Q&A: 80s airbrush style
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