Want a more 3D look to your artwork? This is a technique that I use in SO many of my paintings. It works as an underpainting if you’re working in oils, it can be used as a background for colored pencil drawings, and of course as your background in acrylic work.

bee painting in colored pencil

People are often intimidated by the airbrush. While it can take years to master airbrushing, creating soft, out of focus backgrounds are extremely simple to do and it creates so much depth in your work. This is something a total beginner to airbrushing can do!


Supplies that I use: 

I use createx airbrush paints and thin them down with water. If you’re working on paper as I do when working on a colored pencil piece, you will want to use masking tape to tape the edges of the paper down. Not just the corners, tape all of the edges down. This way if your paper buckles from the water, it will dry back into place flat. At least that is what it will do if it’s a quality paper.  When you remove the masking tape when you complete your piece (I leave it on until I’m completely finished), make sure to remove it SLOWLY by pulling away from the paper. I use a black low tack masking tape in most cases.

The airbrush that I use most often is an inexpensive little Iwata Neo. For larger pieces where I need a bigger needle, I switch to my Tamya airbrush. You will need an air compressor as well. I’ve been using the Sparmax for the past 16 years. You will also need a couple of hoses to connect your airbrush to the air compressor.




Keep your distance!!EO-wm

You will want to keep the airbrush a bit away from the paper or canvas. The closer you get to it, the finer and harsher the detail. This is not how you want to create the depth we’re trying to achieve. Instead, hold the airbrush a few inches away from the paper or canvas that you’re working on. You will want to overlap the edges of your colors and keep everything soft.




In this video, I will walk you through my process!