Hot Rod - - Pinstripe Your Next Project -

First thing’s first, the real se­cret of pin­strip­ing steady lines and flow­ing curves is all in how you hold the brush. Don’t sweat the tech­nique too hard—ul­ti­mately, you must ad­just for what’s com­fort­able—but the key is twofold: for long pulls of lines and arcs, you’ll want the brush at a slight an­gle rel­a­tive to the work piece, al­low­ing the brush hairs to act like a “shock ab­sorber” for your hands, but for curves and tighter cir­cles, the brush is held more up­right.

“The way that I like to ex­plain it is to say, OK, ev­ery­body knows how to make an ‘OK sign’ [with your hand], but ev­ery­body picks this brush up and they want to hold a pen­cil, you know? But when I go to North Carolina, where the NASCAR guys are, it’s ‘three’ for Dale [Earn­hardt]—I got to give them the credit for that,” Styles joked, hold­ing up a “three” with his pointer fin­ger and thumb pinched. The pocket cre­ated by your thumb and pointer is where the brush han­dle should sit, while your three re­main­ing fin­gers are used to sta­bi­lize the brush against your work.

“You’re go­ing to take this brush belly-side down, you’re go­ing to take your ‘three’ for Dale, pinch it on ei­ther side of the fer­rule [the wrap­ping that ties the bris­tles to the han­dle]. And the rea­son you want to pinch that is so you can ro­tate the brush.”

Next, you’ve got to load the brush with paint. The paint’s con­sis­tency is im­por­tant be­cause it af­fects the cov­er­age of the line you pull, along with the dry­ing time when work­ing through a mul­ti­color de­sign. “It gets heavy when you load it with paint,” Ryan said.

“And when you’re thin­ning it, you can feel when it’s right be­cause it’ll pull smooth—if it’s too thick, it feels like it hops as you pull,” Styles con­tin­ued.


04 03] A typ­i­cal, sword-shaped brush—like the ven­er­a­ble Mack brushes— are held with the pointer and thumb, us­ing the other dig­its for sup­port.

04] Ryan Lugo, HRM art di­rec­tor, was quick to pick up the minu­tia, like keep­ing the brush palat­ted and loaded with paint.

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