How to get bold, sharpie style lines -short vid-



hey guys, I'm about 2 weeks into basic (airbrush) training. The "norm" is still something I'm steadily trying to learn, in terms of what an acceptable clean line, or dagger stroke looks like; but when I saw this video, I had to wonder how this guy is getting such clean lines. As a newbie, I am constantly getting the dreaded spidering effect from either too thin paint or the opposite problem of "blowing gobs" when paint is too thick and won't atomize well.

After many attempts to find a good equilibrium in paint consistancy for my Krome, I've come to find slightly thicker than milk to be the best safe zone. When I put on the .2 needle, and attempt to make very carefully placed tiny clean lines, it seems that no matter what, there is always some spidering going on or the other problem to a point. Until I found this video, I was becoming accepting that this is just what happens in airbrushing, but then again, I see this artist is laying down paint that has that "sharpie marker" appearance with almost no gradation. That's exactly what I've been shooting for. He is going at very close range without any negative effects. Granted, I am not working on such a forgivable surface such as a tshirt, but I'd like to know how to achieve this appearance with my paint. I see he doesn't even have an in line air trap. I am purchasing one if that helps at all. I mostly go at low pressure 20psi when practicing. Any tips towards getting my paint to lay down so bold like this guy?


Video: Youtube> Search: Airbrush T-Shirt Comic Auto Teil 1 (sorry won't yet let me post link)[h=1][/h]
Let me add, that I use liquidex acrylic paint and have been mixing with water only. Only because I've read that it should work that way.
Dunno if this will help, just done this video as a quick review of the fine-line conversion kit for Badger guns, it does show some finer line work. A lot of it has to do with speed, correct reduction and correct pressure, I didn't watch the vid ya posted but if its a T-Shirt artist understand that painting on fabric is a lot more forgiving than painting on a smooth, non not so absorbant surface..He likely has his pressure up a fair bit and is moving along pretty quick and really blasting the paint in and because fabric is a lot more absorbant, it generally won't spider at all....Other substrates take a different need, but look into leapfrogging..It may help ya out.

PS Haven't used that brand of paint so certainly can't suggest its best practices..Someone else may..

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On tshirts, you don't get the spidering because the material just soaks up the paint... same thing if you spray food coloring on paper towel... it just soaks it up, so there is nothing left to spider out from your lines. He is also probably spraying paint that is not thinned out at all, or maybe only 10% or so, and using a larger needle/nozzle set-up than your .2 Krome. With a nozzle that small, you need much thinner paints to get them to flow smoothly and consistently, and that will make them more susceptible to spidering. Also, notice how fast he moves his airbrush when he is painting a line. He is laying down a lot of paint, but moving his brush so fast, that it doesn't build up in one spot. To get really dark,fine lines one a harder, less absorbent canvas will just take some practice. You may have to build them up with a couple of passes, or you could try going to a more heavily pigmented paint, such as wicked detail. You can thin those out 1:20 or more and they still retain a lot f color because the pigment in the paint is so heavy and ground thinner than most other paints. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.
Good tips guys, I think you have a point that fabric is plain and simply not going to spider even at close range, on top of that he is moving fast.

Important thing I forgot to put into my original post. I have been getting this annoying "poof" blast each time I press down for air at the start of a line. It doesn't happen if I clean the tip but almost if there is any speck of paint at all on the needle it happens almost every time. I have been practicing countinuously holding down air to make several strokes at a time to avoid it. But again in this video, he isn't holding down air btw lines and gets no splatter.
Most of us will spray into our hands after each pass to ensure no poof moments..That nearly sounds rude LOL
If that "poof" is accompanied by a splatter of paint, then its just wet paint that is sitting on the end of your needle when you start the air... Those tshirt guys work at such high air pressure (sometime 60 psi or more) that it doesn't give the paint a chance to build up on the end of the needle. It basically stops any tip dry they might get too, but those pressures are really unworkable for anything other than fabric... you think you see spidering now.... try spraying at 60 psi. lol. That guy in video doesn't have good very good technique for anything but tshirts. Keeping the air on is what you need to do to avoid that, and when you do stop the air, "charge" the airbrush off to the side of your work when you start again... i.e., just point it in a safe direction away from your work, start the air, and give it a quick burst of paint to get it flowing... then with the air still on, move it in and start painting.
Yeah, I agree in that it seems to be a superior technique to use continuous airflow. I think this helps to also keep everything aligned better as well. The blunt starts and stops don't seem to give the artist the best ability to control where the paint end up either.
Another thing with the poof... make sure that your stopping paint flow before stopping the air, then you shouldnt get it nearly as much. But as Forever and Rebel said... when you start your airflow make sure your pointed off to the side or in your hand. This becomes pretty much second nature after awhile
RebelAir, I enjoyed the video! You're a thorough teacher. Favorited.

Chivo, I didn't think of that but good point. Keeping the air on before and AFTER paint... key word being after I think is also important. I've been getting into a habit of just trailing my arm off the surface with distance and then releasing the trigger in a snap. I'm gonna work on that