Rookie Questions!

C

Compleks

Guest
Hi guys.
I'm sure all these questions have been answered before, but thought I would share my first painting experience anyway : )

Firstly, after finally getting hands on with airbrushing I have even more respect for what you guys are capable of. I'm both discouraged and motivated at the same time.
I bought myself an Iwata Eclipse cs, with wicked details paints.

Finally got everything set up today and started practicing. It is A LOT harder than I thought it would be. You guys make it look so easy!!
I have way too many questions, so I'll try and pick the main ones.

- Tip Dry! How often do you clean your brush when painting? Do you take the needle out completely or just remove the cap and try to clean the tip that way? Will using more reducer lessen or increase the effect of tip dry? Annoying!

- How do I get really fine lines? I can manage to get some reasonably thin lines (not consistently), but they are always very feint lines. Can I achieve a solid opaque line? Like that you would get from a fine liner.

- PSI. What pressure do you paint at? I had my compressor set at about 15-20. But experimented between 5 and 30 psi to see how the paint responded. How low do you go for fine detail? What's your standard pressure for general painting? (If there's such a thing)

Soo many questions. But I'll leave it there for now and get back at it tomorrow.
All I was doing today was dots, lines and dagger strokes. All in black.

The compressor makes me jump every time it kicks in!

Peace :)
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
Hi guys.
I'm sure all these questions have been answered before, but thought I would share my first painting experience anyway : )

Firstly, after finally getting hands on with airbrushing I have even more respect for what you guys are capable of. I'm both discouraged and motivated at the same time.
I bought myself an Iwata Eclipse cs, with wicked details paints. Good equipment that. Don't need anything more

Finally got everything set up today and started practicing. It is A LOT harder than I thought it would be. You guys make it look so easy!! It only looks easy because you don't really see behind the scenes. And everybody here has had many months if not years worth of training. Practice, practice, practice and then you practice some more.
I have way too many questions, so I'll try and pick the main ones.

- Tip Dry! How often do you clean your brush when painting? I only clean the gun at the end of my painting session. And if I did not have any problems, it just gets a rinse throug Do you take the needle out completely or just remove the cap and try to clean the tip that way? Needle only comes out if I have problems. I don't use the cap so picking the dry paint off is easier. I use a bristle paint brush that I've cut shorter to brush off the dry paint. Be careful when not using the protective cap. One tap against the paint surface and your needle is ruined. Will using more reducer lessen or increase the effect of tip dry? It will a bit but you will have to reduce air aswell then Annoying! We all fight the same battle

- How do I get really fine lines? I can manage to get some reasonably thin lines (not consistently), but they are always very feint lines. Can I achieve a solid opaque line? Like that you would get from a fine liner. Don't get too obsessed with fine lines. It will come with practice. If you really need pencil thin lines, don't be shy to use frisket or even a paintbrush or coloured pencil.
- PSI. What pressure do you paint at? I had my compressor set at about 15-20. But experimented between 5 and 30 psi to see how the paint responded. How low do you go for fine detail? What's your standard pressure for general painting? (If there's such a thing) PSI depends on the paint. If it is thick paint, you will need more.

Soo many questions. But I'll leave it there for now and get back at it tomorrow.
All I was doing today was dots, lines and dagger strokes. All in black. You need to do them for a few weeks more.

The compressor makes me jump every time it kicks in!

Peace :)
 
G

GHstudios

Guest
I just watched the AirbrushTutor - Q and A Video, where Mitch stated if you're having much problems with TipDry, just reduce the paint a bit more and Increase the pressure. Found that interesting, and worth a try!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

chivo

Double Actioner
I think that Andre hit on all your questions good but i thought id add one thing that i do that helps at times. When you start getting alot of tip dry or it acts like everything is starting to plug up, skippy and inconsistent lines and such, instead of emptying the paint cup and cleaning it all up, ill give the.gun a couple of full throttle blasts and pick away at the tip between blasts.. itll normally get the crap out.
 

RebelAir

Air-Valve Autobot!
My take on a cple of ya q's

Tip dry-Try adding a drop or two of glycerin if its a huge issue or use brand specific reducers and flow mediums..Another easy way to avoid tip dry is to keep painting, it sounds silly but most tip dry occurs when your only pushing air and drying the paint on the tip, if you keep pushing the paint, tip dry doesn't occur as bad in many cases..To do this its important to plan well, don't stop spraying unless ya really need to, personally everytime I stop I generally pick the tip clean..

Fine Lines- I get fine lines by moving quick, it really is a pressure vs paint reduction vs gun type vs etc etc LOL. Many variations affect the ability to pull a fine, solid opaque line..many of us do over reduce to get a nice spray, this in turn obviously affects the opacity of the paint, so instead of over-reducing, try perhaps pumping your pressure up, stay close to the board and move quick to avoid spidering

PSI- Unless doing t-Shirts or porous surfaces no doubt about 30-35 psi will be fine, if its not spraying right, keep lowering it by about 5 psi till you find its happy spot, this can change daily due to reduction, weather etc..Obviously it also depend a lot on ya gun set up, syphons generally need a higher PSI than gravity's etc, needle size may also vary your pressure need...Trial and error basically as there's no magic number

GL, the most important part of AB'ing IMO is confidence and layering knowledge and having fun with it. The strokes will be perfected pretty quickly no matter how many practice sheets you do, its knowing how to use them and confidence in using them that may help ya out, so look into other art books/videos etc to get an idea of the basic layering sequences many different artforms use..GL and fun :)
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Thanks guys, appreciate the help.

Painted a bunch more practice sheets today. Then had a crack at painting an eye just because there's only so many dots and lines I can paint in a day.
Feel like I made some good progress. My paint mixing is still hit and miss, but when I manage to get it right everything flows a bit nicer.

Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

My eye was rubbish, but it was interesting to attempt and I think I learned a lot doing it :)
 

Squishy

Queen Clown Slayer
Learning what not to do is as important as learning what to do, so you won't make the same mistakes again, or you will learn how to avoid/correct ar deal with any problems, and the best way to do that is to paint something. Still keep on top of those excercises they are invaluable, but putting them into practice in an actual picture is all part of the process. So keep doing what you're doing, sounds like you're on the right track.
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Doesn't feel like it!!

I'm about as steady handed as Michael J. Fox.
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Another question!

I decided to play around with some white. Trying to do a few highlights over black paint.

1- I'm getting a very blueish tint? Is this just a matter of laying down a few coats?
2- It's very hard to cover. I'm not sure if I over-reduced. But the paint was spidering easily and you could see it almost dissolve into the black and disappear unless you applied a few coats.

Is this all normal??
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
Another question!

I decided to play around with some white. Trying to do a few highlights over black paint.

1- I'm getting a very blueish tint? Is this just a matter of laying down a few coats?
2- It's very hard to cover. I'm not sure if I over-reduced. But the paint was spidering easily and you could see it almost dissolve into the black and disappear unless you applied a few coats.

Is this all normal??

You've discovered the achilles heel to every airbrush artist. Everybody hates it. White needs to be very opaque to cover. This causes alot of tip dry. Thin it too much and it does not cover and can cause spidering. The first place to start is getting a good white like Etac or Wicked Detail.

You can add a very small drop of orange to the white. It counter acts the blue. Basic colour theory method. Or instead of white, use a lighter version of the colour you are painting on. Or you could use an eraser.
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Hmm, I see.
Thanks for that. I guess I'll have to do a certain amount of trial and error to work this one out.

Still, I think this is way out of my league at the moment. But good to experiment with.

More painting tomorrow :)
 

AndreZA

Air-Valve Autobot!
Hmm, I see.
Thanks for that. I guess I'll have to do a certain amount of trial and error to work this one out.

Still, I think this is way out of my league at the moment. But good to experiment with.

More painting tomorrow :)

The only reason why some are better then others are 1. they have more practice behind them 2. they know the steps to the final piece.

Practice, practice, practice. Protest, cry, swear, promise to never try this again and you will see, it will all come right.
 
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C

Compleks

Guest
Cheers Andre.

How precisely does everyone reduce their paints? I'm just squirting some into the cup and then mixing in a bit of reducer and water, shaking it up and then adjusting depending on how I feel it sprays.
Should I be using a more scientific approach??
 

Strictly Attitude

Air-Valve Autobot!
I have a initial mix ratio I use to start then I adjust from there to fine tune my mix to temp, humidity, and so on. Adjusting by adding paint, trans base, or reducer. Works good for me hope this helps.
 

Squishy

Queen Clown Slayer
Cheers Andre.

How precisely does everyone reduce their paints? I'm just squirting some into the cup and then mixing in a bit of reducer and water, shaking it up and then adjusting depending on how I feel it sprays.
Should I be using a more scientific approach??

I would say that as you are starting out, I would be a bit more scientific. To get consistant results, I think having a base paint/reducer ratio will help, and also eliminate that issue if any problems arise with the airbrush not spraying properly. If your mixture is the same you will know it is likely to be the airbrush isn't properly clean or damaged etc, rather than wondering if it's your paint mix. So experiment with your ratio ( it differs depending on type of airbrush, paint used, air pressure etc) until you find that paint is spraying cleanly, isn't grainy, spidering or blocking the nozzle (don't forget to strain your paint) and isn't giving constant tip dry, then use that as your base mix. You can then adjust that as necessary depending on temperature and humidity. It will soon become second nature once you get the hang of it, then you will be able to reduce by instict and won't need to be so exact.
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Cheers.

Is it okay to pre mix/reduce a batch of paint in a smaller bottle?
Or should paint be reduced right before you plan on using it?
 

RebelAir

Air-Valve Autobot!
Theres nothing wrong with mixing on the fly, but it does take experiance, as mentioned a more scientific approach cld be worthwhile when starting out. Get a medicine cup and lots of spare paint bottles and a notepad/diary. Write down your reduction strengths and mix up 4 bottles say of white, leave one at 100% (no reduction) make the others 75%, 50% and 25% IE 75% is three part paint, one part reducer (Water or whatever your using) 50- 2 parts paint one reducer and so on..So for 50% if ya mixing up 50 ml of paint ya wanna ad 25 ml of water/reducer..This method also helps when mixing ya colors as it will enable you to match exactly what you were using prior if you run out..

Mixing just prior to painting is no prob, mixing the night before or a week before is fine too, just remember to put a ball bearing, rock or marble in your paint container so you can shake it up well before using to suspend the pigments evenly, do that on every refill of your cup as pigment can settle quickly and change the shade slightly..Also add a small square of pantihose underneath the lid of the bottle, this strains it for you without thinking about it.

Experimenting is a key to learning how to best utilize reducer in your specific conditions or needs..You can completely remove the blueshift of white by not spraying it ontop of black (its generally the ovespray that does this shifting if you take and opaque white to 100% intensity it doesn't shift (The overspray still might though) or use its complimentery (Black is generally blue based, thats why we use orange to counteract it, some blacks can also be red or green based-Though rarely in AB Paints) if you do desire to spray over black as mentioned..Building your pic from light to dark reduces this issue, or use erasers for highlighting as mentioned..

Practice, experiment or even use the shift to your advantage :)..GL and av fun
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Great advice Rebel.
I'll be adding paint bottles, marbles and pantyhose to the shopping list haha.
 

RebelAir

Air-Valve Autobot!
Just don't buy them all at the same shop...They may look at you strangly LOL..For paint bottles I just use my kids old pop-top bottles, they work a treat :)
 
C

Compleks

Guest
Brilliant idea Rebel. I've set myself up with a 50% and 75% mix to start.

Now I'm not perceptive enough to notice much difference when painting. Don't know whether it's the reductions, the pantyhose or the fact that I cleaned my brush... but the paint is flowing very smoothly today.

Back to work now ;)
 
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