Oscillating airbrushes are small airbrushes with a reciprocating needle that
allows precise applications and minute spray patterns. The slow action of the
needle provides better spray control. The fine spray pattern eliminates the
need for masking massive areas of the illustration to prevent unwanted
coloration. You may rest the bottom of the color cup on the illustration to
increase stability and facilitate accuracy.
The oscillating airbrush is the ideal
tool for portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and photographic retouching. You
can also use oscillating airbrushes in freehand work. Operation of the
oscillating airbrush is similar to that of the double-action airbrush.
Hold an airbrush with your thumb, middle, ring, and little fingers on the air
inlet. Position the index finger above and lightly on top of the finger lever.
Wrap the air hose below the thumb, over the wrist (toward the inside of your
body) and under the elbow to keep the hose behind you and out of the way.
Move the whole arm across the paper from the shoulder, not the wrist, in a
slow, smooth, steady stroke. Do not dip your hand, turn your wrist, or
change the angle of the brush. Begin the release of air and pigment before
reaching the edge of the paper surface. Stop the flow of air and pigment
after passing the opposite edge of the paper. Work approximately 8 inches
above and at a 90° angle to the paper surface.
Airbrushes are available that have the color cup or bottle on the left side of
the airbrush. These airbrushes allow the left-handed artist to paint less
awkwardly and with less fatigue. If you are left handed, place the holder for
the airbrush on your left to prevent draping the air hose across your lap while
Pressure-fed airbrushes have nine, 2-ounce color bottles in a pressurized
canister. The canister connects to a multiple hose and selection valve that
allow selection of one of the nine bottles or a mixture of any two adjacent
colors. Pressure-fed airbrushes are intended for professional use in a
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