Acrylic on Illustration Board
36″ x 24″
This was a freehand airbrush portrait done for my cousin after both of her parents had passed away. The painting was done from one of their wedding pictures my cousin had had sent me to choose from. The moment I saw this photo I knew it would be the one I worked from. My uncle Harold and aunt Velma were 2 very large influences in my life and were both big supporters and encouragers of my creative endeavours as I grew up. As I was working on it, the painting served as a big reminder for me that the time we have on Earth passes very quickly and that we need to enjoy it while we have it. The painting of them took a little under 8 hours to produce from start to finish and was done completely freehand using erasers to pull out some minor texturing in the veil and skin. What I mean by completely freehand is, is that once I have a very loose outline sketch on the board, the paint is sprayed freehand with the airbrush with no stencils used to control the paint fall. By varying the distance of the airbrush to the board and the amount of paint being sprayed at the varying distances, I am able to produce any type of spray from a fine line to a large soft blend. All airbrush work is technically freehand as you employ the same paint and distance control with or without stencils. I myself prefer to reserve the term freehand airbrushing to mean that no stencils or masking has been used in the painting. Not using stencils or masking presents a number of challenges and forces a very precise control with the airbrush. I find that it lends a very natural softness to portraits and is the technique I use for 99% of all portraits I have done.