Tip #001.

So I was just thinking it might be helpful to throw out the occasional art tip in the blog. Okay, that’s a lie – I’ve actually been considering it for a long time, but it’s only now that I came up with something I thought would be helpful. I wouldn’t want to just regurgitate advice from other artists, after all.

Now, where I was again?

Riiiight, tips. I use spraypaint in my work from time to time, and the stuff I like the best is Montana Gold. Great selection of colours, plus they’ve got a system of interchangeable caps in several different sizes. My one beef is that the caps can gum up pretty easily, depending on how you use ’em. I’m a big fan of spatter, and that seems to exacerbate the gumming-up issue. The other day I busted out a can of Red Orange (#2090) and found the cap on it was completely blocked.

Undaunted, I tried a couple other caps and found them clogged, too. But fear not – eventually I found a few that were still functional. So I got to work laying down some orange shading on my latest car illustration (more on that later), and when I was done, I put on my thinking cap and started pondering the whole clog issue.

The “aha” moment came when I remembered I have a compressed-air gun that I use to blow dust and crap out of my keyboard:

Just a cheap little accessory from Staples. I think it cost 20 bucks. I just inserted the nozzle into the bottom of the cap I’d just used, and blew all the residual paint out of it:

It was just that simple. Now, I haven’t sat down with my abacus and crunched any numbers yet, so I couldn’t give you any kind of cost-effectiveness breakdown, but I can tell you the caps cost something like 75 cents, and a pack of 4 CO2 refills retails for 20 bucks. Considering I’ve had caps that were ruined after one use, I think this’ll eventually work out for the better.

Oh, and the car I was talking about? Here it is:

One response

  1. Followup to this post: a year later, I'm still using the same caps I was using before. Haven't bought any new ones at all. I'll call this a successful tip.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:34 PM