Airbrush System and Handling Fundamentals (Part 1 of 4-Part Course)


After the resounding success of Julia’s Advance Your Airbrushing Zoom class in early 2024, she decided it was high time to expand and extend those lessons to everyone – and, thus, her four-part Airbrushing-Stenciling Intensive course was born! This course represents the sum-total of all the lessons she learned (often the hard way!) about airbrushing and stenciling on cookies while developing her JULIA-brand stencil line and related tools from 2016 to 2024. Though the overarching goal of this course is to help you become a more confident and proficient airbrusher-stenciler of cookies and a smarter consumer-user of airbrushing-stenciling tools, each of the four course parts (see “Notes” below) has distinct goals of its own.

This part (Part 1) lays the technical foundation needed to expertly control your airbrush system to ensure beautiful, professional-looking cookies every time. Julia also shares all she knows about various system components and their pros and cons to help you make the wisest possible purchase decisions. But, moreover, she divulges her best-kept secrets for achieving speckle-free spray and avoiding the classic headaches of underspray, overspray, pooling, and poor color commingling (unattractive color blending on cookies). While you may not think you need to know your compressor’s operating pressure or the difference between single- and dual-action airbrushes, Julia will convince you that you do! Getting tech-savvy in Part 1 means more sensational cookies in Parts 2 to 4!

Once you’ve purchased this lesson, you’ll automatically receive a receipt with a link to the downloadable course handout, which encompasses all four parts of this course. Specifically, it includes links to Julia’s preferred airbrush system components and stenciling supplies, a recap of the course’s key lessons, inspiration images, and more. Then, simply return to this page to view the tutorial as often and for as long as you like. If you are logged into the site, the sneak peek video above will disappear and be replaced with the full-length video. To log in, simply go to the upper right account area of the site (in laptop viewing mode), and enter the username and password you created at the time of purchase.


  1. The four parts of this course include:
    • Part 1: Airbrush System and Handling Fundamentals/with Troubleshooting and Routine Cleaning (YOU’RE HERE!)
    • Part 2: Starter Stencil Designs/Single- and Dual-Color Designs with up to One Mask/Layer (COMING SOON!)
    • Part 3: Advanced Stencil Designs/Multicolor Designs with up to Two Masks/Layers (COMING SOON!)
    • Part 4: Creative Embellishments/Going Off-Cookie with Airbrushing-Stenciling (COMING SOON!)
  2. As noted above, later in July and August, Julia will be releasing Airbrushing-Stenciling Intensive Parts 2 to 4, both as individual video tutorials and in product bundles. Please re-visit the “TUTORIALS” section of this site and the “MORE LIKE THIS” area below for anouncements of these releases. The latter area is empty now, but Julia promises to fill it as quickly as possible!


Skill Level: Beginner to advanced, as Julia steps through every detail; plus, Parts 1 to 4 are designed to be taken at your own pace and to be watched and re-watched as often as needed

Video Format: Professionally filmed and edited in studio setting

Video Length: 1:47:39

What You’ll Learn in Part 1 (4 Primary Topics):

  • Types of airbrush systems and their components, including:
    • function of four key system components (compressor, hose, hose-to-airbrush gun connection, and airbrush gun)
    • pros and cons of various types of each system component, along with Julia’s feature/brand preferences
    • demonstration of the impact of compressor pressure on airbrush spray quality
    • detailed compressor feature comparison to aid with purchase decisions
    • difference between single- vs. dual-action airbrush guns and their various pros and cons
    • detailed airbrush gun feature comparison to aid with purchase decisions
  • Key controls and modes of operation, including:
    • discussion of three primary determinants of the nature/quality of airbrush spray (i.e., compressor output pressure, pullback on airbrush trigger, and airbrush distance from target)
    • difference between Julia’s two primary modes of operation (precision-control airbrushing and shading)
  • Troubleshooting, including how to avoid cookiers’ five biggest nemeses:
    • Underspray
    • Overspray
    • Poor color commingling (with basic color wheel theory)
    • Pooling
    • Speckled spray
  • Routine airbrush cleaning

What You’ll Receive:

  • Forever-access to Part 1 video recording on this site
  • Detailed 39-page course handout (for Parts 1 to 4) including:
    • Course goals
    • Inspiration images (primarily for Parts 2 to 4)
    • Airbrushing-stenciling supply list with source links
    • Recap of key lessons in each course part
    • Compressor and airbrush gun feature comparison charts and other video graphics
    • Julia’s preferred system components with source links
    • Troubleshooting tips
    • Additional resources to advance your airbrushing-stenciling skills
  • Access to Julia via email or Superpeer for course Q&A (at any time, though please allow 48 hours for a response)

Video Outline (Time Stamp):

  • Course and Part 1 introductions (0:00 – 3:99)
  • Tool overview (4:00 – 11:48)
  • Types of airbrush systems and their components (11:49 – 56:43)
  • Key controls and modes of operation (56:44 – 1:10:53)
  • Troubleshooting (1:10:54 – 1:36:49)
    • Underspray (1:11:49 – 1:20:19)
    • Overspray (1:20:20 – 1:24:30)
    • Pooling (1:24:31 – 1:26:09)
    • Poor color commingling (1:26:10 – 1:33:49)
    • Speckled spray (1:33:50 – 1:36:49)
  • Routine airbrush cleaning (1:36:50 – 1:45:31, with a crazy blooper at 1:41:52!)
  • Closing remarks (1:45:32 – 1:47:39)

Purchase Agreement: Julia M. Usher and Julia M. Usher, LLC are the sole copyright owners of this video tutorial and handout. Reproduction, distribution, resale, and/or any other use for financial gain of this video or handout, in whole or in part, are strictly prohibited. However, as the purpose of Julia’s tutorials is to teach, any knowledge gleaned from this video and handout can be used to make cookies or other products for either personal use or sale. In purchasing this tutorial, you acknowledge that you agree to these terms of use.

Julia’s Return Policy: Due to the online nature of this tutorial, all sales are final.

Video Production: Two 5:7 North, June 2024

Music: Carefree by Kevin MacLeod via Creative Commons license

Additional information

Tutorial Type

Video Tutorial

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced


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