Many assume learning to airbrush is difficult. Likely because they recently seen an intricately designed and perfectly executed artwork that was done using an airbrush.
But as with any new skill, practice makes perfect.
Learning to airbrush is not hard, you simply must be willing to learn the technique and practice the skills to improve. Most pick up the technique of airbrushing quickly, then developing the skill and muscle memory comes with time and practice.
Obviously, you must have a base understanding of art fundamentals in order to know where to spray paint and where not to. But in relation to operating an airbrush, anyone with the willingness to learn and practice can do it.
How Hard Is It To Learn Airbrushing?
Ponder this idea,
I’m sure you’ve been using a pencil for longer than you can remember. Try to think back to when you were Initially learning how to use the pencil. Preferably, when you had your first interaction with it.
Writing letters and words were likely extremely difficult. I would assume, just learning how to hold the pencil correctly was difficult in the beginning (It was for me).
This is because, when learning a new skill even as simple as holding a pencil (or in this matter, an airbrush). The brain doesn’t know which muscles to fire.
But eventually, with time, exposure and practice. The brain begins to figure it out, and the simple task of writing or drawing with a pencil becomes second nature.
Same story when learning to use an airbrush. The only difference is, the airbrush is shinier then the pencil due to its chrome finish.
So if you ask me, learning to airbrush is only as hard as learning to use a pencil. It is simply a tool that requires time and exposure to develop skill.
The Hardest Part Of learning To Airbrush
Though this is based on my opinion, I think many would agree with me when I say:
The hardest part of learning to airbrush is developing a steady hand and becoming accurate.
By accurate I mean, developing the hand eye coordination that allows you to consistently hit the spot on the surface you intend to paint.
Take airbrushing a dot for instance,
Given you can’t place the tip of the airbrush on the painting surface like you would with a pencil. You’ve got to aim the airbrush, then spray the paint.
You’ll find, when you begin using an airbrush, that the paint often does not hit the spot you intended it to. This can be frustrating, but you’ll get more accurate with time and practice.
As for developing a steady hand,
This comes with time behind the airbrush, as your brain will over time learn which muscles to fire, and which not to. Over time you’ll go from shaking like a dancing electrocardiogram to as smooth as a flatline.
Generalized Time Line For Learning To Airbrush
Generally speaking, there are 4 aspects to learning the airbrush and becoming proficient at it. AirbrushInsider.com has resources all throughout the site that will speed up your learning curve.
Aspects Of Airbrushing To Learn
- Learning The Equipment
- Learning The Relationship Between Paint Viscosity & Air Pressure
- Learning The Technique
- Developing The Skill
Learning the equipment involved in airbrushing, and how to set it up usually takes a short period of time. Most, spending an hour or two per day studying the equipment will understand the equipment needed to airbrush, and how to set it up within the week.
Learning the relationship between paint viscosity and air pressure will take a bit of time. Though you can learn the general idea of: “Thicker paint requires greater air pressure & Thinner paint requires less air pressure”. Trial and error will be what allows you to truly understand how paint viscosity and air pressure complement one another. You will develop basic understanding and feel of paint viscosity and air pressure within a months’ time at max, tinkering with it daily and reviewing information on the web.
Learning the major techniques to airbrushing can be done in a short period of time. Though over time you will continue to learn of different methods for achieving certain outcomes easier or more efficiently than others. Simply a few days spent studying resources on the web will give you basic technique to work from.
Developing the skill of airbrushing takes the longest to achieve. From this point on, its trial by fire. No one can educate you to obtaining good airbrush skills. It is something you must develop with time and experience. You can learn the technique but implementing said techniques will prove to be easier said than done. Many pick up the fundamental airbrush skills necessary to be semi proficient using an airbrush after about 3 – 6 months, practicing a couple times a week.
Learning to airbrush is not hard, all you need is a willingness to learn, time to develop the skill and lots of patience.
Many will develop a strong skill and understanding of the airbrush in as little as 1 year, practicing a couple times a week.
But to develop enough skill to be in the top tier of airbrush artist out there. It’s going to take multiple years maybe even decades. Depending on how often you practice.
All in all, if your considering giving airbrushing a try. I say, give it a go. The cost to get into it can be as little as $100 – $200 USD for some starter equipment. If you find you enjoy it, you can always upgrade to better equipment.
I hope you were able to find some value here! If you have any further questions regarding the airbrush do be sure to take a look around the website. Airbrush Insider is dedicated to helping all in the airbrush community!
This is Colt signing off!
Check Out Some Of My Favorite Airbrush Equipment:
- My Favorite Airbrush To Date!
- The Air Compressor I Currently Use, And Why I’m Never Going Back To A Traditional “Airbrush Compressor”!
- My All Time Favorite Airbrush Paint’s For Ease Of Use & Versatility!
Next Recommended Resources:
- Learning how to airbrush
- How to practice airbrushing (Exercises to get good)
- How to thin airbrush paint
- What air pressure to airbrush at