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Airbrushing Does Not Have to be All Disappointment, Heartache, and Bloody Hard Work!

A smart, but irritating man once told me that Airbrushing did not have to be all blood, sweat and tears. If only I had someone guiding me back in those hard, frustrating and sick in the stomach days of airbrushing, I wouldn't have wasted all that time and money!

So here you are. You are new to airbrushing. You are excited. You are pumped up. You want to know everything you can about airbrushing. And you want to learn it now! And that's my friend, is where you need to separate the good from the bad...the wheat from the chaff.

When starting out in airbrushing, the most difficult and frustrating part of the hobby is getting started. When I write that, I mean, the hardest part for a newbie is where to find the right information.

Consider this question. You may find airbrushing information, right under your nose!

Learn from your friends

"How did you get the idea of airbrushing?" If it's because your friends have been doing it, the chances are that you may be surrounded by people who can teach and help you along the way. Good for you! Get them to show you the basics. If they are good friends, get them to teach you more.

Tip : As airbrushing is an art, make sure you get good artists to show you the basics. Learn the right way from the start. Bad techniques take longer to correct than learning the right way to airbrush.

What if you have no one to show you the basics? For the beginner who has no one to show them the ropes, prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride. The path to airbrushing can be slow and extremely frustrating. Did I say frustrating? But today, it doesn't have to be like that. Here are a few ways to help you along the beginner's path.

If in doubt?check the internet!

Now if you do not have a group of friends to teach you the basics, then the internet is the perfect place to find information. It is red hot with airbrushing information. It is the bee's knees. How to articles, clubs, forums and everything else can be found there. And who will you find on airbrushing sites? Well they will range from the airbrush "champion of the world" to the beginner just like you. There are some really good people with years of experience who will help answer your questions. You will find information and tips to get you up and running.

Tip : Google or Yahoo is a great starting point. Search the keywords, airbrush tips or airbrush lessons and you will see a number of sites to help you.

Another question that you should ask yourself is this.

"So what do you want to paint with your airbrush?" For many, this will be one of the first questions you will think about. Will it be t-shirts? Or bikes? Or helmets? Or cars? Or even portraits? The airbrush is so adaptable that you might be interested in a number of mediums. Don't worry if your heart is set on only one. The chances that you will try painting on other mediums with your airbrush will be incredibly high.

Tip : Before buying an airbrush, check around the internet and see what others are saying. Sometimes, an airbrush that a manufacturer may say is good, may only be good to smash in pieces. For quality advice, there is no better place than to visit an airbrush forum. Read reviews and don't be shy to post on them.

Stick with the medium you first thought of airbrushing

And there my friend is another problem where most beginners will find frustrating. Wanting to be good at all mediums may cause you lots of heartache. As the saying goes "Jack of all trades, master of none." In fact, not sticking with one medium to practise on may result in you being just "jacks@$*t"! So my piece of advice, "don't lose focus". Stick to the medium you chose to paint at the beginning. Learn and give it a go for a while. That is why you decided to buy the airbrush in the first place! If after a while, you don't like it, then change.

Tip : If you are unsure of an answer to a question you have (even if it may sound like you live on Mars), ask it on a forum related to your medium. More times than not, you will have 100 other people too scared to post it. Guess who will answer it too! Yes, the airbrush "champion of the world"!

Be persistent

In my early days of airbrushing, I searched and searched for the mystical book that was going to answer all my questions and show me the best possible way to airbrush. I remember I searched every library and every bookstore. What did I find? Confusion! Yes, in every book there seemed to be a different way to paint. A different way to prepare. A different way to mask. What did I do? Like every other male does when he sees trouble?Run!

No, running away from a difficult situation is something you should not do. Treat it like a challenge and you will head down the road of airbrushing success. Be persistent. Whatever you do, don't give up. If you think that it is all too hard and want to give up, remember the "eBay shuffle".

What's the eBay Shuffle you ask?

Well, it is the "shuffling" of goods from you to another through eBay. Yes, look at eBay and see how many other "so called" airbrush artists are selling their equipment after only a few weeks of taking up the hobby. The numbers are scary! Don't be the one spending all this money on equipment and then selling it eBay, or any other place.

Tip : eBay is a also a great place to pick up airbrush equipment for little money. There are so many "flavour of the month" artists that you will pick up their equipment for next to nothing.

Don't get caught up in theory!

So what should you do to stay on the path of airbrushing?

Practise and take massive action. Yes, what is the use of doing the theory, if you do not take action? And if you did not understand that, let me say it again. The key to airbrushing is practise and massive action. With the information on the internet about airbrushing, the beginner's path to airbrushing can only be an enjoyable process.

Article by Stan Rivers. Copyright 2004. For Airbrush Information.

Stan Rivers has been an airbrush enthusiast for a number of years. Based in Australia, he spends most of his weekends, airbrushing. Stan is a special contributor to Airbrush Information, where his articles can be read at


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