Learn to airbrush techniques such as true fire,portraits and flesh tones,skulls,3-d animation,water drops,clouds,bricks,flags,cobblestone,granite,marble,
chrome letters,feathers,fur,clowns,snakeskin,wood grain,metal peel backs,shading,diamond plate,fine art,textures and much more.

    Translate Language














David Morton has taken his 21 years doing custom graphics, animation,faux painting,garments, portraiture, automotive painting, signage art and much more, to consolidate a training series for the beginning airbrush student and even the most advanced of artisans alike. These videos are the rock solid foundation in which to build many skills and will show how to apply those skills to all  surfaces. You'll learn:

How to control opaque and transparent colors :  We explore the aesthetics and nuances of how colors shift when layered in different palettes, how to mix luminous colors such as pearls, interference, and auto air paints. How the colors effect each other in composition and learning to reconstruct mistakes with heat and fixatives. We discuss in detail proper air pressure, types of airbrushes, ergonomics, mixing paint, and the "lighter to darker" principal, to establish better control via shading and rendering.

Aspects of a good composition : Finding balance within the opposing elements of an image, and how to think about positive and negative space and flow and harmony of a work.

Realistic Woodgrain for faux, animation and graphics : We explore in depth the concepts of realism within the woodgraining technique which can be applied towards all surfaces,  layering the colors harmoniously, and the introduction of loose and contact masking to create 3-dimensional forms.

Realistic Cobblestone for Faux And Graphics : We explore the very hyper-realistic concept of Faux Cobblestone which can be applied towards home decor, animation backgrounds, automotive graphics, and signage concepts.We learn how to buffer colors down to manipulate chroma, hue, and value + explore unconventional tricks to accent the airbrush look via other mediums.

Snakeskin for graphics and automotive applications : We explore the concepts of three different types of snakeskin to apply towards all surfaces. We illustrate the proper etiquette on maintaining a sterile surface while exploring the way paint reacts to these diverse surfaces. Color is explored via a more graphical intent or a more realistic, muted look. Loose masking and the usage of textures and templates are the forefront of many of these tricks.

Fleshtones for fine art and all imagery : These concepts are the foundation for the novice airbrush artist or the pro wanting a "user friendly" way to approach fleshtones when approaching all imagery. We explore the language of the freehand templates to create contour, form, and manipulate soft and hard edges via certain techniques. The Chiaroscuro concept ( from the famous artist Carravagio), is also introduced in the fleshtone concept which helps manipulate realism via certain types of photographs needed to pull off the effect.

Realistic waterdrops for art and graphics : Introduced in this technique is the tricky sequential process and nature of how templates, controlling color, and use of texture and light, can manipulate a very realistic, accenting element, to any image. Discernment and placement of shadow and contour is also the forefront of achieving mastery of this process.

Intro to illustrating: A myriad of textural tricks will be introduced to manipulate the eye and the mind. Knowing what to bring into a piece for a certain effect is invaluable in the end product of any particular dynamic of any composition. The language of the freehand templates are of a particular focus to establish a proper foundation for a work, and raise the standard to a more professional grade. We learn how colors compliment each other in various ways to further transcend an image into a more sophisticated range.

Marble textures : for furniture, graphics and signs :Marble is a texture in which can be applied by professional Faux painters ( walls and furniture) and artisans alike. It can be applied as an automotive graphic inside of letters or tribal art, a background for any particular backdrop or commercial comission  and an all around application for any 3-d surface. Elements of exploration include the "less is more" principal, controlling a good color balance, and sequential layering of textural effects to create realism.

Surface preparation and protection : Different surfaces require different types of preparation and protection. Discussed will be the applications of certain types of clearcoats and sealers for walls and many other diverse surfaces, and how those mediums will effect the longevity of the piece via lightfastness and durability. Upon purchase of the videos you will receive a 33 page manual from the actual classes via PDF file to print and save as a reference point for many "backyard" secrets and tricks.

Portraiture and facial components : We will IN DEPTH explore the application of freehand templates, subtractive highlighting concepts, and sequential masking. The 70/30 rule will be the forefront of this process in refining and mastering accuracy in 3-dimensional proportions of the face. These concepts are some of the best ways in approaching this subject without intimidation or neurosis. Spacial awareness is a general focus as well as shading etiquette and mastery of the dagger and feather strokes to enhance an ability to control the airbrush with accuity.

Diamond plate for auto graphics and commercial art : We explore the process of expediting the process of the highly sought after diamond plate concept without having to buy an expensive computer plotter. We focus on manipulating a distressed surface with certain colors, and placing shadows and highlights accurately to achieve a very believable graphic which can accent the inside of letters or fonts, or as a stand alone image or background.

Clouds for faux concepts and art : Clouds need appropriate colors and believable textures to work. Subdued colors are a huge part of making clouds look realistic and many different textural applications can expedite the process . Equipment usage + large and small scale applications are discussed as well as the importance of ventilation and protection from the atomization of the mediums used. Clouds can be used for faux concepts, theatrical backgrounds,  signage concepts, and anything in art or animation.

Dynamics and realism in skulls and illustrating : Subtractive highlighting is a big part of the Electro-Skull concept as it brings to light the fusion of a high contrast image and the addition of intricate realistic effects. Working in many levels of black and gray are a key component to the hyper-realistic model in this particular composition. The usage of freehand templates are critical in this sequential process and the introduction of transparent paints are utilized to achieve realism.

Realistic feathers and fur : Feathers and animal fur are a prominent component to any believable image via animals or graphics. Different elements can be brought in to distort the senses to a peak of believability quicky if you know what to utilize. Color with the textural tricks can produce high quality components to any composition as well as the usage of freehand templates and diverse highlighting and layering techniques.

Metal peelbacks: The processes of metal peelbacks are dependent on the form and technique, and ultimately the utilization of how color is layered. Highlighting and very intricately placed templates will manipulate contour with precision thus expediting the arduous process of cutting masks. Craftsmanship and surface sterility are emphasized thoroughly.

Advanced Textures: We will cover many realistic textures including chrome and chrome letters, real fire, faux brick, fabric,  flags, and much more.  We expose to the beginning student or the more experienced airbrushers how to control color, sequential and loose masking concepts, realism, achieving dimension and form, compositional structuring, and much more. Finally we have also found a way to approach the concepts of the ever so popular "Realistic Fire", how to layer the colors and achieve an immediate product with very little effort.

 Psycho-Clown:  In this video we explore portraiture techniques meshed with this fantasy clown illustration. Items covered are how to create realistic clown hair, facial components and the sequential structuring of those components, loose and contact masking ( Mastering the freehand templates), controlling color to achieve realism, textural tricks and subtractive highlighting, and understanding David's philosophy on the importance of refining more professional looking imagery.

Advanced Illustrating:   In this video we cover the many different  nuances and sequential processes of rendering fleshtones in a portraiture mode while  also creating  a metal skull. This Dvd will be released in May 2011 and will also cover more extensive useage of the freehand templates with a major focus on highlighting and light sourcing when rendering.

Illustration 3 : In this video we go absolutely crazy with detail on the concept of realistic granite to achieve a "statue" type of  image which could also be applied towards fine art.  The technique of subtractive highlighting is taken to the extreme in this detailed composition, and the intense usage of freehand templates are also demonstrated to create precision, contour, dimension, and to achieve a more professional and balanced image.

Illustration 4 (NEW):  In this video we focus on intense detail with the concept of a realistic Albert Einstein caricature. You will learn: The usage of freehand templates (loose masking ) ,the fleshtone forumla, rendering hair,control, and much much more. These concepts are great for anyone wanting to get into the field of animation,cartooning, or any illustration medium.  $9.99 + $1.69 shipping ( shipped with a tracking number for recourse ).


The Value And Equity Of Airbrush In 2012

There are many artists, hobbyists, and craftsmen searching for their identity and or new niche to explore in the airbrush field and the good news is that the opportunities that this skill has to yield are still there in abundance. Airbrush in the eyes of academia has (still to this day) contrived and compiled somewhat of a static perceptual disposition because of the progressive nature and engaging contstructs of new and emerging digital art. If you look on the other side of the wall, there are still opportunities for surfaces to be customized outside of the paradoxical and temporal thinking of computer plotted stickers and 3-D digital animation. There will always be surfaces that are rough and rigid in which a vinyl graphic from a sign shop cannot be applied, thus the need for someone arises in the way that only airbrushing allows. Another example is a customer with an automobile that does not want a "clip art" type of image plotted and cut from the sometimes mundane standard portfolios of Corel Draw and other prexisting commercial portfolios. This translates to the plain and simple fact that you will have certain customers that will want quick, processed, commercial graphics, and you will have other customers that will want something they can call their OWN. This is the true and emerging cultural nuance of the skill, and the sometimes UNSEEN equity that airbrushing culminates. The opaque projector is one of the biggest secrets in the airbrushing industry and allows anyone to transfer ANY type of imagery on ANY surface thus creating the ability to do commercial signs ( or anything they want )for anyone who requests them. The projector serves (by default) a utilitarian role of an "image transfer mechanism" similiar to what ( as mentioned above ) a conventional sign shop can do with laser-cutting and plotting on vinyl. It's a very similiar process via the elements and sequences of cutting and masking. The intrinsic value of this piece of equipment and how it has been hidden for so many years is an anomaly to say the least. It is also important to mention the glaring fact that custom pain systems such has House Of Kolor is always going to have an extreme refractive saturation and luminance advantage over the typical processed vinyl graphic.

Next we need to mention the fine artists with the prexisting skills such as oil painting, water color, faux techniques, or perhaps ceramics. These people have indeed different levels of requisite knowledge, talent, and sequencing in their own little corners of the art world, but pick up an airbrush to expedite the processes of paint blending to diversify the textural and tonal transitioning elements of their compositions. For example, an oil painter may want the clouds to look more aesthetically organic and believable, and a muralist may want a tree to have a more realistic looking wood grain pattern,color values, and blends that an only an airbrush can achieve. A floral artist may want the suddle intrinsic transparent effects of a water drop to be more flowing, realistic, and harmonious than the abrasive and sometimes disruptive nature of a typical artist's paint brush.

Many people convert and restore old refridgerators and render nostalgic pinup imagery like Betty Page,Marilyn Monroe, and many other nostalgic images to create very high end products that will sell in entertainment or collector types of environments. Some people learn airbrushing for the sole purpose of doing nothing more than fixing a scratch on a car which can indeed yield $150 an hour in the right environments. Moreover, haunted houses always seek the skills of a talented airbrush artist to produce realistic gore and ambient effects inside their venues,and let us not forget laser-tag facilities which are not only dependent on the unique look that and airbrush creates with space scenes, asteroids, and horizons, but also the neon-black-light concepts with florescent paints to create retro and hyper-scenic environments. Dioramas and photography backdrops are often called upon because sign shops tend to be VERY EXPENSIVE for most clients. Carnivals and theme parks will always need someone to customize their rides and 3-D objects which leaves a very exciting canvas to work on. Something as simple as traditional flames,TRUE FIRE,granite,diamond plate,carbon fiber,marble, and many other radical textures can be rendered on large metal trash cans that sit inside gas stations, body shops, auto parts stores, and MANY other retail or custom shop environments. This can be an enormous market for someone who takes it seriously and builds an exquisite body of work . Guitars are also an excellent opportunity to explore, but the success in this niche is the ability to provide the nitrocellulose clear coat that a guitar usually demands, not to mention the intense assembling and disassembling of the delicate parts involved, but if you have the proper connections this field easily takes on a life of it's own. 
Other surfaces include: tailgates,tanning,makeup,caricatures,curtains, room dividers,sneakers,rc boats,picture frames,coffee tables,ostrich eggs, prosthetics,gords,christmas ornaments,figurines, teddy bears,yard art, clocks,cakes,manniquins,helmets,jewlery,banners,visors,car hoods,animatronics,feathers,kids rooms,blinds,t shirts, license plates,diving tanks,bathtubs, toilets,pillars,eggs,face painting, pumpkins cellphones, aquarium backdrops,mirrors,leather jackets,UGG boots,skater boats,semi trucks and so much more. The opportunities are still there. - David Morton 




There's no such thing as the "best" airbrush. There are so many independent variables on what constitutes being the "best" and it's hard to generalize and isolate one particular brush to be the best for all concerned. Trying to diatribe about what constitutes the best is just like saying who has the best steak at a certain steakhouse, it is an existentially vague and grey area, and mark my words you will never win in these types of conversations.

You will have many things to consider when choosing/buying your brush such as:

Ergonomics: The weight displacement of the brush in your* hand and how how much that weight effects your horizontal and vertical strokes.

Translation= People with heavy hands tend to like metal airbrushes i.e. the Paasche VL, Iwatas, etc. This is particularly important via "spacial awareness" and anticpation of  starting and stopping points when shading. So the heavier your hand, the heavier the airbrush I think you need to counterbalance the strokes. This is just my opinion.

What your trying to do with the brush: Are you doing block outs, blasting, coverage, detail........what?

Translation: I would not use a Paasche VL for detail, I would use an Iwata custom micron, an Aztek 4709, or an airbrush which has more trigger hypersensitivity which the Iwata Revolution, Neo, and Eclipse do not offer in my opinion. ( Note: there's a big jump in trigger hypersensitivity once you go above $160.00 in the Iwata family ). Also let us take into consideration that when you read any description on any airbrush it's going to propagate in it's specs that it gets a "hair-like line" etc. Let us try to remember that this is one of the biggest mistakes that people fall for when it comes to discerning the inner dynamics of what constitutes control. Always remember that It's one thing to get a fine line, but it's another to be able to sculpt and shade that fine line SMALL SCALE without getting a cramp at the base of your hand or pinky. Many people force themselves to try and get detail with an airbrush that just was not meant to work at a certain level and they end up getting RMI ( repetitive movement injury). So everyone has their "Idea" on what detail means. Detail could mean a photorealistic crease around an eye muscle or a palm tree on a t-shirt, so lets all take that into consideration before we validate and galvanize the "Detail Phenominon". 

How much can you afford to spend: I would recommend the Iwata HPC plus and above (price-wise) if your going spray automotive paints i.e. the Iwata is the industry standard in the field and you can snag one for around $160.00.( Note: Do not try and save money and expect the same performance from and Iwata HPC as opposed to an HPC PLUS---big difference in control, so spend the extra $60 dollars.) If your gonna go all out and get the "Rolls Royce" of all metal airbrushes then snag an Iwata micron, but I personally use the Aztek 4709 because I have not found to this day an airbrush that has the softness or hypsersensitive trigger that the Aztek has so to put it simple: I use the Aztek because I can do the artwork without getting a cramp in my hand. When you work smaller, you need more detail, thus a softer trigger. As I said earlier, small to me is not a drop shadow on a flame, small is a crease or shadow transition around the muscles of an eye etc. No matter what airbrush you choose, it needs to have the shading control that you are used to with a pencil with NO INTIMIDATION FACTORS or "BITEY-SURGING" Triggers. On a budget? I also recommend any of the Omni airbrushes as they are amazingly durable airbrushes and as far as "bang for your buck" you cannot lose with this family of airbrushes. The control is great with Omnis and the last time I looked Omni's were priced very friendly but they vary in different venues.

Translation: If you look in any airbrush magazine you will see that in the studios of the artist's, you almost NEVER see just one airbrush, you see many different kinds yielding to many diverse applications and scale. Take all of these things in consideration and ask people what they have and ask them their raw opinions on the positive dynamics of each airbrush, and most importantly what PRESSURE their spraying while their rendering because pressure effects line acuity and softness of the trigger. Most Iwata Microns have hard triggers at 50 PSI ( Thus you need significantly lower pressure) and most Azteks vary in performance at anything under 50 PSI. So there's going to have to be some chatting going on and exchanging of imagery to see who achieved what with a certain airbrush.

Last note: Stay away from single action airbrushes. They are about as useful as a can of Krylon Spraypaint as far as detail. You need a double action airbrush to do almost everything.  Hope this helps.  -David Morton


The "I did this all freehand" paradigm

This is one of my favorite topics because not only is it interesting to see people diatribe about which airbrush is the best, but to also try and discern what constitutes an adequate standard and velocity of learning for a particular type of composition. Illustrators such as Mark Fredrickson ( Now lead illustrator for Mad Magazine ) have always utilized freehand templates to refine and tighten airbrush imagery. Some airbrushers perhaps are not as dependent on them, but I must warn you that if you are not going to use a template, you will be forced to control your overspray at a higher intensity, and this could potentially lead to intimidation in the inception of the learning experience. It is important to be able to posture yourself with the up most patience as many novices coming into the field lack the ability to be able slow down, and maintain the continuity and angle of the airbrush  that is needed thus leading to overs pray in unwanted areas. A good example of how over spray will crush your spirits is to try and airbrush on felt or a pool table type of material. One point of mention here is that ( in my opinion ) a template is not a stencil. A stencil serves ( for the most part ) a utilitarian function to isolate one shape while a template is universal in it's application. For example, the bird shield template can be used to render Winnie The Pooh's toes, or Marilyn Monroe's jawline, thus making it diverse in it's application while a stencil lets you spray a leaf on the side of a ceramic pot. Anyone entering this skill should snag a projector and some templates and starting experimenting with loose and contact masking concepts as you'll see your confidence go up very quick. We do much better when we are accelerating  and diversifying the tactile components of this skill  and mobilizing certain techniques in an efficient way to achieve a quality end product. You have to throw in as many textural tricks as possible, but simultaneously you also have to galvanize within yourself  that all the fancy tricks in the world are useless without also learning freehand control, thousands of dagger strokes, thus balancing these two variables well. Buy a projector, get an image on wall, and start spraying and shading. Sneak a template in whenever you feel your free handing has gone as far as it will go and again, I'm not saying that textural usage and refined edges are more important than basic control, I'm saying they should both be emphasized so that intimidation does not kick in at certain stages of rendering. I hope this helps.  -David Morton


After teaching thousands of students these last 16 years, there is one collective complaint that trumps all the others in the inception of learning and it is: students cannot find an adequate area to literally function in, and literally DO THE ARTWORK. When I hear this comment I immediately ( out of the gate ) direct their attention to the standard t-shirt airbrusher in a typical mall kioske set-up. Most t-shirt airbrushers can function very well in a mall, at a zoo, dance club, skating rink,carnival,birthday party, etc in a 10 foot X 10 foot working area. This needs to be the physical reference point as far as the "functional utilitarian space" required to make money and be productive. If you are doing automotive airbrushing and the space is very limited in your garage, you do not need the whole garage to be operative. A good ventilation box and a few shower curtains to isolate yourself will prevent over spray from traveling around and will be more than sufficient. There's an old saying that "most of what an airbrush artist needs can fit in the trunk of his car", and to this very day nothing is closer than the truth. If you are doing automotive airbrush concepts you should indeed do the larger base coat and clear coat concepts in a body shop type environment, but if you are just doing random imagery on tanks, car hoods,helmets,surf boards,and tailgates, those can be done in your own garage or 10 x 10 working area, but again try the best you can to keep the larger painting and clear coating processes OUT OF YOUR home environment because they are VERY DANGEROUS to your lungs and can eventually cause neurological problems ( neurotoxicity from the isocyanates in the clear coat ). 



 One thing that everyone needs to know about selecting an airbrush compressor is that most "professional" airbrush artists do not use the propagated, over priced compressors at the typical arts and craft stores. Why? First of all, a typical craft store will carry air compressors specifically geared for small scale modeling concepts,fingernails,cakes,makeup and other eclectic types of crafts. These small scale applications only require an air pressure range of about 30 psi and lower, in which to most production larger scale artists see as a big minus.  The bottom line is that when you work larger than tiny trains, fingernails, cakes and RC cars etc, you NEED MORE AIR PRESSURE (wall murals, cars,rvs,signs etc). Now before I ruffle everyone's feathers on this, I base this air pressure increase from the opinions of other airbrush artists around the world, my own experiences, and the fundamental needs of a particular scale or size of the image via the airbrush they are using and ultimately what they are doing with it.

 So lets break this down: highly machined airbrushes do not require as much pressure to be optimal in their performance such as the Iwata Micron series airbrushes. These airbrushes do very well at 30 psi and sometimes lower, but conjoined with this observation is ( again ) the actual size of the image they are rendering. Many photo realists do not airbrush large scale on huge pieces of canvas, they tend to work much smaller as they know that the smaller they work, the less pressure is needed, the less area has to be detailed, and the less labor induced. 70-80% of all airbrushes on the market perform very poorly at pressures below 50 psi( atomization of paint to pressure ratios), and many high end airbrushes are harder on the hand muscles above 50 psi ( they have stiff, surging, bitey, anti-ergonomic-friendly triggers), but again, the high-end expensive airbrushes usually perform fine at these lower pressures.

 There is another huge disadvantage of buying a compressor at an art or craft store and that is: they usually carry mostly diaphragm compressors that are continuously running and do not have reserve tanks which will allow them to shut off and cool down (there is a thermal protect mechanism inside that will not allow the motor to continue). What this translates to in your "moment of truth experience" in a working environment is: you will have about 20 minutes of good air flow, and then something strange starts to happen......you will then see the quality of your air flow dissipate and your paint will start to get grainy, thus your line quality and control will start to quickly diminish. Specialty art stores usually do carry air compressors with reserve storage tanks mounted on the compressors, but they tend to be extremely over priced ( usually 3 times more than their worth). So why do these stores sell these over priced compressors to the general public? Because people are uninformed, and because they can. Most airbrush artists who are in constant work mode pumping out art day after day need a compressor that is far more "industrious" and will allow them the ability to go from 30 psi up to perhaps 80 psi so this usually reverts to buying a standard everyday typical rotary compressor at Walmart or your typical hardware store. So my opinion is: go to Walmart, and anything that is $70 and up ( as long as it has a reserve tank mounted on it) will usually work to function in the inception of learning.

 I will state what I think is the only advantage of buying a compressor from an arts or craft venue and this is: The more expensive the compressors tends to be, the much quieter it is, but as for as the mechanical attributes there is no real difference. I have been told over and over by many different people from many different industries that most compressors have a shelf life of about 4 to 5 years. This presupposes a continuous use and this is true in my own experiences over the last several years. If for some reason the sound is too much you can Google on how to make a "sound box" for pennys on the dollar, or perhaps keep the compressor in a separate area and run the air hose into your work space. I hope this helps. - David Morton
NEW - David Morton has received the honor of now being a worldwide author in the airbrush field and has completed  " The Art Of Airbrushing" book . This book is available at bookstores everywhere including Barnes And Noble,Micheal's Art's And Crafts, Amazon, Target, Hobby Lobby,Walmart, and thousands of other global outlets and art supply stores.