Do you have any tips for por­tray­ing rust ef­fects?

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Ai­dan Le­froy, New Zealand

Nick replies

Paint­ing grotty sur­faces is fun. Grime, scratches, dents, mould and, of course, rust. I’m us­ing ArtRage for its sten­cils and pa­per tex­tures, and I want to tackle a long-for­got­ten gar­dener drone, on a ne­glected rooftop gar­den. I’m af­ter a dated ro­bot de­sign, so I Google im­ages of old lawn­mow­ers and paste ref­er­ence im­ages on the work space.

For the scene to work the back­ground needs to have a sim­i­lar level of fin­ish, at least in places. An­other ArtRage ad­van­tage for me is the fact that I’ve taken time to build a few cus­tom sticker brushes (like an im­age hose). They en­able me to quickly block in fo­liage and such.

Once a gen­eral level of fin­ish is built up, and a light pat­tern es­tab­lished, it in­forms how de­tailed you need to paint your rust. First I paint the ro­bot loosely, as though it’s grimy but only hint­ing at dark rust colours. Then I du­pli­cate his paint layer and lock its trans­parency. I go to the drop down menu on the layer marker and open Edit Layer Tex­ture. By pick­ing a coarse pa­per and ad­just­ing the grain, you can paint with that tex­ture freely with a suit­able chalk set­ting.

For any paint­ing to work there needs to be a con­sis­tent level of fin­ish. Paint­ing tex­tures on var­i­ous sur­faces can help in this re­spect. Keep their scale in mind.

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