It feels like an airbrush search & rescue mission as I look for all the gear, parts, and pieces required to make ready for airbrushing here in the studio. It has been over a decade since I have used my airbrushes. Whew! The first thing I find that needs a lot of attention is my father’s old toolbox. He gave it to me just before he died, and it reminds me of him whenever I use it. It was originally dark blue but I painted it black and have added some other images on the exterior with airbrush and pinstriping brushes.
Opening the main toolbox, I discover a mess covered in dust and grime. I literally empty out the box and begin to clean everything and dispose of what is unusable. A lot of the pieces or parts seem almost foreign to me, which is funny because I used to use these airbrushes daily.
After dusting off the beautifully refinished tank, I concentrate on going through all the airbrush tools, parts, and stuff. Right away I stumble upon the drawing and cut-out stencil that I had used in the initial illustration. What a stroke of luck!
The next discovery is my favorite how-to book for airbrush is AIRBRUSH: The Complete Studio Handbook by Radu Vero. I will review the information in this book before taking apart, cleaning, and practicing spraying with each brush. This book is the most helpful book on the subject of airbrushing that I have ever found. There are step-by-step explanations and great exercises that show you how to improve your rendering skills.
An airbrush isn’t all that easy to learn but with this book, all the information you need is easy to find. Methods are thoroughly explained along with simple exercises to practice, and there are many youtube video’s on the subject.
Learning how to use an airbrush is worth it because it can give you wonderful gradient fills in automotive, signage, and mural projects. A multitude of details and touches that you are not able to get any other way. It is a tool that is well worth investing the time and energy to figure out how to use it.