Working with Airbrush Spray Paints

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Nowadays, artists use numerous mediums to produce quality art.

Airbrushing is a unique technique that many artists are using more frequently.

An airbrush is a small tool that uses air to spray various liquids by a process of nebulization.

These liquids frequently include ink or dye.


The first airbrush tool was designed in 1876 by Francis Stanley. No images that were produced by this device are known to exist. The first instrument to actually be named an airbrush was developed by Abner Peeler. It used a compressor that was operated by hand. The first atomizing airbrush was invented in 1893, by Charles Burdick. This device was in essence the same as airbrushes currently on the market today.


By using a stream of air that moves through a venturi, the airbrush creates air pressure. This air pressure then pulls paint from a reservoir that is connected to the machine. Because of its high velocity, the airbrush is able to blow very small drops of liquid onto the surface. The operator of the airbrush is able to control the amount of paint used through the use of a trigger.

Most airbrushes use pressures ranging from 20 psi to 35 psi. Very large airbrushes can use up to 100 psi in order to spray thicker paints. They are also able to spray paint over a larger area, such as an automobile.


There is a huge market for airbrushing. This opens up the market for a large number of brands. Some of the most popular brands include: Master, Iwata, Badger, and Paasche. Other brands include: Harder & Steenbeck, DeVILBISS, and Thayer & Chandler. A good quality name-brand airbrush can be purchased from $50.00 for an inexpensive model, to $400.00 dollars, for a professional level model.


In order to produce quality airbrushed items, a few key pieces of equipment are needed. The first thing that an artist will need is an air compressor and an electrical source to plug the compressor into. If noise is an issue, the artist can use a CO2 tank, which usually costs around $70.00. Also, when the artist airbrushes, the artist will need the airbrush hose that matches the name brand instrument he or she is using. With the addition of quality paints and an airbrush, the artist can produce wonderful works.


An artist’s manipulation of the airbrush, paints, air pressure, and distance from the object being painted combine to define the artist’s technique. This technique will differ depending on if a single-action or dual-action airbrush is being used. Double action refers to the artist starting with only air in the gun, and ending with only air in the gun. This gives the artist more precise control over the paint.

The most important stroke for artists in airbrushing is the dagger stroke. This refers to a line that begins wide and ends as a narrow line. The most important technique with the single-action airbrush is to keep the hand mobile before the trigger is pushed and after it is released, so that the artist can avoid a bar bell line.

A fine degree of atomization allows the artist to blend the paints smoothly. Freehand images by the artist have muted edges between differing colors, with colors slowly fading into each other. A skilled artist can simulate any painting by using supplementary tools, such as masks and friskets.


Airbrushes are used in numerous applications within the art world. One way that this technique is used is in photo retouching. Through the use of airbrush, objects can be seamlessly removed from photographs entirely, as if they were never there. It can also be used to remove imperfections or to enhance attributes of models in the pages of magazines.

Another use for airbrushing involves make-up application. Sometimes, liquid foundation can be sprayed on by an airbrush in order to get full coverage without the heavy product buildup. This is useful, because with today’s cameras, flaws can be seen in more detail than ever before. Sunless tanning is also achieved through an individual being sprayed in a spray-tanning booth through the use of an airbrush.

Clothing can also be airbrushed. While t-shirts are the most popular article of clothing to be airbrushed, there is a large market for many airbrushed items. These can include: leather, denim jackets, jeans, pillowcases, and hoodies. Some other applications that airbrushing can be used for include: painting murals, temporary tattoos, and fingernail art.

When artists are working with airbrushing, safety is very important. When they are inhaled, these paints can be very hazardous. OSHA has strict rules to prevent misuse in these work environments.


Airbrushing is a useful tool within the art world. Its effects can be seen today in advertising, publishing, comic books, and graphic novels. Through the safe use of quality airbrushing materials, the art world is inundated with wonderful works created with this useful machine.

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