Airbrush Step-by-Step

Airbrushing a custom Skateboard for pro skater Doug “Pineapple” Saladino

Welcome back to Painter’s Forum.  Today’s tutorial, is how to paint your own Skateboard deck.  This is such a fun little exercise using the airbrush and masking tape to create your very own designs on your blank decks.  So grab your airbrush and paint along with me!  Let’s get started.

Photo Nov 21, 10 53 09 AM

Step 1:  The first step is to cover your painting area, completely with masking paper.  This is a self adhesive paper that car painters use on their graphics. This will allow you to safely cut out your design and mask off the rest and protect it from any unwanted overspray.

Photo Nov 21, 11 08 37 AM

Step 2:  Now, using some transfer paper, I trace or draw out my design onto the deck itself.  You do not need to press very hard to transfer the art onto the wood.  Try to be very thorough when drawing your design, as you want as much information as you can.

Photo Nov 21, 11 16 50 AM

Step 3:  Now comes the stenciling part and the cutting of your positive and negative areas, such as the individual pineapple leaves and the outline of the pineapple.  Be careful when cutting your stencil as you do not want to cut through to the wood.  Test out how much pressure to apply your cuts on a small area first to gauge this technique.  Here I am cutting out every little leaf in preparation for airbrushing each leaf one at a time.

Photo Nov 21, 4 05 06 PM
Step 4:  Starting from the top down, I peel away the leaves one by one and paint each one individually.  Each leaf has a 3 color process; Lime green first, then Dark green and then transparent black.  I start from the top down because as the leaves are painted, the leaf below will appear on top of the previous one. Take your time and make each one look nice and realistic. 
Photo Nov 21, 4 25 21 PM
Step 5:  Now that the leaves are completed, I can remove the stencil of the Pineapple itself.  Here I start with a Sun Yellow as my base color.
Photo Nov 21, 4 27 50 PM
Step 6:  Now comes the transparent orange for that real Pineapple color.  I sprayed more on the under side of it to give it a round illusion.  Always double check to see if the tape has lifted at all and make sure no paint can get underneath.
Photo Nov 21, 4 59 07 PM (1)
Step 7:  Now comes the fun freehand section of the painting.  If you need some practice at your freehand airbrushing skills, visit the blog called Beginner Practice Strokes and Shading to help you brush up on this.  I added the little scales on the pineapple first to separate them, using a black and dark brown mix.  Next, I wanted to add some fun elements to the piece by making the scales into faces.  From far away they look like normal pineapple scales, but when you look close, they are little funny looking faces.  For the facial features and shading, I used the colors Sienna and orange.  Take your time and have some fun with this.
Photo Nov 21, 5 18 19 PM
Step 8:  I like the way the shading is going, so I can continue with the highlights of the faces.  Here I am using a transparent white and I am carefully adding them to the foreheads and noses of the faces.
Photo Nov 21, 5 18 32 PM
Step 9:  So the last step in this project is to clear coat the entire deck with a 2 stage clear coat.   I will be using a HVLP spray gun for the clearing. 
Photo Nov 23, 11 29 03 AM
Finished painting

So there you have it!  A custom painted Skateboard deck.  It’s so very fun as you can make your own designs, logos and art…..hell…you can your own Pro-model Skateboard!  I hope you have enjoyed this little how-to and I thank you for tuning in today!  Keep painting and don’t forget to leave me your thoughts and comments below.

Artist’s tool box:

Airbrush:  ABD KIT-G43

Airbrush paints:  USA AB-KIT-12

Masking Film:   KUS STMF1230

Transfer Paper:  USA GTP18X24-10


For more up to date artworks, follow me on Instagram at ArtistAnhPham

(2) Comments

  1. Matt Little says:

    Very cool, good, no excellent work

    1. paintersforumadmin says:

      awww. thank you so much Matt…really appreciate your kind words!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: