Open up "Puzzlemania" in any program that supports eps, cdr or ai files. Size it to fit your project.
For this illustration, I cut two masks. One for the puzzle outline and another that I could use pieces to block off areas and open others up to airbrush in.
Sketch out the illustration. Then place the entire "Puzzlemania" over the project and remove all the pieces except those you want blocked out. If you want your illustration to look like a completed puzzle, skip this part.
Using Transfer Tape mask up your background. Use a razor blade to open up the areas to be painted. Start the pin-up with a neutral flesh tone.
Paint the pin-up with the blocked out puzzle pieces in place. You can remove them later to use as reference when duplicating the puzzle pieces that have not yet been put in place.
Start with transparant yellow to build the facial structure.
Layer Tranparant Red Oxide to achieve definition. To avoid having your illustration look two dimensional, do not cover up all the transparant yellow. You want a gradual fade into it to help achieve curvature of the body.
Use a tranparant violet and a weak black to gain shadow areas. Lightly give hightlights with a over reduced white.
Unmask the rest of the face and add the detailed features. You don't want to mask back up for these. You want to get a soft blend into flesh. Hard lines here would be bad!
I masked the portrait back up for the background. Since I'm going to be doing a lot of freehand with deep violet, I don't want the overspray to wrreck the work already done.
I wanted more of an artsy look to the hair. Here I removed the nozzle cap off my Iwata HP-B Hi-line and started layering multi colored hairstrands.
Remove all the puzzle pieces that were placed in the beginning. You will be able to use these as registration points when applying the next part of Puzzlemania.
Use the pieces that were blocking out the background and airbrushed over as reference to creating the puzzle pieces that have not been put in yet.
For the last mask, weed only the outline of the puzzle.
Using the unpainted background area as points of reference. Apply the stencil mask over the entire illustration.
Mask over the areas where the background pieces were left out. You don't want a black line going around them. Airbrush the puzzle pieces black.
Carefully remove the Puzzlemania spray mask. Add shadows to the puzzle so it looks as if its sitting on top of a table.
After several coats of Matrix MS-42 Clear and colorsanding and buffing to a glass finish, now you've got a piece suitable for framing.
Most serious custom painters use plotters and in the past programs have been made available with simple vector designs. I wanted to make something a little more advanced. I designed Gearmess and Puzzlemania so an artist can be creative and make their own designs. Each component can be repositioned; resized and rotated indepenantly. The files can be used with any program that accepts eps, cdr or ai files. The designs can be used in either positive or negative form. If you don’t have a vinyl plotter you can still make valuable use of the stencil programs. Create you design on your home computer and take a file down to any sign shop. It's inexpensive to have a sign shop cut them for you. They will cut your design for a few dollars. If you don’t want to purchase the program you can order precut stencils directly from my website. I am in the process of designing several more programs that I think Custom Painters are going to love. A few of them are “Broken Glass”, " Bolt-On’s”, “Flame Damage”, “Saw-Tooth” and “Chain-Gang”. As of now these programs are only available through my website ( www.showpaint.com )
Puzzlemania is the second in the series of computer designs made for custom painters and airbrush artists to use with their vinyl plotters. See last issue for the "Gearmess" demo. Puzzlemania is a 100 piece puzzle stencil that can be used in many ways. I'm going to demonstrate a few of them here. If you didn't read the last article, get it! I want to give a little recap for those who might not understand how these custom designs on cd work.
Puzzlemania is a fun design to work with. You can get really creative with it or just apply it directy over a illustration to make it look like a puzzle. These stencils are very easy to use and makes your customer think you spend countless hours creating it. As we all know, in this business time is money.
I didn't go over the pin-up with a solid black. Fade a weak black into the pin-up so the puzzle disappears and gives the illustion that the pin-up is coming to life.
I'll be using all Matrix Systems products on this illustration. Matrix has come a long way. I feel thier products are one of the most airbrush friendly on the market. The Candy FX Dyes are excellent for illustrations and easy to use. Not too mention, I've been creating some very intense colors with their FX Pearls.