The Lost Art of Airbrushing

It is actually interesting to know how this word, airbrushing, made its way into everybody’s vocabulary as a metaphor. However, airbrush or airbrushing can still be considered as a lost art, especially with the advent of the printed graphics. It was very long ago that airbrushing enjoyed a very distinct connotation as a tool for commercial artists. There was also a time when airbrushing was taught at almost all levels; right from, the grade schools to colleges. With the advent of computers and graphics, the work that was hand-done once can now be scanned into the computers and be successfully reproduced. Photos, artworks, and pictures no longer required retouching by hand. Interestingly, all the illustrators who were proficient with the tool, airbrush, gradually started to embrace the computer-generated artwork and due to this the entire community/industry of commercial realm started to fade away.

Popular Uses

Nowadays you can see a use of airbrushing in such fields:

Illustration and Art: Since the outset of the technology of airbrush, illustrators and commercial artists understood that the airbrushing helps them in creating high-rendered images along with a relatively high level or standard of realism. Often the artists use airbrushing combining with the cut items or stencils that are held freehand, which helped them in blocking the paint’s flow on to the paper, in a very controlled manner. In today’s time, one can find the airbrush images in publishing, advertising, graphic novels, and comics.

Retouching of Photos: Since a very long time, airbrushing is still being used in altering photos in the pre-digital times. A skilled artist can use it to hide signs or giveaways that an image or photo has been “doctored” or retouched, extensively. It is worthwhile to note that the word “airbrushed photo” or “airbrushed” was once used in describing the glamor photos, where the imperfection of a model was removed, or in many cases, the model’s attributes were enhanced.

airbrushig for automobiles

Automotive: Airbrushing is often used in spraying graphics, murals, and designing many other artworks on cars, helmets, and motorcycles. This particular form of art has been here since the fifties, at least. Recently, it gained popularity owing to the popularity of shows such as “American Chopper” and “Rides”. The majority of the professionals like to try the different automotive grade base through the top of airbrushes fed line gravity.

Airbrushing: Present and Future

In present times, it can be safely assumed that a higher number of people will be more interested in Photoshop or other such graphic tools than the airbrushing. Airbrush’s demise was then rumored, but thankfully this didn’t transpire. Strangely, the computer was seen coming to its rescue by making one community of the like-minded people and also gave them a platform where they could communicate or interact among themselves online. As a result, different applications were witnessed expanding greatly in order to include all the techniques; right from the airbrushing makeup to the duck decoys. The computer, successfully, exposed people to the artistic images compared to other vehicles in mankind’s history. Additionally, the computer made the airbrushing equipment available in abundance as it was now possible to research, view or order just by clicking a button. Simultaneously, students or interested group of people can also be invited or registered for the workshops and seminars, manuals and instructions can be understood and read, and questions can also be answered.

Uses Of Airbrushing, painted murals and signage banners

Air brushing

Airbrushing is a relatively new way of painting that has gained popularity in a variety of places in the last few decades. The first exposure people might have had to the art was in resort locations where t-shirts were airbrushed with scenery and names. This method of painting has experienced resurgence in popularity and the method is also used in other places. It is literally painting with air and paint. The metal paint firearm is utilized and air blows through the container of the bun, accumulates paint, and showers it onto the materials onto which the artist is painting. It takes practice to idealize the art of airbrush painting, however once a man has aced it, the outlines can be exceptionally intricate and nitty gritty.

One of the most common uses for airbrush painting is on vehicles. The paint adheres well to the paint already on the car, so you get a strong base coat onto which you can paint. Airbrush designs can be applied to the car to make it personalized. People add names, quotes, and pictures to their cars, making them one-of-a-kind artistic masterpieces. This is a great way to take something that is not all that unique and turn it into something that is truly yours. It is an inexpensive way to customize a vehicle.


Another totally different option for airbrush painting is manicures and pedicures. Airbrush is used to apply painted designs to nails during the process. These are decorative additions to a traditional manicure. It is done after the base paint dries and can take varying amounts of time, depending on how elaborate the chosen designs are. Manicurists typically display a board of sample paintings from which clients can choose. Airbrush painting can be messy in a salon, so it is usually done out of the way of the rest of the work.

Painted murals

Wall art is the latest trend that is transforming interior design of both residential and commercial spaces. Today, interior designers employ a plethora of wall arts to ornate the interiors of homes and commercial spaces. These artistic formations add that right amount of zing to the interiors and complement various other elements of the decor. Whether it is an ensemble of patterns or a splash of colors, wall art significantly contributes in elevating the aesthetic appeal of an interior space. So, if you want to elevate the aesthetic appeal of your decor then wall art can be a great element for sure. Nowadays, you can find a variety of captivating wall art options in the market and you can easily find one that matches with other elements of your interior space.

Signage banners

The fact is that variety is the spice of everyone’s life and when it comes to advertising, banners signage is the special one! The banner that is displayed by a corporate identity or event can make or break the goal. I have even seen some wondeful custom painted cloth hanging banners for trade shows! Trust me; if you carry a fantastic ad campaign of banners and signs that are eye-catching and attractive, look professional and have the ability to convey the message clearly, the return on investment will be amazing.

In fact, there are a large number of unlimited styles, varieties, colors and more that you can select from when creating your signs and banners. Some individuals decide to create custom banners and custom signage while others select among the available stock which is pre-made. Whichever the situation is, can increase your business tenfold.

Different Work Environments Airbrushing is Found In

An airbrush is a small air operated tool that usually sprays paint, dye and ink through a process known as nebulization. Airbrushing has become very crucial in the art industry and many people see it as a convenient and reliable method. Air brushing has different uses and in this article we are going to focus on various areas where airbrushing is used.


1. Airbrush makeup

Airbrush makeup is a makeup sprayed on the skin using an airbrush instead of being applied using a sponger, finger or brush. It is not only fast but very efficient and for that reason it is widely used in Film Theater, sunless tanning and bridal makeup. Unlike liquid based makeup or traditional powder that can settle and appear in spore and wrinkles especially on HD films, airbrush makeup create an even natural look to the skin to give a natural look.

2. Custom designed shoes

Have you come across shoes with special artwork and you start asking yourself how it was made? Airbrushing is widely used in shoe industry to paint unique artwork that distinguishes the shoes from others. Artworks that have been made on the shoes using airbrushing are usually of better quality and long lasting when compared to the use of traditional painting techniques. In addition to that, the fact that you are using a machine means that it take a short time to get the desired artwork on the shoe.

3. Making Food dye design

Cake industry has really grown thanks to airbrushing technology. Through airbrushing you can come up with different unique designs on cakes and cupcakes. It enables you to create quick and seamless shading on your cake. The good thing about airbrushing is that even if you are not an expert, you can actually come up with a good decoration that you will make the cake to stand out. It is indeed the easiest way to transform a cake from plain looking to incredible.

4. Watercolor painting

Watercolor are one of the most natural medium to use with an airbrush because it is a transparent medium and airbrushing usually supply color in a transparent fashion. It is often used to enhance places where watercolors are weak like in washes.

5. Acrylic painting

The use of acrylic paints in an airbrush has become very common especially in the art and craft industry. Airbrushing is usually used to create special effects as well as add highlights and illusion of shadows.

In conclusion, the effectiveness and reliability of airbrushing has made it to be used many different places as discussed above.

The Art Form of Airbrushing

For years now, airbrushing has transcended into an art form used by many, as well as a method of painting that is used, greatly. By use of an airbrush, paint, ink or a special form of dye stored within a reservoir is forced out through a tube and made to atomize by pressurized/compressed air. By doing so, paint splashes on any material one intends to paint. Its application is endless, and can be used to paint cars, comic book figures, toy models, and many more. Mostly, airbrushing, as an art form makes painting be more realistic and achieve finer details than any other form of panting. Be that as it may, airbrushing is a technique that takes time for one to hone, due to its high level of precision and patience.


Techniques of airbrushing

Depending on the airbrush you are using, single-action or dual-action, the techniques that you want to use vary. The dual-action type allows for more precise techniques, though. One of the airbrushing techniques you can use is the pre-shading and base-coating technique. Basically, pre-shading allows you to paint using a certain shading effect that makes your work look desirable and unique. To perform this technique, the psi of the airbrush is reduced up to 15psi and whatever you want to pre-shade, for example lines are made on the desired area. After this, then comes the base-coating technique, which employs suitable color shade for coating on top of the pre-shaded area.

Another technique suited for airbrushing entails pressing down on the trigger, rather than pulling back on it. Pressing down on the trigger, unlike the latter, makes dry air to come out of the airbrush. This comes in handy, specifically when you want the paint to dry up faster, i.e. painting a certain section first, then using the dry air to dry the paint, instead of waiting for the paint to dry up on its own. Remember, controlling the psi of your airbrush allows you to get finer details while you paint, for example, when you reduce the psi below 30psi, you are able to draw thin lines according to the way you want.

Also, airbrushing, as an art form to design and perform layering work, takes a lot more than just pressing down on the trigger. Consequently, you need to learn to control the amount of air coming of your airbrush, how much you pull back on the trigger, as much as taking care of the distance of the brush from your model or work. All of these contribute towards building your skills while using airbrushing as a painting technique.

Stencils versus freehand

When it comes to airbrushing, you can either opt for free hand technique or employ the help of stencils. However, the real skill comes in when you go freehand. In fact, a lot of artists make use of free hand more than they do using stencils. Stencils, however, make the whole task easier, which make them a perfect addition to any airbrush artist’s equipment. In addition, stencils can be used on a variety of surfaces, including the skin and automobiles. Free hand, nonetheless, perfects the technique of airbrushing, so if you intend on becoming better at it, that’s the way to go.