Every day I try to put in a little time on this current piece. Having recently purchased a floor-lamp style OttLite I can work almost anywhere and anytime. With the full spectrum daylight bulb it allows me to work in the evenings or under poor lighting conditions. Having said that there’s still nothing like a great big, north facing window to work by. Anyway, I’ve been finding it to be a lot of fun to create the look of age and rust. For the door plate, I began by taking a little time to identify all the nuances of color within the rusty area and I came up with quite a few. My technique for doing this was to map in some of those colors randomly around the plate and gradually build them by scribbling, overlapping and eventually blend them all with a lighter yellow, gray or rust color so as to bring the colors together but still create the appearance of the many. The colors I used were all the shades of grey both warm and cool, nougat, raw umber, burnt sienna, burnt umber, van dyke brown, burnt ochre and sanguine (all Faber Castel Polychromos). Where I needed some areas darker I used dark sepia and the lightest areas I used light yellow ochre and Naples yellow as well as the white of the paper in a few spots. It’s also important to take careful notice of all the tiny shapes and highlight areas of your reference photo to create the realism. Soft subtle highlights are harder to see in your mind that bold, bright highlights but they’re there and you need to include them. This is a really good practice for creating soft areas that encompass hints of many colors. If you take a piece of practice paper, pick out 5 or 6 colors you might see together, say in the water or grass or sky and begin by scribbling the various colors on your paper and slowly try to marry them all up to create an esthetically harmonized blend that has no beginning and no end and yet each color can be picked out.