How to Paint Metal Material


Hi, Meet me again on another tutorial. Today we gonna learn about how to draw realistic metal. It's gonna be perfect tutorial references for you who paint robot, car, and any other metal material objects.

But first, before we start, I suggest you download my brush set so you can read this tutorial easily, it's related with the brush and I use the whole set for making this tutorial. Here's the link:

Metal Material Types

Metal materials have the various characteristic. each has a different function, strength, texture, natural color, etc. each material are special.
I only attached some of them, select one of them and start to draw your metal artwork.

Note: though, you can paint metal in the same way. they have a unique characteristic, but the key is how they respond to the light source is the same.
In this tutorial, I only use one of the types of metal materials, you don't need to worry about, you can paint the other metal objects in the same way with this tutorial sample.

How the Light Work on Metal Material

Before we start, it's good to understand how light work.
This is "steel" material. there are 4 categories. the sunlight is the light source.
1.) Reflected Light: is the hardest part of direct sunlight reflection.
2.) Reflected Environment: is the reflection of the object atmosphere. The result depends on where the object located and what environment around the object that gives reflection.
3.) Shadow: is the dark side located.
4.) Reflection: is the reflection of sunlight on the ground reflection.


In this tutorial, I use the simple object so you can learn the basic efficient and focus. Yep, I paint a metal medieval helmet with the steel as the main material.

1.) SKETCH: I use a mapping pen to make a sketch. I plan to paint the steel metal medieval helmet. I name the layer "SKETCH".

2.) DRAW SHAPE OF COLOR: Block the whole shape of your helmet painting. I fill the shape with a light gray color. I name the layer (DRAW SHAPE OF COLOR) layer. I put the layer under the "SKETCH" layer.

Note: In this tutorial, I use only a single layer until the finish. So, you need to learn more about merging the layers. You can use the mentioned icon below to merging the layers into one.

After merging them. I change the layer name "MERGED". Then, I turn on (Lock Transparent Pixel) to make sure that my painting shape is ready to paint over.
(Lock Transparent Pixel): will lock your layer so you can freely stroke over the layer without getting missed.

3.) DECIDE THE LIGHT: the light source came from the right side. I made a new layer for this. I put the layer above of (MERGED) layer. Stay turn on your Lock Transparent Pixel on (MERGED) layer.

4.) DRAW THE SHADOW: Go back to (MERGED) layer and paint in it. Decide the shadow parts. use black/dark color for this step. I use Airbrush-soft for shading. it easy to make volume with the brush.

If your shadow part is done, merge again the 2 layers into one. Use the same way with STEP number 3. now, your single layer is ready to war. ^.^

5.) ADD MORE REFLECTED LIGHT: Now, to get more metal reflection effect, add softer reflection on your helmet. I use Airbrush-Hard for this step. the brush gives you soft both hard spray effect.

6.) SMUDGE THE STROKE: The technique is simple, you just need to smudge the strokes. you have the dark side and light part. the smudge gives you both. Smudge lives between dark and light part. I use my own brush creation for this part you can use the same way if you like.

7.) FINAL SHADOW: Use STEP number 4 in this way. it just repeats the step with the darker color. decide the shadow before finishing step. It'll help you to get a more realistic value.

8.) TEXTURING: to get realistic steel metal effect, I use some textured brush. 2 of them are in my brush set creation. Decide the texture part, use as you need.

9.) FINISHING: The part is always the last. I tidy the line, the shape, the volume in the final touch. If you want to get detailer result, use my brush creation. I use the Airbrush-soft fo the blurry effect, the Transparent brush for smudging the whole area.

How Light Work on Object

As you can see, The theory is easy to apply your metal object. try more to get a better result. Ganbatte!!! ^.^
I use the simple step to create steel metal effect. you can use the same way if you want to paint the other's material. but, some need more texture, colors, volume, and different characteristics.


Here's the comparison between them. All you need to do is change the steel globe into medieval helmet steel. the differences are about the shape.

Final Result

That's all for today, you can apply this step to the metal objects you want. just try some and do hesitate to tag me in on my Instagram: @awanndus.
See yaa. ^.^


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