Airbrushing Acrylics on Canvas
Using acrylic paints in an airbrush is actually quite common in the arts-and-crafts fields. Noted artist, author and airbrush instructor Robert Paschal uses the HP-C Plus, coupled with a Power Jet compressor, for creating illusions of shadows, adding highlights and creating special effects.
Since acrylic paints are heavy-bodied by nature, they need to be thinned a bit before spraying, and typically require an airbrush with larger tip/needle combinations. When working on small areas, the Eclipse gravity-feed ( HP-CS, HP-BS) and side-feed ( HP-SBS) brushes are great for details, while the bottom-feed HP-BC Plus, HP-BE and Eclipse HP-BCS are ideal when doing background work or when larger volumes of paint are required.
*excellent choice when using opaque paints
“When airbrushing on canvas, artists’ acrylic colors are a preferred medium. They can be thinned easily to a sprayable consistency. They dry quickly so you can work fast. They are flexible and have good adhesion. And they work well on raw, gessoed or prepared canvases. Acrylic colors are waterproof, permanent and will not fade. When spraying acrylics for small, detailed areas, I recommend the gravity-feed HP-C Plus. And for spraying larger areas, I recommend the bottom-feed Eclipse BCS.
The airbrush is an excellent tool for casting shadows. It delivers the soft granular spray required for creating the illusion of objects floating in space. I recommend the gravity-feed Iwata HP-C Plus to achieve these effects because the softer the spray, the better the illusion. The airbrush is also ideally suited for the development of a hard edge when painting with acrylics – simply airbrush along a masked area to capture the spray. The tighter the mask is attached to the work surface, the harder the edge will be. Acrylics can be sprayed along stencils and masks without fear of bleeding.”
– Robert Paschal