It was Will McEntee who first demonstrated the airbrush as an artist's tool during a fall banquet for Philadelphia's Clover Club in 1884. According to Kishwaukee College website, he had painted a portrait of Mark Twain in less than five minutes to the amazement of guests. Today, artists continue to seek airbrush art training as it provides stunning results on canvas, wood, metal, cakes and the human body.
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Art schools and the art department of the local community college offer courses in airbrush art. Courses start with the basics, then additional classes are offered according to specific industries such as textiles or automotive. The schools often require the student to purchase the basic tools but provide in-class air compressors. Airbrushing must be learnt hands-on, not simply by reading or viewing course materials.
For the individual not wanting to participate in a college course, there are a number of opportunities to learn airbrushing. Airbrush Action Magazine has sponsored several Airbrush Getaway events at various locations each year for more than 20 years. Each Airbrush Getaway is a hands-on event for beginners or professionals. The 2010 event line-up includes an introduction to airbrushing and a workshop for creating photorealistic artwork. Other events focus on tattoo artwork, automotive pinstripes, lettering and detailed graphics.
Award winning airbrush artist Wayne Harrison of AdvancedAirbrush teaches multiple airbrush art training courses in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and other international locations. Beginner courses are scheduled along side a variety of workshops for the advanced airbrush artist including automotive graphics.
DVD Instructional Training
For the self-paced learner, instructional DVDs provide lessons for techniques to advance airbrushing skills. An introductory course to airbrushing and training in automotive graphics by Wayne Harrison are available in DVD format through AdvancedAirbrush.
For the self-paced learner, online tutorials are a great way to advance your skills. Websites catering to the airbrushing industry provide information for airbrush art training. When searching for tutorials to create a specific type of art for textile, automotive or other graphic speciality, take time to view lessons featuring a different speciality. Airbrushing techniques are basically the same with only a few differences regarding the canvas medium.
A wide number of online tutorials are available including: HowToCustomPaint, which caters to beginners and those with advanced skills. AirbrushingWorld has a few video tutorials for advanced techniques by leading airbrush artists. Airbrush Technique Magazine maintains a database of instructional articles and how-to videos, but does require a paid subscription for access.
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- Kishwaukee College: The True History of the Air-brush
- Kishwaukee College: Important Dates in Rockford Air-brush History
- Airbrush Action Magazine: Airbrush Getaway -- Hands-on Airbrush Workshops
- AdvancedAirbrush: Airbrush Workshops -- Courses - Training
- AdvancedAirbrush: Wayne Harrison (Artist / Director)