Compressor, airbrushing, and staying safe!

My compressor arrived, and I have been messing up stuff since day one!

I thought I was prepared, I really did. But here is a short story on how my first day went:

I got out my old trusted mask respirator.
I started mixing my varnish with water. I think the first batch was too wet, way too much water. The other batch was too thick, and my airbrush clogged. I cleaned it between every spray session.
I kept my mask on, and about 15-20 minutes in, I got an instant insane headache.

This is when I started to suspect that my respirator wasn’t functioning properly, so I started to do some research.
Respirator filters have a life span of maximum 6 months, after being taken out of the sealed bag they come in. I got my mask as a gift years ago, with the filters already installed, so I have no idea how long they had been installed before I got them. I was pretty much starving myself of oxygen, while trying to stay safe.

I couldn’t find a local shop that sells the filters, so I had to get a new mask that don’t have replaceable filters, you basically throw it in the trash after about 6 months. But I wanted to spray during the weekend, and even though this stuff is all non toxic, it is not recommended you breathe it in. The same goes for acrylic paint, the small particles in the air can get in your lunges, and that is NOT good.

I tested my new mask today, and my first thought was “oh my god I can breathe normally!”. I could feel a significant difference, it did not feel nearly as stuffy as the old one. I feel a little bit like an idiot, I should have done some research on this as well, not just on the airbrush itself.

Ok, so here are my expirences with trying to use Liquitex matte medium.
I cannot for the life of me get it to the right consistency. I also cannot figure out how thick/thin my layers should be.
I thought I had it going pretty good, when I went to remove a speck of dust from the resin face I was working on, as I have done many times in the past with MCS, and I got a HOLE in the medium. From this hole, I could tear her entire face off, much like if you’ve ever had a sun burn and you can peel the skin off.

So I decided to remove it from the MH head and the resin head. I grabbed my acetone-free nail polish remover. The MH head got insanely sticky, and the resin head got a little bit sticky. The resin head worked out in the end, but I continued to spray on the MH head and now she looks glossy (new batch of medium, could be that I sprayed it on too thick)

I have SO much to learn, and I’m not a fast learner when it comes to this sort of thing.
I even practiced some aiming with some acrylics on a piece of paper, and my aim is currently a little off, so I’ll need to work more on that too.

Vallejo to the rescue

I decided to go ahead and order a new varnish, the one that Xhanthi uses in her videoes on youtube, Vallejo matte. She doesn’t dilute it, so hopefully that makes things just a little easier for me. It also gives me an idea of how thin things have to be to go through the airbrush, so maybe I can learn to use the liquitex later :)
I think I might also buy some airbrush-ready acrylics, because this just isn’t something I enjoy trying to learn to be honest. I just want to aim my brush and paint away!

I’ll continue practicing over the weekend anyway, it cant hurt (at least not after getting proper protective gear!).

I highly recommend watching Xhanthis video on the subject, her voice is so soothing to listen to and she covers a great deal of things that gave me a boost of confidence about all of this. She also states that her first layer is usually really thick, and that she leaves it to cure for 24 hours. That makes me more confident because it means that I wont mess up if my layers are a little thick. It’s only the first layer that is so thick though, to protect the resin. I may try 3-4 lighter layers like I’ve done with MSC.

Wish me luck!

This has been one awesome easter

I’ve painted 2 dolls (Obitsu and Monster High) and I’ve researched airbrushes and compressors to the point where I think I can start using mine as soon as the compressor gets here!

I actually also ordered some Twinkies with the compressor, I’ve always wanted to try some since I’ve seen them in so many movies over the years :) A part of me hopes they aren’t as delicious as they look, because they were expensive and the ingredients are pretty much all sugar and corn syrup ^^

When it comes to my research, I’ve found a lot of helpful videos, but there are some things I’m still unsure of. I hope I will learn quickly, because the thought of never having to buy another can of MSC excites me so much.
I was thinking I could do a tutorial once I figure out things, but there is so much info out there already, and Andreja has a couple of videos about it too, so it may be redundant. If I learn anything that may be useful to others, I’ll be sure to post it.

The airbrush I got is called iwata Revolution – HP-BR, and it has a 0.3mm nozzle.
I also invest in a cleaning station (which I later found at a lower price elsewhere! Oh well..)

The compressor I got is called Sparmax TC 610H, and I can not tell you if it is a great one or not. I know it has some features that are good, but as for the quality, I have no idea! I came across a video where the guy recommended not spending a fortune on a compressor, and that a “basic” one designed for airbrushed will serve you well. It has a 2.5 liter tank, and auto on and off switch, a pressure regulator and moisture filter, and all those things are good :)

Other important stuff I have learned is to never place the compressor on a desk, it will eventually jump off because of vibrations, and to always empty the tank after use when it may be a while before you turn it on again.
I’ve been learning about cleaning the airbrush too, but have seen some contradicting information about it. Some say you shouldn’t clean it too often, others say to clean after every use. When I say clean, I mean taking it apart and cleaning every single piece.
I imagine that for stuff like varnish, cleaning everything is the way to go, but do I need to do that in the 30 minutes it takes a coat to dry and is ready for another coat? When using paints, I think spraying a little airbrush cleaner after use may be enough, but I will learn as I go.

I have seen a lot of people be annoyed with airbrushes because they require so much cleaning, so I have always been a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, but honestly, after taking mine apart, it doesn’t seem so bad. One guy just took all the parts and put them in a cup of nail polish remover, and it got a lot of gunk off the pieces.

This is my little guy, and I can’t wait to get him home! Maybe I can even start a faceup for my Hemera Maru :) Blushing will hopefully be easier with all this new stuff!

Say hello to this cutie

Easter is giving me a chance to do some faceup practice :)
I went from liking this face, to hating it, and now I sort of like it again:

The rooted head gives her the biggest forehead in the history of foreheads, but other than that I think I sort of like her :) I tried not going for my default blue eye color, and turns out brown was a hard color to achieve :P
Anyway, she just brightened up my day and I wanted to share :)

In bigger news, I ordered a compressor today! Because of easter it will take a while to get it, but it is ordered and I couldn’t be happier! I’ll soon be able to start practicing airbrushing!

Shoes!

They are finally here! My girls first pair of shoes!

I really like them, but the size is way off. I couldn’t get her flat feet in them, even if the length is more than enough. She can get them on using the high heel feet, but they are too short to fill the shoe too.

I knew it would be a challenge to find shoes that fit well, so I am still happy with these :) Those grey tights dont go well with them however, so I need to make her something cute eventually.

Alpaca and airbrush!

It turns out I did order bundled alpaca after all, I am so confused. My order history shows unbundled, but this was definitively bundled!

Lets have a look at what I got:

To be honest, 1 oz wasn’t as much as I thought it was (so of course I went ahead and ordered some more), and I did lose a lot of fiber during the process, but honestly I think it was a little bit my fault because I was rushing through the process :P I was so excited to see if I could get it all clean and white, that I didn’t really spend as much time as I should have, cleaning the fibers.

I had to wash it several times to end up with clean water, but I should have spent more time loosening the fibers and removing grass and dirt.

The same goes for the ombre effect, I really should have spent some time learning HOW to get a nice transition, but I rushed the first couple of locks, so they didn’t turn out great. But I admit, I enjoyed the process a lot. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough to make a complete wig for Kira, but I started one anyway. The fibers are also extremely long, and just too long for my tiny dolls. I need to figure out how I can cut it and still have nice feathery ends.

And here is my new baby!
I almost messed up so badly, I was watching some tutorials on how to take thing this apart and clean it (just to be prepared for when I can actually use it) and for a few minutes there, I didn’t think I was going to be able to put it back together. The trigger sort of fell out, and I could not figure out how to get it back in! My savior became a youtube video, in german! I had no idea what they were saying, but the video was so clear that I could figure out just by watching it :)
And I think I learned very much by messing up. Now I know how to take the whole thing apart, and put it back together again :)

I still need to watch some more videos, but I have plenty of time since it’ll be a while before I can get a compressor.

I will continue my wig adventures as well, and I really want to get some more colors to dye with!