The two most distinguishable classes of airbrush are the double action and single action airbrush.
Airbrush Tutor uses a double action and for the purpose of this website it goes against the rules to use a single action airbrush over which you have little control.
Single action means pull the trigger back and in one action paint and air flows at the same time. These are the cheaper model-hobby painting types of airbrushes.
With single action airbrushes, the user has little control over paint flow as the it is generally only adjusted by changing a setting on the back handle.
A double action airbrush operates with two different functions.
Step 1. Push down on a trigger to open the air valve and air begins to flow out of the nozzle of the airbrush.
Step 2. While the air valve is open one pulls back on the trigger for paint flow.
The reason for Airbrush Tutor using double action is because it allows for much greater control of the airbrush.
As you learn in the video tutorials, the air must be flowing before paint. you always push down on the airbrush first for air, then pull back for paint.
This site focuses on airbrush art or freehand airbrushing and some artworks are extremely detailed, which is something that a single action airbrush will struggle to do.
From here there are two main types of double action airbrushes – the gravity fed & the siphon fed.
This comes down to a matter of preference.
The most obvious difference between gravity fed and siphon fed airbrushes is the manner in which the paint is stored and fed.
Siphon fed airbrushes
In general siphon fed airbrushes allow the user to hold quite alot more paint and so will allow for longer spraying times without the need to change colors.
Having a bigger paint jar also means that it can be difficult to get close to the substrate or surface that is being painted.
Siphon fed airbrushes also require a slightly higher air pressure in order to siphon the paint from the jar.
One strong advantage of this type is that you can use your second hand to hold the paint jar allowing for slightly better control.
Another advantage of this type of airbrush is that you can change colors faster than gravity fed types.
Gravity fed airbrushes
Gravity fed airbrushes (one shown top of page) have a small paint cup manufactured on top of the airbrush – some even have such a small cup that you pour the paint directly into the airbrush.
These airbrushes require lower air pressure to operate and some may argue that you can achieve finer detail because of this. They aren’t as comfortable to hold as siphon fed airbrushes, however it is easier to airbrush for longer periods of time as they aren’t as heavy as a siphon fed airbrush.
Which airbrush to buy?
In order to buy the right tools from the start Airbrush Tutor strongly recommends that you look into buying a dual action airbrush from the get go.
Remember, the same rule applies to airbrushes as all other commodities – you get what you pay for.