Alcohol for practice...

Sbuchho345

Young Tutorling
So today I finally got my dedicated airbrush compressor and was dying to try it out. I have a pasche vl. And i also got some new style updated nozzles, needless and trigger that i wanted to try, but didn't want to have to go thru a full cleaning.... so..I thought to my self.. self? Why not just run straight alcohol???? And self said... why not! I threw up a piece of cardboard put some alcohol in the cup and off self went!!!
I notice several things..
First my new compressor is so quiet... about as loud as a refrigerator compressor. Second using straight alcohol, since I'm practicing, it works great on the cardboard. HOWEVER... after about 30 seconds what ever I put down evaporated so i can't show anybody anything... but I can use a small chunk of cardboard and just go over the same piece for the hour or do I practice.
When I'm done, no gun to clean. Just an idea I tried to improve my skills..
 
Its harder to see the errors You are making and if You need help You have nothing to show us what the problem is. also the alcohol will behave differently to whatever paint You choose to use, so while You might get really good using the alcohol, when You come to use paint, You will have to relearn again!

Good idea on paper, but my advice would be to get the paint You plan on using and use that, you will also learn how to clean the brush too :cool: :thumbsup:
 
The disassembly and reassembly of the brush isn't a problem, it's the time it takes to do it...I work 14ish hours a day so having free time is very limited and what free time I have during the summer I'm flying my projects. I understand what your saying about the alcohol not behaving the same as whatever paint in using. I'm just trying to get practice in on trigger control, and brush movement. The other thing I've used is food coloring as a medium. But then again I have to clean the brush when thru... ..
And as someone here on the forum suggested, my wife picked up a couple of coloring books from the dollar store and I use those for practice as well...
I guess I was thinking the technique basics are the same no matter the medium your laying down.....
 
Thats fair enough, and if it works for you then who am I to tell You any different :) Any time behind the brush is a win whatever You use to spray through :thumbsup: :cool:
 
I understand your time management problem but the airbrush cleaning process is just as important as trigger controle and while the basic techniques are the same the techniques go out the window as soon as you put actual airbrush paint in your airbrush : the air pressure will get important as does the paint :will you need to reduce it if so how much till it sprays like it should
Alcohol or water for that matter has no pigments so you can use low pressure airbrush paints no matter what brand contain pigments and need a specific air pressure
 
Keep in mind water will offer the same results and you won't be atomizing a flammable material. Plus your liver and central nervous system will thank you.

Why not just and a bit of water based paint like Createx Illustration 30/70 paint to water, then you can see your true results, not a wet spot. When you're done, plain water and a wipe and you're good. No need to tear the brush apart or anything drastic or time consuming.
 
If it keeps you practicing and picking up your brush and you feel like you get to know your brush more then why not. The above comments are good to take onboard though as it is all valid.

One other thing mentioned in another thread is to be careful and use a respirator with spraying alcohol. Sounds like its pretty nasty for your lungs etc.
 
When you practice on glass, don't you have problems with the paint pooling or puddeling on it?
No, thats the exact reason to do it.

There is nowhere to hide. It forces you learn how to control the trigger in the most aggressive way you can IMO.

It'll seem impossible at first, to merely lay down a dot without spidering. The point of the glass is the zero absorbency. If you paint on paper, or even worse paper towels like you'll see people showing off the brush, it asks bad technique. You don't learn to apply small amounts with a lot of air.

Give it a shot. Trigger down for air and pull it back it the tiniest amount you can muster until you see a little dot forming. If the paint runs or spiders, try again next to it. Don't get discouraged. I was airbrushing for 40 years before I tried it. I realized how little control I had until I did it. It's maddening at first, but once you get it, you're on your way to real control.
 
When you practice on glass, don't you have problems with the paint pooling or puddeling on it?
Here you are, this will help explain things a little better
 
What you say makes sense, I have some glass doors from a stereo cabinet I could use.. would any hard nonporous surface do, like a piece of plexiglass?
I would think as long as it's non absorbent it should work....
 
What you say makes sense, I have some glass doors from a stereo cabinet I could use.. would any hard nonporous surface do, like a piece of plexiglass?
I would think as long as it's non absorbent it should work....
Plexi can be scratched or abraided and if its brand new, you're going to scratch it up wiping it off. Don't over think it, even an old picture frame as small 5X7 will work. Larger 8x10 will let you put a practice sheet in it to follow along. You could probably use a ceramic tile, as long as the glazing is glossy.
 
14 hour workdays are tough to get anything else done. That said,
Actual glass is what you want to use. Anything else could be an exercise in frustration.

Don't know what country your in but in the US, I suggest stopping at a Goodwill type store. Every one I've been in has a stack of picture frames with glass in them starting around $1.oo.

Get the biggest you have workspace for, more room to doodle on. Erase with a razor blade, I use one from a utility knife.

You will be amazed at how much it teaches you control. It has zero tolerance for bad habits.
 
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