View Full Version : Tricked Out Tribal Flames airbrush *tutorial*

04-24-2007, 07:31 PM
Well I finally got some time to finish my next tutorial. Here it is.

Tricked Out Tribal Flames


What you need:
*Basic airbrush setup
*Long hair paintbrush, pinstriping brush is ideal
*Spray Paint
-Sandable Primer
-Base color, (I used Silver,Black, and White)
-Airbrush paint, (Transparent Green, Candy Emerald Green)
-Lettering Enamel (thick enamel paint, or model paint)
-Clear Coat
*Waterproof Sand Paper(for paint prep and finish)

Let's jump right in. You should prime and paint your surface. I used a plexiglass sheet for my tutorial. If you need a refresher on how to prep and prime plastic for paint. You can go here to my prepping plastic how to (http://airbrushtricks.com/forum/index.php?topic=58.0).

I'm going to start the tutorial off with my base color all ready to go. My base color is Carbon Fiber. I painted this base using the technique in my Carbon Fiber Effect (http://airbrushtricks.com/forum/index.php?topic=17.0) tut.

Now that I have my base color. Let's cut straight to the good stuff. First I Mask off the entire area to be painted. I didn't use striping tape because i didn't have any, but you could go that route. I'll touch on that at the end.


Next I sketched out what I wanted the flames to look like. If you need a reference you can go here (http://airbrushtricks.com/forum/index.php?topic=68.0).
I filled in the outline to make it show up better in the photo, but obviously you don't have to do that.

Next, I cut out the outline with an X-Acto knife. Use a new blade, it makes a big difference. Notice I didn't follow the pattern exactly. It's more important to make smooth curves and cuts.

Next I used White Spray Paint to lay down a light colored base so my green shows up uber bright.

Next I used Transparent Bright Green.

Then I used some shelf liner and sprayed Candy Green. I did this for some texture( In other words I just did it cause I thought it would look cool. This step was obviously not critical).

Then I went over the whole flames with Candy Emerald Green to really bring out the green. Remember Candies are the trick to uber bright looking designs.

Then I removed the mask. Carefully. Don't lift up the flames. A trick to this is to go slow and peel the masking take at a sharp angle towards the direction your going. Almost flat in the direction your going.

Now the drop shadows. This is what makes old skool flames look 3D. Just lay down Transparent Black on one side of all the flames. Go slow and smooth. This is where a little skill helps. This is challenging to keep smooth strokes to make it look natural. Notice how I overlapped in a couple of places. This because once the striping is down it will look natural.

Ok, on to pin striping. First off, this is challenging. I'm not an expert pinstriper. This is where you want a thick enamel paint and a brush with long bristles. I bought two pinstriping brushes for this project. They were about 5$ each. I looked at Michael's Craft Store for brushes like these with no joy. I got mine at CoastAirbrush.com.


There are not too many tricks here. You just need to practice. The tricks I have learned are lay the brush at a real low angle to the surface and pull the brush through the strokes. Also end the stroke at the tip of the flame easy and it will come out pretty sharp.


Here's what it looks like after the pinstriping.

And here are some pics after Clear Coating it.

Some final notes.
*Pinstriping is hard and I need to continue to practice.
*Good planning for the actual fire pattern makes a big difference. Have a good plan. Trying to sketch flames off of the top of your head is hard.

I hope you all like this tut. Let me know if you have any questions.


04-24-2007, 09:17 PM
More top work there!
That looks so bloody good with the 3D effect.

Have a +rep.

04-24-2007, 09:29 PM
LOL! Dude! Those flames look SICK!

Good work man, that is damn good work!

If I ever get a laptop, I am going to have you paint it. Your a airbrushing mad man. ^_^

04-24-2007, 09:30 PM
Dude, that is so friggin cool! I think I liked it even better before the blue outlines, but once again you have produced an excellent tutorial of an awesome airbrush effect. Many thanks for sharing!

I'll add this to the front page also.

04-24-2007, 10:31 PM
Your tutorials are making me go crazy. I'm going to end up dying of exhaustion from staying up all night waiting for my airbrush to arrive. And then I'll be dead and I won't have even had a chance to use it.

Your tuts are the best airbrushing tuts I've found on the web. You really a an asset to the community dude, definitely +rep.

Edit: Ahh, give me some time for the rep, I have to "spread it out" first.

04-25-2007, 02:11 AM
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I cant take it...........

I need an airbrush :eek: .

Once again, you are the airbrush king.

04-25-2007, 07:36 AM

I think we got a new champion guys. The name is commando.

+Rep...like you don't already have a zillion of the things. :D


04-25-2007, 10:48 AM
nice job! Those drop shadows really do make the flames look like they are floating! +Reps

04-25-2007, 03:29 PM
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the props. I'll keep building more tutorials and projects.

Take it easy.

Tony D.

04-25-2007, 11:47 PM
wow so that is all painted onto a peice of plexi glass?

cause it almost looks as if you did the carbon fibre on a peice of metal then just cut out the flames of pelxi and painted that it truely looks amazing :D :up:.

you make me wanna go buy a airbrush setup and start learning airbrushing to, they look turely amazing.

just a quick side question what did you use the final product for? i mean did you attach it to any thing or is it more for just this tortial?

04-25-2007, 11:54 PM
This tutorial makes me cringe in anticipation for my new Iwata airbrush. After all these great tutorials I'm pumped to get back into it

04-26-2007, 03:02 AM
just a quick side question what did you use the final product for? i mean did you attach it to any thing or is it more for just this tortial?

Just a practice project. It's sitting in my garage. The funny thing is, I'll paint the other side completely different and you'll think is something brand new. Alot of pro airbrush guys paint panels like this to display the different effects they can do. I'm just starting to do the same thing.

I'm thinking about doing a quick post on the panel itself. That panel really looks like carbon fiber. I painted it in the reverse order on the other side so it shows through. I was pretty amazed how real it looks. Spraypaint the opposite side of a plexiglass panel (5$) or by a carbon fiber panel (35$)? I think I might have found a really cool new modding material.

This tutorial makes me cringe in anticipation for my new Iwata airbrush. After all these great tutorials I'm pumped to get back into it

Dude, I'm excited for you. It's a little frustrating at first but pretty soon you'll probably be outdoing the stuff I'm doing and I'll be taken techniques from you.

04-26-2007, 10:05 AM
o ok cause of you i really want to get a basic air brushing setup now :P dam i got the bug lol, i think these flames would look good with a mod im in the process of doing atm.

thanks for the reply, was wonder what/if you were going/had done to it.
but not sure what you mean about the panel.. could you try to explain it a bit more? sorry im stupid or take a pic?.

04-26-2007, 01:22 PM
how much would you charge to paint my bedroom walls with these uberflames? :lick:

04-27-2007, 02:24 AM
thanks for the reply, was wonder what/if you were going/had done to it.
but not sure what you mean about the panel.. could you try to explain it a bit more? sorry im stupid or take a pic?.

Nothing, that's it. It is really just a display piece. I just did it for practice. I hadn't really planned on using it for anything.

07-24-2011, 04:30 PM
hy..can explain how you make the 3D effect ( the shadows ) thx

07-30-2011, 10:11 PM
Holy ressurected thread batman......

I painted the carbon fiber on the back of a plexiglass sheet. I also painted some drop shadows...