Oct 09, 2014
Feel is central to Dave’s design process, but he does have one major rule: everything must flow. “The colors and the design both have to flow, that’s the most important thing.” In his work, notice how every line of the design is continuously curving to imply speed and motion. He also pays special attention to the placement of flame tips. “You don’t want them bunched up. I try to separate them as much as I can through the design. This also aids the flow factor.”
The entire tank is painted in purple base. Dave begins the design at the front and works back with 1/8-inch masking tape
Avoid straight lines. Sinuous curves mimic the flickering of flames. Overlapping the flames (crossovers) adds complexity and depth.
A smooth radius around the top of the tank is a can’tmiss technique. Once the design is down, cut out the crossovers and mask the outside of the flames, protecting the background layers (purple).
Dave applies two light coats of white, followed by two light coats of the pearl. He allows it to set up for one hour so the tape won’t mark it.
The front of the tank and each flame are dusted in yellow. If you look carefully, you can see a wave of the white glimmering through the center of the tank.
The tip of each flame is then airbrushed in orange, fogging toward the front.
Dave tapes off the crossovers, then back masks to protect the other flames from overspray. Any mistake would be difficult to fix at this point, so he is very careful.
Each flame tip is shaded from the back to the front in red, smoothly transitioning into the orange layer below. In areas where the flames overlap, the red really pops.
Each flame tip is given a very light, short coating of purple highlight, fogging toward the front. It’s a small detail that pays big dividends.
If you feel a flame tip’s purple-red-orange-yellow transition needs tweaking, go back over it with a touch of red.
Time to see what you’ve got! As always, be careful when you remove tape.
Dave uses the air nozzle to eliminate any small paint pieces at the flame tips. After this step, the panel will be ready for clearcoat and pinstripes.
Ryan Korek demonstrates how he created a razor-sharp design. Ryan's three-dimensional design calls for bold, high-gloss colored graphics "drop shadowed" over a matter gloss silver charcoal metallic base.
Darryl Hollenbeck shows how to create an old-school lace effect in just a few simple steps. A touch of lace goes a long way, he acknowledges, but on the right project in the right amount, it's killer.
Mitch Lanzini teaches how to create a classic tape shading effect that you often see on custom lowriders and hot rods.