Monday, 7 July 2014

Airbrushing - Not so Scary!

I've finally got my hands on an airbrush!  Isn't it funny that you can go from not knowing that something existed to 'I've got to get one!'

Actually, I now have 3. Two cheap ones came with the compressor ( the thing that makes the air come out) and the one I wanted, an Iwata HP C Plus.  One of them, a bottle feed one, I didn't like the trigger action at all, so I didn't even get that one wet. The other is a side feed brush, which I have tried out but didn't like as much, partly because it just does not have the same quality feel as the Iwata and partly because it seemed harder to clean but I shall keep it for say, food use and leave it at that.

I've tried to make a bit of video, here forgive me it is not the best, it is hard to set up my camera so that it records since I can't see what it is recording at the time!  The object of the exercise was to show that even with no experience with airbrushes at all, you can use them straight out of the box - if you use the correct paint - or in this case, ink. While I have loads of acrylic paints which, in theory, could be watered down, I decided it was only really going to complicate matters, not knowing if I had the consistency right.

The compressor I have (at the moment)  is one that does not have a tank, so runs all the time, so I hope you can still hear me!  It is adjustable, a screw under the moisture trap controls the air pressure.  For inks that are like water, you can use a very low pressure, mine was set at about 15 PSI. The thicker the paint, the higher the pressure needed to force it out of the nozzle.  The Iwata has an adjustment screw at the back to control the paint flow - set to minimum it controls how far you can pull back the trigger. Handy if you need to do the same stroke repeatedly without having to worry about how much paint you are putting through.  I'm only at the doodling stage but hope with effort, to be able to freehand some art stuff. I could, even already, use it for stencils quite easily.

I've taken my brush apart to clean it, not because I had to but because I wanted to know how to do it for when it is necessary. Now I am not the most mechanically minded but after watching videos on how to do it, I did not find it hard this is the one I liked best - it explains it well and was made by someone who has been an Iwata technician, so I felt that the info was going to be pretty good.

I discovered very soon, that it was a good idea to have something that allowed me to put the airbrush down, but have not had chance to buy anything designed for that. So, me being me, I rigged up my own version of a stand
A wedge make up sponge, fixed with double sided foam tape to both the hook and the table edge gives just the right angle to hold my airbrush. The hook was one from Aldi or Lidl that I had hanging around (no pun intended!) At least now, if the phone rings, I'm not panicking about where to put it!

Hubby has already put me to work with it, he wants me to airbrush some labelling on a BBQ, around the knobs where it has worn off.  I've made the stencils for it and will have to learn how to use some enamel paint in my airbrush...

So if I'm a bit quiet here for a while, you'll know why, I want to  master control of this incredible tool!


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