Tutorial: Airbrush – Learning about Pigment Coloring Tools
There are many tools available in the Pigment tool box each brings a different look to your colorings. Today we’ll go over the airbrush, which is the brush that I use to do most of my coloring. The airbrush tool can quickly add shadow areas with a gradient color making it an easy transition to blending. Let’s begin and I can show you how you can create beautiful life like colorings with this versatile brush.
On this picture, I was working on an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil. Although, you do not need anything more than your finger to create gorgeous pictures with the Pigment app.
I set the airbrush opacity at 100%, and the brush size at 47%. As you begin to add colors, strokes need to be laid down following the shape of the area you are coloring to get the maximum use from the airbrush. In the example below, I used the airbrush to put in the dark areas of this leaf applying the color from the top of the area and angled down and a few from the bottom stroking up.
First, tap in the area you are coloring which will make the dotted lines appear to contain your color in that area. Then, begin your stroke where you want the shadow. Go over the area until you have the color you want. By adjusting the pressure of your stroke, you have control over how dark your color will be and how far down you want the color to extend. One advantage of this versatile brush is that it can add gradient color with just a sweep of your finger.
I always think about where I want the light to come from and adjust my shadows as I color. On this leaf, I want the light to below and to the left of the leaf, so I colored the darks down the center and a small area at the bottom.
Next, I lowered the opacity to about 40%, to begin laying down a lighter green. If that color is too dark, adjust the color using the color palette. When doing the lighter color, I fill in the area that I had previously left uncolored. I add this color until I have the entire area colored. As you add color, the darks and the lights will blend in a little. Don’t worry if you remove some of the darks because we will put them back later.
The last color I add is a highlight. In this photo, I used a yellow to highlight the green. I adjust my brush size to 30%. I normally made a quick sweep upward to add a soft yellow highlight. As I color, I add some darks back to areas that have lost some of the shadows. Work back and forth between the darks and highlights until you get the effect you want. If you want to add a thin line of color, enlarge and rotate the picture so that the area you want to line is at the bottom of your dotted lines. This allows you to make a very thin line of color easier. Remember, one of the great things about digital coloring is that if you make a mistake, there is always an undo! Next time we will tackle the linear gradient brush.
Digi Coloring and Design
Ann Brown is a self taught artist who has been painting for about 35 years. After she mastered that skill, her drive to challenge herself led to teaching children’s art classes, as well as designing and making jewelry. She is currently writing a suspense novel. Just recently, she has also gotten involved with digital and traditional coloring. She serves as one of the administrators on the Digital and Design coloring group on Facebook.