I use the airbrush not as a painting process, but as a tool to soften or deepen edges or to repair or tone an area of background, or to create a mood by deepening areas of the painting so the subject is surrounded by deep, soft colors. The great thing about the airbrush is, if applied correctly, it won?t disturb the previous layers of color.
I draw my subject matter, and then I paint my background with a paintbrush. If I?m going to use my airbrush at that point in time to tone the background, that?s when I?m going to use it. Then a paint my subject matter with a paintbrush, building up glaze after glaze, layer after layer of thin, transparent watercolor, until I get it up to the values I want. If I?m going to use the airbrush but haven?t already, then that?s when I?m going to use it: toward the end of my painting to tone an area by airbrushing a thin glaze of watercolor over the problem area.
A watercolorist for more than 25 years, Arleta Pech began receiving wide exposure in 1989 when she signed a licensing agreement to have prints of her work distributed by Mill Pond Press. Her other publishing ventures have included a six-plate series for The Bradford Exchange, posters by Bruce McGraw and a jigsaw puzzle for FX Schmidt. A signature member of the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society, the Colorado-based Pech teaches workshops across the country.
I used to do only drawings, but I felt something was missing from my finished drawings. So I started airbrushing on top of it. And after a while, it became more airbrush, less drawing. Right now, almost everything in my paintings is airbrush. The drawing is still there, but it may be 5 percent.
Airbrush is a fast technique, so you can?t stop to wonder where to spray as you?re working. So I do a drawing first in black and white, then transfer it to my final paper with a brown pencil. My work is not very colorful. It has a sepia feeling of an antique photo. I use some colors here and there to get a little surprise.
Prelude (ink, 40×27)
Using an airbrush is almost like sculpting. If I go too dark when I?m spraying the shadows, I have no way to go back. So I have to go little by little, almost like sculpting marble. Little by little. If I go too far, it?s gone.
Young Promise (ink, 35×35)
Edson Campos began his art career as an illustrator in Brazil. Since then, he?s moved to Florida, where he paints figures. In 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998, Campos participated in Art Expo in New York, where he was noticed by Verkerke, the second largest publisher in Europe. Besides selling his prints through Verkerke, he sells his original paintings through Michelangelo Gallery in Las Vegas, Caitlin Gallery in Clayton, Missouri (near St. Louis) and Collectione Privee de Peinture et de Sculpture in West Palm Beach and Tampa, Florida.