Classic Airbrush Techniques Book

Link to this book has been in my sidebar for as long as this website is on but I never even mentioned this book to my audience, not even once. I’ve been planning to make a review of this book for a long time and I think now is the right time. Why does this book need a review, how do I plan to review it and what’s the point?

When you click on that banner you are taken to a sales page. This page is short and straight to the point but you will not find many testimonials (only one), readers feedbacks or any proof that this book is worth your time and money. This is why I decided to write my subjective review. I want to inform my readers interested in airbrushing if they can earn anything from Classic Airbrush Techniques book.

Will this be another book on your shelf covered in dust?

Firstly – you won’t find any information about the book on the sales page saying it’s actually repaired and digitally remastered copy of the original book from 1953. That why it’s called “Classic”. The original title of the book was “Airbrush Techniques For Commercial Art” (Authors: John B. Musachia, Henri A. Fludare, Melvin J. Grainger). This book was so successful that its second edition was published in 1961.

It is very difficult to get to the original, printed, hard covered book, even though I’ve seen some on amazon. Digital form is probably better way to store the book on your computer or your e-reader.

When you buy this book you will get 4 PDF files (4 chapters) of the actual book plus one bonus (I describe it later). The quality of PDF files of this copy is very good. The authors of digital version are not saying the facts that these pages are from old book but readability is above the norm anyway, no matter if you zoom it in or out it’s still very good quality.

Classic airbrush techniques is book intended more for beginners than for advanced airbrushists.

The first chapter contains the real airbrush basics. Information about the equipment you need for airbrushing from airbrush gun itself, through compressor, regulators up to even a chair and table. You have to take into count the period when the book was published as all the equipment is typical for that time. Honestly, almost nothing has changed in almost 60 years!!

Also in the first chapter you will get helpful hints where you learn how to properly hold airbrush, how to fill it and clean it. All about masks and friskets. Even detailed schema of airbrush gun and how it works. All described very easy and understandable.

Also as the authors of the PDF version of the book state they have added few pages for practice purpose which you can print out as many times as you want and paint directly on them. This is actually a good feature for many airbrush beginners.

lesson - Classic Airbrush Techniques Book

I was thinking about the easy way to describe to my readers how to make certain effects by writing some practical example and didn’t know that actually it is possible without making a video. Well authors of this book have opened my eyes. They assigned symbols to different types of control methods and strokes of airbrush and when you practice you will have a reference with symbols so you will know how to control airbrush to get required effect.

All the control methods are also described and have images.

Also big part of the first chapter is dedicated to common errors and what is causing them.

Second chapter takes you directly to practice. All with detailed descriptions, reference images and your practice page ready to print. It has 7 lessons starting from a square and ending up with rendering a machine nut. Here you will learn to paint basic shapes and create special effects like shading of 3D objects and lightning.

In the third chapter you should step on a higher level. It takes you directly into Commercial Illustration. The lessons continue from 8 up to 13 and here you will have to render much more difficult objects taking you almost into reality. Also all the lessons are described very well.

architectural airbrush - Classic Airbrush Techniques Book

If you ever accomplish the third chapter and will not have problem to render any object I would say you can call yourself a master. But wait there is fourth chapter too. Here you will dive into textures and photo retouching. Unfortunately you will find only basics about these topics as I think you will need to get a whole new book just for textures, so getting all of that into one chapter is almost impossible.

What do I think about this book?

In my vision if we’ve ever had to go to airbrush school (not just course but actual school) if that ever existed I would say this book is a must have to every student of the first grade. It gives you the basics of airbrush techniques in a format of a school book (and I mean it). I can actually see that authors of this book were trying to make it as simple as it gets and at the same time give readers as much as possible information. I think they have done a great job.

The Bonus

This is not actually a book but 11 pages of advices from Dave Hahn for everyone who wants to start business in Airbrush Tattoo.

Airbrush Tattoo – Business Startup Guide

tattoo - Classic Airbrush Techniques Book

Here you’ll will find all about equipment and materials for temporary tattoos, best stencils materials for this kind of airbrushing and how to work with them, how to prepare skin and how to take care of the tattoo. Also how to maintain the equipment and of course all about marketing opportunities.

I can’t tell you if this bonus will benefit you as I have no experience with temporary tattoo, especially how to do business with this kind of airbrushing. It is well written guide and maybe if you are interested in airbrush tattoos you will be happy to get it.


As mentioned earlier this is my subjective review. I don’t regret the money I’ve spent as there is actual value in this book. Every beginner starting to learn airbrush techniques should have a copy of this book among any other literature. If I’ve convinced you that you need this then go & grab you copy here.

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