure down as low as possible. The lower the air pressure the slower you can move your airbrush and the more control you will have. The more control you have your ability to render fine detail becomes much easier. So crank that pressure down.

Step 4 Above: Continue one peddle at a time, one after the other defining the peddles with the green.

Step 5 Above: As you can see all the peddles have the green applied to them now it’s onto the next step.

Step 6 Above: Now using the Cadmium Yellow and staying back several inches from the paper fog in the flower peddles with a nice light application of color. Pull the center and stem frisk off and touch up any area needed with the yellow. You can see all the over spray on the Frisk Film surrounding the flower.

Step 7 Above: Pull the all the remaining Frisk Film off and your painting is complete, sign your name and hang it on the refrigerator door as your first airbrushed painting.

Until next time remember its just paint, relax and have fun.