Air brushing is a painting technique using a tool which sprays a liquid medium onto a surface. Forced air from a compressor is often used to spray the paint. Many airbrush artists create their paintings freehand, but use of stencils and templates is also a common practice. Airbrushes have been used to create artwork, illustrations, murals, paintings on vehicles, temporary tattoos, apply makeup, fake tans and even nail art.
The airbrush artist uses a variety of techniques to get different effects. Holding the airbrush close to the surface or further away, and at varying angles, will have different effects. Use of stencils will allow painting with a perfect shape. Many airbrushes have many available attachments and tips, which can spray paint with finer lines or more widespread.
This is part 4 in the business ideas for artists series. Here are the previous posts:
Artist Business Ideas
Become a Tattoo Artist
Become an Illustrator
Airbrush artists have a few options for making money from their creations, which depends on the type of airbrushing they do. They can freelance and create original paintings for art galleries. Many open their own airbrushing business, and paint on vehicles, motorcycles, surfboards, skateboards, t-shirts and more. This can be a very lucrative business in some areas. As for finding employment, auto body shops often hire skilled airbrushing artists. Some beauty salons seek out talented airbrushing artists for applying makeup, temporary tattoos, nail art, etc. Airbrush artists have quite a few options, and there should be no reason why a talented airbrushing artist can’t make a good living.
Learn How to Airbrush
TalentIn the competitive world of airbrushing, it is recommended that artists have some natural talent. Skills in drawing and painting, though not a requirement, will help substantially. Along with this, a steady hand is a must!
PracticeAs with any other art tool, practice (and lots of it) is necessary. Get all the necessary airbrushing equipment, and being by doing drills. This means making dots of varying sizes, connecting dots, layering the paint, etc. All these exercises will help you immensely when you create a more complicated painting.
Cheap airbrushing equipment is adequate for practicing, but when you become advanced enough, consider investing in a professional airbrush and compressor – or an airbrushing kit like the ones on this page. It will make a huge difference.
The paint you need will depend on its purpose. Use water based paint for fine art, automotive paint for vehicles, and makeup paint for painting on the body.
Begin by becoming familiar with proper use of the equipment, safety procedures, and clean-up. Try using various tips and painting from different distances to see what affects you achieve. Be patient as you learn to use the airbrush. Learn the basics first before attempting a major piece.
As for the shop area, make sure it is well ventilated. Wear goggles and a mask to prevent particles from getting in your lungs.
TrainingAirbrush artists are either self-taught or trained. To learn airbrushing yourself, make use of all the great online resources. Watch airbrushing videos on Youtube and search out some helpful airbrush forums. There are also many books available for those who take the do it yourself approach to learn airbrushing.
If you know someone who airbrushes, get them to show you a few airbrushing tips and tricks. Having a mentor will help you learn how to airbrush much better than from watching Youtube videos or reading tutorials online.
As for professional training, some educational institutions offer courses in airbrushing. You may also find that this is part of the curriculum in some art schools. Also, focussed training may be needed, depending on the industry. For example, if you want employment airbrushing vehicles, you should take a course in auto body painting.
Keep learningAirbrushing is a practice which can always be built upon. You will always find artists who come up with cool new techniques. Visit airbrushing forums, subscribe to a good airbrush magazine, and apply the tips you learn. The more you learn and apply, the faster you will master the art of airbrushing.
If you are interested in learning more, check out the great airbrushing book All About Techniques in Airbrush.
Are you an airbrush artist? Care to share any airbrush tips and tricks for learning the art of airbrushing?
I hope you enjoyed this post – and have a fabulous day!
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