Airbrushing a Car Hood with Queen Padme Amidala

Well here are some of my favorite thing in life; Airbrushing, Star Wars and Natalie Portman!  Today we will compile all three of these things in this super fun project.  So, grab your airbrush and paint along with me.

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Step 1:  So the very first step is acquiring a nice clean car hood to paint on. It doesn’t have to be off of an actual car, it can be from a junk yard or an old clunker you have laying in your yard.  Here I am using a car hood made for displaying paint jobs.  It just has to be clean and dent free.  Here I am wet scuffing the car hood with a scuff pad and water.  The water is to keep the dust down and the water actually cuts through the paint job quicker if there is water involved.

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Step 2:   Next, I covered the entire hood in a wide 18inch masking tape paper.  Then I transfer the outline of the Queen onto that using some transfer paper and a Photocopy of the face.  Like all my portraits, I am only tracing out the important features of the face such as the eyes, nostrils and mouth to map out the features.
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Step 3:   Now it is time to cut out the facial features with a utility knife.  Be careful not to cut too deep into the transfer paper as you may cut into the paint of the hood.  Be cautious of this as you will be able to see the cut marks through the final clear cut.
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Step 4:   Now I am just cutting out the different components of her headdress.  I’m not sure what the actual components are called but, they are gorgeous and majestic.
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Step 5:   After that I am ready to peel some of the stenciling off and start airbrushing the background and eyes.  I like a blurry and fuzzy look as this will make Queen Amidala really stand out.  I use black, yellow and some purple.
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Step 6:   So here, I remove the stenciling protecting the scarf, and I paint this purple.
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Step 7:   Next comes the free handing of the face. I first remove all of the stenciling from the face except the nose and mouth.  Make sure to save all of the stencils removed as you never know when you will need to reuse these.
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Step 8:   The free handing comes with a light source from the upper right hand side.  Keep this light source in mind when you are airbrushing the entire outfit and headdress as this will tie in all of the painting.
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Step 9:   Now the lipstick and red dots
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Step 10:   Now I am ready to remove the rest of the headdress stencils and continue creating her majestic features.  Always keep in mind the light source from the upper right hand side.
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Step 11:   With a pencil smudge stick, I start to lay out the pearls in the headdress, one by one.  This is tedious but, very therapeutic.  Take your time and have fun laying these out! There are literally hundreds of them so, take your time and be patient.
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Step 12:   There are times when you will need to remask and retape off the artwork or parts of it for painting.  Here I am using pin stripers tape to remask the cloak she is wearing.
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Step 13:   I also need to remask out the headdress and prepare this for airbrushing. I want to be careful not to get any over spray on any of the work that I’ve already done!
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Step 13 cont.:   Here is a close up of how I actually do this.
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Step 14:   Here I am using some cool fabrics to create a texture on the cloak.  I want it to look very royal, so I paint this on to make it look embroidered somehow.
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Step 15:   As for her headdress, it requires some feather work on top.  I am using an actual feather for this look as feathers are a perfect stencil for feathers.  Work smarter, not harder.
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Step 16:   Now I can continue to build up the pearl headdress, which is going to take some time and patience.  Notice I add larger ones to the mix to create some style and also to break up the smaller ones.
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Step 17:   Now I can take some transparent black to airbrush some 3D effects in the pearls.  This step will make the pearl headdress look round and contour with the forehead.  Notice that I have added very small gleams of highlights to the pearls to give that shiny pearl look.  I have also added purple to the feather part of the headdress.
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Step 18:   Here come the white highlights all over the painting.  Here I am adding white to the nose, lips and eyes.  I also create gleams of white where ever I want a shine.
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Step 19:  The white gleam in the eye can be accentuated using a fine tip. Here I use a fine graphite smudge stick.
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Step 20:   Now to the booth for some clear coat and curing.  Can’t wait to see what it looks like clear coated.
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Step 21:  So now we are in the booth and the first thing we need to do is wipe this down with some degreaser and tack cloth to get the dust off the hood.  Any dust and dirt on the hood can cause what they call fish eyes and bumps in the clearcoat.  I am going to spray a 2 stage Urethane clearcoat over the top.  I will be spraying light tack coat first, wait 15 minutes and then lay on several heavy coats allowing the clear to “flash” in between coats.  All in all , I will be applying about 6-7 coats.
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Final: 

We are all done here.  I can honestly say I love the outcome of the project as I am in love with Star Wars anything!  The time spent on the pearls was well worth the outcome and the overall effect.  Thank you for painting along with me today and stay tuned for more fun projects.  Happy Painting everyone!

 

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