The airbrush pressure is why an airbrush technique works at all. It also determines the color image you want to use specific or receive as an error. The further explanations follow which pressure is the right one and which one creates an undesirable spray pattern. There are compressors, compressed air bottles, or compressed air cans for the pressure build-up. These will also be presented with their advantages and disadvantages and areas of application.
Airbrush Printing Overview
The airbrush pressure is an essential element for the technique to work. In the fine airbrush technique, you usually work with a 2.3 to 2.5 bar force. It is considered the standard range.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a single-action or double-action gun. The operation is slightly different, but they require the same pressure range.
With the single-action gun, you pull the control lever back slightly, and the compressed air comes out at a maximum relatively quickly without much slack. On the other hand, if you have a sensitive hand, you can control the compressed air a little and let it come out lower at first.
Pressing down the control lever, the double-action gun immediately produces the total airflow without any gradation.
You should always keep all this in mind if you want to dry still fresh and very wet paint with the airflow. It could run in the process.
Therefore, always keep the airbrush gun at a sufficient distance from the painting surface for drying. You should allow 30 cm or more.
If you do not yet have a sensitive hand with the single-action gun or want to achieve different effects with both types of gun, you should increase or decrease the pressure on the compressor or the alternatives below.
Relationship between pressure and color image
The relationship between the pressure of the airbrush compressor and the color image is excellent. That is why the professionals also play with it deliberately to achieve a respective effect, described briefly below.
Consequences of too much pressure
The ink comes out with a lot of pressure and therefore sprays very finely. One problem could then be that it fogs too much.
A second problem could be that the paint dries out more slowly when heavily diluted with water, for example, and the color runs unsightly on the painting surface.
If you work with an airbrush air hose that is only attached to the airbrush gun and not screwed on, it can always come loose due to too much-compressed air.
Consequences of too little pressure
The liquid paint starts to dot if the pressure is too low, and the spray pattern is more “coarse-grained.” Of course, this may or may not be desirable.
Another adverse effect is that the nozzle can clog more quickly due to too little compressed air. Pigment-rich and less diluted paints are particularly susceptible to this.
Different compressed air dispensers for airbrushing
You have the choice as an airbrush artist, for which compressed air dispensers you can decide. These include the close air cans, compact air bottles, and the compressor for the airbrush. They are also presented below in terms of their advantages and possible uses.
Compressed Air Compressor
The compressor for the airbrush is actually a compressed air compressor, as you have found it in a similar form in old refrigerators. That’s why there are some descriptions on the internet about how it works in detail.
However, this is no longer necessary if you want to save yourself time thanks to the low prices.
You now have the choice of buying small compressors with one connection or larger ones for several guns.
Alternatively, a quick coupling at the end of the hose for the gun is advisable so that you can use a small compressor with different airbrush guns at the same time.
Nowadays, a modern and regular compressor is characterized by whisper-quiet operation so that you are not disturbed during the airbrush art. This is guaranteed and recommended to you from a noise level of 50 dB downwards.
Besides all the advantages of a compressor, with which you will have a long and durable operation, one disadvantage should not be concealed: You’ll always need power nearby or a long extension cord to plug it in for it to work.
Compressed air bottles
Compressed air cylinders are somewhat reminiscent of the medical or work-related field. However, the gas cylinders also find their home in airbrush technology. Namely, they have a large volume and do not need electricity.
They should have a connection for the gun and a pressure regulator to regulate it for your needs.
Compressed air bottles are the ideal alternative, especially for outdoor painting or even outdoor presentations, making you independent of a power source. That’s why you’ll find them more often at art fairs, car shows, or direct outdoor custom painting shows.
Another advantage is that there is no noise, so you really won’t be disturbed.
A disadvantage, of course, is that depending on their size, they can be very bulky, need fixing, and therefore securing.
In addition, the bottle and also the pressure regulator should be checked and maintained in the respective prescribed periods.
Since the cylinders last quite a long time, but they do empty, you have to transport them elsewhere to fill them again and again. This costs mainly time and a little money.
Compressed air cans
The compressed air cans are limited in their filling quantity. Of course, this may be desirable if you only want to decorate small areas or do a small design of models.
Just as with the compressed air bottles, you don’t need electricity and could work outdoors in nature and at presentations. However, they are basically handier than a compressor or compact air bottle.
In principle, the compressed air cans are inexpensive and really considered an entry-level airbrush utensil for beginners. But if you find that you like the airbrush art, you should switch to the alternatives for cost reasons.
Because the main disadvantage is that the volume is minimal and actually represents a disposable item that you would have to completely reorder again and again.
Is there a relationship between the pressure used and the viscosity of the airbrush paint?
Instead, the viscosity goes back to pure or diluted inks themselves and how much it is actually diluted. The more concentrated it is, the denser it is. Otherwise, pressure is not directly related to viscosity. On the other hand, a thickness should spur you to increase the pressure on the print medium. This ensures that the spray pattern remains excellent and acceptable and that the nozzle becomes less clogged.