Getting Crafty: A Guide to Crafts and Hobbies

Getting Crafty: A Guide to Crafts and Hobbies

Common Techniques Used When Airbrushing

by Tanya Jones

Amateur artists who are new to airbrushing can find it difficult to master the process, especially if they have been more used to watercolours or applying paint with a knife. Of course, airbrushes are very different from bristled brushes, and you will need to keep practising to master all of the methods used. Remember that you are not necessarily trying to get a very even finish from an airbrush even though this is what you would often want at a bodywork repair centre, for example. When it comes to creating art, an uneven distribution of paint from an airbrush can have a very powerful effect. What are the creative techniques that airbrush artists employ today?

Keep Moving in Circles

When you apply paint with an airbrush, the key to it is to keep moving. As paint escapes from an airbrush, you cannot immediately see how much paint has been applied because of the fine mist that is created. By moving your airbrush around, you can keep your eye on the resulting application in the areas you have just moved away from. To create a good finish without dumping too much paint in one area, most artists find that moving their airbrush in circles offers them the best balance between being able to see what they are doing without overdoing any parts of the image they're painting.

Vary Your Length

If you keep your paint application at the same distance from the image, then everything will look the same. This can be beneficial, of course, but only if you want a uniform look. By moving very close to the surface with your airbrush you can create more intensity. Conversely, a finer spray is achieved by moving back a few centimetres. Working at a shorter distance means you need greater control but you can obtain some ornate looking images and even write text with an airbrush. To help you when so doing, try holding your airbrush in one hand and supporting your forearm with your other hand. This way, you won't tire so quickly or make unwanted, jerky movements.


To create a mask, simply stick some thick paper which will soak up the paint as it is applied over a section of your picture. You can create hard edges with a piece of paper that has been cut out with a pair of scissors but many artists prefer to tear their masks by hand for a more organic feel. Hold your airbrush over any masks you use and paint from that position onto the image. If you do the reverse, then the air from the spray can lift the mask, rendering it useless.


About Me

Getting Crafty: A Guide to Crafts and Hobbies

I hope that this blog will encourage you to get involved with the arts and crafts community in your local community. My name is Fiona and last Christmas, my husband bought me a craft making giftset. I was really pleased with this gift and I had a lot of fun. In fact, I had so much fun that I decided to join my local craft group. Since then, I have learnt a great deal about hobbies and crafts and I have had made many close friends. I feel like crafts have massively improved my life. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.