Using an Airbrush

image1Today I have the pleasure of showing you how to use an airbrush. Some things we will go over are controlling an airbrush, masking techniques; spray patterns, and how to render geometric shapes. When working with an airbrush, your work area is also very important. Make sure you have a very well ventilated area and you wear a face mask if you have any respiratory issues. What you’ll need to render with an airbrush is a dual action airbrush, an exacto knife, and airbrush paint, frisk masking film, newsprint paper, Bristol board, and an easel.

image2Now I’ll show you how to set up an airbrush, load your paint, and how to prepare your paper. Start by connecting your airbrush to your air source which is an air compressor. I use a dual action airbrush. With a dual action airbrush there are two motions. You press down for air and you pull back for paint. Next let’s load our paint. Now place the reservoir into the recessed area underneath the air brush. I’ve attached some newsprint paper to our easel to practice with.

image3Now let’s talk about how to use the airbrush, paint, and airflow. First you need to push down on the airbrush to get air, next pull back to get paint to flow from the airbrush. Keeping a short distance away from the paper, airbrush a line across the paper to get a feel of it. Make nice even strokes. Press down and continue the movement across using your upper body making sure to keep your arm and wrist rigid. Don’t stop in the middle of a line because it makes a blob of paint.

image4Now let’s practice some basic spray techniques. We will start by practicing with a series of controlled dots. Just as you did when airbrushing lines; press down on the airbrush trigger for air and pull back for paint. Hold the trigger back for a second then move it forward and move to the right. Repeat this motion. Try to get them to look as close as you can every time and keep moving to the right and doing it while holding your posture steady. Move to the next row of dots once you’re finished that row. Maybe try making timage5he next row of dots a little darker if your first row was light. Continue to hold the airflow and just pull back while air brushing then put forward between each dot. Try some horizontal lines about 5 inches long and airbrush those all the way across. Then start at the left again and repeat another row of lines pulling back the trigger and pushing it forward again between each line. The closer you are to the paper, the thinner the line and the further away you are, the wider the line.

Next, let’s practice spray patterns and shading techniques. Press down on the trigger for airflow then pull back for paint. Move from left to right while holding your air brush several inches from the page. Make nice and even strokes across the page turning your body with your strokes. For the rest of the tutorial please watch the rest of the videos in the series.

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