Airbrush Lesson One Part Two

Airbrush lesson one part two tutorial covers mastering basic airbrush lessons for dots, lines essential airbrushing skills you’ll need to learn no matter what it is you plan on airbrushing. Written by Don Johnson, airbrush artist

In Airbrush Lesson 1 part one we went over what material and equipment you’ll need for this lesson, how to hold your airbrush and how the distance away from you painting surface effects the paint you spray. Here in Airbrush Lesson One part two we’ll be going over the first basic strokes you’ll need to master, lines and dots.

Airbrush Supplies Required:

double action airbrush, color black airbrush ready paint, pad news print, easel, airbrush compressor

1: First thing we will do is airbrush a simple line across the page. Keeping your wrist locked move the airbrush with your hand and whole upper body keeping your wrist locked. Use both hands to steady the airbrush as you move slowly across the paper.

You apply color by pulling gently back on the trigger while keeping the trigger of the airbrush fully depressed.

Refer to diagram below:

  1. air on
  2. start motion
  3. pull back on trigger for paint
  4. push forward on trigger to reduce paint flow
  5. follow through with air on off edge of paper

I believe its best to learn to leave air on, finger fully depressed on trigger all the time even between strokes. Please do not form bad habits now by pushing up and down on the trigger continually while doing these exercises.

You will notice that the size, width of the line you are airbrushing is directly affected by the distance that the tip of your airbrush is from the paper. The closer you are to the paper the smaller and thinner the line will be. The further away from the paper you are the larger the line will be.

airbrush lesson
airbrush lesson


airbrushing lines
airbrushing lines


2: Lines: Now airbrush small lines straight across the page about 3 or 4 inches in length. Air on, start moving your airbrush than apply paint as you near the end of the line start forward with trigger shutting the paint flow off and follow through with the air still on. As you go from making one line to the next keep the air on.

Do several pages of just these lines trying to keep them as straight as possible all the way across the page.


airbrushing dots
airbrushing dots


airbrush dots
airbrush dots


3: DOTS: Now that you have mastered straight lines lets move onto DOTS. Again going across the paper make nice round dots not spats but nice round uniform dots. With airbrush square to the paper:

(1) air on
(2) pull back on trigger just a little making a nice round dot
(3) push trigger forward paint off
(4) air still on move to the right a little make your next dot.

Keep going all the way across the paper slowly. Do several pages of these until you feel comfortable with rendering nice round dots.

airbrush dots and lines
airbrush dots and lines


airbrushing dots and lines
airbrushing dots and lines


4: PUTTING THEM TOGETHER: So you have now mastered dots and lines, let’s put the dots and lines together. Airbrush nice round dots all over your page, in no order just all over the place. Now connect all the dots with nice straight lines. With the air on all the time, even between lines airbrush a line from one dot to the next dot, stop on that dot before going on to the next dot. Nice straight lines from one dot to the next, do not change the shape of the dots as you go. Again notice how the distance of the tip of your airbrush from your paper affects the line you are airbrushing. Close – small tight line, far away – big fuzzy line.


Here is a video covering AIRBRUSH LESSON ONE I hope you find helpful.


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