Controlling the Airbrush

Rick Martin

Detail Decepticon!
Ok i seem to be having some issues with my airbrushing. Controlling it is no problem i can do dots, lines, not going to say i have mastered daggers, but i can do them. The problem is when i do my exercises im relaxed and breeze through them. When i try to do a piece of art work, i tense up. Im afraid to pull the trigger so to speak. Im not sure if its i dont trust the brush or what it is. I was wondering if anyone else ever had this issue.

Moved as requested.
I had/have the same issue. Mentally we know the practise is just that- practise.
There is pressure when you do a 'proper' piece to get it right, so we unconsciously tense up.
I've found it helps to do a practise piece of what you are doing. It's very rare that my paint pals get the first attempt at a painting
You only get through this with experience - the more you use the brush, the more comfortable you will be with it in hand. If it helps any, my best, and smallest lines are still on the scrap paper I keep next to the painting I am working on :). I fill my brush, hit the scrap paper, and get beautiful, thin, clean lines - head over to my work piece - and get... nothing :) . Back to the scrap, and beautiful lines... :laugh::p:eek: I eventually get where I am trying to go by just sticking with it.
Hey thats me lol.i do the same thing. Im practicing about 4 hours a day. My work area is inside so i dont have to worry about heat and cold. I will post some practice sheets later today.
...My work area is inside so i dont have to worry about heat and cold. I will post some practice sheets later today.

Even though temps may stay consistent, humidity levels can fluctuate greatly indoors. I added a cool mist humidifier and humidity monitor to my studio before last winter, and found it helped a bunch in keeping things consistent. The monitor is just like a digital thermometer and sits on a shelf in the studio. If humidity levels drop below about 50%, I simply flip the humidifier on about an hour before I want to paint...
You need to used to your brush so you dont have to think about how to operate it , it happens to me every time I switch to a different airbrush or when I havent used a airbrush model for a long time , if I do that I used a test /.spray out paper to get the feel for the airbrush back and that will only take a minute or so unless it is a brand new one I never used before in that case it will take a bit longer
Practice page. Top half is 1:4 reduction, tbe bottom is 1:3 reduction. Its not pretty, but at least i will try to figure out what im doing wrong. I refuse to get discouraged, this is what i want to to and dangit im gonna do it.20170715_131855_opt.jpg
i haf the same issue as well, what helps for me is music lol, and i sit down smoke a ciggerettr, and just starr at the puece im painting, and i "visualize" ehere the lines go and shading etc etc, and for me my airbrush seems to work great on scrap paper but on my work it likes to forget what it just did, lil bastard, but i have to rememver i have to do what the paint and airbrush want me to do, if i did what i wanted then my greys would be to black, my whotes would be to faint, and have to gradually build up everything, so music + ciggerette helps me fet back into the groove of patients
have a beer or few and relax..Its kind of like laying pool or billiards, ou know the angles you need but suck until ya have a few beers in ya and don't care about the result..Don't call it an artwork, call it a practice piece and remove the expectation..When you expect something its usually a prick to find, when your not looking sometimes that surprise will show itself..Its not your airbrush, its simply learning to turn off the thing that gets in the wa, your thinker box..Stop thinking about it and just do it as your body knows what to do if you've done enough practice sheets, its simply sounds like you atm afraid of letting go...IE Go watch someone on Youtube who has confidence..Not about looking into the best artwork or the most realistic, look for people exuding confidence and watch them airbrush..Its not a collection of lines, dots and daggers, its a dance..and like any dance you can know the steps but still dance badly..I know that feeling LOL..Its rare that anyone who has airbrushed for awhile to say to themselves I need a dot here or a dagger there, it instinctive and the movements shld all blend from one straight to the next..Good luck, its a common hurdle or that "clicking" moment many of us discuss...Hard to say what will fix it or get you on a better track as we all suffer our own way through that issue and it will click for all at a different time or need.
I think thats exactly it..letting go..once i can do that it will be better. I know its not my airbrush, even though its not the best but i have 2 good ones on their way to me as we speak. But i do have the neo working pretty nice for what it is.
Had the same issue when I start to snowboad, lot of time doing excelent movements in practice lane, when I passed to the blue lanes, mi mind went blank, one day I said what the hell, go to black lane, do it right or die trying it, you know, I never hit the ground or the black space in my mind again!! The same with the AB, @frowan saids to me one day, do a PaintPal, I did it and it gave me a lot of confidence and Im painting way better and with more confidence!!

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I think many of us go through this. You do something for 'real', and unconsciously put pressure on yourself, so you tense up, and your movements become less natural, then you realise its not as good as you know you can do, and you start overthinking, tense up, and......etc etc.

I also have a scrap piece of paper which does help, but you need to be relaxed, so make sure you're comfy, put some tunes on to distract you just enough to stop you over thinking, and then just do it. Pick an area to start with that isn't too detailed, and just go for it. Sing along to your tunes and soon you'll be doing and not thinking, and you will have moved to more intricate areas without even realising.
Rick, I compare it to a sniper is taking a shot, controlled breathing and stillness when squeezing the trigger.
The best thing to do is just go for it, once you start you will relax, its the anxiety of screwing it up, just control your breathing and make sure your airbrush is comfortable in your hand then paint. If you feel yourself start to tense up then stop, take a minute, relax and control your breathing again get comfortable and carry on. Once you get comfortable and know how to get there it will become easier and easier.

Thanks Lee

Im trying a planet scene, but none of that stuff you see on youtube. This is free handed except for the orginal circles. All the details of the planets and solar mist is free handed. Did what a few have said and blu toothed my speaker, listened to some music and had some coffee.( no beer for me ). Man its way to early to be up. Got woken up by a cold nose on my neck by my dog say hey dude i have to
We have all been there! Trust me, after some time, you wont be so scared. The way I taught my daughter and neice is I made a little song about pushing down for air, pulling back for magic.