Airbrush Tutorial: Eagle Portrait Part 3

Wicked Art Airbrush Studio Presents Music playing How-To Airbrush an Eagle Portrait Part Three Wicked Art Airbrush Studio To begin part three I’m going to finish
up with all the details in the eyeball. If you look at the reference, the right
side of the eyeball is quite a bit lighter than the left. I like the look,
but I’m going to use a little bit of artistic license. And the eyeball in my
painting will be somewhat lighter on the right side but not quite as light as it
is in the reference. So you see me using both my aggressive pencil eraser and the
soft pencil eraser to remove some of the paint on the right side of the eyeball
to lighten that up. But I will come back in with the airbrush here in a few
minutes and darken that slightly. Now I’m coming in with the blade and adding just
a few striations around the very outer edge of the eyeball. And again this is
one of those things I can’t stress enough where, use the less is more
approach. If you go in and put too much detail, especially in a small artwork
like this, you’ll really lose the believability in your artwork. With the
airbrush I’m darkening in that very dark portion, a ring that
runs around the outside of the eye. You can see it clearly in the reference. And
now I’ll come in and we’ll re-establish a little bit of that detail which is
basically just a line that runs around the outside of the iris that we actually
put in in part two. Now we’re just adding to that. I’ve reestablished it where we
erased just a few minutes ago… and a light wash of color over the eyeball overall
pretty much finishes off the detail in the eye. Now you can use the blade to remove
any overspray that got into that main highlight. And I’ve also talked about
previously a secondary highlight that you see in the reference on the right
side of the eyeball. So with the blade I’ll scratch in a very subtle
portion of that into the iris. And when you look at the highlight in the
reference it’s actually pretty large. So the blade is not going to do it here. I’ll
actually come in with the electric eraser and map out that highlight. And
now I’ll come back in with the airbrush and add a little bit of a shadow
directly underneath the highlight which will also allow a little bit of
overspray to travel in to that highlight and mute it just a little bit. In the
reference the secondary highlight is quite a bit more muted compared to the
main highlight in the front of the eye. I preferred for it to be just a little bit
brighter. So you saw me come in with the soft pencil eraser and brighten it up
just a touch. But I think overall that will do it for the eyeball itself. I’m
pretty happy with how that has turned out. I’ve also talked about previously
that very light ring that runs around the bottom of the eye that looks like
it’s got some hair or feather texture in it. So I’m using the Helix electric
eraser to come in and just add a little bit of hair and feather texture in that
area. And it’s also lightening it up at the same time. And as we’ve talked about
before, the overspray created from all the other airbrush art work that we’ve
done to this point leaves enough contrast that when I come in with the
eraser and erase over that area you still see some of those little strokes.
That is a suggestion of that hair texture. So we’re not just coming in and
completely erasing that area away. I still want a little bit of detail in
there. Back to the top of the head. This is nothing that you guys haven’t seen
before. It’s the same process that we used in both part 1 and part 2. Just
building layers. We’ll add paint. We’ll subtract paint.
We’ll add more paint. We’ll subtract more paint. But these highlights in the top of
the head are just creating more of that hair and feather texture. And all of this information is coming
directly from the reference. I know you guys can’t see the reference in the
video, but it was posted directly left of the painting so that I didn’t have to
look very far to see it. And although I said I’m not trying to paint this
exactly as I see it in the reference, I am using some artistic license in some
areas and making it my own, but overall it’ll be pretty similar in
the end. When you look at the reference there’s a pretty dark shadowed area
right behind the eye. That’s the area I’m working on now, but you’ll notice I’m not
putting just a flat tone or a wash of color over this area to darken it up. I’m
using little dagger strokes and even a little bit of dot texture in there and
gradually darkening it up with layers. I still want to add detail. We’re not just
adding detail by removing paint with the erasers and the blade. We’re also adding
detail and texture with the airbrush. You’ve got to have a balance of both of
those in your work. Moving down to the area kind of behind the eyeball. And I’m
beginning to establish a little bit of this feather texture in that area with
again, very light dagger strokes. What I don’t want to do is to come into this
blank area of the canvas at this point and put just thousands of little dagger
strokes trying to paint each individual hair or feather on this eagle. I just
want a hint, just a suggestion of that texture in there. I still want to leave
voids. And we’ll come back and we’ll do some more work on this later,
but you’ll see in the end there’s very little detail in that area in my
painting. When you look at the reference there’s… You can see a lot of detail in
there but the problem is, especially when you’re working on small scale like this,
you’ve got to balance the amount of detail that you put into your work.
Because what will happen is, if you try to put too much detail into this, when
you or anybody else steps back to take a look at it you lose the primary focus of
the painting, which I’ve mentioned before I want it to be the eyeball and the beak.
That’s my primary focus for this painting. If I put too much detail into
all these other areas, when you step back and view it, your eye tends to bounce all
over the place trying to pick up all of that detail. And you lose that primary
focus if that makes sense. Same thing here, I’m using the blade to
come in and scratch out some of the highlights of this hair and feather
texture underneath the beak, but I’m not going to go in and scratch this entire
area up. It’s very strategic. And in the end this area will actually be pretty
dark, but there will still be just a hint of some details in there. Here I’m using
the Helix to do the same thing we were just doing with the blade, adding more
highlights of this fur and feather texture by removing some of the existing
paint. And here you see I’m actually adding dots just below the… this area in the
mouth. And if you look at the reference image, that area looks more like hair
texture to me versus dots, but I like to mix things up a little bit. And I’ll
actually come in with the airbrush here in just a minute and add some more
dagger strokes. Building that fur, here we go, some very light dagger strokes. And now I will actually add some more
dot texture in the same area that we were just removing paint with the
airbrush. I will primarily be working on this area underneath the beak, and even
lower for the remainder of part three. But you’ll see as we go, I build all of
this up very slowly, working in multiple layers, adding hints of detail here and
there. And as I said a minute ago this is very dark in the end, the section that
we’re working on now, but I still build it up very slowly. And I’m not just
putting a flat tone or a wash of color over it. I still use dagger strokes,
suggesting some of that hair and feather texture as we go. And you see there I’m trying to paint
around some of the highlights that we’ve already established. Some will get
overspray on them and they’ll be knocked back. And that’s fine. We can come back in
and brighten them back up with an eraser or the blade. And some of those
highlights will get pushed back with paint intentionally. It’s a back and
forth process, constantly pushing and pulling, working your darks and your
lights. And you basically just do that until you’re happy with it. Now I’m beginning to work on this area, I
guess, where the chest begins with some… a little bit sloppy dagger strokes. You can see
I kind of got into the background. That’s okay. We can clean that up later. And now
I’m coming in with the Bird stencil. And I’m going to use this stencil to put
just a very sharp edge in a very small area right there. And I talked about
before when you look at the reference, directly above this little area where
I’m scratching in these little highlights now, is some very light hair
or feather texture. It almost looks like it’s backlit. It’s very, very light. And we
will establish that here in a little bit with an eraser and probably the blade,
but what I like about that is having that very sharp edge right next to a
very soft edge, it yields a very cool effect. It’s a trick I use all the time.
And I think it adds to the realism in my artwork. Again you see me demonstrating working
in multiple layers, coming in with the airbrush and then back in with the
eraser or the blade, pushing and pulling like I just mentioned before. And that’s
pretty much the entire process in everything I do. Not just wildlife, but
it translates to portraits and skulls, pretty much everything I paint. These are
the… the same techniques I use regardless of what I’m painting. And don’t get me
wrong, I don’t mean that these are the absolute only techniques I ever use, but
anytime I’m using the subtractive method of painting like we are here, these are
the techniques that I pretty much use for everything that I paint when using
the subtractive method. Now I’ll knock some of those highlights that we just added,
or redefined back again with some more paint and gradually build all of this
area up to the dark value that it needs to be. I talked about in part one I think, how I
will occasionally stand back and view my work from a distance of six to ten feet
looking for anything that needs to be adjusted, problem areas, anything that
doesn’t look right, but I also do that from painting distance. While I’m
painting I’m constantly looking around at other areas, areas that I may think
I’m… was finished with at one point, to see if anything needs adjusted, if
anything needs changed. So that’s part of the reason why I will bounce kind of
back and forth from one area to another. Another reason behind that is just I get
impatient. I want to see results. So I’ll start working on another area, or I just
get bored working on one area. I was really putting off the feathers on the
backside of this eagle. They wound up being last because it’s just not a fun
thing to paint in my opinion. But you’ll see here in a few minutes I’ll jump back
up, even though I said primarily we’ll be focused on the lower portion of this
eagle from here on out in this video, I will jump back up and we’ll adjust some
things here shortly. For now I’m just continuing to work this
area underneath the beak back and forth, pushing and pulling the darks and the
lights. When you look at the reference, the area directly underneath the beak
where the fur, hair or feathers, whatever the case may be,
begins is very light. It’s separated by a darker area and then it goes into a very
light area there at the tail end of the mouth. That light area at the tail end of
the mouth goes to a very dark tone and that’s what I’m beginning to establish
now with just very light dagger strokes. Again pushing and pulling, pushing some
of these highlights that we’ve already created back, but I’m not completely
covering them up. You can still see them. I’m just pushing them back. We can always
bring more highlights forward, but it’s still a layering process. I don’t want to
necessarily come back in and go over the same highlights again and again. In some
cases I will, but for the most part I want to layer more highlights, going over
the existing highlights that we’ve now pushed back. And there you see me using a
free hand shield to define sort of a feather right at the beginning of the
chest. And I’ll do that with two more of those feathers here in just a little bit.
And you’ll see in the end, those first three feathers will not be very well
defined at all. They’re just almost silhouettes, but I think it’s a cool
effect. And this portion of the chest… I’m not going to put a ton of detail in
there either. If you look at the reference there’s not a whole lot of
detail in that section. Here I’ve come in with the soft pencil eraser to erase
some of that overspray that I put in earlier in the background. And I
mentioned before when I sprayed the initial background color I allowed it to
cure fully overnight. So I have no worry of erasing the background color. I should
only be erasing the overspray that I just put down a few minutes ago. And now I’m coming in and adding those
little very light hairs or feathers that I talked about before, that almost looks
like they have a backlight on them. Just a few strokes with the eraser is
all it takes. And that’s kind of a cool effect right there. So I talked about how I’m always
evaluating my work throughout the painting process. And just while I’ve
been doing the voiceover for this video, this little section right here was
really bothering me. So I’m sure it was bothering me while I was doing the
actual painting as well. Compared to the reference, that little light area on the
top portion of the very tail of the mouth, I think I had that way too light
to begin with. So I’ve come in with the airbrush and darkened that in just a
little bit. Now you see me throwing a little bit of a wash of color in that
area behind the eye, but I’m not completely covering all those faint
little dagger strokes that we put in earlier either. Just adding a little bit
of contrast so that I can come in with the blade and erasers and scratch in
some more of the highlights. If you look at the reference, that area where I’m
scratching in now is very, very light. And then it gradually gets to more of a
mid-tone. Apparently the highlight at the top of
the beak was also bothering me while I was painting this because now
I’m coming in with the electric eraser and just quickly redefined that
highlight at the top of the beak. And now I’ve moved back to the area behind the eye,
and adding some more of this hair and feather texture with the Helix. I like to
use a variety of tools. I don’t want to just scratch in all of this texture and
detail with the blade alone. I like to combine the blade and the electric
eraser and sometimes even the pencil erasers because you get different
thicknesses in your lines and it just adds to the realism in my opinion.
Remember nature is not contrived. It’s always chaotic. Now coming in and putting
a light tone of color around this darker area. Again that’s just for contrast
purposes. So that when I come in with the eraser or the blade I will be able to
see the lines that I’m erasing. Now back up to the area just below the beak that
I talked about a little bit ago. This is a much lighter area in the reference. And
back behind the eye to add some more highlights in this area, but pay
attention here. Again, like I was painting some of those light dagger strokes in
this area earlier with the airbrush very randomly and sporadically, I’m doing the
same thing with the eraser. I don’t want to completely cover this entire area
with these highlights. I want to leave voids the same as I did with the
airbrush. I’m zooming out here while I finish
these highlights with the electric eraser because I’m about to finish the
background and I want you guys to be able to see what I’m doing. If you
haven’t seen the videos where I demonstrate how to cut a paper mask and
then use that paper mask to transfer this image onto this piece of bristol
board that I’m painting on, during that process I decided to put a quarter inch
border around the eagle that the eagle is actually sitting in front of which
will add to the three-dimensional effect when the painting is done and the
masking is removed. So that’s why the tape is going around the outer border. So
for the background all I want to do is darken up basically the corners more
than anything else just a little bit. It doesn’t take much. And I’m just fogging
some color in here. I don’t need it to look like anything particular. We’re
not going for clouds or anything like that. But by darkening up the corners and
a little bit around that border edge, the border will really stand out more once
the tape is removed. There’s a very specific reason why I waited until now
to finish the background and that’s because contrast is relative. Everything
around the eagle affects the contrast. So I waited until I had some of the darks
and the mid-tones, more values in the eagle before I decided how dark I
wanted to go with the background. So if I had tried to finish the background early
on, say when we put the initial very light coat of background tone in this
painting, I was essentially working with a white canvas at the time with nothing
else on an other than the roadmap that we sprayed through the stencil. It would
have been very easy to go too dark with the background at that time. It’s easier
and smarter in my opinion to wait until I have more of the painting established
before I decide how dark I want the back to be. I will try to demonstrate what I’m
talking about through the magic of video. So if I were to remove the eagle from
the equation and just leave the background, the background may or may not
appear darker than it actually is. On the flip side of that, if I were to remove
the background and leave the eagle, the eagle may appear darker than it actually
does. So contrast is relative to everything
surrounding it. Always remember that when you’re doing your artwork. The vast
majority of the time I would wait and finish the background at the very end,
but there is another very specific reason why I chose to go ahead and
finish the background when I did for this particular painting. The reason is
the area that I’m working on right now with the Helix electric eraser. The chest
of the bird overlaps the border at that point because the eagle is sitting in
front of the border, which I said earlier adds to that three-dimensional effect in
the end. The problem I saw here is having that border masked off with the tape, I
didn’t want to get overspray traveling around that quarter-inch vinyl tape and
leave that transition between the bird and the border and the background
looking weird with overspray. And there might be a step that goes over that tape.
If that makes sense. So knowing that I was coming to this area to work on, I
decided it would be better if I removed the tape in order to create the eagle’s
chest. That gives a very smooth transition between the border, the
background and the eagle. Here I’m using The Bird stencil again to give myself a
very sharp edge. When you look at the reference,
the eagle’s chest is relatively light. I wanted it a little bit darker just to
make it stand out from the background. So I chose to use the stencil. Then I went
back and forth whether I wanted to put the tape back down or completely remove
it, but again, if I left the tape there I’m afraid I would get overspray
traveling around the tape as I’m working on the bird in that area. So ultimately I
decided to peel the tape back and cut that portion of the tape off. And I think
that was the better decision in the end because it allowed me to have a very
nice transition between the bird, the background and the white border. The
front of the eagle’s chest in the reference is slightly out of focus.
There’s not a lot of detail in this area. And I will reflect that in my painting
as well. I’m not going to spend a lot of time here, but I will work it in a couple
layers using the same techniques that we’ve been using throughout this process.
I’ll add a few vague suggestions of detail with both the airbrush and the
blade and some erasers, but overall this particular section of the painting will
be pretty simple. And again, my main focus for what I want people to see when they
view this painting is more the eye and the beak area. So the feathers down here
are more filler than anything else in my eyes. The same thing goes for these first two
or three feathers that I’m working on now with the airbrush. I talked about
this earlier, how these will essentially just be a silhouette in the end. And I
chose to do that because this is the area where the feathers are
transitioning from the very dark area right above where I’m working into
lighter feathers that are more defined in the reference. So by using this
silhouette technique it’s an easy way to transition from the much darker area
directly above where I’m working now that will become darker as we progress
into the lighter area of feathers with a little bit more detail in them. And in
the end I think it made for a very nice transition. Now I’m continuing to gradually darken
up this area beneath the beak. Again, still working in layers, working very
slowly. I’m not hammering paint on here to get it dark.
It’s a very gradual slow process. I’m working on that transition. I got the
paint a little bit heavy there. So I use the air from the airbrush to dry it. I’m
working on this slow transition between the dark and the more mid-tones and
lighter areas at the bottom. As I mentioned before this… I’m just adding
suggestions of detail here. I’m not really getting carried away with minute
details, hairs and feather texture. In fact if… if you were to take and look at
just this little small portion of where I’m working at now alone, without the
rest of the eagle in the picture, you probably have no idea what it is. But
combined with the rest of the artwork, the human brain puts it together and it
all makes sense. And in that picture that I just showed, this small section that
I’m working on now wasn’t even finished at the time, but even when it is finished
you’ll still see in the end that it’s very vague as far as the detail is
concerned. I’m putting suggestions and hints of hair and feather texture, but if
you were to look at it alone, even finished, it wouldn’t really make sense
unless you have the surrounding image around it. And I am by no means
suggesting that you dumb down your artwork or take shortcuts, but have a
plan in mind. When you start a new project or a new painting have a plan
for what you want your audience to focus on when they view your artwork. As I said,
I wanted the eye and the beak area to be the primary focus in this painting. So
I’m not as concerned about putting as much detail in this bottom section. I’m
still adding hints and suggestions, but it doesn’t need to be quite as
well-defined as what I want the primary focus to be. And
use different areas of focal variation in your artwork. You have some areas that
are super sharp, very In focus, along with other areas that are maybe a little bit
fuzzy and out-of-focus. Adding details like that will really elevate your work
to another level. In the reference the front edge of the
chest on this eagle is relatively light. I wanted to add that highlight, but I
also like the darker line separating the chest from the background. So I chose to
leave that little sliver of a darker line in there. And when I made this
highlight with the Helix electric eraser, I went a little bit higher than I really
wanted to. So now I’m gonna work on darkening the top portion of that
highlight back down and kind of fading it down some to where it blends in a
little bit better. There you see I just got a little bit of overspray in the
background. Again, not a big deal. I can come in with the soft pencil eraser and
work on erasing that away. I was a little bit concerned that I may have had a
little bit of overspray in that very white border around the background. So I
erased a little bit there. And now you see me coming in with The Pharaoh shield to
protect the background and work on blending the top of that highlight out
just a little bit. That looks better. And now I’ve moved back to the area underneath
the beak, continuing to just darken some of these areas up. Very slowly. Again,
patience is key here. And I’m not just trying to darken the entire area up at
the same time. I’m picking out some of the darker areas I see in the reference
and building those values before I work on the values surrounding those areas. Now I’ve returned with the electric
eraser. And I’m just adding another layer of these subtle highlights, these
suggestions of some of this hair and feather texture that I see in the
reference in this area. And now I’m returning with the blade. I
know I’ve mentioned it numerous times already, but I like to use a variety of
tools. I just finished using the electric eraser to add some of these highlights
and re-establish some of those highlights down lower. Now I’ve switched
to the blade because it gives me a very fine line for some of these hairs that
are closer to the beak underneath. And it’s that variety again that helps to
sell the realistic look in my work. And vary the length of your strokes when
you’re creating these little highlights with hairs, or even with the airbrush too.
You just saw me with the blade, I cut in some of those really fine hairs and that
sort of tuft of light hair or feather texture directly underneath the beak. And
that trails down and I hit maybe four or five or six very short little strokes.
That’s one of the questions I get from students occasionally. They will ask
what’s that one thing? If you only had one tip to give me, what’s the one thing…
the one trick up your sleeve, the one secret that you could share with me that
will allow me to take my art work to the next level? And the truth is it doesn’t
exist. It’s, in my opinion anyway, it’s when you combine all of these elements
together. That’s what really makes my artwork pop and stand out, I think. That’s
my opinion. And I don’t claim to be the best. There are plenty of airbrush artists
out there that I think are far more talented than I am, but I’m willing to
put in the time and the effort to build all these layers and details. And I think
that’s a big difference between my work and some of the other artists that I do
see out there. Looking at the reference, this area that
I’m working in now is kind of the area where it transitions from this very dark
shadowed area into more of a mid-tone with some hair and feather texture in
there. And that’s what I’m working on now, is that transition. You just saw me come
in with the electric eraser and establish some highlights. And then I
pushed those back with a very light wash of color with the airbrush. And now I’ve
come back in with the blade and adding additional little hair texture in
there, even finer than what we did in that first step. Again, building those
layers. And you see I’m using multiple little
dagger strokes with the airbrush. Again darkening up some of these very
dark shadowed areas, but there’s nothing wrong with going in and adding a light
wash in this darker area too. In fact you’ll see me do that right about now.
I’m not losing any of the detail that we’ve created that way, but I don’t
recommend that you go in and just put a light wash over and over and over again
to darken all that area up. You still want to build the layers and get the
detail in there little by little. Now I’m putting a light wash in the area to the
right. And that just makes some of those little hair textures that we put in with
the blade and the eraser earlier stand out even more. And we’ll work that area
more a little bit later. Right now I’m going to concentrate on this very dark
shadowed area, coming back in again with the blade, adding some additional
highlights over some of those highlights that were already created. And notice
again that I’m not scratching over the entire highlight that was already there.
I’m adding additional highlights on top of what we had already established
before. Again, it’s these little details that will add depth, the illusion of
depth and dimension in your artwork. Here I’m using the airbrush to sketch
out lightly some of these feathers. We’re getting to the area where the feathers
become a lot more defined. So I’m using the airbrush basically to sketch this
out the same way that I would with a pencil. Because this area of the canvas
is still relatively untouched, it’s not a big deal to come in and sketch some
things out. If you mess up, get a line where you don’t want it, it’s super easy
to take the eraser and remove it completely or even change it. There’s one
little feather I see in the reference right here that looks like it’s got just
a little bit of a split in it. So I’m trying to capture that… Which, I know this
looks very ugly now, and that will represent the… kind of the stem that runs
down the center of the feather, but rather than trying to spend a lot of
time trying to paint a super thin line on this small scale, it’s easier and
faster to me to just paint a line in there. And then I can come back with the
eraser and decrease that width to the point where I want it.
Same thing with the blade, now I can come in and clean up where that split area
was on this feather. And that looks a lot better. So use the tools you have at your
disposal to your advantage when you need to. Now I’m just working on sort of this
transitional area where it goes from very dark into the feathers that are a
lot more defined in the reference. And you’ll see that I’ll add some hints of
detail, or suggestions of detail, down here towards the bottom, but much like
the front of the chest I’m not going to spend a lot of time or put very fine
details in this area. I just want the suggestion, just to tie all this together. You can see I’m just fogging some color in down
at the bottom there after drawing, or airbrushing a few lines. Now I’ve come back
in with the electric eraser. And notice how it’s sort of skipping on me there.
That’s usually a sign that the eraser tip has worn down to a pretty rounded
edge. It’s not a huge deal in this instance because I’m coming back in with the
blade to kind of clean that up, but that’s a sign that I probably need to
cut the end of that eraser off to give myself a sharper end to work with. You can also see how I just defined the
right side of that feather that is just a silhouette, just with the eraser and
the exacto blade. And you’ll notice that as I start to work on these feathers
that are more defined and actually look like feathers in the reference, that I begin
to take a little bit more of a stylized approach. Same thing with those three
feathers that are just a silhouette. There’s a couple reasons for that.
For one, when you look at the reference there is a lot of feathers on the
backside of this eagle. And rendering each one of those feathers takes a
little bit of time. So in my final painting, if you pay close attention
you’ll see that I don’t have quite near as many feathers in my painting as are
depicted in the actual reference. I also took a more stylized approach
because I didn’t want to add tons and tons of detail. For one, that takes a lot
of time as we already discussed, but two, I’ve said many times that I want the
primary focus for this painting to be the eye and the beak area. So I didn’t
want to put too much detail into all of those feathers. And you’ll see that more so
in part four when we actually finish this painting up, but there is a little
bit of that included in this video as well. You can really see that we’re getting to
the point of full saturation in some of these dark shadowed areas now. It’s
starting to really push that area back. And for whatever reason, this one feather
that I talked about earlier that looks like it’s got a split in it, for some
reason that really caught my attention while I was painting this portrait. And I
wound up putting a lot more detail into that one single feather than I probably
did into any of the other well-defined feathers in this portrait. But you’ll see
me come in with the blade and both the electric eraser to add some of that hair
texture that’s in the feather, but I keep it primarily at the tip of that feather
because the upper portion of the feather will fade into that dark shadowed area. Here I’m just establishing a shadow in
between these two feathers. Working freehand. Again, I can come in and clean
that up if I need to with the blade or an eraser. And now I’m beginning to
darken in towards the top of that one split feather because it will as I said
fade out into the shadowed area. We’re nearing the end of part three in
this series. If you’ve made it this far I can’t tell you how much I appreciate
you guys watching. I hope that you’ve got something out of these videos. Judging by
the analytics, this series has not performed all that well. I think the
average view time is just under 10 minutes. And I know it’s not for
everybody. I didn’t really anticipate that these would go over all that well,
but I know… I’m confident that there are a few you guys out there watching. And I
hope that this is helping you out in some way. I know an hour worth of just
watching somebody airbrush is not exactly riveting entertainment, but I
hope that you find some value in this. Again, after putting a light wash over
that one feather that I really liked for whatever reason, now I’m coming back in and
with the blade adding some of that feather texture, like I mentioned just at
the very tip, because it will fade out into that very dark area… shadowed area
underneath the beak. And now with the electric eraser I can add some more
substantial highlights. The blade wasn’t quite cutting enough of that in. So I
switched to the eraser. And then you’ll see this feather
directly to the right will actually be not very detailed at all in the end.
There’s kind of… I’ll put one little sliver of a highlight in there and then
pretty well call that one good. But again you don’t need a substantial amount of
detail in all this area surrounding what I want the focus to be. It’s just filler
in my eyes. And you may view it completely differently. And that’s okay. I’m
using a freehand shield to establish just a little bit of a shadow
on the left side of that feather that I really like. You can see that shadow in
the reference. And as we’ve done with everything else I’ll just continue to
work this back and forth until I’m pretty happy with the results. Beginning to blend some of that dark
shadowed area in. I talked about using more of a stylized
approach for the rest of these well-defined feathers. And this is the
beginning of that. It’s a lot of work with the freehand shield. Here I’m using
the freehand shield just to kind of redefine that shadow in between those
two feathers, but it also sharpened up the left edge of that feather. Now I’m
doing the exact same thing on the right side. And you’ll see that’s primarily how
I render out the rest of these feathers that are well defined in the reference.
Using a freehand shield to define the feather edges and create shadows
underneath them at the same time. Then I’ll come in and add that line down the
center of the feathers, which is the stem. I’m not really sure what the technical
term for that is. And then just some rough detail with both the airbrush and
the blade and the erasers. And it gives a softer feel to the feathers. Again
there’s not a lot of detail there, but in the end it ties everything together. And I mentioned earlier that there’s not
going to be a lot of detail in this particular feather. I’m using the blade
to scratch in sort of a little bit of a highlight on that right edge. And later
on I think I come back and put maybe one or two more scratches on the left side,
but that’s pretty much the extent of the detail that that feather will get. Now
back in with the airbrush continuing to blend that shadow down into these
feathers. And that shadow is getting very dark in that area. So I thought I needed to
come in with the eraser and bring back some of these highlights, just in very
strategic areas, paying attention to the reference. I don’t want to overdo it here,
but I do need to bring back a little bit more of this hair and feather texture in
that dark shaded area. And we’ll come back in with the airbrush and push this
back as well. I’m pushing those highlights we just
created with the eraser back by adding more paint. And I think that looks better. And it
actually looks like I’m completely covering those. I think that’s just a
trick of… I don’t know if it has to do with the studio lights or what, but you
can actually still see those highlights there in the center that we just covered
with another layer of paint a lot better in person than you can in the video. I
don’t know why that is. Like I said it may be something to do with the studio
lights, but those highlights are still pretty visible. I think you can see them
in the very end photograph as well. Again using the airbrush to sketch out some of
these feathers before I really commit to putting paint down with a freehand
shield. And I mentioned earlier if you look at
the reference and really compare the reference feathers to the feathers in my
final painting, I kind of go off on my own in this area. And it’s not… it’s not
necessary to be super exact with all of these feathers. As long as you get the
look and the representation, people can realize that those are feathers. That’s
really all you need because as I said there’s a lot more of these feathers in
the reference than I was willing to spend the time painting for this
particular piece. But same thing, I’m using a freehand
shield to define both sides of the feather,
which also gives me a little bit of a shadow underneath the feather. And there
you see me using a freehand shield to cut in the shadow between those two
feathers. One side is very sharp and crisp and the other side is very soft. And I can adjust all of that if needed
with an eraser or the blade… As I’m doing here. I’m kind of cleaning
up a little bit of that overspray with my electric eraser, adding just little
subtle details you see there, stray hairs coming off the end of that feather. Same thing with the airbrush, just adding
a few little minor details, some very light dagger strokes, thinned that feather
out just a little bit. And there’s the stem I was talking about just a little
bit ago. And that’s pretty well gonna wrap up part three of this tutorial
series. Again, if you’ve made it this far thank you for watching. I appreciate it. I
hope that you found some value in these videos. I hope that it helps to improve
your own artwork. If you have questions don’t hesitate to leave them in the
comments below. I will leave links in the description to all of the materials that
I have used and the tools throughout this process. And we will finish up this
painting in part four. Remember to like, subscribe and share if you got something
out of this. And I will see you guys next time.


  • Douglas Taylor

    I have watched the whole video with great interest, the Eagle is coming on very well and looking good. Your tutorials are brilliant, as you are explaining as you go, I think this is a great help for all. I hope you do more tutorials in the future after you have finished this one. I also tried mixing my paints better and it has been a big improvement. Thank You.

  • Richard Gray

    Thanks Trevor I have trouble as you said few times wanting to get it done!!! Your tip on slow and steady easier to add color then take it away do it in stips lite layers build it up slowly…looking forward to part 4

  • Airbrushing By Nick

    lookin sweet. I don't use erazing or scratching but maybe in the future I might try it. You get good results but I like to get em done quick. ? Impatience is a virtue.

  • Kevin Klaas

    I enjoy your full tutorial videos. Looking forward to next. You are a great teacher


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