The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Airbrush

An airbrush uses a process of nebulization which allows the air operated tool to spray various media including ink and dye, but most often paint onto surfaces. An airbrush works by passing a stream of compressed air through a venturi, which creates a local reduction in air pressure that allows paint to be pulled up from an interconnected reservoir at normal atmospheric pressure. The high velocity of the air atomizes the paint into very tiny droplets as it blows past a very fine paint-metering component. The paint is carried onto paper or other surface.

Page 1 OF 1

Margaret Leighton as Flora Macdonald
by Anthony Wysard
published 1949
NPG D279

Page 1 OF 1

Get Creative

Enter our Jubilee family competition

Submit your family’s recreation of a Royal portrait to win some Jubilee goodies

Enter now

Develop your art skills

Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.

Improve your skills

Hold Still

Hold Still photography workshop

Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise. 

Watch the video

Draw Like a Renaissance Master

Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.

Improve your technique