The Joy of Airbrushing

–I never worked out for any kind of image. People have said to me, “Do you starve yourself before photo shoots?” And I always say, “No way.! That’s what airbrushing is for. I had french fries last night.”

––Sarah Michelle Gellar


I first discovered the art of airbrushing by sneaking looks at those old pin-ups hanging on the walls in auto repair shops and work site break rooms. Varga girls. Old calendars. Of course as a boy I thought I wanted to learn how to do that. I was inspired…


Video treasure chest parrot. Airbrushing is fun!
Video treasure chest and parrot. 1988 or so.

This was my first real airbrush illustration job. Not exactly a pin-up. I had airbrushed other things before like flames on cars and all kinds of things on motorcycle gas tanks and helmets, but more as a hobby until this assignment in 1988 or so. Video Treasure Chest, a point of sale scratch-off game for now pretty non-existent video stores. It was still just VCRs back then. Maybe they will come back someday like vinyl records. Right after the 8 track tape revival.

Anyway, then I got the fever for it. I got better at it. I was an airbrushing machine. I painted anything and on everything. I even painted a neighbor’s baby bump so she could surprise her doctor for Halloween. Scandalous! I knew then I had a problem. See the scene of the crime below:

Painting neighbor's belly
Crime scene photo. I was caught orange-handed.

Anyway, Photoshop eventually replaced most conventional airbrushing for print media and I have been rehabilitated, but I still do it on some art for backgrounds and large areas. Who knows, maybe I’ll do some pin-ups next…

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P.S: I’m calling on all Grammar Police and Spelling Wizards to comment on any errors or omissions you may find in any of my posts. It will help make me a better writer, give me a thicker skin and bring a bright smile to your face knowing you have once again rescued the english language from certain annihilation.

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