Q&A: 80s air­brush style

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Ali­cia Mars­den, Canada

Mark replies

What in­stantly pops in my mind when heard about the topic for this ar­ti­cle are the amaz­ing early paint­ings of Ha­jime So­rayama. To recre­ate his iconic style dig­i­tally, I want to use sim­i­lar steps in the work process, em­u­lat­ing what he would use with the tra­di­tional medium. I at­tempt to repli­cate the small im­per­fec­tions of the air­brush, use dig­i­tal mask­ing tech­niques with se­lec­tions, and vary the edges the same way as the artists of the 80s did to sep­a­rate the main shapes.

I also want to show the key style points of this genre. These in­clude us­ing sim­ple back­grounds with gra­di­ents, over­sat­u­rated colours, and highly re­flec­tive ma­te­ri­als such as chrome, glass or shiny plas­tic that are rel­a­tively easy to repli­cate dig­i­tally.

I chose the style of So­rayama be­cause I feel his works in­cor­po­rate all the aes­thet­ics of the 80s. If you’d like to mimic the work from a par­tic­u­lar time pe­riod, the best way is to choose an iconic artist from the time, study their style and then re­verse en­gi­neer how the art­works were cre­ated. If you un­der­stand the process with tra­di­tional medi­ums, you can recre­ate them dig­i­tally.

You can eas­ily recre­ate a fu­tur­is­tic pin-up from the ‘80s dig­i­tally, if you study and recre­ate the tech­niques and styles from the time pe­riod. It’s im­por­tant to find the balance be­tween the soft­ness of the shad­ing in­side the main shapes of the body and the hard edges in the darker re­flec­tions and outer edges of the parts. from tra­di­tional to dig­i­tal with the I paint one sim­ple brush mark of splat­ter and noisy, im­per­fect char­ac­ter­is­tics and white, the tra­di­tional air­brush in black se­lect the area and sam­ple that to a new brush (Edit>De­fine Brush Pre­set…). I can now tweak the brush to suit my needs. Ar tist ’s s ec ret

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