Airbrush Step-by-Step

Airbrushing A Bengal Tiger

One of my favorite things to Airbrush is Wildlife.  Especially when there is a chance to paint and separate foreground from background.  I love painting the contrast between blurry background and “in focus” foreground.  This technique really makes a painting pop!  Here’s how I did it

Step 1:  Take the time to plan out your painting. Here, I am cutting a stencil to help me separate the foreground from the background.  Think of this as another tool you use to get the results you want.  I am just cutting out the black parts of the tiger like, the eyes, nose, mouth and stripes.
Step 2:  Now, with some spray adhesive on the stencil, I place the tiger into position and prepare to spray down the background.
Step 3:  Using a light blue color, called Lake blue, I create some blurry and distant atmosphere.  I want it to feel cold and snowy.  Stay loose and have fun building this up however you like.
Step 4:  Next, I use a darker blue called Phtalo blue to build up some more things going on in the background.  Keep it loose and blurry.  Then I added some blurry white snow falling in the background too, just to give the painting some depth.
Step 5: So go ahead and leve the stencil on and add the positive part of the stencil over the bacjground.  This will help you protect the blue background from any over spray or under spray.
Step 6:  To further assure that I protect the background work, I add some more precautions around the tiger.
Step 7:  Now, adding black to my airbrush, I can now spray the inside of my tiger stencil.  The reason why I cut so many things out is because it will give me map to where the tiger’s features will be.
Step 8:  Here is a close-up detail of the stencil work.  Can’t wait to see what it looks like underneath.
Step 9:  After removing the stencil of the tiger, I can begin to add the coloring for the fur.  Here I use a yellow and orange mixture in my airbrush. Next, it’s time to add color to the eyes.   I think one green and one blue would look really cool.
Step 10:  Continue to add color to the fur, and make sure to leave the white areas blank.  I don’t want the fur to be too yellow or too orange, so that is why I mix the two colors in my airbrush cup.
Step 11:  Now I think the tiger needs some more definition on the fur and face.  I add some brown sienna paint to the airbrush and define some of the facial structure.  Take your time in this stage and build up the layers.
Step 12:  Once the color is purrrrfect, I add all of the finishing touches such as the white whiskers, the highlights in the eyes, white pieces of snow flying about.  I even add white to the airbrush and mist in some snowy foggy mist to add some more atmosphere in the painting.


Thank you for joining in and painting this Bengal tiger with me.  So amazing what a little planning, vision and airbrush control can accomplish.  For more Art, give me a follow on instagram at

Also, Make sure to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.  Happy Painting!

Artist’s Tool Box:  ABD KIT-G44T-MASTER

Complete Professional Airbrush System Kit with G44 Master Airbrush, Master Compressor TC-20T, 24 Color US Art Supply Paint Set with Reducer & Airbrush Cleaner

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