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Encyclopedia > Airbrush
Paasche F#1 Single Action External Mix Airbrush

An airbrush is a small, air-operated tool that sprays various media including ink and dye, but most often paint by a process of atomization. Spray guns developed from the airbrush and are still considered a type of airbrush. The first airbrush was invented in 1879 by Abner Peeler, in Iowa, USA. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2168x1800, 456 KB) Summary For the airbrush article. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2168x1800, 456 KB) Summary For the airbrush article. ... Pneumatics is the use of pressurized air to effect mechanical motion. ... For other uses, see Ink (disambiguation). ... Look up dye in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Paint (disambiguation). ... Atomization (British English: atomisation) is conversion of bulk liquid into a spray or mist (i. ... Year 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Des Moines Largest city Des Moines Largest metro area Des Moines metropolitan area Area  Ranked 26th  - Total 56,272 sq mi (145,743 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 199 miles (320 km)  - % water 0. ...



This first airbrush invented by Peeler used a hand-operated compressor, and the inventor patented it "for the painting of watercolors and other artistic purposes". It was rather crude, being based on a number of spare parts in a jeweller's workshop such as old screwdrivers and welding torches. It took 4 years of further development before a practical device was developed. This was marketed by Liberty Walkup, who taught airbrush technique to American Impressionist master Wilson Irvine. The first modern type airbrush came along in 1893, presented by Thayer and Chandler art materials company at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, invented by Charles Burdick. This device looked like a pen and worked in a different manner to Peeler's device, being essentially the same as a modern airbrush. Aerograph, Burdick's original company, still makes and sells airbrushes in England. A gas compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. ... Watercolor is a painting technique making use of water-soluble pigments that are either transparent or opaque and are formulated with gum to bond the pigment to the paper. ... Impressionism, a style of painting characterized by loose brushwork and vivid colors, was practiced widely among American artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ... Wilson Henry Irvine (1869-1936) was a master American Impressionist landscape painter. ... Year 1893 (MDCCCXCIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... One-third scale replica of The Republic, which once stood in the great basin at the exposition, Chicago, 2004 The World Columbian Exposition (also called The Chicago Worlds Fair), a Worlds fair, was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbuss discovery... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ...

For more a detailed academic study, the University of Wales Library holds a detailed PhD on Airbrush History. Likewise the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia retains a copy - authored by Dr. Andy Penaluna.


An airbrush works by passing a stream of fast moving (compressed) air through a venturi, which creates a local reduction in air pressure (suction) that allows paint to be pulled up from an interconnected reservoir at normal atmospheric pressure. The high velocity of the air atomizes the paint into very tiny droplets as it blows past a very fine paint-metering component. The paint is carried onto paper or other surface. The operator controls the amount of paint using a variable trigger which opens more or less a very fine tapered needle that is the control element of the paint-metering component. An extremely fine degree of atomization is what allows an artist to create such smooth blending effects using the airbrush. A copper aspirator. ... This article is about pressure in the physical sciences. ...

The technique allows for the blending of two or more colors in a seamless way, with one color slowly becoming another color. Freehand airbrushed images, without the aid of stencils or friskets, have a floating quality, with softly defined edges between colors, and between foreground and background colors. A well skilled airbrush artist can produce paintings of photographic realism or can simulate almost any painting medium. Painting at this skill level involves supplementary tools, such as masks and friskets, and very careful planning. Visual diagram of a basic stencil. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Frisket. ...

Some airbrushes use pressures as low as 20 psi (1.38 bar) while others use pressures in the region of 30-35 psi (2-2.4 bar). Larger "spray guns" as used for automobile spray-painting need 100 psi (6.8 bar) or more to adequately atomise a thicker paint using less solvent. They are capable of delivering a heavier coating more rapidly over a wide area. However certain spray guns called, High-Volume Low-Pressure (HVLP) spray guns, are designed to deliver the same high volumes of paint without requiring such high pressures. This article is about pressure in the physical sciences. ... Psi has multiple meanings: Psi (letter) (Ψ, ψ) of the Greek alphabet Psi (Cyrillic) (Ѱ, ѱ), letter of the early Cyrillic alphabet, adopted from Greek Psi (parapsychology) Psi (instant messaging client), a popular Jabber client program J/ψ particle, a subatomic particle Wavefunction in Quantum Mechanics, ψ In mathematics, Ψ is used to denote the angle between...


Airbrushes are usually classified by three characteristics. The first characteristic is the action performed by the user to trigger the paint flow while the second is the mechanism for feeding the paint into the airbrush and the third is the point at which the paint and air mixes.


The simplest airbrushes work with a single action mechanism where the depression of a single "trigger" results in paint and air flowing into the airbrush body and the atomized paint being expelled onto the target surface. Cheaper airbrushes and spray guns tend to be of this type.

Dual action or double action airbrushes separate the function for air and paint flow so that the user can control the volume of airflow and the concentration of paintflow through two independant mechanisms. This allows for greater control and a wider variety of artistic effects. This type of airbrush is more complicated in design than single action airbrushes which tends to be reflected in its cost.

Feed system

Paint can be fed by gravity from a paint reservoir sitting atop the airbrush (called gravity feed) or siphoned from a reservoir mounted below (bottom feed) or on the side (side feed). Each feed type carries unique advantages. Gravity feed instruments require less air pressure for suction as the gravity pulls the paint into the mixing chamber. Typically instruments with the finest mist atomization and detail requirements use this method. Side- and bottom-feed instruments allow the artist to see over the top, with the former sometimes offering left-handed and right-handed options to suit the artist. A bottom feed airbrush typically holds a larger capacity of paint than the other types, and is often preferable for larger scale work such as automotive applications and tee-shirt design.

Mix point

With an internal mix airbrush the paint and air mixes inside the airbrush (in the tip) creating a finer atomized "mist" of paint. With external mix the air leaves the airbrush before it comes into contact with the paint which creates a coarser stippled effect. External mix airbrushes are cheaper and more suited for covering larger areas with more viscous paints or varnishes.

Spray guns

The airbrush led to the development of the spray gun.


Airbrush technique is the freehand manipulation of the airbrush, medium, air pressure and distance from the surface being sprayed in order to produce a certain predictable result on a consistent basis with or without shields or stencils. Airbrush technique will differ with the type of airbrush being used (single action or dual/double action).

Double action airbrush technique involves depressing the trigger on the top of the airbrush with the index finger to release air only, and drawing it back gradually to the paint release threshold. The most important procedural dynamic is to always begin with air only and end with air only. By observing this rule, precise control of paint volume and line width and character can be achieved. The single most important airbrush stroke consistently utilized by professionals is the dagger stroke. This describes a stroke which begins wide and ends as a narrow line, created by starting with the brush far from the support and moving it evenly closer as the line is drawn.

Single action airbrush technique derives its name from the fact that only 1 action is required for operation. The single action of depressing the trigger releases a fixed ratio of paint to air. Achieving different line widths requires either changing the tip and nozzle combination or else adjusting the spray volume manually between spray width changes. The most important aspect of proper single action airbrush technique is to keep the hand moving before the trigger is depressed and after the trigger is released. This avoids the "bar bell" line.


Art & Illustration

In this picture, the use of contrast and shadow is explored by using the digital airbrush tool in MS Paint.

Since the inception of airbrush technology, commercial artists and illustrators realized airbrushes allowed them to create highly rendered images and a high level of realism. Techniques tend to be split into two areas: firstly, using the airbrush in combination with cut stencils or items held freehand to block in controlled manner the flow of paint onto the paper (or digital alternatives) with fantasy and science fiction artists. Airbrush images can be found today in advertising, publishing (e.g., book covers), comic books and graphic novels. Look up Contrast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Shadows on pavement A shadow is a region of darkness where light is blocked. ... Paint (formerly Paintbrush for Windows) is a simple graphics painting program that has been included with almost all versions of Microsoft Windows since its first release. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Trade paperback of Will Eisners A Contract with God (1978), often mistakenly cited as the first graphic novel. ...

Photo retouching

Airbrushing has long been used to alter photographs in the pre-digital era. In skilled hands it can be used to help hide signs that an image has been extensively retouched or "doctored". For other uses, see Photograph (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into photo manipulation. ...

As a result of Stalin's purges, and later destalinization, many photographs of officials from the periods show extensive airbrushing, often entire people have been removed. The term "airbrushed out" has come to mean rewriting history to pretend that something was never there. The Great Purge (Russian: , transliterated Bolshaya chistka) refers collectively to several related campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin during the 1930s, which removed all of his remaining opposition from power. ... De-Stalinization and the Khrushchev era For further details, see Nikita Khrushchev After Stalin had died in March 1953, he was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Georgi Malenkov as Premier of the Soviet Union. ...

The term "airbrushed" or "airbrushed photo" has also been used to describe glamour photos in which a model's imperfections have been removed, or in which their attributes have been enhanced. The term has often been applied in a pejorative manner to describe images of unrealistic female perfection and has been particularly common in reference to pictures in Playboy, and later Maxim magazine. For other uses, see Playboy (disambiguation). ... Maxim is an international English language lad mag (mens magazine) based in the United Kingdom and known for its revealing pictorials featuring popular actresses, singers, and female models, of which none are nudes. ...

Using today's digital imaging technology, this kind of picture editing is now usually done with a raster image editor, which is capable of even more subtle work in the hands of a skilled touch-up artist. This technique is still called airbrushing or photoshopping. Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of digital images, typically from a physical object. ... Suppose the smiley face in the top left corner is an RGB bitmap image. ... ...

Coating Firearms

One of the most popular coatings available to the do-it-yourselfer looking to protect the surfaces of firearms is a multipart product called Duracoat, which must be applied with an airbrush, spraygun, or HVLP gun. People also use airbrushing techniques to create custom camouflage designs for their entire rifles, including stock and scope.


Airbrushes are also suitable for painting murals.


Airbrushes are commonly used by scale modeling enthusiasts because finer coats can be laid down, as well as opaque effects, like weathering, adding stains etc. The fine atomization of paint in modern airbrushes also makes it possible to accurately reproduce soft-edged mottled camoflage schemes, which are very hard to do convincingly to do by handbrushing. (Luftwaffe aircraft are a good example of this)

Airbrush Makeup Application

Though the earliest record of this type of cosmetic application dates back to the 1925 film version of Ben-Hur, it has recently been re-popularized by the advent of Hi-Defintion Television and Digital Photography, wherein the camera sees more detail than ever before. Liquid Foundations that are high in coverage but thin in texture are applied with the airbrush for full coverage without a heavy build-up of product. Because of the spray dot pattern the airbrush puts down, this products also reads as more even to the camera, which records the image in similar tiny pixels. It is also a highly popular technique for Special F/X Makeup, as well as for Temporary Tattoos. Specialty cosmetic companies sell a variety of formulas for different applications. Ben-Hur is the second silent film, and first feature-length version, based on the novel Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace. ... High-definition television (HDTV) is a digital television broadcasting system with greater resolution than traditional television systems (NTSC, SECAM, PAL). ... 10 MP Nikon D200 and a Nikon film scanner The Canon EOS 350D The Canon PowerShot A95 Digital photography is a form of photography that utilizes digital technology to make digital images of subjects. ... Make-up redirects here. ... Special effects (also called SPFX or SFX) are used in the film, television, and entertainment industry to realize scenes that cannot be achieved by live action or normal means. ... Leopard on shoulder A tattoo is a mark made by inserting pigment into the skin: in technical terms, tattooing is micro-pigment implantation. ...

Airbrush Tanning

Airbrushes are used to apply special tanning solutions as a form of sunless tanning that simulates the appearance of a natural sun tan. It is promoted as a safer and healthier alternative to the damaging effects of long term exposure to the sun. It is often performed by companies also offering other sun tanning alternatives like sun beds. Sunless tanning (also known as self tanning, or UV-free tanning) refers to applying concentrated sun to the skin to produce an effect similar in appearance to a traditional suntan. ... A suntanned arm showing browner skin where it has been exposed. ... A sunbed with lights off. ...

Finger nail art

Airbrushes are also used to apply images onto human finger nails as well as synthetic ones that are later glued to the person's actual finger nail.


T-shirt airbrushing is popular—many t-shirt airbrush shops offer to paint any textile that will hold paint, including jeans, denim jackets, leather apparel, pillow cases, and hoodies.

One well known producers of airbrushed clothing is Marc Ecko. He used to airbrush t-shirts when he started his clothing company. [1] Marc Ecko (born Marc Milecofsky[1] on 1972 in Lakewood, New Jersey) is a fashion designer and entrepreneur. ...


Airbrushes are used to spray murals, graphics, and other artwork on automobiles, motorcycles and helmets. This artform has been around since at least the fifties, but more recently it has seen an increase in popularity thanks to such shows as Rides and American Chopper. Most professionals prefer to use automotive grade bases through top of the line gravity fed airbrushes. It is not advised that the novice or hobbyist use automotive grade paints either in their home or garage, but rather in a well ventilated shop equipped with a spray booth. The cost to hire a professional artist will vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on location, skill level and reputation.

Street artists

Many street artists use airbrushing to create names and pictures for tourists, such as around Jackson Square in New Orleans. In the mid-seventies, Panama City Beach, Florida was the airbrush capital of the world, with hundreds of artists painting custom designs on T-shirts. Visionary airbrush painter Kenneth Albright was the pied piper, urging his friends towards forming an artist colony on the Gulf Coast, and his influence remains in the work of those who followed him there. French Quarter: upper Chartres street looking down towards Jackson Square and the spires of St. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Nickname: Location in Bay County and the state of Florida Coordinates: , Country State County Bay incorporated 1969 Government  - Mayor Gayle Oberst Area  - Total 18. ... T-Shirt A T-shirt (or tee shirt) is a shirt with short or long sleeves, a round neck, put on over the head, without pockets. ...

See also

Frederick William Lawrence - an early airbrush arist Frederick William Lawrence (1890-??) was a Canadian/American airbrush painter, and probably the father of realistic spray painting. ...

External links


  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/fashion/24CRITIC.html

  Results from FactBites:
Airbrush - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1665 words)
Airbrush Technique is the freehand manipulation of the airbrush, medium, air pressure and distance from the surface being sprayed in order to produce a certain predictable result on a consistent basis with or without shields or stencils.
Airbrush art has a long history: it was used to create some of the most famous 1940s and 50s propaganda posters; it subsequently was used in publishing and advertising campaigns; and is currently a technique popular (though declining due to digital alternatives) with fantasy and science fiction artists.
Airbrushes are used to apply special tanning solutions as a form or sunless tanning that simulates the appearance of a natural sun tan.
Airbrush Art Gallery (326 words)
My airbrush of choice is Iwawa HP-C and HP-A 0.18mm Micron, and I always paint with the airbrush crown removed for a superior control over paint flow and to achieve the finest of lines (equivalent to a hairline).
Airbrushing is an artform in itself and is certainly not a simple means of painting a surface with spray paints.
Freehand airbrushing is not for everyone, but it is a technique that I have always preferred and mastered over many years of trial and error.
  More results at FactBites »



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