Below you will get an insight into where the airbrush comes from and when it exists in German-speaking countries. Then follows a rough overview of where you could use it today and how the airbrush gun works.
The fields of application have become very wide and exceed the regular hobby and professional art. Important tips round off the explanations, which airbrush sets are interesting, especially for beginners.
Where does airbrush come from?
The airbrush technique is controversial in terms of its origins. In principle, it could already go back to the Stone Age. There it can be identified in many cave paintings.
With a small leap forward, the first pointed guns of retouching work can be considered the origin of the airbrush. This was in 1870 in the USA. They then arrived in Germany around 1890, when bromide silver enlargements became widespread, and surface retouching found application.
The first patent of an airbrush gun goes back to Francis E. Stanley in September 1876. The first compressed air spray gun was found in the American physician Allen De Vilbiss in 1890, who used the atomizing effect to apply a drug to the throat. His son Tom then developed the atomizer for paints.
Finally, in Germany, a gun was patented by Albert Krautzberger in 1902 and was in regular production in 1903.
The entire patents of Francis E. Stanley, Charles Burdick, Abner Peeler, Jens Paasche, and Allen De Vilbiss are the original developments for paint spraying by a two-substance atomizer. Some of these names and brands are still available on the market today.
Fields of application of the airbrush
The areas of application of airbrush technology are now very diverse. It is basically used as a hobby and work tool. It was very much used in advertising or even as matte painting in the film sector in the eighties and nineties.
The hobby sector occurs for artistic activities such as creating images, painting, decorating model vehicles, furniture, or 3D printed models.
In cosmetics, the airbrush technique is used to spray fingernails. Makeup artists use it to create special effects or embellishments on the skin as airbrush makeup or on costumes. It often goes into the area of body painting or airbrush tattoos, where the whole body is sprayed.
Even with food coloring, cakes can be individualized and embellished significantly.
The car and motorcycle fans may be pleased about the custom painting to decorate their hoods, motorcycle tanks, or tank tops.
How does an airbrush gun work?
The airbrush gun worked using compressed air generated by a compressor and transferred to the gun with a hose.
The compressed air then atomizes the supplied paint utilizing a needle and a nozzle, which are very fine. The further the hand is pushed back, the more opaque color flows to the nozzle, and correspondingly more is atomized.
With this simple technique, you can then apply more or less color. This depends, for example, on whether you want to spray fine lines at close distances or large areas of backgrounds and soft color gradients.
An exception among the multitude of spray guns regarding constructing an airbrush gun is the former Paasche Turbo, whose production has been discontinued. It atomizes the paints by moving the laterally aligned needle very intensively back and forth on the equally lateral paint container. An extra tube adds compressed air as a third element.
Its turbine sound is reminiscent of a dentist’s drill, which the small turbine generates in the process. Using this technique, it is possible to spray fabulous hair with the freehand technique.
Which airbrush systems are recommended for beginners?
In the beginning, airbrush beginners should get airbrush sets. They come with an airbrush gun, airbrush compressor, hose, and colors.
The airbrush colors (usually water-based paints) should be included at least the primary colors and white and black. They are namely always solid in use.
In addition, an airbrush cleaning kit with an airbrush cleaner and a stencil set would be recommended. Then the essential equipment is so complete that you can already start and create a lot.
Depending on the mentioned field of application, the guns should have smaller nozzles. A 0.2mm to 0.25mm nozzle is ideal for spraying fine lines.
On the other hand, it doesn’t matter whether you choose a single-action or double-action function. You’ll quickly get to grips with both types or even be able to switch between them.
It also doesn’t matter whether the gun has a paint hopper that guides the paint to the nozzle using gravity or has a paint container on the side.
The advantage of the seated hopper is that it obstructs your view less. However, less paint fits inside, and you may have to refill color more frequently during operations.