For Every Airbrush Artist!

Want to see more forum, less google ads ? Then register for free

Register

What is a good airbrush paper for practice?

Discussion in 'Beginners help' started by Shorti, Sep 7, 2020.


  1. Shorti

    Shorti Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've been practicing dots and lines on regular, white printer paper but I'd like to do a real painting for practice. I dont want anything too expensive but it should be sturdier than plain paper. I saw there is "airbrush paper" like the TerraSlate. It looks like I can get 7mm-10mm white. Is this a good paper to use...or any other suggestions? Minimum thickness?

    Also, I see a lot of tutorials show people using a colored background base (black usually). Did the artist paint the background or can the paper be purchased with different colors. So far I've only seenwhite paper. Thanks for the help!
  2. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    6,149
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    I can't comment on terraslate as i've never used it. Theres loads of options, airbrush paper, Yupo paper, bleedproof marker pen paper, Bristol board, etc etc, depends how much you want to spend.

    Yupo may be a bit much to practice on as its synthetic and better when you have some more experience.

    Id go for bristol board, or bleedproof paper its fairly cheap and smooth to work on. Stay away from canvas or textured paper just to make it easier.

    You can get all sorts of coloured paper, I have black card, black paper, grey paper by Canson, yello, blue , green, basically all sorts of colours. Only just got the grey so not sure what its like yet but its twice as thick as standard printer paper. So yes, you can get different colours but you could also paint your paper or surface. Like with metals, if it not already primed you need to paint it.

    I'm sure others will put their own options up so hang 5 till you get some more answers.

    Lee
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
    ammovet, Shorti and HellBird like this.
  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    11,555
    Likes Received:
    14,629
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Mt Barker, South Australia
    Card stock from your local arts/crafts or stationary shop will suffice for practise.
    It has a smooth side that will not absorb paint greatly so it’s good for gaining control of Your brush and learning to minimise splatters/spiders.
    Remember that if you are using coloured paper/painting in a background it will affect the colours you lay down. Eg if you have a black background and put a transparent white on it you’ll get a blue shift. If you have a blue background and lay down yellow paint you’ll get a green shift - you get the idea.
    Many artists don’t paint the entire substrate one colour. They merely paint the background around the image or they paint where the image will go with a base of white sealer and/or opaque white paint
    barto, ammovet, Shorti and 2 others like this.
  4. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    11,975
    Likes Received:
    10,045
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Hampshire South Coast UK
    You could try contacting some companies and asking for samples of different paper. I've done this before a few times, and got samples ranging from tiny squares - though still usable, to half and whole sheets. Say why you want them, even say you want to write a review here etc to encourage them lol.

    Anyway. Even if you only get small samples, it is good to try different papers, see how they behave, and if you find one you like will make you more confident on spending any money.

    If you want to try a hard surface look into aluminium sheets. If you can master a harder surface, paper is easier to use, and it's fairly cheap. Prep with a rub down and a high build primer. You can paint on it directly, or spray any colour background you like. Can use both sides, and you can sand it down, or paint over and re use if you want to.
    ammovet, Shorti, LadyCharlie and 4 others like this.
  5. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    6,149
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    Nice one Jackie and Squish, Totally didnt list regular card or even photo paper, I focused on stock that was more airbrush related, i'm over thinking.

    Would it be worth trying the SeaMonkey method?




    Lee
    Johnny, ammovet, Shorti and 3 others like this.
  6. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    11,555
    Likes Received:
    14,629
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Mt Barker, South Australia
    I whole heartedly endorse the seamonkey method :) I tried it it works for gauging psi/reducer etc
  7. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2017
    Messages:
    5,953
    Likes Received:
    8,298
    Trophy Points:
    126
    I think the others have you covered. The picture frame method is good. I started painting on old tin motor oil cans. I’d paint them black or white with some rattle cans and paint. Once I’d filled them up, I’d paint over and start again. TerraSlate will send out free samples within the US and it’s pretty nice to Airbrush on.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Shorti

    Shorti Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Arizona
    Thanks everyone ...great advise!
    jord001, Squishy and SiRoxx like this.
  9. Karl Becker

    Karl Becker Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2020
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Northern IL, USA
    I know I'm late, but maybe this will help someone.

    I've been using this artboard I picked up at Micheal's:

    https://www.michaels.com/artboard-by-creatology/10531554.html

    I don't know what weight it is, but it's a little thicker than card stock, has a smooth finish, and you can get 100 sheets for $8.49. It has been a cheap solution for me thus far and doesn't seem to absorb the moisture from the paint as much as regular printer paper. It will still curl if you really saturate it, but you could seal it ahead of time to prevent that.
    Shorti, HellBird and jord001 like this.
  10. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin SuperMod Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    17,238
    Likes Received:
    15,801
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Bloomington,Indiana
    I just grab some poster board from the Dollar Tree 2 large sheets for a buck , Affordable :D But as shown if ya want to really gain control and dail in PSI vs reduction placing any photo under glass and practice that way too .
    Shorti, jord001 and HellBird like this.
  11. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,900
    Likes Received:
    2,878
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Somewhere in the U.S.
    I bought a big pack of paper years ago and still have a lot of it left. Its Strathmore 300... something lolol. Comes in a huge notebooky thing. It's pretty decent when it comes to being similar to what I use for more serious work.
    Its Strathmore drawing paper, in 18x24.
    SiRoxx, Shorti and jord001 like this.
  12. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2020
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    391
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Wilkes County, NC
    This may sound crazy but my wife has this thing called a "Buddha Board" that she practices on. It only uses water which does eventually evaporate but the brush strokes can be pretty precise and dark. I tried it with my new airbrush and it worked great. Using just water, it looks like black paint and there is no mess and no clogs and no cleanup afterwards and you can make the "paint" dry quickly with your airbrush air. She got it on Amazon fairly cheap. It appears to be some kind of paper but I have no idea what kind it is. Just my two cents worth.
    jord001 and JackEb like this.
  13. Shorti

    Shorti Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2020
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Arizona
    T
    That is very interesting. I'll have to give this a try. Thanks!
    Ryck likes this.
  14. Ryck

    Ryck Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2020
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    391
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Wilkes County, NC
    You are most welcome! I hope that you find it a useful tool as I have. :thumbsup:

Share This Page