Airbrush Workshops

SoftSprings Are Here!
Guide to the Workshops

If you are new to the airbrush, the thought of jumping feet first into the unknown can be terrifying. However, once you realize that using the airbrush becomes as easy as drawing with a pencil, your anxieties will be replaced with the desire to further explore your new-found skills.

Like many people, you are curious about the workshop experience. The first thing that you should know is that the workshops are designed to develop and enhance your visual skills and to show you how to apply those skills using the airbrush. The emphasis is on the learning process, not the completion of a painting by the end of the workshop. Therefore, you do not have to be concerned with making mistakes or expect to complete each project that you begin in the class. In fact, most projects will not be completed in the classroom. Our goal is to show you how things are done so that you are able to complete the rest of the project later if you choose. Instead of walking out of the classroom with a masterpiece in your hand, you will leave with the ability to create many masterpieces with the knowledge that you have gained.

At first you might be surprised at the number of other artists in the classroom that have a similar level of experience with the airbrush as yourself. At every workshop there are at least 3 to 5 people that consider themselves to be beginners or novices. In some ways this will actually give you an advantage over more experienced airbrush artists because you will have fewer bad habits that may need to be corrected. Additionally, veteran artists have difficulty working outside their "comfort zone" of the style of airbrush painting to which they have grown accustomed. It is often difficult for them to really try the method Dru teaches because his new approach can make them feel like a novice again.

The classes usually begin between 9:30 to 10:00 am, and often lasts until midnight or even later. The length of the classes are determined by the students and there is no compulsion to remain late if you become tired. However, with repeated success with the airbrush, you may find yourself not wanting to quit.

About the Foundations Class

The day before each workshop begins, we hold a one-day class that is dedicated toward beginners or veterans who would like to brush up on their technique. In this class, we teach the proper way to hold and operate the airbrush using the exact methods Dru uses in his illustration work: everything from basic strokes like dots, lines, dagger strokes, reverse dagger strokes, and shading, to the proper uses of loose masking, frisket, and the use of the x-acto knife. We will also work on drills designed to increase your speed and accuracy. You need to be able to complete all these basics without thinking about them (like driving a car or knitting) so that the technique becomes an automated process.

The Foundations class costs $100 for tuition and $100 for lodging and meals when purchased with a package, and $225 as a stamd-alone day class which includes lunch. Many people join our classes with little or no airbrushing experience. Sometimes it is better to come into the class without any experience because it allows you to establish the correct way to handle and operate the airbrush right from the start. As a beginner, you may feel like your skills are lacking, but in reality your advantage is that you have not become accustomed to painting in any particular style, leaving you more open to the concepts and ideas that Dru will teach. In the end it doesn't matter if you're as "good" as the person sitting next to you. What matters is, with the knowledge that you learn, you will become a better artist. The technical skills will come with time and practice. Everyone who comes to the class leaves as a better artist. We guarantee it.

We are often hesitant to dictate proper airbrush form without actually being in the presence of a student. After all, without supervision, it is too easy to pick up bad habits. However, if you are set on practicing before the classes, one of the most common errors in airbrush technique is the termination of the airflow between strokes. In other words, you should keep the lever on the dual action airbrush pressed down all the time while you are painting and the only part of your finger that needs to move is the forward and backward motion that controls the paint flow. Listen to the sound of the air while you are painting. If it stops, you are doing it wrong.


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