So, you just picked up your brand-new airbrush compressor and airbrushing kit. But how do you get started? In this article we’ll take you through the basics of airbrushing and how to take care of your airbrush.
Airbrushes are amazing pieces of equipment, and you can produce all sorts of incredible art with them. Everything from detailed artwork through to makeup and decorating is possible. With a bit of practice, you quickly get the hang of it and all sorts of great opportunities present themselves.
Connecting The System
Before you get started, you need to connect everything up ready to start airbrushing. First, connect your compressor to the mains supply, ensuring the compressor is turned off. Next, connect the air hose to the compressor and then to the airbrush.
Now you are ready to turn on the air compressor, and after removing the cap, give the airbrush button a press to check the pressure.
Setting The Pressure
Next, you should set the pressure on your compressor. It’s important to differentiate between the working pressure and the pressure in the compressor. The working pressure is what’s important for painting, as this will be the pressure that paint exits the nozzle.
Press and hold down the button on your airbrush, and check the regulator dial to see what pressure it reads. Tweak your regulator to adjust the pressure to suit. If you are just starting out, we recommend working with an pressure of 25psi. Remember, the button on the airbrush must be held down while you set this!
Now it’s time to take look at paints. You can airbrush with all sorts of paint, but we recommend buying off the shelf airbrush paints initially. This will make your life much easier! You’ll also need some airbrush cleaner, and an airbrush cleaner pot too.
Using The Airbrush
Let’s get started! To start painting, you need to put a few drops of paint into the top of the paint funnel. Yes – it really is that small an amount – you’ll be amazed at how efficiently airbrushes spray.
The button on your airbrush has two functions. Pressing it in will release air. The more you press it, the more air comes out. Now you can also press it and pull it back, which releases paint into the airstream.
Holding your airbrush over some paper, press the button and then draw it back. Paint should now be coming out. Try drawing a circle! Notice how the harder you pull the button back the more paint comes out. Also, by spraying more or less and moving the airbrush towards and away from the paper you can control the size of the spray.
In order to change colors, you’ll need to clean the air brush quickly. This is where your cleaning pot will come in. Clip your airbrush into the cleaner pot, and drop some water into the paint hopper. Press the button on the airbrush to flush the water through entirely into the pot. Now do the same thing with some airbrush cleaner to give it a rinse out. When it’s all clear, you’re ready to try some new paint.
It’s incredibly important to clean up your airbrush properly, as failing to do it can result in blockages and low-quality painting results. Definitely take the time to do it after every use!
First, you should repeat the process above, and empty all the paint out of your airbrush. Next, unscrew the back of the airbrush, and remove the needle. You can pull this out, and using a cloth with some airbrush cleaner on it, give it a clean. Be very careful not to damage the end of the needle, as they are very fragile.
Finally unscrew the nozzle on the airbrush, and clean this out using a cotton bud or Q tip with some airbrush cleaner on it. Now you can leave the whole thing to dry out before reassembling it.