My name is Mark Lewis and I have been airbrushing on and off for about 4 years now. I first became interested in airbrushing after seeing a local sign writer from the Riverlands vehicles/airbrushing all over the region. He airbrushed all of his cars. I was always interested in how he did this. The sign writer is Rod Tickle who is well known across Australia for his airbrushing skills and was one of the main reasons I began to airbrush. As rod moved to Queensland to open his airbrush studio, east coast airbrush, I couldn’t learn from his classes so the closest place to learn was in Adelaide (3 hours away). At the time the only courses available were 2 hour lessons each Tuesday night, so I would finish work and drive to Adelaide for the course then drive home to return to work the following day. I did this for 8 weeks until a weekend course became available which made life a lot easier. After finishing the course I continued to practice my skills trying to get as good as I could with it.
There are many artists that have had an impact on my painting but a person who has inspired me and really helped me with anything I have asked to do with custom paint/airbrushing has been Dan Seddon. His work is incredible and I appreciate the time he has taken to help me improve. Another airbrush artist who inspires me is Corry Saint Clair, I am amazed at what he can do with an airbrush and looking at the paintings I have done I think you can tell he has been a huge inspiration to me. (I was given permission to use his pictures as references) His use of texture and his realism is what I aim to achieve one day.
Being a qualified spray painter working in a crash shop I have access to automotive paint and that’s what I choose to use. Our brand of paint is PPG but for Kandys I like to use House of Kolor. I have used water based paints and liked using them too but it’s just a lot easier for me to get access to automotive paint. All of my airbrushes are iwata and my preferred airbrush is the kustom micron cm.
The only tip I think I could give someone starting out, I think, is get quality equipment and practice as much as you can. I haven’t been airbrushing for that long and know I have a lot to learn still but as a beginner I learnt that you get better with every painting so you just have to continue to practice.
Being from a small country town where there is not a large kustom scene I know that the possibility of doing airbrushing full time is not a option but I have just started up my own signwriting business part time and hope to incorporate what I love to do into the business. At the time of writing this my wife and I are 37 weeks pregnant so the future is going to be a juggling act but can’t wait and am looking forward to every minute.
Mark Lewis Signs, P.O.Box 514, Loxton, South Australia, 5333. This is the link to my facebook page which is called Mark Lewis Signs. https://www.facebook.com/marklewissigns/
As published in PKG issue 44 June/July 2014