Airbrush
Overview
An airbrush is a small, air-operated
Pneumatics
Pneumatics is a branch of technology, which deals with the study and application of use of pressurized gas to effect mechanical motion.Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air or compressed inert gases...

 tool that sprays various media including ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

 and dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

, but most often paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 by a process of nebulization. Spray guns
Spray painting
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the...

 developed from the airbrush and are still considered a type of airbrush.
The first airbrush, depending on your definition, was patented in 1876 (Patent Number 182,389) by Francis Edgar Stanley
Francis Edgar Stanley
Francis Edgar Stanley was an American businessman and was the co-founder, along with his twin brother Freelan Oscar Stanley, of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company which built the Stanley Steamer.-Biography:...

 of Newton, Massachusetts
Newton, Massachusetts
Newton is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States bordered to the east by Boston. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.-Villages:...

. Stanley and his twin brother later invented a process for continuously coating photographic plates (Stanley Dry Plate Company) but are perhaps best known for their Stanley Steamer
Stanley Steamer
The Stanley Motor Carriage Company was a manufacturer of steam-engine vehicles; it operated from 1902 to 1924. The cars made by the company were colloquially called Stanley Steamers, although several different models were produced.-Early history:...

.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
An airbrush is a small, air-operated
Pneumatics
Pneumatics is a branch of technology, which deals with the study and application of use of pressurized gas to effect mechanical motion.Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air or compressed inert gases...

 tool that sprays various media including ink
Ink
Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

 and dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

, but most often paint
Paint
Paint is any liquid, liquefiable, or mastic composition which after application to a substrate in a thin layer is converted to an opaque solid film. One may also consider the digital mimicry thereof...

 by a process of nebulization. Spray guns
Spray painting
Spray painting is a painting technique where a device sprays a coating through the air onto a surface. The most common types employ compressed gas—usually air—to atomize and direct the paint particles. Spray guns evolved from airbrushes, and the two are usually distinguished by their size and the...

 developed from the airbrush and are still considered a type of airbrush.

History

The first airbrush, depending on your definition, was patented in 1876 (Patent Number 182,389) by Francis Edgar Stanley
Francis Edgar Stanley
Francis Edgar Stanley was an American businessman and was the co-founder, along with his twin brother Freelan Oscar Stanley, of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company which built the Stanley Steamer.-Biography:...

 of Newton, Massachusetts
Newton, Massachusetts
Newton is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States bordered to the east by Boston. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state.-Villages:...

. Stanley and his twin brother later invented a process for continuously coating photographic plates (Stanley Dry Plate Company) but are perhaps best known for their Stanley Steamer
Stanley Steamer
The Stanley Motor Carriage Company was a manufacturer of steam-engine vehicles; it operated from 1902 to 1924. The cars made by the company were colloquially called Stanley Steamers, although several different models were produced.-Early history:...

. No artistic images that used this 'paint distributor / atomiser' exist or are as yet known.

The first instrument to be named the "airbrush" was developed by Abner Peeler "for the painting of watercolors and other artistic purposes" and used a hand-operated compressor
Gas compressor
A gas compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume.Compressors are similar to pumps: both increase the pressure on a fluid and both can transport the fluid through a pipe. As gases are compressible, the compressor also reduces the volume of a gas...

. 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 truly practical device was developed. This was marketed by Liberty Walkup, who taught airbrush technique to American Impressionist
American Impressionism
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.-An emerging artistic style from Paris:...

 master Wilson Irvine
Wilson Irvine
Wilson Henry Irvine was a master American Impressionist landscape painter.Although most closely associated with the Old Lyme, Connecticut art colony headed by Florence Griswold, Irvine spent his early career near Chicago, a product of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago...

 at the Air Brush School in Rockford, Illinois. The first certain 'atomising' type airbrush was invented by Charles Burdick in 1893 and presented by Thayer and Chandler art materials company at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Burdick founded the Fountain Brush Company in the US, and launched the first series of airbrushes onto the market. This device was essentially the same as a modern airbrush, resembling a pen and working in a different manner than Peeler's device. Aerograph, Burdick's original company, still makes and sells airbrushes in England. Thayer and Chandler were acquired by Badger Air-Brush Co. in 2000. Badger Air-Brush continues the Thayer and Chandler tradition of manufacturing quality airbrush guns, tools and compressors out of Franklin Park, Illinois.

For more a detailed academic study, the University of Wales Library holds a detailed PhD on Airbrush History. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, The Public Library in Rockford Illinois and the Conservation Department of New York University retain copies. This was authored by Dr. Andy Penaluna, now Professor of Creative Entrepreneurship at Swansea Metropolitan University. Professor Penaluna has also advised the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.

Design

An airbrush works by passing a stream of fast moving (compressed) air through a venturi, which creates a local reduction in air pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

 (suction) that allows paint to be pulled 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.

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 stencil
Stencil
A stencil is a thin sheet of material, such as paper, plastic, or metal, with letters or a design cut from it, used to produce the letters or design on an underlying surface by applying pigment through the cut-out holes in the material. The key advantage of a stencil is that it can be reused to...

s 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.

Some airbrushes use pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

s as low as 20 psi
Pounds per square inch
The pound per square inch or, more accurately, pound-force per square inch is a unit of pressure or of stress based on avoirdupois units...

 (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 atomize a thicker paint using less solvent. They are capable of delivering a heavier coating more rapidly over a wide area. Even with small artist airbrushes using acrylic paint, artists must be careful not to breathe in the atomized paint, which floats in the air for minutes and can go deep into the lungs. With commercial spray guns for automobiles, it is vital that the painter have a clean air source to breathe, because automotive paint is far more harmful to the lungs than acrylic. 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.

Types

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 mix.

Trigger

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 independent 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 mix 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; a similar device, that typically delivers a higher volume of paint and for painting larger areas.

The first paint spraying machine was developed in 1887.
Equipment by De Vilbiss and Binks
Binks
Binks may refer to:* Jar Jar Binks - a Gungan from Star Wars.* Simon Binks - an Australian rock guitarist.* Jimmy Binks - an English cricketer.* Sarah Binks - a novel by Paul Hiebert.* Les Binks - an English heavy metal drummer....

 is typical of modern sprayguns.

The addition of a simple pistol grip adapter to an aerosol paint
Aerosol paint
Aerosol paint is a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when depressing a valve button. A form of spray painting, aerosol paint leaves a smooth, evenly coated surface, unlike many rolled or brushed paints. Standard sized cans are portable,...

 spray can creates a cheap alternative to a spray gun.

Technique

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 one 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 and illustration

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. Artists often use 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 book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s and graphic novel
Graphic novel
A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format...

s.

Photo retouching

Yezhov is clearly visible to Stalin's left. The photo was later altered by censors.


Airbrushing has long been used to alter photograph
Photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...

s 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".

As a result of Stalin's purges
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

, and later destalinization, many photographs of officials from the periods show extensive airbrushing; often entire human figures have been removed. The term "airbrushed out" has come to mean rewriting history to pretend that something was never there. In contemporary academic discourse, the process of removing components from an image is formally known as object removal
Clone tool
The clone tool, as it is known in Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Corel PhotoPaint, is used in digital image editing to replace information for one part of a picture with information from another part...

.


The term "airbrushed" or "airbrushed photo" has also been used to describe glamour photos
Glamour photography
Glamour photography is a genre of photography whereby the subjects, usually female, are portrayed in a romantic or sexually alluring way. The subjects may be fully clothed or seminude, but glamour photography stops short of deliberately arousing the viewer and being pornographic photography.Glamour...

 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
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

, and later Maxim
Maxim (magazine)
Maxim is an international men's magazine based in the United Kingdom and known for its pictorials featuring popular actresses, singers, and female models, sometimes pictured dressed, often pictured scantily dressed but not fully nude....

.

Using today's digital imaging
Digital imaging
Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of digital images, typically from a physical scene. The term is often assumed to imply or include the processing, compression, storage, printing, and display of such images...

 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. In the fine retouching industry, the airbrushing technique is often considered a low-end practice, with significantly inferior quality to that found in the most important fashion photography publications.

Hobby

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 camouflage schemes, which are very hard to do convincingly by hand-brushing (Luftwaffe aircraft are a good example of this). They are also used because they do not melt polystyrene when spraying; this can be useful when someone has made scenery out of polystyrene.

Many Radio Control hobbyists also use the airbrush to create works of art on the lexan bodies. The paint jobs range from a basic one-color paint job to fine detailed works of art.

Airbrush makeup application

Though the earliest record of this type of cosmetic application dates back to the 1925 film version of Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur (1925 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1925 silent film directed by Fred Niblo. It was a blockbuster hit for newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This was the second film based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace...

, it has recently been re-popularized by the advent of Hi-Definition Television
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 and Digital Photography
Digital photography
Digital photography is a form of photography that uses an array of light sensitive sensors to capture the image focused by the lens, as opposed to an exposure on light sensitive film...

, 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. It is also a highly popular technique for Special F/X Makeup
Special effect
The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

.

Temporary airbrush tattoos (TATs)

Airbrushes can also be used to apply temporary airbrush tattoos. An artist sprays ink onto the skin through a stencil. Often, the resulting design mirrors the look of a permanent tattoo, without any pain or discomfort. In the past, TATs might only last a week, but now, the best inks can last up to two weeks or longer.

Airbrush tanning

Airbrushes are used to apply special tanning solutions as a form of sunless tanning
Sunless tanning
Sunless tanning Sunless tanning Sunless tanning (also known as UV-free tanning, self tanning, spray tanning (when applied topical, or fake tanning) refers to the application of chemicals to the skin to produce an effect similar in appearance to a suntan...

 that simulates the appearance of a natural sun tan
Sun tanning
Sun tanning or simply tanning is the process whereby skin color is darkened or tanned. The process is most often a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or from artificial sources, such as a tanning bed, but can also be a result of windburn or reflected light...

. 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.

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.

Clothing

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 producer of airbrushed clothing is Marc Ecko
Marc Ecko
Marc Eckō is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, investor, artist, and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Marc Eckō Enterprises, a billion-dollar global fashion and lifestyle company...

. He used to airbrush t-shirts when he started his clothing company.

Automotive

Airbrushes are used to spray murals, graphics, and other artwork on automobiles, motorcycles and helmets. This art form 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. 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
Jackson Square, New Orleans
Jackson Square, also known as Place d'Armes, is a historic park in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.-Design:...

 in New Orleans. In the mid-seventies, Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach is a city in Bay County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The city is often referred to under the umbrella term of "Panama City", despite being a distinct municipality from the older and larger inland Panama City to the east, making Panama City and Panama City...

 was the airbrush capital of the world, with hundreds of artists painting custom designs on T-shirts.

Safety

When inhaled, finely dispersed paint and solvents can produce serious health hazards. Regulatory provisions such as OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress of the United States under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970...

 dictate strict requirements to prevent unsafe use in work environments.

See also

  • Atomizer
    Atomizer nozzle
    An atomizer nozzle is an aspirator nozzle for producing a fine spray of a liquid based on the Venturi effect.-Principle of operation :When a gas is injected under pressure through a tube with a decreasing section, it speeds up, generating a pressure drop at the narrowest point .The reduced...

     – more detail and applications on the atomizer
  • Frederick William Lawrence
    Frederick William Lawrence
    Frederick William Lawrence was a Canadian/American airbrush painter, and probably the father of realistic spray painting.Formerly an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police , he served with the Canadian Army in World War I, where he was severely wounded. After months of hospitalisation, he...

     – an early airbrush artist
  • Syd Brak
    Syd Brak
    Syd Brak is an illustrator.In the mid 1970s, Syd was awarded the 'gold award' for design and illustration in Johannesburg South Africa by Bill Bernbach. In the late 1970s, Syd moved to London. He started working as a freelance airbrush artist...

     – a contemporary airbrush artist
  • H.R. Giger – Swiss sculptor, airbrush, and sketch artist, who is famous for his work on the feature films, Alien
    Alien (film)
    Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

    and Species
    Species (film)
    Species is a 1995 science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, and Natasha Henstridge...

    .
  • Matjaž Učakar ilustrator, airbrush artist specialized in children illustration & natural science illustration
  • Airbrush Action Magazine
    Airbrush Action Magazine
    Airbrush Action Magazine, established in 1985, is edited for all airbrush applications, including automotive custom painting, pin-up art, T-shirt airbrushing, illustration, fine art, hobby/craft applications, decorative arts, body art, and many others....

    - established in 1985, longest running publication for airbrushing and custom culture
  • http://www.badgerairbrush.com/Airbrush_Info.asp AIRBRUSH 101. A simple guide to understanding airbrush terminology, types of airbrushes, and their recommended uses

External links

http://airbrushclasses.com Airbrush Instruction Worldwide
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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