How to use Daler-Rowney inks with an airbrush?

Step 1

Test and choose your design

Test the sprays on paper first, and decide on the motive you want to paint. Carleen went for a portrait.

Step 2

Draw the outlines

Draw the outlines of your portrait with graphite pencil and correct until you are happy with the result.

Step 3

Re-draw the outlines with markers

Re-draw the outlines of your portrait with markers. Carleen is using FW Mixed Media Markers filled with FW Ink Black with a chisel nib 1-3mm.

Step 4

Set up your airbrush

Once your outline is ready, set your airbrush on 30-40 PSI for ink, depending on the recommendations of your airbrush producer for ink. 

To get used to your airbrush use a blank piece of paper and switch in-between bold thin lines. Paint some basic shapes such as hearts and try to switch the line thickness while painting. 

Decide on the transparency of your colours. Daler-Rowney offers different inks ranging from Aquafine (transparent watercolour ink), FW Ink (semi-transparent ink) to System3 Ink (opaque ink) and load your airbrush.

Step 5

Start filling up your outline

Start with filling up your portrait with the lighter colours and set shadows with a darker tone.

Make sure to clean your airbrush head with every new colour you use to guarantee colour brilliance and a good air flow.

Step 6

Create highlights

Once your portrait is fill-up set black and white highlights for more depth and reflections.

Step 7

Correct with markers

Correct details with your markers and sign your artwork.

Congratulations you are done with your first airbrush portrait. Practice makes best, so stay creative and your skills with the airbrush will improve quickly. 

Most important, enjoy the process of creation!

System3 Acrylic Ink

Daler-Rowney System3 Acrylic Inks are multi-surface, pigment-based opaque inks, ideal for mixed media and multi-technique applications. The System3 Acrylic Inks are water-based, water-resistant when dry and can be used inside as well as outdoor.


FW Acrylic Ink

Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Inks are acrylic based, pigmented, water-resistant artists' inks with a high degree of lightfastness and intermixability. FW Acrylic Ink can be used straight out of the dropper, or diluted to achieve the most subtle of tones.


Aquafine Watercolour Ink

Daler-Rowney Aquafine Watercolour Inks are higly saturated, pigment-based inks that are perfect for a wide range of uses and techniques. The Aquafine Inks can be applied directly using the included dropper or use brushes, paint markers, technical pens or airbrushes.


About the artist

Carleen De Sözer is widely regarded as one of London’s most skilled and diverse aerosol and airbrush artists.