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Sunburst!!!!! Who is doing it right. I need some advice

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I’m pretty sure I’m using the wrong colors as I’m not getting the results I’m after.  I need to find a yellow dye to experiment with. 
 

  I’m airbrushing in my base color, Angelus Honey as my center. Then using a diluted Fiebings Dark Brown that I fade in from the outer edge in towards center but not quite all the way in. Then using Fiebings Black lightly feathered around the outer edges. I am  liking the way  my brown and black turn out but just not liking that my “Honey” color isn’t looking so honey colored.  I am airbrushing the honey color in heavy so that could be my issue. 
 

 If this wasn’t on leather..  I’d start with a yellow center then fading in the honey color in followed by brown and black outer edges. 

84CFE2B4-A03C-4C11-BF1D-FC7CC2E4CC97.jpeg

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Take a look at some pictures of brown sunburst guitar tops to get an idea of the colors used.  I do a more traditional sunburst and usually use at least four colors:  purple/red/orange and yellow.

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Try Buckskin dye as your center color, its actually yellow with about a drop of brown dye, I've used it before and airbrushed medium brown around the edges and it turned out great

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I have cut the honey 10:1 and everything in between getting interesting hues.  You might give it a try on a scrap piece and see if it comes up the color you are looking for.  But I don't recall seeing a yellow hue come out like you are hoping for.

YinTx

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This is my very first attempt at air brushing,  this bag was just a test. Nowhere near as nice as the card case you've made, that looks really nice.  . All I used was ' whisky antique ' as the base colour, and black air brushing around the edge. I sprayed the sealer on using a ' touch up gun'.  Looks more black/ brown than 'sunburst. '

I have used  a few coats of yellow as my base colour, as well as thinned out saddle tan,  and black air brushing before. 

I'm still learning  :)

HS

 

 

Air Brushing Pics 014.jpg

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On 4/13/2021 at 11:54 PM, YinTx said:

I have cut the honey 10:1 and everything in between getting interesting hues.  You might give it a try on a scrap piece and see if it comes up the color you are looking for.  But I don't recall seeing a yellow hue come out like you are hoping for.

YinTx

I know exactly what you mean by a yellow color not showing up when diluting honey or even saddle tan. One would think yellow was used to create these colors but it doesn’t separate back to a solid when diluted. 
  I began airbrushing t-shirts in 1989. There just wasn’t much information on how to do it back then and most of the printed info would explain in what order to apply colors or even how much.  I used transparent paints on a white background and I would always start with my warm colors first primarily due to only having one airbrush and cleaning it in between spaying colors was a pain.. so I would start with yellow, then swap to orange, red and so on all the way to black as my last color. 

  it was very easy to overshoot (go overboard) when using the cool colors in this order because you just couldn’t see just how much color you were applying till it was a tad bit too late. the transparent colors were actually blending on the surface, my earlier work tended to be a little bit on the darker side of the color spectrum. Too much use of cool colors and too much black blending would be called “muddy”. 
  Once I acquired a few more airbrushes and no longer had to clean between color changes,  I began experimenting with how I laid down my colors. What I found was by applying my colors backwards... from darkest to lightest I could now see just how much pigment I was spraying on the surface and could stop before going overboard. It was weird at first looking at my work without the warm colors added but it would come together nicely once I was finished adding the warm colors and it stopped looking muddy from this point on. 
 

I just picked up some yellow and purple dye to practice laying down a traditional sunburst.   A long winded explanation but I’ll experiment by following my old process of T-shirt painting and spray the yellow dye as my last color. 


 

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This is awesome.  Can you post up some images of the process and results?  I think the purple in the mix would add an impressive hue.

YinTx

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I used Feiblings yellow pro dye as my base on this guitar strap. I feathered it in much more than most on this strap so it doesn't have as hard of a line as I'd like and kind of muddy like you talked about but each comes out slightly different. This one is really basic burst. I don't know if there is a right or wrong way it's just a matter of having it look the way you want but I am always open to tips if ya'll got em.  I have never used the honey dye your talking about but I think this yellow pro dye got me as close as I've found to the yellow in guitar bursts and might be worth a shot for you. 

Thanks for sharing your work looks great!

Royce 

DSCF3155.png

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When I do my "traditional" sunburst I use English Tan bridle leather as my strap material and it's natural color forms the base layer color.  They have a Yellow Thistle color that is brighter so I may try it next.

I like that pebbled finish on your strap.

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My first try didn't go so well either, seemed to me that the overspray of the dark was getting onto the middle portion and darkening that also. I haven't had time to do much more experimentation so am gonna follow this closely. Thanks to all for their two cents.

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16 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

My first try didn't go so well either, seemed to me that the overspray of the dark was getting onto the middle portion and darkening that also. I haven't had time to do much more experimentation so am gonna follow this closely. Thanks to all for their two cents.

Yes, you have to be very careful as you progress to the darker colors to make sure your overspray doesn't obscure the previous colors you have laid down.  In order to control overspray I thin my dye down, turn my airbrush pressure way down and pay attention to the angle I am spraying at.  Are you using an airbrush that lets you control the spray with the button on the gun?

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1 minute ago, sbrownn said:

Yes, you have to be very careful as you progress to the darker colors to make sure your overspray doesn't obscure the previous colors you have laid down.  In order to control overspray I thin my dye down, turn my airbrush pressure way down and pay attention to the angle I am spraying at.  Are you using an airbrush that lets you control the spray with the button on the gun?

yes i have a paasche vlst  i was running it about 25 - 30 psi  with the smallest needle and tip if i remember right. I have done a bit of painting with it also to further my control skills with the button. I'll have to try your suggestions on my next project

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3 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

yes i have a paasche vlst  i was running it about 25 - 30 psi  with the smallest needle and tip if i remember right. I have done a bit of painting with it also to further my control skills with the button. I'll have to try your suggestions on my next project

I run my brush at about 5 psi.

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1 minute ago, sbrownn said:

I run my brush at about 5 psi.

getting ready to try it in a few minutes Thank you !

 

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43 minutes ago, sbrownn said:

I run my brush at about 5 psi.

seems my problem is solved much thanks, that is eco flo yellow, red, and bison brown there are a few blems on the leather but the spray came out great now just need more practice.

sunburst.JPG

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8 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

seems my problem is solved much thanks, that is eco flo yellow, red, and bison brown there are a few blems on the leather but the spray came out great now just need more practice.

 

and folks poo poo on the eco flo - ain't nothin wrong with that!  Well done. I bet it would look pretty cool with some antique too.

YinTx

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7 hours ago, YinTx said:

and folks poo poo on the eco flo - ain't nothin wrong with that!  Well done. I bet it would look pretty cool with some antique too.

YinTx

thank you yea the only thing i did wrong i think was to spray the yellow out to far so it turned all the red i put down afterward to orange but it is certainly livable and a learning experience.  I may try some antique along the tooling that is a good idea.

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7 hours ago, sbrownn said:

Looks great.

Thanks to you ! I appreciate your help i would have done a lot of trial and error before trying to turn down the pressure. 

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On 4/16/2021 at 10:19 PM, sbrownn said:

Looks great.

so do you spray your finishes also? My problem with super sheen is that it picks up alot of dye when i brush it on and leaves streaks would spraying it on be better? On this piece it removed and streaked the bison brown then sealed up the whole mess lol. I mixed a bit of sheen with some of the dye and it sprayed well and helped cover some of the problem but puddled easily.

Also wondering would the leather being damp help the dye bind better before drying i still feel alot of the dye dries before it soaks into the leather.

 

Edited by chuck123wapati

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I airbrush as well I picked up 4 of them (not all at the same time) 1 for black another for green, blue and puprle another for red and pink and the last for finish. The one for finish is adjusted for that and that alone.  I picked them up at harbor freight for a 20 spot. 

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13 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

so do you spray your finishes also? My problem with super sheen is that it picks up alot of dye when i brush it on and leaves streaks would spraying it on be better? On this piece it removed and streaked the bison brown then sealed up the whole mess lol. I mixed a bit of sheen with some of the dye and it sprayed well and helped cover some of the problem but puddled easily.

Also wondering would the leather being damp help the dye bind better before drying i still feel alot of the dye dries before it soaks into the leather.

 

I've gotten so I only work in pre colored bridle leather anymore and I don't bother to finish it because it doesn't need it.  There are lots of colors, more uniformly dyed than  I could ever do, it holds stamps well, can be dyed over and doesn't cost any more that good quality veg tan.

I like the Chahin leather in the desert colors sold by American Leather Direct.  You can order it in various colors and thicknesses and one of the nice things about it is that after it has been split down they paste the back side very nicely so you don't have to do it yourself.

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13 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

so do you spray your finishes also? My problem with super sheen is that it picks up alot of dye when i brush it on and leaves streaks would spraying it on be better? On this piece it removed and streaked the bison brown then sealed up the whole mess lol. I mixed a bit of sheen with some of the dye and it sprayed well and helped cover some of the problem but puddled easily.

Also wondering would the leather being damp help the dye bind better before drying i still feel alot of the dye dries before it soaks into the leather.

 

As long as you are set up to spray dye you should probably also spray the finishes.  I haven't run into the problems you are encountering but I would guess that if you spray dyed damp leather it would feather out following the moisture in directions you don't want it to.  If I were doing what you are thinking of I would dye dry, let the dye dry and then spray the finish.  The only time I use any finish is after I have laser embossed something and then it is to keep the embossment from smearing.

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I have been spraying my finishes on my holster for the 10 + years. Eric Adams with Adams Leather Works showed me what he does years ago and if you ever saw Eric's work you would know that I wanted my holsters to look like his.Spray it is !!! Dye and Sealant

 

 

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