This is an airbrush technique that my husband asked me to do on his Kawasaki Vulcan 750 and his helmet. It is what I call “shadow” or “ghosting” an image using metallic automotive paints. It makes the artist face the challenge of selecting which details are necessary and which are not. When you get a little sunshine on it, surprise, there it is!
This was done as a matching shadow eagle face that is on his bike but the biggest challenge was reversing the image to rest on a white surface (helmet) instead of the black surface of the bike.Again the simplicity of the image is quite attractive, and much more powerful than you would originally think especially in sunlight. More images of this helmet can be seen here. It definetely gets the double take. It is painted on a black Kawasaki 750 (in reverse) that you can see here.
Mystery is a good ingredient. This became a trademark style of airbrush work for me that I called “shadowing” or “ghosting” an image. The rule I learned from this project was that the SIMPLE is quite attractive and much more powerful than you would think especially in a little sunlight. The “shadow” technique makes the artist face the challenge of selecting which details are really necessary and which are not. Lots of trial and error. When you get it right with a little sunshine on it, SHAZAM there it is!
This is an American favorite done in a technique that my husband asked me for on his rebuilt Kawasaki Vulcan 750. I spent a great deal of time perfecting a detailed eagle face on the tank just to have Pete came over afterwards and ask me to start erasing the detail. Are you crazy? Man, I was sure he was just ruining all the hard work I had just finished doing. AAAARGHHHHH! Don’t tell my husband…. but he was right, I’ll never live it down.
More images of this bike can be seen here. It definetely gets the double take on the road, or anytime people walk past it. It is painted on his white helmet here (in reverse) here. Pete almost always has someone looking at it in the parking lot when he goes into a store and comes back out. There is a matching image on his white helmet here.
Airbrushing a custom helmet is a fun way to have a bit of personality on your ride. Here is one of my first helmets I did entitled “Back of My Mind”. It has been the theme of multiple helmets for myself over the years. Which way is she facing? It is a conversation starter.
This is the second motorcycle I painted with an airbrush and it won a spot for “Great Paint” in a motorcycle publication named Full Throttle magazine, which surprised me and inspired me to keep on doing airbrush. I used to get people checking it our anytime I parked it in a parking lot. It was a little Honda Rebel 250, a classic that my husband Pete painted a royal blue for me. I went to work painting images from pictures and memories of my horse I had while growing up. His name was Rocky, and was a quite spirited gelding who just loved to run. I have many wonderful memories of riding the paths in the mountains of Kahaluu with him. Rocky really was fast and he did win the state finals reserve championship for pole-bending.