I bought a compressor for the airbrush the other week. Tested it this afternoon and all appears to be well. Next project will involve creating a lot of fine fallout in the kitchen
I still need to test this gadget in anger. That means putting paper on the drawing board and this needs preparation...
Firstly, I don't have a drawing board, but a solid flat surface will do. I've had the front of a kitchen cabinet kicking around that I thought might serve the purpose. Hoarding pays off for once.
First, make sure it's absolutely clean and dry and then place a sheet of paper on it, in this case, A3 135gsm from a pad of WH Smiths sketch pad. I don't expect this project to get very far before it runs into difficulty, so I'm not wasting the expensive stuff on it.
Next thing is to get it wet. When I attempted this the first time, many years ago, I followed the instructions in the book and used a damp sponge to moisten the paper. Unfortunately, this interfered with the surface and made it unusable. Once the paint had hit the surface, only the lightest of washes, the sponge-strokes showed up and I had to start again.
Normally, I'd run water through the airbrush but on this occasion, I thought I'd use the water sprayer that I use to keep my lemon trees moist in hot weather. This delivered rather a lot more water than I was expecting, but it seems to have done the trick.
The paper "cockles" at this point and you will see areas of the paper rise away from the board as the paper absorbs the water unevenly. Try to pull gently at the edges to reduce these before moving on to the next phase: applying the gummed strips.
The purpose of these is to hold the edges of the paper to the board while it dries out and straightens. I always add a strip of masking tape across each corner to make sure the gummed paper doesn't come away from the board. Another trick discovered the hard way and a few hours lost.
Moisten the gummed strips with a damp sponge and then watch in frustration as they coil around themselves forcing you to throw them in the bin and start again. Best to weigh them down at each end, gummed side up, to avoid this from happening.
When you have finished, you should end up with something looking like this:
...which then needs to dry somewhere safe. I parked it behind the bedroom door overnight.
The following morning, things are looking promising. The paper has dried flat and there's no sign of it having tried to pull itself off the board.
Flat as Miss Lincolnshire
Next thing to do is decide what subject to paint on it. I don't want to do anything too complicated or ambitious in case something goes wrong towards the end and I will have wasted rather a lot of hours. I don't want to do anything trivial either as there's a reasonable chance I'll create something worth preserving.