The airbrush is a handy and versatile tool for applying a wide variety of paint quickly. From t-shirts to vehicles, it is especially well suited for blending colors and working on soft or rough surfaces, such as cloth or brick walls.
The airbrush never touches the surface of whatever you are painting on. It sprays the paint forward from a variable distance, providing a thin line when it's close to the surface, or a more broad and softer pattern as it gets further from the surface.
This video shows the basic equipment I use to paint my murals.
Most of the work is done with a compressor and an inexpensive spray gun to fill in the background. Then I use a "double-action" airbrush to add all the details.
I use the airbrush for a lot of the work that I do. It's an essential tool for shading and adding the fine details and highlights.
If you're interested in learning how to use an airbrush, begin with a double-action airbrush. This video demonstrates how they work and how to maintain one.
Start practicing by spraying on old pieces of cardboard or light colored t-shirts.
Dots and lines are the basic shapes to start with. This video shows the essential finger, hand and arm movements that are needed to control the airbrush.
Familiarize yourself with the affect that distance has on the resulting paint pattern as you move your arm at varying speeds.
The next step in learning to control the airbrush is to contol your arm movement as you also control your finger movement on the trigger.
"Rat tails", or thick and thin lines, are essential for painting things like weeds and outlining curvy things like flames or leaves.
When you're first getting started, using simple stencil shapes cut out of cardboard is an easy way to create colorful patterns with the airbrush.
If you use fabric paint on some wearable clothing, remember to heat press the artwork so it won't wash out when you wash it.
Combining multiple stencil shapes and colors is a fast and unlimited way to create abstract art images or interesting backgrounds for names, messages, etc.
Stencils can also be used on large projects such as wall murals and vehicle graphics.
Once you've created a simple background on an item,learning to add a name or message is the next step in handling the airbrush.
Practice moving your hand in the necesary pattern before you actually apply the paint. It's similar to a golfer taking a few practice swings before he steps up to the tee and actually swings at the ball.
Then, lightly paint in the "skeleton" of the letters and add more paint as you fill it in.
If you're painting on some kind of wearable fabric, it's important that you heat press your artwork if you plan to wash it.
Fabric paint such as Createx is actually a dye in a paint consistency, and it needs to be melted into the fabric for permanance.
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