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So you want to learn how to paint, huh?  You've come to the right place.  Casey Love will demonstrate a complete paintjob on one of his pieces.  Casey teaches how to paint using thin washes of acrylic paints thinned with alcohol and water.  Typically, this painting style is done on prop type pieces that don't get alot of flexing as acrylic paints could crack, but as Casey will demonstrate, such a thin wash of pigment is used it's not generally a problem and can be done on wearable pieces too.  Casey paints with  FW Acrylics  and Com Art acrylics.  He thins both with alcohol and for the opaque paints, he also thins with water.

Discussion of an airbrush and air source is beyond the scope of this article. 

NOTE: At this time, I don't have the picture popups integrated, so you won't be able to see a larger image.  I will do this in the next day or so.  I will announce on the front page when this in in place.


Start by adding 2 drops alcohol to to 1 drop FW sepia translucent in a small cup to make a wash.  You can mix how much you want, but I start with a small amount.  I rarely use this technique because it can make things look fake.  Remember, wrinkles and details don't have to really stand out for people to get the idea.  one problem I see is dark washes in every crack and detail and that can make things look fake.



(Front and side of the head): I use a Sepia Translucent wash to bring out the details, by rubbing it into the details of  the face.  Now you quickly want to wipe off the excess wash removing it from all the high places.  Apply it evenly and try to avoid hard edges.  Now take a damp Q-tip with alcohol and and carefully wipe off all the high spots removing the wash.  Don't remove the too much from the detailed areas.




Wiping off the wash








Finished wash






(Back of the head): I'm using Com Art manganese Violet hue thinned with alcohol to make it more translucent.  Carefully spray thin spidery veins in a random pattern.  Don't think about it, just keep moving the airbrush under control.  now mix Com Arts transparent violet thinned with alcohol and spray more veins.  After this you will have 2 layers of thin veins.




I use FW process cyan opaque and Com Art white opaque.  Just add a few drops of each color, you don't need much.  With the opaque colors, you need to add 2 or 3 drops of water because they have more pigment.  Add 3 drops of water and add 6-8 drops of alcohol to thin it down.  You wan this color to be very translucent and thin.  now I spray on a third layer of veins with the cyan mixture and some bruised spots.  You want the bruised spots to be a bit darker and to look deep in the skin, so soften them up by pulling back on the airbrush and keep the brush moving in a small circle or oblong shape.  Don't spray a perfect circle, you want them to be very soft looking.


Now, I spray the cyan mixture over some of the violet veins to deepen them and too help add depth.  You will notice that spraying the translucent blue over the red will help darken the red in a different way.  It adds alot of depth.  This trick will work with alot of color combinations, so experiment.


I use Com Art white opaque.  First add 3 to 4 drops of water, then about 10 drops of alcohol.  You want the white very thin and translucent.  Now spray the white about 6 inches away in a wide spray to help tone down the vein work.  Don't overdo it or you will knock out alot of the vein work.  This will help to blend everything together.

Now just use these steps over and over to achieve a greater depth.  This gives the paint great depth by layering on the colors in a blended fashion.  This takes practice and control with the brush, but the result is a very realistic skin look and very subtle too.


(Back of head) Use FW Translucent Sepia to put in a few different size freckles.  Don't think too much about them, just do it randomly.  This will also allow you see how much depth you have.

I mix FW cool grey opaque 4 drops with FW process yellow translucent 2 drops.  First, add water 2-3 drops, then about 10 drops of alcohol.  Spray random thin spots of this mixture and too done down some of the veins.  This adds more depth.

Use Com Art moss green highly thinned with alcohol only (no water).  Never use water with transparent colors by themselves.  Now spray random veins.  Also, some age spots too.


Use Com Art white opaque lightly thinned with alcohol and water.  Spray very thin light vein pattern in a random sequence.  This adds alot more depth to the paintjob.  Don't overdo it and the white veins should just be visible.  Keep them very subtle and very random.  Don't knock out any of the beauty marks you did before.


Adding varicose veins.  I only do a couple of these because they are strong and stand out more.  I put them on the sides of the head, nose, ears, cheeks, etc.  You need to mix up a deep red purple.  I use Com art violet, red and purple in combination.  Spray the vein in a purple red color and use a very, very thin brush to mix up a deep red using red mixed with a touch of black and gently brush over the vein.

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