The Job Of An Airbrushing Artist

By Paulette Mason

An airbrush is a small tool with many different applications. The primary use for the airbrush when it was first invented was for retouching photographs but today it is used extensively in all sorts of industries. An airbrushing artist has to master some difficult techniques to use this little tool effectively. These artists use mediums like paints and inks to create freehand images on a variety of different surfaces.

With the advent of computer graphic programs, using the airbrush for retouching photographs was no longer necessary. Other avenues for its use had to be found. It was only with the current craze for customization that its use has proliferated, affecting many different industries.

The tools themselves vary with a number of different types of attachments and tips but the basic principle is the same. When the trigger is depressed, air is released. It flows through a tube which gets smaller as it reaches the mix point. To get through this section, it needs to move faster. This decreases the pressure and the pressure in the repository for the paint, ink or dye is therefore higher. This causes the medium used to flow to the section of low pressure, feeding it into the airbrush and producing a fine mist.

Artists who have mastered the techniques for using this tool can create the most stunning effects. In order to do this they have to understand exactly how much pressure to apply to the trigger, at what distance to hold the tool from the surface and many other things. The process of learning all of these techniques takes time and patience. Learning often take place alongside someone who already has experience.

Today these artists specialize in many applications using all sorts of surfaces. There are those who work on canvas, producing art that can hold its own in galleries. However, virtually any surface can be used from fabric, leather and wood to metal, plastic and glass. The automotive industry is just one popular avenue for use and cars, motorbikes, trucks and even licence plates can all be seen sporting customized designs.

The desire for customization is endless and people are always looking for new and unique ways to express themselves. T-shirts, handbags, boots and jackets are just some of the clothes and accessories that are decorated by airbrush artists. The cosmetology industry also uses these artists extensively, where they apply makeup to skin in this way rather than using brushes or other methods.

There are many such artists specializing in various different avenues today due to the popularity of this art form. Choosing between them can be difficult. Viewing a portfolio of the work already done is extremely helpful. A portfolio will give an indication of what can be expected from a particular artist. It can also be a source of ideas for those unsure of exactly what they want. Artists are prepared to help with suggestions as well if necessary.

A successful airbrush artist has often been practicing this art for years, acquiring the necessary techniques to create realistic, detailed images. This art form has come into its own due to the number of talented artists producing amazing work. Another factor that has stimulated growth of this industry is the desire for customization. These two factors have contributed to the great popularity of this art form today and are sure to maintain this for many years to come.

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