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Preserving Your Airbrush Art

The artist’s dilemma is one that has existed for time immemorial: balancing one’s artistic perfectionism with economic demands. Or, to put it more simply, reaching that place in which your work is at a sufficient level of “doneness” that you’re willing to gift it, sell it, hang it up, or something similar. To any artist, there are always those last tweaks and corrections you would like to make, but giving into that urge means never finishing a piece — ever. So, even when it feels like a work is less than perfect, every artist has to find that point that a work is “done enough,” even when you want to keep working at it.

Despite that never-ending urge to keep perfecting a piece, most artists also want to see their work last through the ages. There is no guarantee that your painting or sculpture will last like Leonardo’s Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) or Michelangelo’s statue of David. Even without guarantees, it’s understandable that you want to do what you can to make your art last. Whether it’s hope or simply the desire to provide a quality piece to whoever purchases the art, art preservation is an ongoing concern. There are plenty of answers out there, but only time will tell what works best when it comes to newer mediums. This is the case with airbrush art. If you have embraced airbrush art as your go-to artistic medium, keep these elements in mind for better preservation:

Airbrush Paint and Ink

The awesome artistic power of airbrush art is that it is so versatile. You can layer colors easily for depth and dimension. You can create shadows by simply layering on the same color to the desired level of opacity. Then, you can selectively scratch away the ink in areas and create a whole new dimensionality to your piece. And, unlike gouache and tempera paints, airbrush ink gives a much easier and more flexible option for playing with opacity as well as color. Of course, the trade-off is learning the fine balance between layering colors while they’re still wet and waiting for the ink to dry before adding additional layers of color.

One of the major boons to airbrush art is also a potential downside if it isn’t handled appropriately. Since airbrush ink is designed to be easily scratched away from some materials — like TerraSlate waterproof paper — this also opens up the risk that your work will be damaged if it isn’t protected by a glass frame or some other coating. Intentional scratching and scraping are great, but unintentional scrapes can leave irreparable blemishes on your work. Once you have your airbrush art the way you want it, we recommend using a clear, non-yellowing varnish or some other comparable coating to ensure your work will remain in good condition. Or, just hang your art on the wall and it will look great forever without having to do anything!

Paper, Canvas, and Other Substrates

The other key element to creating any airbrush art is the substrate on which you create your work. The go-to for paint is typically a canvas, but that’s rarely the substrate of choice for airbrush art. Instead, most airbrush artists seek out totally smooth surfaces like glass or waterproof paper because those options allow for more versatility — not to mention the amazing flexibility that comes from being able to easily scrape paint off cleanly and in a controlled manner. The bonus is that many of the more popular substrates for airbrush art come with their own level of durability. For instance, glass is a hard, durable surface as long as it isn’t met with enough force to crack or shatter it. Waterproof paper and other comparable options can, in this case, be even more durable than glass.

Waterproof Paper

We can’t speak for all waterproof paper options out there, but TerraSlate waterproof paper products are an amazing substrate for creating airbrush art because of the flexibility and durability provided. Our waterproof paper is totally smooth, so you can layer, scrape, and blend to your heart’s content without wrecking the paper. Unlike other waterproof paper options, ours isn’t just tear-resistant or water-resistant; our paper is totally waterproof and tear-proof. Yes, you can still cut through a sheet of TerraSlate waterproof paper with an X-Acto knife or scissors, but our paper is designed to hold up to most wear and tear without damage.

TerraSlate waterproof paper is also a prime option for airbrush art because our paper is designed to last through more than just some rough handling. Our waterproof printer paper also repels grease and many solvents/chemicals — giving you yet another textural tool to play with in terms of creating airbrush art. And there’s no need to worry about hot, sunny days. Our waterproof paper is heat-resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is the ink or paint you use.

Protecting Your Substrate

When it comes to other substrates, you’ll need to consider carefully how to best protect them. Creating airbrush art on glass means you’ll need to invest in a frame and/or backing to give the glass some extra stability. Pottery tiles and similar options will need a comparable level of protection against breaking

Cardstock, paper, and fabric are a different sort of dilemma. While these materials are often less expensive, they are more prone to bleeding, they limit the flexibility you have with airbrush paints and are more difficult to preserve. A square of airbrushed fabric destined for a quilt, for example, will need to be thought through carefully so the ink won’t wash out with the first laundering.

Waterproof paper is not only the most versatile and flexible substrate, but it is also one of the easiest to protect. Since TerraSlate waterproof paper is rip-proof, heat-resistant, and repels things like grease and stains, you don’t have to worry about damage happening to the paper that supports your artwork. A layer of varnish will help protect the ink/paint against scratches, and you’re good to go! A frame — with or without protective glass — is only necessary if you want to protect the work against punctures.

Save Money, Save Your Art

TerraSlate waterproof paper, posters, adhesives, and other products are amazing substrates for airbrush art. Learn more about the myriad benefits, and then order a ream online to experience those benefits for yourself. Whether you are an aspiring artist or have been in the business for decades, money is likely to always be a concern. With our waterproof paper, you don’t have to worry about accruing expenses. You get all of the benefits built into every sheet — no finishing processes necessary. Order our waterproof paper online today and see how our products bring your artistic visions to life!

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