airbrush and air tank photos

He paints with a hairbrush?

Marty’s illustrations are done with an airbrush...a small, very precise spray gun. An attached cup holds paint. A hose connects the airbrush to the “air”, a tank of compressed CO2 (some people use compressors), which sprays the paint.

The spray is controlled by a button on the top of the airbrush. Pushing down on the button releases the compressed CO2. The farther down the button is pushed the more air is released. Pulling back on the button releases the paint. The further back the button is pulled the more paint is released.

The amount of air to paint creates the different spray patterns. More air with less paint makes a fine spray. More paint and less air makes a coarse spray. Combined with the distance from the tip of the airbrush to the illustration board, it is possible to spray a wide band of color or a stroke with width of a pencil line.

The airbrush can be used for freehand drawing, for example, the T-shirt artist who can paint a design on a shirt while you watch. Loose masks made of cut shapes of card can be sprayed over to create more intricate shapes. Hard-


edged shapes are painted using frisket, a thin, clear, adhesive plastic film. The area to be painted is cut out of the frisket, creating a stencil. Most of Marty’s work is painted using frisket.

In the caves of Lascaux in France are 10,000 year-old paintings that historians think may have had magical importance. They look to have been created by someone holding their hand up to the wall, then blowing chewed berry pulp over it. When the hand is removed, there is left the outline, the “negative hand”. A mouthful of berry juice, perhaps blown through a reed or bone, could have been the first “airbrush”.

The airbrush as we know it appeared in the 1890’s. It was a useful tool for photo retouchers and painting advertising cards as photography and printing became more widely used in the 1920’s. Airbrush art was quite popular in the ‘70’s, with the smooth, gleaming surfaces and reflections it was able to render. Most “airbrushing” is now probably produced with Photoshop. •

Marty uses...
Paasche H airbrush
Strathmore Series 500 100% rag Bristol
Badger Air-O-Paque paint
Grafix frisket film


Lemme see yore ID...
Changing phases of self-identification
Old business cards
Answers: 1990, 1980, 1973, 1993, 1975

Bottom of the drawer
Some art from the '80's...a Boston Globe Calendar cover and a feature piece for the Globe Magazine, and an advertising piece for UFO Encounters, San Francisco.
Old artwork


All content ©Marty Braun. No use without permission.


moto Martini
Just once more around the block
Marin county
My first bike, an '82 Kawasaki GPz550. Marin County, CA. 1984.

About the time I got my bike, my friend Fred got his Harley. Heading for Sturgis, 1983.

North on 101
Pal Larry on his 750 GPz heading north on 101. Red Bluff, CA.

Cabin and bike
In 1984 I rode solo from Boston to San Francisco, by way of Canada. I stayed in this cabin in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It rained most of the trip. The ground was so soft I leaned the bike against the cabin so it wouldn't fall over.

Ringling theater
Baraboo is the home of Ringling Bros. Circus. A. L. Ringling built this movie theater for his employee's off hours.

Glacier National Park
Heading south out of Canada I rode through Glacier National Park, an impressive introduction to The Rockies.

Silver Crest Donuts
A destination isn't necessary for a ride to be fun, but
who can resist donuts? On board my '86 Yamaha SRX 600 single, San Francisco, 1990.

Friends Mary Francis and David come off the track at Loudon. 750 Norton Commando sidehack, vintage racing, 1995.