Airbrushing/Airbrush paint


What kind of paint do i use for airbrushing?Acrylic or water paint?

It depends on what you're painting. If it's paper or canvas, either one will work. If you're painting on plastics or metal, then you'll need a solvent based paint suitable for the surface. It sounds like you're just starting out, so for practicing just to get the feel of the airbrush, you can actually use just water with some food coloring in it.
Whether you choose acrylic or watercolors, the most important thing is to use paints made especially for airbrushing. The pigments are ground finer to prevent clogging and the consistency is right to promote good flow through the airbrush. Acrylics can dry inside the airbrush if it's not cleaned thoroughly and cause lots of problems. Clean it well after every use.
Final answer: depends on what you're painting, be sure to use paints made for airbrushing, and clean the airbrush very well after every use.
If you need any more info please let me know, and have fun!


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Ellen Choate


I can answer questions relating to basic and advanced airbrushing technique, general how-tos, preparation and compatible media for different substrates, proper paint-to-air ratios, troubleshooting, color theory, maintenance and repair, stencil cutting and use, and most other areas relating to airbrush. I'll be posting tutorials in the future if that would be helpful, and if possible.


I learned to airbrush the hard way, watching and collaborating with people who didn't know much more than I did. Later I got instruction from people who knew what they were doing and learned what I had been doing wrong. I have been airbrushing for over 30 years; the first two years were in an amusement park painting as fast as I could, often for 12 hours a day, six days a week. You get good real fast. I have painted on almost everything imaginable, from walls to a bus to prosthetic limbs.

I studied art at the University of Texas at Arlington for three years but haven't made the time to complete my now obsolete "graphic arts" degree. We did layouts and color separations by hand, thank you very much. It has served me well, but not in the way I expected.

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