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Dreaming of airbrushing

Discussion in 'Introductions!' started by LovesArt, Feb 14, 2017.


  1. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    Thanks for the offer, I'm asking! I've been browsing the beginners forum looking for a thread titled something like: "First steps when you get your new equipment" or "What NOT to do when you get your new equipment" I need a little direction please!
  2. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    LOL,
    so what exactly do you wish to know ?

    if you haven't already found the airbrushtutors web site, then head over to http://www.airbrushtutor.com/
    register there and you'll have access to all sorts of newbie related questions and videos and practise sheets etc etc
    you can always pop in here for more info / help as you progresss
  3. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    Raided my local library! :p A little light reading while I wait for my equipment which is due to arrive Friday. I'm planning on having fun this weekend with the new-to-me brush & compressor I got from James. lol IMG_4815.JPG
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  4. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Yeah, that's some cool bedtime reading.

    I second JackEb's suggestion to check out the airbrush tutors free vids. Everything from how to hold an airbrush, exercises, and projects to try.

    My advice is to make sure you have a paint that suits your needs (very important, please check with the forum to make sure uts suitable), get the appropriate reducer, and spend a lot of time methodically experimenting to get your paint/reduction/psi right.

    There is no recipe for this unfortunately, as there are too many variables, brushes, nozzle size, paint type or brand and even weather and humidity can play a part. It can be frustrating, but, is well worth the time as once you have that down, learning strokes and blends etc, becomes so much easier.

    A generalisation is that paint should be a skimmed milk consistency. But that is just a start. To avoid blocking the nozzle (IMO a dirty or blocked nozzle accounts for 90% +of newbie issues) over reduce rather than under reduce. You are aiming for continuous lines without skipping or spidering, and filled areas to be satin smooth without graininess or lots of overspray.

    Rule of thumb is more reduction = less psi. Spidering = paint too thin/pressure to high. Grainy = paint too thick/pressure too low. Splats, double lines, paint not coming out right away, could indicate needing to clean the nozzle. The thinner the paint, the more layers you need to build colour, so find what will work best for you.

    Tip dry (paint drying on the needle) is a natural process in airbrushing, with some colours worse than others. However, excessive amounts indicate that your paint ratio can be improved. More psi = more air to dry paint on the tip quicker.

    It sounds daunting, but soon becomes second nature. Just be methodical, work with one drop of paint at a time, and make a note of how many drops of reducer used, and at what psi, and the effect of the paint sprayed, and just tweak slightly until your flow is right. This recipe becomes your base mixture, which can then be tweaked on the fly as needed for different conditions. :)

    Once you have that aspect licked, the battle is half won.
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  5. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    I appreciate so much that you took the time to write your reply. You've condensed for me most of the troubleshooting info in my pile of books; I believe I'm going to refer to it often. Thank you! (Actually, I think I'm going to make me a little 3x5 card to keep handy in my work area for reference--titled "Squishy's Rules of Thumb" of course! ;) )

    I'm currently watching a fantastic video I found while browsing the forum, titled Aerografia. It's really good, I'm learning so much from it.
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  6. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Glad it helps. :) I just know that when I started it was info that was harder to find, but IMO important to get right as it makes everything so much easier down the line.

    Looks like you're soaking up everything you can find, lol. Unlike me, I jumped in with both feet and no clue. And then wondered why I couldn't do it *facepalm*. So you're already on the right track. :)
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  7. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    :thumbsup: Just trying to minimize the befuddlement :thumbsdown: I'm sure to experience when I finally get my hands on all my airbrush stuff.
    I got the Createx illustration colors and their Bloodline paint. But I keep wondering if there's a cheaper paint I could use to practice controlling the AB initially. Or whether I should. I suppose I ought to get familiar with what I'll actually be using.
  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    I really recommend learning on the paint you intend to use. Each brand has a slightly different learning curve, and you would get used to one, and then have to re-learn another.

    Also airbrush paint has a much finer ground pigment than other paints, and even cheaper non branded ones (I have only seen a couple) are not as fine. It will give flow problems, which will hamper learning. Also the good paints have other qualities such as lightfastness, and in the case of CI are re-wetable, and have delayed cross linking. Cheap paint will end up being a waste of money as when you compare it to the good stuff it will just sit there. You only use a few drops at a time, so it will last a long time, even while learning. Make sure you have the createx illustration reducer, its a must use, it doesn't play well with water and will gum up. :)
  9. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    Got my stuff. Organized my studio. Put up Squishy's rules of thumb . Then started cleaning house. Then didn't want to disturb anyone with the noise. Then felt I ought to work on my current commission. Then decided I want to read more before doing anything because I want to understand the airbrush so I can properly care for it--I mean, what do I need to do to it after I use it? Wouldn't want paint drying in it, etc. (I still don't know, haven't gotten to that part of the book!) Also, when I finally dive in I want to feel like I'll have plenty of time because I know how absorbed I get when figuring things out and interruptions are so very unwelcome. Get the picture? It's been a week and no painting has been done!

    Stepping back after writing all that, I'd say I've been trying to get everything in 'perfect condition' before letting myself play with my new toy. Hmm. And why am I in the forum ranting about not airbrushing instead of airbrushing!
    I'm kind of laughing at my own sillyness right now :rolleyes:.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  10. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    You sound like me, a procrastinator. I will find I think, think, and over think, and almost put myself off starting paintings at times. And then life gets in the way and I will happily use that as an excuse too. At these times I need to kick my own butt and just crack on. Lol.

    Reading is good, don't get me wrong, but there's only so much a book can give you. Time to get some paint in the brush I think. Don't have any expectations, or put pressure on yourself. This is the time to find out what the airbrush can do, and what you need to do to get your paint flowing. Get that first, then learn to paint with it later.

    As for cleaning, the most important thing to keep clean is the nozzle. It is also the the time it is most likely to give you issues until you get your paint flow dialled in. There really is no need to be stripping your airbrush right down all the time, and in fact the more you do that, the more parts are going to wear. Nozzles are tricky though, and a dirty one is usually the cause of most newbie issues. Never assume that just because you cleaned it, its clean, you may need to clean again. And have some restorer on hand if it doesn't come good,rather than risk damaging it. A soak (removing any o rings, will shift anything stubborn. Then filter the fluid to use again as its re usable.

    Just go for it. We're all here to support.
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  11. Airbrush Dreams

    Airbrush Dreams Detail Decepticon!

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    The bottom of the pile there was my favorite. Being my first love and airbrushing job was a t- shirt artist in Florida. Have fun.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    http://fredaw61.wixsite.com/the-artist
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  12. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    Squishy, I'm happy to report that I finally painted....dots, lines & circles! :laugh: It's interesting getting to know my Eclipse.

    However, I also got a Badger Renegade Krome but something's wrong with it. It sprays 'paint' when I press just for air. I went to Badger's website but I couldn't find info on the Krome :(. Then I browsed the troubleshooting forum here but what I found points towards a dirty brush being the culprit. I bought the Krome new, not used, and I've only tested it with water so no way it's clogged with old paint. Was there something I needed to do prior to my first use--like adjusting some nut or something? Maybe I should ask in the troubleshooting forum.
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  13. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    I do intend to paint some t-shirts in the future. Maybe I'll ask u for some tips when the time comes.:)
  14. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    when you get a new brush (New or 2nd hand) its good practise to remove the needle, give it a wipe down to remove any manufacturing residues, and then reseat the needle. Often manufactures will set the needle back a little to try and protect it during transport. When you put the needle back in, don't push to hard, you risk flaring the nozzle. Push gently until you feel it seat in the nozzle, give just a little twist as it seats, then do the nut up on the back of the needle. This could explain your experience with paint when air is pressed.

    Note for future reference, You may need to change the reduction between the two brushes. it may be to thick for the badger or vice versa unfortunately what works in one brush probably wont work in a different brush.... what works today may not work tomorrow. Just the nature of the beast, weather and humidity also play a part.
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  15. LovesArt

    LovesArt Double Actioner

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    Thanks JackEb! I'll Do as you've advised. Will report back with hopefully positive results :thumbsup:
  16. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Yeah! Paint through the brush, whoop whoop!

    Sometimes brushes get test sprayed in the factory (Iwata do, so I'm assuming Badger do too maybe?) So theres a vague possibility there could be a little dried paint. But JackEb has you covered.

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