A professional airbrush stencil is made of high quality, transparent film. The surface remains visible when laying on it, this is the only way to work properly with stencils. Good airbrush stencils can be cleaned thoroughly with detergent and are reusable. There are two types of airbrush stencils:
How do you make airbrush stencils?
First of all, you have to decide the design, you can do it freehand or by tracing an existing design. Go over it on the Mylar with an indelible marker and … stop because now the hardest part to explain and understand comes!
Using a motif stencil, also called a stencil set, a complete motif can be easily applied to any surface.
Stencil sets are often supplied with easy–to–understand step–by–step instructions. This describes in detail the order in which the template parts are placed. In addition, it often gives information about the color design of the artwork.
Making airbrush stencils are very simple and is divided into the following steps:
- Color the background
- Place the first template part according to the instructions
- Spray free areas with recommended paint
- Remove the template
- Position the next template – spray-on – remove the template, etc.
This sequence is carried out until all template parts have been applied and the artwork is finished.
The only difficulty when using motif templates is to position the tool correctly. To make this challenge easier, stencils are made of transparent material, so that the existing painting is always visible and the correct position for the stencil can be found easily.
Pattern, effect or contour template
Pattern and contour templates only show individual shapes, lines, or patterns. These templates can be used on the object as desired. This gives the artist a much greater scope in use.
The use of these auxiliary templates is very easy. They are created at a position of the artwork that the user can freely select. The free areas can now be sprayed with the airbrush gun and any color.
Depending on whether the stencil should only have an effect or the pattern needs to be sprayed opaque, either a light spray or a more intensive treatment of the free area must be done.
How do you use airbrush skulls with stencils?
Tips and tricks for using it
- Before working with stencils, the background must first be designed accordingly. Only then are the appropriate templates applied. Either they are used one after the other to form the complete picture or they are used to set individual highlights, accents or patterns
- Loose stencils should always be attached to the surface. Otherwise, the air pressure coming from the airbrush gun can cause the stencil to flutter and spray mist to get under the stencil.
- You can work with magnets on metals. The neodymium magnets are particularly recommended. They have high traction with minimal size.
- The best way to fix the stencils on other surfaces is with masking tape.
- Since effect stencils are not necessarily about clear edges, but about the effect itself, the stencils are simply held onto the surface by hand. So of course the spray mist is on hand. Therefore, you should definitely wear gloves when working with templates.
Airbrush stencils are used for a wide variety of purposes.
Motif templates are often used in:
- Nail design
- Body painting
- Face painting
- Airbrush tattoos
- Theater and film masks
- Wall design
- Custom painting
Auxiliary stencils such as contour and pattern stencils are used in all areas in which the airbrush technique is used. For example in the areas:
- Custom painting
- Textile design
Advantages and disadvantages of stencils
- Stencils prevent the bleeding of color on the contours and also paint splashes. The use of stencils thus makes it easier for the airbrush user to apply clearly delimited lines and edges.
- But even special effects and patterns that are difficult to get with the airbrush gun are easily implemented with a template.
- In addition, motif stencils make it relatively easy to make complex paintings. Drawn freehand, these projects would require great artistic talent.
At first glance, motif stencils or stencil sets look particularly limited in their use. So it seems a bit boring to design several completely identical projects. You get creative with a stencil set by either completely changing the color combinations, putting together the individual stencil parts to create new motifs or combining several stencil sets.
Most of the disadvantages of airbrush stencils can be traced back to application errors:
- So stencils should be well attached to the surface, otherwise, they will not serve their purpose. Paint can run under loose stencils, which leads to blurred lines and edges.
- Old paint residues on the template can be dissolved when spraying again and ruin the current project. Therefore, stencils should always be kept clean
- If you place stencils on wet paint, the stencil will smear the previously designed object and make it unusable. Before stencils are placed, the color underneath should be dry.
Airbrush stencils are more or less soiled by the paint mist when used. After work, they should, therefore, be cleaned as thoroughly as the airbrush gun itself. Otherwise, old paint residues could ruin the new project during the next spraying process.
For cleaning, as well as for cleaning the airbrush gun, use water, airbrush cleaner or window cleaner. It may be necessary to use solvents for stubborn soiling or after processing varnishes. Make sure that your stencils are suitable for such treatment.
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Make airbrush stencils yourself
Airbrush stencils are available in specialist shops in all imaginable patterns, shapes, and motifs. If you want to be creative yourself, you can cut your stencils yourself.
For simple shapes and contours, paper, cardboard, pond, or transparent film are sufficient as template materials. The object is applied to the material and cut out.
Particularly delicate and detailed patterns cannot be implemented with an airbrush stencil made from these materials. The reason is simply that scissors cannot cut precisely enough. In addition, cardboard, for example, does not lie well on the surface, which means that a slight mist of paint can be seen in the end instead of a sharp contour.