An airbrush is a mechanical painting tool used in illustration design and photographic retouching that creates an adjustable paint spray driven by compressed air, mainly used in illustration design and photographic retouching.
Airbrushes are small tools operated by compressed air which utilize nebulization technology to dispense various media, such as paint or ink, by spraying. Spray painting evolved out of airbrush technology, thus considered another form of airbrush use.
O.W. Paasche first patented an airbrush machine in 1876 in the United States; Charles Burdick, a medical illustrator, and his brother Edward created their first airbrush machine in 1893.
Though initially intended for painting, airbrush technology has found use across various industries – cosmetics, cake decorating, and even auto body repair are some examples.
An airbrush setup typically includes an air compressor, airbrush, and medium (such as paint ) fed via a gravity-fed or siphon-fed cup attached to the airbrush. The airbrush connects directly with the compressor via a flexible hose.
Airbrushes supply compressed air through a nozzle to atomize medium into a fine mist, while users control how much medium is released by depressing a trigger to open a valve.
Adjusting the nozzle size or air pressure can affect how large and how much paint is released; decreasing air pressure results in larger, softer spray patterns, and increasing it leads to smaller, rigid spray patterns.
Beauty salons widely utilize airbrushes for applying foundation and other makeup. Furthermore, cake decorators often rely on them when spreading frosting on cakes, while auto body shops use them to apply primer and paint.
Airbrushes can also be used as artistic mediums, including painting murals or creating illustrations. Many airbrush artists employ their skill in producing T-shirts, posters, and other works of art from airbrushed surfaces.