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Pulling fine lines

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by Joe T, Jun 11, 2018.


  1. Joe T

    Joe T Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    finally got some time to myself today to do some airbrushing on project and to practice. I also spent a little time experimenting with mixing and reducing. I will say that advice I got from Those of greater knowledge than me worked wonders....I can’t believe how much I was fighting the paints! With th golden high flows I found that 1 drop paint and 5 drops trans base and then thinned with water and Liquitex flow aid proved to make my HP-B plus ver happy.

    I digress

    When wanting ultra fine lines, do you use mor trans base and reducer/thinner? Lower pressure? I got some pretty nice lines and understand the AB. Size has lots to do with it but would be curious what you find to get the best ultra thin lines. Yes, I know practice but do you do your line fast, slow? I guess I’m curious to your recipe for fine lines..the whole ball of wax so to say.

    I learned a lot today and was kind of sad I had to stop. However I got a good 3 hours in and feel very satisfied with all that I accomplished. More knowledge than anything.


    If I’ve never said it I will now. You are a great bunch of people and without you I would not be inspired to keep plugging away at this. Funny how ever day you see a tiny bit of progress.

    Joe
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  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Fine lines... the biggest thing is practice... but other than that... yes, low pressure and reduced paint.... then practice... (did I mention practice...).

    There are also a couple of tricks... the eye sees a feint line "thinner" than a bold line. Then speed of the pass... faster and closer... and of course... practice...
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  3. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I would link you the thread w the videos but I think youve seen it, I change basically nothing but trigger pull to get lines 1/4 that width with my .2 ps-270.
    Depending on color maybe one to three additional parts reducer.
    I find too high of reduction makes the lines too light, and when they are literally a hair width they just become insignificant if they are light.
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  4. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Grab a few large crappy pieces of paper, load your brush with your paint /reducer/psi that your Brush loves.

    now.....
    As fast as you can go, paint 5 lines, 3 in one direction, 2 in the other. Enough distance between them to see paper

    On another piece of paper paint as fine a line as you can, 5 times at what ever speed you feel you need

    Now compare the two pieces ...


    You need to commit when you pull the trigger. It’s a bit like cutting into traffic- hesitate and you’ll get abused and probably some panel damage. LOL
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  5. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    "It’s a bit like cutting into traffic- hesitate and you’ll get abused and probably some panel damage. LOL" yes... and also take care as sometime you can get it wrong and scrape some car paint off... however with the AB it might be the front of your needle... :)
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  6. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    Practice ??? what is this practice you speak of, I was told when I first started out that everything you paint is just practice for the next painting :D
  7. Joe T

    Joe T Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Oh yea, I’m excited now! Such great advice, I can’t wait to give it a go...well after I figure what paint, reducer etc my new AB likes..lol
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  8. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Gravity Guru

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    That's it! That's really the hardest part. It's very much like navigating in a 8 lane highway during rush hour. Obviously there is no 'control-z' in real airbrushing, but I found that a quick left hand and a greasy finger can smudge and erase real disasters if done within 2 seconds or so.
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  9. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Yes, we need a Ctrl Z or OOPS commands on our AB!
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  10. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Gravity Guru

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    I usually use stronger language when it happens. At the same time, isn't this the beauty of airbrushing compared to using a Wacom or painting or an ipad? In more cases than others, mistakes are taking you to new avenues and insights ("happy mistakes"). In certain cases, you can throw away the entire piece altogether.
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  11. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    See you got this!
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  12. erwin de pan

    erwin de pan Needle-chuck Ninja

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    What I miss here.
    That you also have to build a line. As an example, a white line over a dark background.
    You have to go over the same line several times. To get the right coverage.
    In most cases, your lines look tighter if you go over the line several times.
    Even an eyelash I go over several times to get the right darkness.
    But 90% of the time if you have a line there is also a shadow / transition behind it.
  13. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Crazy concoction you've got there. Transparent base is for transparency and reducer/water is for viscosity. If you want it to be opaque for as long as possible you only use your reducer. I have a retarder mixed in my water so I only have to play with fractions of a drop when I reduce.
  14. Tuffnutz

    Tuffnutz Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Try em with and without needle restricter. Sometimes you can pull back a little too far. BUT watch that pointy thing on the end though!
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  15. musicmacd

    musicmacd The Createx Bandit Very Likeable!

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    practice! Play around then practice :)
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  16. Joe T

    Joe T Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    No I want it transparent for now. I know opaque needs only reducer. Lol
  17. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Here’s a concept that may answer your question. If your paint is too thick and/or psi too low for the viscosity of the paint, you will be pulling back on the trigger further before paint comes out. Bigger opening in nozzle, bigger line.

    If you really thin your paint, it will take less to pull back on the trigger for the paint to come out. Smaller opening of the nozzle. But the pressure can’t be too high or it will spider.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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