Friday, February 16, 2007

A Brush with Air - February 06, 2007

It was Abner Peeler who invented the first airbrush in 1879 in Iowa, USA. Then in 1980 I discovered it in Mr. Rupert Murdoch's art dept while i was working for The Australian newspaper. Every guy has one ready for use, not for drawing but to retouch radiophotos (what's that?:) That was before the days of fax machines and email.Then offset printing arrived opening a new era of high-resolution images on newsprint. Overnight letterpresses became dinosaurs. I was one of 2 or 3 artists who tried to use the airbrush for newspaper drawings.
I now extensively use the airbrush to give 3D effects and enhance line drawings, caricatures and illustrations for the Sydney Morning Herald . Although tedious at first I really enjoy doing this type of illos (short for illustration). I could also rightly claim I was first to coin this word when I asked for an "illo" board to use for drawing from our art supplies manager. It was Paul Leigh in 1980 who asked me "Is that what you call it, Edd?". I said "Yes; because I've just found out that you Aussies love to use nicknames that end with an "o" like Robbo for Robertson, Jacko for Jackson and generics like garbo for a garbage man." Illo is now a commonly-used word between journalists and artists in the Australian newspaper industry.
Here's a sample airbrush illo I've enjoyed doing (see above image). I've scanned the original and then buffed it in a paint program by enhancing the highlights and shadows..
The drawing was published in The Spectrum, a supplement magazine of the Sydney Morning Herald.
I've forgotten what the article was all about but it's got something to do with writing while being guided by some mysterious forces;-)

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At Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 7:08:00 AM GMT+11 , Anonymous Lisbet said...

People should read this.


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