Visit our Home page


Airbrush Artist Offers Introductory Airbrush Course/Lessons for Beginners

Artist, Ray Gatica, gets calls from people who wish to learn airbrushing. They come from different back grounds and different career paths. I have had engineers, stay at home moms, art teachers and a variety of other life paths. 

Back when I learned airbrushing there were no classes offered. I learned from hanging around a motorcycle shop and watching a hippie guy paint motorcycle tanks with small beach, mountain, desert scenes. Back then there was more of that than today's wild line graphics, and flames. 

The students does not need to have an airbrush for the lessons, Gatica provides all the materials and equipment, airbrushes, and air source. Gatica recommends taking a brief introductory course, this way you will be ahead of the learning curve quicker. Also, there are things people will waste money on in the beginning and, by knowing what to buy and what not to buy - you will save money in the long run.

During the introductory course Gatica provides a list of basic necessary supplies.

When Gatica first meets with his perspective students, he likes to see some of their past works just to get an idea of what they know and where to start the lessons. Usually students have a particular, certain direction they would like to go into. For instance some want to design clothing, T-shirts; others want to learn to do flames on a hard surface, gas tanks cars or trucks. There are many directions one can go into, because by using the appropriate paints one can airbrush on just about any kind of surface.

In most cases the student has never handled an airbrush and knows very little of it mechanics. This is where Gatica starts. The mechanics are simple, the average airbrush consist of around 7 small moving parts and the body core. Starting here helps because when airbrushing there will be time when they have problems with the paint not spraying out, and there can be a variety of possible reasons for this. By knowing it mechanics and its different parts you can figure out the problem better and overall trouble shooting will be easier. 

Usually, the student will have a chance to tear down the gun to its core and put it back together. This also takes away the fear of handling the brushes because they are not as delicate as they seem. 

The brushes are pretty sturdy. Gatica use the Paasche VL series airbrushes, “I like their simplicity and their sturdiness. One time I dropped one three stories high and all I had to was replace the needle and tip. These are the guns I use when teaching airbrushing because I have been using so long I know them the best and am comfortable with them.” Unfortunately when it comes to trying out the brushes there is not place where you can try them all side by side and with the assorted paints you will use in the future. You can visit a local art shop and see the assorted airbrushes they carry. At present, the best any beginner student can do is take and experienced airbrush artist’s word for it. 

After teaching the students the basic mechanics, he informs them of the various air sources available, which include air compressors, propellant cans, compressed air (Carbon Dioxide/co2 tanks), and just about any thing that can hold pressure to use with the airbrush; even an inflated tires can power an airbrush to some degree.

Step one in the lesson is learning the finger control exercises. You will not become an expert over night but by knowing the basic finger exercises you can practice and in the long run you will become good at writing and drawing with the airbrush.
During the lessons, Gatica, inevitably, winds up giving basic lessons as far a shadowing, and 
high-lighting, contouring, and shaping objects, in this case with the airbrush. This is all part of the lesson.

Usually, after the basics, Gatica teaches advanced airbrushing techniques that would take the average student who picks up an airbrush today, would take a few years to learn. Things like cutting patterns out of acetate, cutting friskets, designing and making your own templates for use on clothing or T-shirts, and, what to use for this.

Gatica breaks up the airbrush lessons into three 2-hour sessions for a total of 6 hours. The cost is $240.00 for the 6 hour airbrush introductory course. Gatica provides all material and supplies, including the airbrush.

Gatica also teaches at Hobby Lobby and the Micheals stores in the Humble TX. Store.

You can see samples of his past twenty years of airbrushing at The artist can be reached him through the site or by emailing or by calling 281-441-9714.