How to Use an Airbrush

Marble allowed Michelangelo to create his David. An airbrush will allow you to draw a dragon on a conversion van.

You will need

  • A double-action airbrush set
  • including hoses
  • jars
  • and bowls
  • A compressor or compressed air tank
  • A well-ventilated space
  • Ink or acrylic paints
  • A rag
  • A hot-press board
  • A pencil
  • An artist's eraser
  • Craft knife
  • An easel or drafting table
  • Frisket or copy paper
  • Artistu2019s tape
  • Scrap paper
  • Fixative
  • A small bucket
  • And some water
  • An air-filtering mask

Step 1 Sketch out painting Lightly sketch out your painting on the hot-press board.

Step 2 Erase extra lines Erase any extra lines and go over the ones you need to reduce them as much as possible.

Step 3 Mix paint with water Mix some paint with water in the airbrush bowl or jar.

Step 4 Use airbrush on scrap Try out your airbrush for a while on scrap paper to get used to the lever and button.

Step 5 Wash out airbrush Practice washing out the airbrush by immersing it into the bucket far enough for the brush to cycle water through the paint bowl.

Step 6 Dry out airbrush Then practice blowing the water out of the airbrush against your scrap paper or the rag until the airbrush is clean and dry.

Step 7 Mix a color Once you’re done practicing, it’s time to mix the first color you’ll use on your painting.

Step 8 Paint general areas Start painting general areas.

Step 9 Cover areas from the paintbrush Use the craft knife to shape the frisket or copy paper and mask off areas from the airbrush.

Step 10 Move to a new area When you’re done with an area, move to the next.

Step 11 Seal the paint When you’re done with the actual painting, use a fixative to seal the painting in place.

Step 12 Wash out airbrush Thoroughly wash out the airbrush when you’re finished, particularly if you’re using a paint that dries hard like some acrylics or enamel paints.

Step 13 Disassemble Disassemble the airbrush to make sure you’ve fully cleaned it. Be very careful with the airbrush needle, which is very delicate and easily breakable.

Step 14 Admire your creation Admire your creation. Like Marcel Duchamp wrote, ‘Can one make works which are not of art?’