Artist Mircho Mirchev reveals infinite possibilities of airbrush

Invented in 1876 in America, the airbrush is a special tool that spreads a thin layer of paint on a surface. At the beginning it was used mostly for retouching and coloring black and white photos. By 1885 using an airbrush started being studied as a technique in faculties of fine arts.

“Airbrush painting is a real pleasure. You can draw on whatever you want, as long as you know how to use the instrument and have an idea of what you want to do. Anyone who learns the subtleties of using the airbrush would fall in love with it because of its truly infinite possibilities,” the doyen of airbrush painting in Bulgaria, Mircho Mirchev, says. He and his wife Milena Koshutanska fell in love with the airbrush at first glance in 1991 and ten years later they opened the first professional airbrush studio in Bulgaria. Many of the local airbrush artists see Mircho Mirchev as their teacher and role model.

The airbrush has gained considerable popularity thanks to car art. That's why so many people still link this technique mostly to cars and bikes.

“The airbrush is preferred instrument in many areas because of its ability to create smooth transition of light and color,” Mircho Mirchev says. “Painting on cars and bikes is popular, but the airbrush is a useful tool in many other areas. In cinema it is used to create special effects, paintings, wall panels, and even makeup artists use it. I have made drawings on all kinds of strange objects. I haven’t painted on a flying bird yet,” the artist says jokingly.

According to Mircho Mirchev, the most unusual application of the airbrush is body painting. Body art has been gaining popularity in Bulgaria and the artist is organizer of many festivals and exhibitions. He is also winner of international awards.

“In the past I used to think this is not a serious activity but it turned out to be a big niche and nowadays bodypainting has been developing globally. This is a completely separate genre in which the creator and model are placed in a different position - the artist does not paint on a canvas, looking at the model, but is painting on the model themselves. And that is how something very interesting happens,” Mircho Mirchev says.

Some of the most impressive works that also proved to be a big challenge for Mircho Mirchev were a drawing of a tiger on a Russian off-road vehicle and artwork on a Ford F150 pickup truck, which are still travelling somewhere in the world:

“It was a great honor for me back in 2011 to participate in the annual gathering of fans of US cars in Norway where we presented this Ford. We wanted to show Viking styling and I put great effort in my work," Mircho Mirchev recalls. “I drew metal fittings all over the car and it turned out very impressive. We won awards and respect from people who have been working on American cars for a lifetime!”

Airbrush art has been evolving like every other art and has been entering some practical sphere of our lives. Drawing on interior items - tables, chairs, faience has been gaining popularity.

“My wife and I draw on everything that surrounds us. Decorating an item makes it personal. I have always thought it is not important what you draw, but how you draw it; it is not important on what you draw, but what the end result is. I paint on faience and sinks and I like what I do. If your occupation gives you the pleasure, then you have achieved your dream. I do not want to be a banker. I like waking up and drawing flowers on sinks,” Mircho Mirchev says.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library


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