My first attempts at the exercises

  • Thread starter worldofglasscraft
  • Start date


Hi All,
Well today was the first day that I have had a chance to get things together and attempt the Airbrush tutor exercises.
I decided to use food colourant rather than actual paint because it is way way cheaper and this is practice. (im a tightwad)
Unlike paint, I now know that food colourant doesn't need to be watered down (1st mistake)
This meant I couldn't shoot at 100 percent because it was like ink spots so most is done at 25% (2nd Mistake)
I had my easel set up to maximum and discovered that it's not tall enough so I was shooting downwards at a 45 deg angle.(3nd mistake)
From this I learnt that I need to rethink my work space, kneeling on one knee was no good as a steady platform so I will sort out a chair set up.

From the exercises I learned that it's not like sandcarving where its air on, sand on then operate triggger/footpedal. (4th mistake)
So learning air on> pull back for paint> push forward>air off is a mind set I am going to have to come to terms with.
Here are my completed exercise sheets from my first attempt. Vertical dagger strokes are hard and I keep forgetting the distance trick.



If I may make a suggestion, when you start doing your t-shirts, maybe stick to only doing tarantulas for first 5 years, I think you will excel at those, lol

Just kidding friend, First of all, I'm totally proud that you posted this at all, and I admire your honesty, you have at least learned that airbrushing is slightly different than sand blasting.

One important tip which you may have missed is, when you pull back for paint, it's not compulsory to pull all the way back, you pull back till you get the amount you want.

When you do these exercises, do one set at a time e.g. do the dot set and keep doing it until it closely resembles the example on the sheet, then go on to the next set, trying to do them all at once will blow your mind.

Using food colouring is not too bad, but it would be an idea to mix it with something with a little more substance, but I would suggest simply buying a bottle of the cheapest black airbrush paint you can find just for practising, the problem is if you continue with the food colouring you will find that when you eventually use paint it will behave totally different than you expect, and you will be totally and utterly amazed just how far your bottle goes, it won't be empty the first day.

And I'm sorry friend, I must confess, yes I did laugh, but I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing with you, so please forgive me.

Just keep going I know you'll get there.
No worries there at all mate.
I would bet though that I will be the only one giving feedback like this :)
Tony, don't worry, it get's much better as the days go by. I was a mess for two weeks trying to figure out alot of things. I am happy you posted this as well because the only way to go is up. Post this on your album and watch as the weeks and months pass how far you have come!
Thank you for posting, you've actually helped me make a decision! I was considering using food coloring but now I'll just stick to the paint :).
I haven't yet put anything in my airbrush apart from pulling it down and lubing it up. But when I do I'll happily stand alongside you and compare tarantulas :) and we'll show the rest of newbies that this is "normal"
I watered down the food colourant !!!!
I will try it again straight, cake makers use airbrushes and food colourant so I feel it still has a place whilst I learn co-ordination and control.
I've just PM'd Mitch to ask for a new video tutorial "How to control and air-brusher"lol
I've had a black transparent bottle of createx. I think it's their smallest bottle, I've been using it alot for the last couple months and I've only used half. It was like 4$.

If you are playing golf, you aren't going to practice putting with your driver.

I am here:
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I wish I would have seen someones practice before I started. I may not have drove myself as crazy think I just wasn't getting it. I going to post some of my practices too.
Listen to Madbrush. It will help to do each exercise until you feel comfortable with it before moving on to the next excercise. I did somewhere around 50 sheets of dots before I went on to the line exercise. The dots exercise makes you concentrate on pointing the airbrush directly at the paper, and teaches you to control paint flow and distance. This is critical before attempting to hit your target on the move, which is the key factor in the lines excercise. At least, that's what I have gotten from the excercises so far.

Also, Drobbins is correct. Paint might seem to be expensive, but a little goes a looooooooong waaaaaaay! You'll also find paint won't splatter like water, which is basically what you are trying to paint with here.

Hope this helps anyone new, or still doing the practice material.

P.S - I still practice the dots exercise everyday, even though I'm also up to doing the lines exercise. Boring, sure, but without control over the tool how can you do anything else?
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So, today having seen that eenshas probably been airbrushing for a couple of months I thought I would have my second go at using an airbrush.
I still await delivery of actual paint so this time I elected to use food colourant without watering it down.
The exercise I chose was a sand blasting one but instead of engraving I coloured it in.
I use 80 GSM paper (same as yesterdays) and started off with 30psi. I realised that this was too high and turned it down to 10 which didnt push the colourant out so upped it to 20.

I am happy with this as a first attempt at "colouring in" and I would have made the colour even but the paper gets wet quickly which has its own problems and I have to work out some sort of PSI rating dependent on the job ay hand.
If anyone knows of a chart or has compiled their own I would appreciate a copy of it for future reference.
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I still await delivery of actual paint

How big is this?, you've done good to keep it all within the lines, and shouting won't get you anywhere here young man, we're only trying to help, lol

The psi thing is a personal practise thing, it all depends on your airbrush, your own taste and feel, and tip size among other things, when you find a pressure your happy with just go with it, even people using exactly the same equipment don't use the same pressure.

I personally started with around 15psi until I could get a little speed up moving the brush around, now I stay around 22-25psi, any more gives me too much over-spray.
Cheers Malky,
The piece is A4 (cheaper Asda Smart Price Paper) I think a thicker paper would give a better result, and I recalll you saying you practiced on cloth not paper which I do intend to move onto once I have cracked Mitchs basics.
I used an Iwata Eclipse with a 0.35-mm needle. I take note of the 15psi you started with and give that a go.
(I look forward to seeing some of your practice pieces in due course mate)