To rust up the armour, I started by applying some Vallejo natural steel acrylic paint with the end of one of the skewers I use to hold pieces while painting. By carefully dotting on the chipping you can also build up a really nice texture which will help sell the rust effect with the oils. For placement of the chips, I used the swirly patterns of the pre-weathering as a guide, aiming for where the swirls meet hard edges which could be knocked or scraped.Learning from my experience with the oil paints, I’m starting with the Cadmium Orange oil paint. I thinned it right down with mineral spirits and used a fine brush to dot it on where the chipping indicated. The orange is pretty strong, but we know it’s going to build up the effect and add wonderful variety to the rust. Here the burnt umber is still wet. Once the cadmium orange was dry I started adding in small amounts of very thin burnt umber to enhance the effect. It tones down the cadmium orange nicely, and adds body to the rust. I was careful to let it drip down nicely with gravity to add to the effect. The thrusters also needed some weathering. I used just the burnt umber and spread it from the edge in streaks with the end of a skewer. Moving onto the legs we can see they’re getting a lot more rust treatment. To build up the effect I make sure an area is damp with mineral spirits and then add tiny drops of thinned paint which spread out in a “wet-in-wet” organic way. I’ll have to stain up some of the flat areas where the rust would flow down with gravity….…but the first step is to just build up the rust texture. To allow me to hold the piece and not disturb the paint, I’m doing the bottom of the torso section first, and then when that’s nice and dry I’ll do the top. Same with the arms – I’m doing them in sections so as to let the paint dry and not be disturbed as I handle the pieces. The inside of the legs are much less heavily rusted than the outer sections, but still they’ll need some staining once the body of rust is in place.The torso is progressing well, but the top section only has the cadmium orange in place and will need the burnt umber once the skirt section is dry.
The oil paint rust effect is developing nicely. Here’s what I’m learning:
- Use thick acrylic paint to not just chip but to build up texture
- Keep the oil paint thin and build up layers
- Start with the brightest colour – in this case Cadmium Orange
- Once the bright colour is thoroughly dry, add the darker colours carefully. I’m using Burnt Umber.
- Dampen an area with mineral spirits to allow the thin paint to flow out organically
- Don’t be afraid to wipe of a section and try again. Keep the oil paint “live” by not top-coating until complete
- Don’t forget to have fun!