My “ghost airbrush techniques” have proven that simple is quite attractive and powerful. Learning to render in this technique, makes an artist face the challenges of selecting which details are really necessary and which are not. When correctly done, this ghost technique is a real show-stopper and conversation piece.
Ghost Eagle Discovery
Discovering this ghosted eagle technique began with my husband asking me for an American eagle on his rebuilt Kawasaki Vulcan 750 . He doesn’t want it to be a blaring image, but would rather it be artistic and subtle. First, I spent a great deal of time perfecting a detailed eagle face across the entire tank. Facing many challenges and using only one color (metallic silver), with the difficult eagle image. Finally, Pete saunters over to where I am painting and asks me to start removing details. Can you believe that? It seems utterly ludicrous to go to all that work and then simply start blowing black over the most difficult details. What does he think he is doing?
Are you crazy, man?
It seems like, he was systematically ruining all the hard work I had just finished. AAAARGHHHHH! But, I was wrong. Don’t tell my husband though. If he finds out, I know I’ll never live it down. More images of this bike can be seen here. How do I know this? Well, his bike definitely gets the double-take on the road, or anytime people walk past it. We have been noticed at traffic lights where consequently, his ghost eagle has become somewhat of a traffic distraction . Invariably, Pete will have someone standing and looking at his bike in the parking lot when he returns from the store, resulting in interesting conversations with people. Likewise, he gets the same results with his helmet.
Pete asked for this image on his white helmet, so I needed to work in reverse to accomplish this. This same eagle image is painted in reverse and you can check it out here on his white helmet.
I do a lot of sketching in the studio, regularly switching from drawing with pencil on white paper to drawing with chalk on black paper. With pencil I am concentrating on seeing and drawing the shadows, and with the chalk I am concentrating on drawing the highlights. Try it sometime yourself, to see how opposite it feels.