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How to Airbrush a Line!

Fri, 5th July 2013

Learn how to create the second most simple of all airbrush effects - how to airbrush a line!

Have you perfected the first two tutorials - 'how to hold an airbrush' & 'how to control an airbrush'?

The perfect line (also known as a pass) is created with precise timing and fluid movement.

There are a few key tips which will help you create perfect lines, but before we learn those why don't we look at the exact actions involved in airbrushing a line.

The first thing to make sure you're doing - is to hold down the trigger.
Be sure that you have this perfected so when you close your eyes all you are doing is holding down the trigger and hearing that sweet airflow.
keep the air flowing constantly. 

How to airbrush a line

The second part of a line is adding movement. Only begin moving after the air is flowing!
The air is like your permission slip on a primary school excursion - you can't move until the air is on.
When creating your first line - move using your legs and only your legs. 
Keep your airbrush aiming towards the canvas and rock your body from left to right, right to left.
When you feel confident, pull back for paint whilst moving and push forward to shut off the paint.

Congratulations! you've just created your first line!


Just as explained in the tutorial 'how to hold an airbrush' - we use the hand we aren't airbrushing with as a guide.
Using two hands in this way gives us the ability to create uniform lines & gives support to the hand holding the airbrush.


The next thing to practice is pivoting - locking your wrists - not tensing your wrists - but keeping them in position for the entire line.
You will find a way to move using your legs and elbows as pivot points.
With only the air on, practise aiming your airbrush at the same spot of your paper - move your body left, right, up & down while keeping the airbrush in the same place. 
This is exactly is the type of movement that you will need to start getting used to when airbrushing.

Snap on! Snap off!
Snap On!

Always be firm with the beginning and end of your lines.
Quickly snap on pulling back for paint, move, then snap off! 
The more you practise this the more control you will have over your lines.

Snap Off!

To improve on this continue doing this simple exercise:
Airbrush two lines vertically, 20cm apart.
Airbrush a line starting from the line on the left, ending exactly on the line on the right - then repeating this from right to left.
Practise snapping on & snapping off, pivoting & distancing while doing this exercise.

When you start getting bored of this is when you know that it's time to start learning how to do effects!

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