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Biker Skull – Part 1 by Robert Benedict


If you seek to add depth and dynamic impact to your paintings, this advanced step-by-step article is for you. Among the techniques demonstrated here and in Part I are: surface prep, advanced stencil techniques, how to transition from light to dark colors, how to paint on a dark surface, color mixing ratios, and more! Let’s continue in our development of this professional-caliber painting of a skull in a leather cap.

STEP 1. The first step in any custom paint project is proper surface prep. I used a red Scotchbrite pad to create a mechanical bond by roughing up the shiny surface.

STEP 2. A good water-based surface degreaser will remove any contaminates that may adversely affect the finished project.

STEP 3. It’s important to wipe off the degreaser with a clean prep cloth before it dries on the surface.

STEP 4. I centered and taped a photocopy of the image onto the board.

STEP 5. Next, I applied a sheet of transfer tape to the surface and burnished it down thoroughly. Be sure to remove any bubbles or air pockets that often occur during this process by poking holes in them with a razor knife or blade.

STEP 6. After applying the transfer tape, I cut the skull out of the photo for use as a positive and negative stencil. Then, using black in the airbrush, I sprayed completely around the outside edge of the negative. This should be a light coat.

STEP 7. With the outline established, I carefully cut the masking material.

STEP 8. After the cutting is complete, I removed the inside section revealing the black substrate underneath. We’re now ready to start painting.

STEP 9. I applied an additional sheet of transfer tape over the area that will be the leather bandana. By using the positive section of the bandanna stencil, I can map out the area again by using the same technique for the outline of the skull.

STEP 10. With the bandanna area masked, I applied color to the skull area.

STEP 11. For fast reference, tape your photo off to the side. I then airbrushed a white fade going from left to right, leaving a neutral gray on the far right of the skull.
I applied Chrome Yellow over the white as shown, but be careful not to go into the neutral gray or you’ll create a muddy green.

STEP 12. Using House of Kolor Tangerine Kandy mixed with SG-100 Intercoat clear, I gradually moved to the right with a nice even blend.

STEP 13. Using House of Kolor Apple Red Kandy Koncentrate mixed with SG-100 Intercoat clear, again I blended to the right into some of the neutral gray area. Next, I blended Violet Kandy Koncentrate mixed the same way to complete the blend.

Now stay tuned for the conclusion to this awesome Biker Skull how-to!


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