Practice makes perfect

Today I will share some tips for beginning airbrushers. I noticed that even people who airbrush for a long time can have bad habits that sometimes take a lot of effort to get rid off.  A good position and some control over lines, dots and transitions is all you need for a steady base. This doesn’t have to take weeks, months or even years to be trained, I can teach you in a few hours and then all you have to do is go home and practice as fast as you can so you don’t forget , 15 minutes every day (1 stencil-workout I give you), for one month. After this your control will be superior, success guaranteed. During this exercise you can start your own paintings and apply all these techniques in it. Also in class you won’t be bored with lines and dots more then necessary. It’s much better to see where and when to use those techniques when you are painting for real, but a certain standard is needed to begin with of course.

This might help for those who recognize themselves in the following descriptions:

* Pain in shoulders (delta)/upper-arm: You work above your own force. Try to hang your work a bit lower so you can relax those muscles. Another advantage is that you have a much better view on what you are doing and so you don’t spill paint on your work if you don’t use lids on your cups that are way too full 😉

* Pain in neck: The area that you are working on is hanging too low. Try to hang it a bit higher, you can use a magnetic board and magnets to hang your work, or you can use tape and just reposition your work every time you need to paint a new area. The best area to work in is between shoulder-height and breast. Both lower – and higher positions are not good for your body.

* Pain in your upper-back: Try to stand in front of your work when airbrushing, instead of sitting. Or switch every 30 minutes so all muscles can relax when they are not being used for 30 minutes.

* Pain in your lower back: You can use a small footbench to put your feet on and it will also help to stretch your back into a more straight position. Don’t cross your legs, that’s a bad habit and not good in general. very bad for your blood circulation and you can not reach areas without over-stretching parts of your body in order to paint those areas out of your reach.

* Dots on every line you make, in the beginning and in the end: You have to keep the air on, always! Also when you don’t need paint, it’s better to keep the air on if you are not used to it yet and still make those same mistakes over and over again, because you never trained yourself in keeping the air on. If you don’t need paint, just push the trigger forwards again, but KEEP the air on 🙂 This will give you smooth lines and daggerstrokes, smooth transitions and much more control over details, because you only have one handling to make, pull backward for some paint. You don’t need to push anymore. This allows you to spray with speed and precision. It also helps against fast tipdry, because you blow away some paint during every “air treatment”. This paint will not dry on your tip.

* Tipdry when spraying opaques: Use 3 bar when you don’t thin the paint in order to cover something completely. You don’t really need precision when covering an area so a little bit of spattering or tipdry is no issue, the 3 bar will help you getting the paint through anyway. You can also thin your paint more for more control. If you use thin(ner) paint, you can lower the pressure. With opaques, even when thinned, you don’t want to go under 2 bar. You can put a tiny cup with some cleaner on your table and take a big size brush (synthetic). Dip it in the cleaner every 5 minutes and clean the needle. This only takes 2 seconds and prevents you from taking the airbrush apart because it doesn’t perform as good anymore. DON’T PICK your needle, he doesn’t like it! You will ruin your nozzle and needle, no matter how careful you are.

* No control over fine lines/detail: You need more water and go in closer for small stuff. Water = Control = Low pressure

* No smooth transitions: Try to take some more distance with your airbrush


2 responses to “Practice makes perfect

  1. Hi Marissa

    i know that sweet lady in the picture .
    i guess she’s smiling beacause the gurilla is upside down 🙂
    oh…i realy miss the time in your studio,but every morning when i hear the music from the 70’s i have a big smile.

    take care,dear ..

    • Yes, she was there on the eve you stayed a bit longer 🙂 Marianne is right, the ape is lying in the grass and not upside down, but she did paint it upside down haha!
      Lovin’ the 70’s too! Thank you for the sweet compliments Yaniv, means a lot.

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