Airbrush Baseball Helmet Rips And Tears Design

I have seen a few inquiries requesting a step by step doing rips and tears and did a quickie today on a baseball helmet and thought it may help some folks. This was done on the back of a catcher helmet. Hope it helps someone. TABG

draw the design

1) Drew out a pattern on a low tack vinyl masking material.


cut the design out

2) Cut out the inner portion that will be painted with what is “breaking” through the helmet. Save this portion as you will need it later.


airbrush white into the design

3) Apply the mask and begin painting the inner portion (a baseball) as needed.


start airbrushing color

4) Continuing the inner painting.


start airbrushing detail

5) More detail on the inner portion, threads or seam on the baseball.

airbrushing drop shadows

6) Finished the inner portion. At this stage, keeping in mind of where your light is coming from, spray in some drop shadows which the torn portions will cast on the ball (or whatever you are doing in this portion). This part will give a nice depth to your design when finished.


airbrushing folds

7) With the inner portion completed, remove the “fold back” portions of the tears. This part will give the illusion that the surface is folding back or curving back. This part really gives the 3-D look and gives some nice depth.


masking inside the design

8) Replace the inner portion that was cut our in step 2. Spray in the color on the fold back portion remembering light source, using highlights and shadows to give illusion of the material “folding” over.


adding to drop shadows

9) Remove the masking over the inner area. Then go back over the drop shadows to darken as needed. At this time also check all of the edges where the masking may not have lined up properly. On the left of the image you will see some white where the mask was misaligned. Spray in some shadows to cover up any of those ugly “lines” that may be left.


design completed

10) Remove all masking and make any touch ups needed to eliminate any lines that may still exist. All that’s left is to apply a clear coat.
The most important step is #9 as this eliminates the ugly separations that show where the masking was. Blending is the key to have a somewhat realistic 3-D look.
Keep in mind that this was done on a small area,(about 4 inches) so the level of detail is limited. The larger the area that you are working with, the more detail you will be able to achieve.
Good luck and have fun.

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