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Airbrushed Nose Art Tutorial

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Published on May 3, 2014

"How to Paint Custom Nose Art Design" is a tutorial on airbrushing a Nose Art design on an airplane.

The first step in the creation of a Nose Art design is getting the clients artwork approved. I was given a black and white copy of the image with the request to change the clothing for something a little more child friendly. I did a line art drawing and scanned it then colored it in Photoshop. The art was approved and another thought was to add the stars on the shirt and shorts.

A visit to the hanger was necessary to get photo's of the airplane. I used a tape measure in the photo for size reference. The selected art was copy/pasted, in Photoshop, onto a photograph of the airplane to determine the appropriate position and size of the design.

I wanted to see clean lines around all the color areas so I cut stencils out of clear adhesive masking paper for each color. The light box helped to transfer a pencil drawing onto the stencil then a craft knife was used to cut the stencil. There were a total of 14 stencils for both sides. The four colors; blue, light blue, flesh and yellow, the phrases "S'cuse me while I kiss the sky", "Mom's/Wife's worry" and stencils for the shadows on the shirt.

The second day, I met the client at the hanger. I used sized prints of the designs to place the art on the nose and I got the go ahead for the position.To protect the rest of the airplane from over spray, it was covered with plastic tarps. A 1500 grit sanding pad was used to rough up the surface under the art. Then a wax remover/degreaser was used to clean and prep the surface. I positioned the sized prints on both sides and used graphite transfer paper, under the prints, to mark references for lining up the stencils. The flesh color stencil was applied first and burnished. Using automotive enamel paint, I airbrushed the base flesh color and freehanded the shadow and highlight. After the
three flesh colors were airbrushed the stencil was removed.

The yellow stencil for the hair and the light blue stencil for the banner were applied and burnished. Paper was taped around the hair stencil to keep the banner area clean, I airbrushed the yellow and freehanded the shadow/highlights. The paper was repositioned to protect the hair area and I airbrushed the light blue banner with shadow/highlights. All four stencils were removed. Six stencils were applied/burnished for the dark blue color of her pants, the star on her shirt and all the lettering for the phrases. This photograph shows the dark blue paint after airbrushing with the stencil in place. Shadow/highlights were added to her pants. The last two stencils were applied/burnished for the shadows on her white shirt.

The next step was to add the lines to the figure and banner. I used a liner brush with the dark blue color to freehand all the lines. Then I used a bright red color for her lips. Finally my friend Pete sprayed a coat of automotive clear to complete the project. The last photographs show before and after views.

webmaster@artbyduddles.com
Copyright © 2014 Bryan Duddles

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