Here I’ve applied the mask to the background. Notice extra spacing in between letters (kerning) to allow for the outline stroke, so there is no collision between the strokes. All the pull-outs for the outlines are incorporated into the mask. You will see how that works in the progression. Notice that I masked the surrounding area with transfer tape to make cleanup easier.
I brushed down the purple base color, not worrying about being neat and clean, then airbrushed a fade from dark to light, top to bottom.
I peeled the oval background for the J panel then hand brushed and airbrushed the background. I then pulled out the outline mask around Breslin to begin doing the beveled edge.
These are the four shades of 1 Shot enamel that I used to airbrush into the white/gray handpainted outline: tan/black, dark gray/black, blue, pure white.
The base for the outline is a mix of white with a little gray added.
This uses wet-on-wet technique, so I quickly airbrushed tan/black mix along bottom and right, to mimic reflecting the ground.
Next I airbrushed the blue on the upper and left edges to mimic sky, leaving white/gray base color exposed for reflection areas.
I then airbrushed the dark gray/black onto the bottom right to enhance ground reflection.
I airbrushed on the pure white next, to really highlight reflection areas. I then peeled the mask off the J from the orange oval.
I hand painted highlights in white and black to further enhance reflection highlights.
I peeled the swoosh graphics mask and hand painted those colors, then peeled the mask for the black shadow.
The cast shadow was hand painted in black.
At this point, I removed the remaining mask and hand painted the white inline and painted in the J oval. I enhanced the J with three shades of orange to give it dimension. I also added a shadow on the inside of the purple letter to create depth.
Finally, I hand painted the hot spots/reflections with white mixed with clear so that it was translucent.

Step-by-step: Traditional airbrushed lettering

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Jersey-style truck lettering, with its gradient blends, custom-designed lettering and chrome effects, has much of its roots in race car lettering and rock-and-roll album covers. One of its founding fathers is Glen Weisgerber [SignCraft, November/December 1985], who inspired many young sign painters in the Northeast—and across the country—during the ’70s and ’80s.

One of those young sign painters was Brian Schofield of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Brian was first featured in SignCraft’s July/August 1990 issue and has been several times since. When he did a pair of panels using traditional skills for a dragster recently, he documented the steps to share.

“I basically learned by dissecting and studying his technique,” says Brian. “It was so impressive to me and it drove me to push myself. I sort of took his approach apart and put my own twist on it. I’m a bit more of a perfectionist than Glen, so I probably spend a little more time on the details than I should.


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