View Full Version : Airbrush make up vs brush and sponge make up

10-19-2011, 07:48 PM
For you make up people out there which do you prefer the old way with sponges and brushes or airbrush? If airbrush, how much time does it save you is it much quicker this way???

Thoughts? Thank you. I am practicing with sponge and brushes but I might try to take up airbrushing.


Allen H
10-19-2011, 07:55 PM
Airbrushing is WAY faster. Both have their merits but I prefer airbrush. Speed is king at my show- we have a large numbers of actors to get ready- also there is a cleanliness factor. The airbrush never touches the actors face.

Killer Katie
10-19-2011, 09:09 PM
I prefer having the basecoat airbrushed, and sometimes shadows. After that, I am exclusively brush and sponge. I feel that the base is quick and gets the actors to me quickly so I can detail. I personally like the sharpness that a brush brings.

10-19-2011, 09:53 PM
Great opinions thanks! Is there any resource for seeing pics of said make up work?


Allen H
10-19-2011, 11:36 PM
I sell an airbrush make up DVD at stiltbeaststudios.com Its actually 2 DVDs.
and here is a small gallery of pics- just poke around in my photobucket

10-20-2011, 08:42 AM
First I have no idea what I'm doing but I did pick up Allens DVD and we have used airbrush all season. It is quick and cost effective. I can see the pros on both sides but for speed...airbrush.


10-20-2011, 09:02 PM
I recommend airbrush and Allen's DVD We recently went to help with zombie makeup for a short film at a high school we got a call that they were starting make up and we where still a half hour away when we arrived they had finished with the first zombie and that was it. We plugged in the compressor and blasted through the next 20- 30 actors and then finished out the first zombie because they had only managed to do a center part of his face and nothing to his arms. With practice and stencils you can get awesome sharp detail.

Gore Galore
10-21-2011, 06:53 AM
I think every resource is vital to a "Haunter's tool box".
I would definitely buy Allen's DVD but there are more you should look at investing in.
Check out www.moviefxmag.com for a great zombie makeup on master class volume 2.
It is a great resource.

Matt Marich
10-21-2011, 07:19 AM
For pure volume and speed in getting 30 or more actors ready in time to open, no doubt, airbrush. It, for me, tends to look very soft, so I like mixing both techniques equally. I also remove some of the airbrushed make-up with a textured sponge dipped in alchohol. You can also pray through textured screens for interesting effects. This gives you some nice blotchy texture for extreme decay. I know alot of you use acrylic paint, but you must be aware that many of these paints, although water based, are toxic. There is a book called artist beware, it covers some of this. B e afraid od cadnium colors especially. I woulod love to hear what people use for spraying with, what brand, etc?

I tend to use Paasche H brushes for basing, they are easy to clean out. For the detail. I use the Iawata Revolution, or Paasche VL.

10-21-2011, 03:18 PM
Airbrush is clearly the speed winner. You can get close to that kind of speed if you work on your face painting and perform something close to the wolf brothers 5 minute faces routine. That requires a lot more skill than an airbrush though.

I have done shows of 50 made up actors and shows of 10. I still, even with the big crowds like to mix up my materials. I can’t get those great long thin pull drip lines with an airbrush like you can with RMG or an alcohol based makeup. For the show I run now we mix it up very heavily. I don’t really like clowns in airbrush base but a fast zombie or gore job can be very effective with an airbrush.

I would also love to hear what products people are using. I am back to just good old Mehron with Graftobian for accents. I was using acrylics for a while, but with the safety concerns stopped. On thing that was not brought up for acrylics is also have to consider that with the atomized airbrush particles an acrylic in the eye could be really bad. Mehron water based is going to be a heck of a lot better to wash out and has a lower risk factor there. (trust me I blasted myself in both eyes with black doing on own makeup Saturday night. Not fun, but I lived. Don't instruct your crew and apply your shit before a show.) Just me opinion though…

Gun wise I love my Iwata revolution guns. I would list them as my best airbrush investment in 10 years.

BTW... great photos!! We need more but you can see how we don't really stick to one style from the photos from the 1st we put on our website - http://www.innerfears.com/photos.htm

10-23-2011, 06:52 PM
I used sponge and brush exclusively for many years because I could not justify the cost of airbrush equipment, but last year I bought an airbrush machine because I needed the speed, and I like to coverage I can get for the base coat with an airbrush.

I now use two stations for airbrush, and then send them to detail where we use a combination of brush and sponge and other various apparatus. Both have great merits, but when you have a lot of actors to get done quickly, airbrush is the best way to speed up production