What is airbrush in Photoshop

How do I get that uneven airbrushed effect that resembles old art deco posters?

Realize that everything created before 1980/1985 was made by hand. So much of the texture you see is likely coming straight from the canvas or medium, and mimicking traditional elements can often be challenging in digital workflows.

For the second example image ......

I think you can achieve something similar by simply adding noise to the areas after painting.

What I did was get a set of brushes with texture dynamics enabled and a basic emergency pattern as a texture:

(To see this image better, right-click / Control-click and select Open Image in New Tab / Window.)

I then selected part of the image and brushed the darker color on a new layer. I then used Filter> Add Noise ... to add noise to these painted sections:

Also, I put a texture layer on top of everything that uses noise / distress texture in a very subtle way to add more "canvas" texture.

While this may not be perfect and it still needs some tweaking to be refined, I think this is a good way to go after it. You just can't get all of this wonderful grain and texture with just brush adjustments.

When I was done painting I would probably also try a new composite layer with a very subtle light effects filter to add a touch of even lighting and depth to the entire piece.


Interesting question, excellent answer.

Alan Gilbertson

Good answer, not least because it underscores the point that often multiple levels and multiple steps are required to achieve an accurate end result. The amazing tools we work with give rise to the idea that there is always a one-off solution when it rarely happens in practice.