How to Airbrush the Union Jack

Written by alexander poirier
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How to Airbrush the Union Jack
The components that make up the Union Jack are very specific and must be painted to match these specifications. (Union Jack Flag, London image by PinkSony from Fotolia.com)

The Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom and is an amalgamation of the Saint George, Saint Patrick or Saint Andrew flags, each representing England, Ireland and Scotland, respectively. The elements of the flag have very well-defined measurements, making re-creating the flag more of a math assignment than an art assignment. To airbrush the Union Jack, you must understand the components of the flag and use airbrush techniques to accurately capture the flag's image.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Painter's tape
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Airbrush gun
  • Paint

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Tape off the perimeter of the flag. The flag is exactly twice as wide as it is tall. During the painting process, refer to the image of the Union Jack (see Resources).

  2. 2

    Tape off the cross of Saint George (the red cross in the middle). The width of the cross is exactly one-fifth of the flag's height. On a flag 30 by 15 inches, the cross would be 3 inches wide. Hold the airbrush gun a few inches away from the surface being painted and painted the red portion of the cross. Let the paint dry completely and remove the painter's tape.

  3. 3

    Place tape over the dry red cross and tape off the white border that is around the red cross. The white border is exactly one-fifteenth of the flag's height. On a flag 30 by 15 inches, the border would be 1 inch wide. Hold the airbrush gun within a few inches of the surface being painted and paint the white border. Let the paint dry completely, remove the guide painter's tape and cover the dry paint with fresh painter's tape.

  4. 4

    Sketch a diagonal line with a pencil from one corner of the flag to its opposite corner. Repeat for the other two corners. Sketch a parallel line on each side of the diagonal so that the distance from the diagonal to the parallel line is one-tenth the height of the flag. On a flag 30 by 15 inches, each parallel line would be 1 1/2 inches away from the diagonal, giving the entire diagonal a total width of 3 inches.

  5. 5

    Divide the diagonal stripes into six sections that are each one-thirtieth the height of the flag. On a flag 30 by 15 inches, each section would be 1/2 inch. Each segment from top to bottom, regardless of its position on the flag, will be labelled one through six.

  6. 6

    Place tape over sections 1, 2, 3 and 6 on the bottom left diagonal stripe. Airbrush sections 4 and 5 red. Allow the paint to dry completely and remove the painter's tape. Place fresh tape over sections 4 and 5 and along the borders of the diagonal. Airbrush sections 1, 2, 3 and 6 white. Let the paint dry completely and remove the painter's tape.

  7. 7

    Place tape over sections 1, 2, 3 and 6 on the top left diagonal stripe. Airbrush sections 4 and 5 red. Allow the paint to dry completely and remove the painter's tape. Place fresh tape over sections 4 and 5 and along the borders of the diagonal. Airbrush sections 1, 2, 3 and 6 white. Let the paint dry completely and remove the painter's tape.

  8. 8

    Place tape over sections 1, 4, 5 and 6 on the top right diagonal stripe. Airbrush sections 2 and 3 red. Allow the paint to dry completely and remove the painter's tape. Place fresh tape over sections 2 and 3 and along the borders of the diagonal. Airbrush sections 1, 4, 5 and 6 white. Let the paint dry completely and remove the painter's tape.

  9. 9

    Place tape over sections 1, 4, 5 and 6 on the bottom right diagonal stripe. Airbrush sections 2 and 3 red. Allow the paint to dry completely and remove the painter's tape. Place fresh tape over sections 2 and 3 and along the borders of the diagonal. Airbrush sections 1, 4, 5 and 6 white. Let the paint dry completely and remove the painter's tape.

  10. 10

    Place tape over all of the painted stripes. Airbrush the remaining unpainted areas blue. Let the paint dry completely and remove all of the painter's tape.

Tips and warnings

  • The official colours of the Union Jack are Pantone 280 (blue), Pantone 186 (red) and white.

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