Hints and Tips When it Comes to Airbrushing Colours

This artwork will be demonstrated at the NEC in Birmingham in November.

This artwork will be demonstrated at the NEC in Birmingham in November.

Over the several years I have been airbrushing, I have tried countless airbrushing colours that have come back and forth into the cake market. Within these years, I’ve used colours which instead of enhancing your cake, dulls it down by the colours not being as vibrant as it is on the packaging or ends up clogging up your airbrush leaving you in a mad panic as you have a cake due for a customer tomorrow and you need new parts, which, conveniently won’t come until a week later. We’ve all been there and experienced the mad panic of our airbrushing colours not achieving the result we exactly want. 


In my opinion, I like to stay clear of any colours that has a little ball in the bottle or says you must shake well. This is often a good indication the airbrush colour separates and the very small particles in the colour are more likely to block up the airbrush. This may not be issue if you only use your airbrush for shading however great difficulty can occur when you start more finer work. I would also avoid mixing dust colours with alcohol as it also clogs up your airbrush and I have learned from my own mistakes after ruining a £300 airbrush.


With this, I must say, I’ve never been disappointed with the Kroma Airbrushing colours by KopyCake and constantly get drawn back to them time and time again. So, why is this?


One reason is simple: problems become easily solvable with these colours. For example, say if you accidentally leave the colour in the colour well of your airbrush over night and once remembering your mistake the colour has dried up inside or you pull back the trigger to your airbrush and it goes floppy. Easy mistakes to be made but normally quite problematic to solve with certain airbrush colours. I’ve found with the Kroma Colour airbrushing set its so easy to solve. 

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All you need is a cup of boiling water and to submerge the airbrush in the water. Soon enough, you will see all the colour melting away. Then all which is needed to be done is take the airbrush out of the water and spray. You’ll need to repeat this a few times but this will make the trigger go back to normal and clean your airbrush like new. I wouldn’t recommend this as a regular cleaning routine but it works when mistakes happen. 

 

Or if you accidentally make a small mistake on your cake, with most water based airbrush colours you can simply remove this with a cotton bud dipped into alcohol or lemon juice. The Kroma Colours, work great with this little trick as they are water based but are still extremely vibrant.


A slight issue I do tend to find with Kroma Colours, however, is when you start to layer certain colours, such as blue and yellow it does turn green. So when you’re trying to create a sunrise with the colour yellow and blue it does become quite difficult but even with this they are normally so easy to blend when it comes to colours such as reds and oranges.


But not all airbrushing colours are negative and so many different brands can offer different techniques and different ways of working, as long as they are decent airbrushing colours and are all importantly, water soluble.


When you find the airbrush colours you enjoy using most, its always helpful to create a colour chart so you know what mixture of colours make the colour you need for your cake. You can do this with any branded colour but I always use my beloved Kroma Colours for my colour charts. 


To create a colour chart use a clean airbrush. For example add 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of blue to the colour well. Hold your finger to the end of the of the airbrush to block the air flow, will will create air bubbles in the colour well and will mix the two colours together. Then test on a piece of paper what shade of colour comes out, in this instance it’ll be a light shade of green. Repeat this with your colours but remember to make a note of the amount of colour drops and the brand you are using. With the 12 Kroma Colours, I have made over 75 different mixes of colour, so its well worth the time and effort you put in and its an instant resource you can use without guessing how to create the colour you’d like.

A common question I get asked about the colour chart is how to create lighter colours, and if it is worth investing in a white airbrush colour. Normally, I very rarely use white and don’t feature it in my colour charts as from past experience I have had white block up the airbrush as its normally a thicker substance. I would recommend if you do need to lighten up a colour, simply spray less colour which should give you a lighter shade.

For you all to use and enjoy, with this blog, I have attached my own colour chart, where I use the Kroma Colour set. Hopefully it will save you all time but also give you a rough guide line to constructing your own if you choose too.

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