Airbrush Classes

Art-Faux Designs Inc

Airbrush master artist Dru Blair

coming to Art-Faux Designs new Bonita Springs Fl Studio

Yes Dru is a master at photo realism, trompe loeil, murals etc.

If you are interested in coming to the warm and sunny climate that Naples has to offer

leave a comment below and sign up to get more information on this class.

When we have an update on his very busy schedule you will be the first to know.

Class Update The Schedule Has Been Set.

Dru Blair Airbrush Class Photo Realism January 25th-28th 2012

Dru Blair Airbrush Class Auto Body January 30th-Feb. 2nd 2012

There is no obligation to get these updates other than when the pricing is determined then a deposit of 50% is required when ready to reserve your spot.

Painting of Tica by Dru Blair
Tica Painting by Dru Blair
This is a painting completed in February 2005. It was a Portrait Class project that I decided to finish in my spare time after the workshop. It probably took a total of around 65-75 hours to complete. The small images are step by step photographs taken during the painting process, and the large image is the final painting after detail and skin texture are added with an eraser and colored pencil. The main colors are blocked in at the beginning, but refinement is withheld until the very end. Look for a more complete step by step article in an upcoming magazine issue~Dru Blair
Tica Painting by Dru Blair After a couple of hours of color adjustment, I’ve reached the 10 hour mark. At this stage, detail has not been added to the face, because it is best to wait until all the colors are correct first. There are many areas still to be corrected. For example, one of the front teeth is too dark. The arm is also too dark at the edges. I usually wait until the very end to introduce skin and hair texture.10 hours
Tica Painting by Dru Blair
Tica Painting by Dru Blair
Detail of final painting showing skin texture. Subtle nuances created by an xacto knife, an eraser, and some colored pencil can build convincing skin texture. The etcetera technique also helps the believability of the skin and hair texture. Fine hair is created using my shield-reveal technique, and my split frisket technique. Airbrush constitutes about 99% of the image.
Tica Painting by Dru Blair
Ian, Dru and Darryl pose in front of the Tica original painting during the April 05 Workshop. The original and several other paintings are on display in the school.
About this painting This painting started as an exercise for a portrait workshop I taught in 2005. My previous exercise in portraiture was the Vanessa painting. In order to provide the best reference for my students, I took a digital photograph in my studio of a local model (Tica) with my Nikon Coolpix 8700, then printed copies for each student on my Epson 9600 printer. The goal was to work from reference that provided great lighting, good detail, and accurate skin tones. I intentionally lit and posed Tica in the manner of the old masters, but used contemporary portrait studio elements (such as the smile and white background), to expose the most subtle nuances of her face. Tica has incredible skin, with a challenging range of colors. As it turned out, the range of colors in her skin proved to be a little overwhelming. Normally, it takes me about 7 or 8 colors to recreate an individual’s skin palette, and I blend those on the board to create many more. However with Tica, I found it necessary to mix around 20 different colors to capture her range of color. There were also a few interesting artifacts introduced by the digital camera such as a blue halo around the earring, but I decided to include them in the final painting, because they seemed visually interesting.By the time the class ended on Sunday, most students had reached a level of completion equivalent to the third image down on the left of the step by step sequence ( I intentionally omitted many of the step by step photographs because I don’t want to spoil the upcoming magazine article on the creation of this painting). I need to add here that the purpose of my workshops is not to complete a painting, but rather to use the time optimally so that each student learns the techniques and visual skills necessary to create a photorealistic painting. Once I’m convinced that each student has a grasp of a specific feature, we then move on to another area of the face. Tica Painting by Dru BlairAfter the class concluded, I remained in the studio contemplating Tica’s image. After some deliberation, I decided to test the limits of my visual skills by completing the project painting. The realism of almost all of my previous paintings was compromised by time constraints and deadlines, but I imposed no deadline on myself this time. Nearing completion of the painting, I decided to remove some of the elements I had already painted such as the nap of cloth next to her armpit (see image). This unfinished painting is not without flaws, which are mercifully reduced by the computer screen’s 72 dpi resolution. I could have invested another 50 hours in it, but the improvements would have been subtle. Besides, by then, I was ready to move on to another project.Photorealism:As a style, Photorealism has a few detractors, who often dismiss it as pointless, or non-art. They fail to realize that many photorealistic paintings are not mere copies of photographs, but interpretations of reality based on the artist’s vision. The act of merely copying a photograph has no artistic merit except to hone one’s artistic skills. Most of my aviation paintings would be impossible to photograph, such as Timing is Everything for example. This painting of Tica is not just a copy of a photograph, but is a product of many artistic decisions, whereas I deviated from the reference photo for more aesthetic appeal. Often, the artist’s deviation from the reference material is unconscious. Despite my best efforts, my own unconscious stylization creeps into all of my work, and it is a struggle to keep it subdued.Photographic reference is almost always used as a guide by photorealists, but becomes less necessary as an artist gains proficiency, and understanding of the elements of photorealism. While reading the list of the elements of realism, consider that no other artistic style demands so much of an artist. Photorealism is by far, the most difficult artistic style to master.

Elements of photorealism: proportion, color fidelity, scale, perspective, edge transition, subtlety, non-contrivance (chaos), object relationship, light and shadow, reflection, radiosity, transparency, texture, atmosphere, depth of field, weathering (wear and tear), flaws, detail, and it all has to make visual sense. If any of these elements are amiss, the painting will fail as a photorealistic image. In truth, these elements are simply descriptions of the visual experience of reality. If an artist ever wanted to put his or her artistic skills to the test, there is no greater master than reality. Art: (my definition) Art is the selective re-creation or conversion of reality by the human mind into concrete imagery according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments. Real or imagined concepts are filtered and altered through the human mind to the artist’s hand to create an image or sound that did not exist before. The reason photography does not qualify as art is that the process removes the filter of the human mind as an interpretative element. Although photography requires technical skill, in the final analysis it is only a mechanical recording of reality. Airbrush Action Cover of Tica - Painting by Dru Blair Learn more about how Dru creates photorealistic paintings. You can reach Blair Art Studios by calling 1-800-828-3634

20 thoughts on “Airbrush Classes”

    1. Hi David, believe it or not but what you saw is at an entry level class taught by Drew Blair.However due to the impact of the current economy I have put classes on hold until late 2014. Unfortunately there just is not enough support to sustain the costs of holding classes here in Southwest Florida as it takes a minimum amount of people to support the expense. However I have been getting a few inquiries lately and that could change, stay tuned.

    1. Hi Jami, The airbrush classes and other classes have been put on hold for now. The class you are viewing is one that canceled early in 2012. Sorry for the confusion but if there is not enough people that sign up for the classes with paid deposits then I can not move forward with them due to the expense of setting these on a schedule. (sign of the times unfortunately). However I am receiving more emails about classes so I may consider a schedule for 2014.Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed. Thanks for your support and interest.

    1. Normandy, we are working on the possibility of a fall class for 2013 or one for early 2014, you can sign up for the newsletter to stay in touch or just stop back by to check on the class schedule

  1. Hi Art,
    Happy New Year! Yes, I would like to know more about the airbrush class….cost of class & what the cost of a quality airbrush/compressor would bealong with the types of paints used or can faux effects color line be used? Thank you, Doug

    1. Hi Doug, Glad to see you back. You can get all the information by clicking the class links at the top of the page or by clicking on these links I will post here in response to your comment. First Class is Jan 25th-28th on Photo Realism which is a 4 day class and everything is provided. The second class is Real Flames and Skull on Jan. 30th- Feb 2nd. Doug these are entry level classes where you will learn about mixing color and using the airbrush the links will take you to each of the class pages and photos of what you will be painting. Take a look and if you have any more questions send me an email or give us a call at 239 417 1888

  2. Betsy Johnson

    I would like to sign up for your newsletter.
    I do not have any experience with airbrush. Do
    you have any classes for beginners planned for
    the near future?
    Thank You,

    1. Hi Betsy, I have just released a newsletter with the dates and times of the Dru Blair Airbrush Painting Classes (no experience necessary)and have included a notice in the class sign up form on this page. You should be receiving that very soon.

  3. please let me know when you are having another class here in bonita…a beginner level class. I am not an artist but, do like to create my own works here and there for fun. Your work is so amazing…i am blown away by it!

    1. Cara
      The class will be held here in Naples as soon as we get enough participants. I have nearly enough for it to be sold out at this point. Once I have the final commitments then I will schedule the class. Stay informed with our newsletter and RSS feed. Or you can just email me directly

  4. I appreciate knowing that this can be done with an air brush, Beautiful work guys! I am worndering if you give beginner classes also, I am scared to use my air brush because I don’t really know the first thing about using it or keeping it clean. I am a visual learner more than a book learner, Iread what it says but untill I actually do it and feel it I tend to shy away from it. HELP, I really do want to use my airbrush, Thank you, PJ Hoover of Fauxtastic Dreamscapes LLC, Naples Fl

    1. Hi PJ,
      Glad you stopped by and yes this would involve the introduction to the airbrush I’m sure and also there is a color theory part to the class. Color theory to the airbrush is different than what you are use to. Translucent layers of paint are used with an airbrush as opposed to mixing color for a plaster or a mural. Dru has a unique color theory that he teaches and I am excited to see his technique myself. I will be announcing the class details as soon as we set a date

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