Airbrush Control Exercises
This airbrush tutorial consists of the most useful airbrush exercises that you will ever come across.
They are the most accurate representation you can get of your ability to control an airbrush.
They are the core foundations of airbrushing and make up every effect that you will ever have to airbrush.
By practising these exercises over and over again you will notice a fast increase in accuracy and confidence with your airbrushing.
If you were looking for a way to improve your airbrushing fast - then pay careful attention.
Airbrushing Dots - Practising Correct Double Actioning..
This exercise has horizontal lines running across the page.
You are to airbrush a series of dots between each pair of lines, which will force you to gradually move closer to the paper to achieve smaller dots.
This exercise will teach you how to airbrush while double actioning correctly. Remember to always keep the air down, as long as you are intending to put paint on that paper, then you should be holding the air down!
As your dots improve you may begin to challenge yourself by changing the intensity that you are airbrushing your dots.
First create a series of 3 dots at 100% intensity, then 50% intensity and lastly 15% intensity. If you can achieve lighter dots than this, then you are doing extremely well.
Once you are confident that you can create consistent 15% dots on the smallest lines, then you are ready to move on to the next exercise.
Airbrushing Lines - Practising Your Dots With Movement
This exercise has vertical lines running down the page.
Your first goal with this exercise is to airbrush a line exactly the same as shown in the bottom example on the template.
You should pay close attention to start on the furthest left line, and finish on the furthest right line.
The best piece of advice here is to let you know that you should be moving past each of the furthest points. Before putting any paint down simply practise the movement, moving from one side of the paper to the next.
By moving first, this eliminates the chance of you getting dots on either side of your lines.
When you are comfortable with your movement, then begin to start and stop the paint on the lines, taking control of your airbrush.
When you are confident that you can start and stop your lines wherever you'd like, then try moving closer to the paper. How fine can you get your lines?
When you are comfortable with your motion and how close you are getting, then see how lightly you can spray the dots.
If lines are becoming easy for you, then challenge yourself by starting and stopping at irregular intervals along the vertical lines of the page as shown in the example.
You may want to try this exercise with the paper rotated 90 degrees for you to practise your own vertical lines.
The same rule applies here as with the other effects - the lighter and closer that you can do these effects, the better you are controlling your airbrush.
Blends! - Become a Master of Blends..
Following the examples shown on the template, start on the very top lines and airbrush 2 blends, one blending up, the other blending down - both at 100%.
Your blend should end just as it touches the opposite line.
If you aren't confident with your blends then continue to practise them at 100% intensity until they look exactly like the examples shown.
Getting these blends perfect is not something that happens on the second attempt, so be prepared to spend hours getting this effect right!
Such effects are commonly used in portraiture and tend to make up about 80% of shapes on a face - so it is very important that you can confidently airbrush these!
When you gain confidence with your blends, test yourself and see at what intensity and height you can do your smallest blend.
Practise these on the bottom lines. Try to create a series of blends at only 15% intensity, while holding your airbrush only a few centimetres from the paper.
To challenge yourself further, rotate the page 90 degrees.
Once you are getting consistent results, move on to the next exercise!
The Reverse Dagger Stroke - And How to Improve Yours
Reverse/ Dagger Strokes
This exercise is designed to teach you how to create dagger strokes and reverse dagger strokes (formerly a blending dot) at different angles.
The lines on the page stay the same length but become thinner in width forcing you to create these effects at different angles.
Your aim is to airbrush the effects from the right angle and height to fit within the shapes shown. You get bonus points if you can finish/ start your effect on the very tip of the shape.
Practise these effects until you can:
- Confidently start and finish where you intend to
- Consistently create different sized effects at the same instensity below 50%
Script Loops - What It Is & Why We Need It?
Airbrushing Script Loops
This is the most difficult of all the airbrush exercises.
You should be very confident with your ability to control your airbrush by now and this exercise is going to fine tune your new-found control!
There are a series of horizontal lines going across the page - you are to airbrush a series of loops that are thinner on bottom than up top.
This means that you will need to begin airbrushing the loop closer to the page, moving further away while pulling back more for paint as you reach the top of the loop and reversing this process as you come around and complete the loop.
It was all of the t-shirt artists on youtube who inspired me to add this to the control exercises and I believe it to be the best exercise to tweak your airbrush control.
If you are able to airbrush these script loops @ 15% on the bottom line of the page.. then you can do anything in the airbrush world.
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Airbrush Control Exercises
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