There are many reasons to alter photographs with an airbrush.
One reason is
to combine one photograph with another. Another reason is to eliminate or
reduce background images. And still another reason for altering photographs
is to create a halo or vignette around the central image. Knowing how to
alter photographs with an airbrush allows you to use otherwise mediocre
The most important phase of photographic retouching is the preparation of
the photo before you begin painting.
Mount photographs on illustration board allowing at least a 2-inch border all
around the photo. The border will make handling the photograph easier
Modern photographic papers are covered with a thin layer of resin leaving a
glossy surface that does not take pigments well. Using a talcum powder or
Fullers Earth on a cotton pad, rub the face of the photograph. This will
slightly abrade the surface and provide tooth to hold pigments.
Make sure there are no fingerprints or scratches on the surface of the
Place a piece of clean paper under your wrist as you paint to
prevent depositing oils from your hands on the paper surface.
Apply pigments as you would on any airbrushed illustration. Should you
make an error, wrap a small piece of cotton around the end of a paint brush
or pencil and wipe off the pigment.
Clean up the photograph of overspray and spray a fixative over the photo if