Hello everyone, in this tutorial you are going to learn to create a rusty iron statue out of a portrait. I assume that you have basic knowledge of photoshop like masking, adding adjustment layers, blending options and other tools because I’m not going to explain how to create them in detail, we just focus on how to achieve the effect. Please use the image from this tutorial. The values of adjustment layers and other effects we are going to use in this tutorial can’t be generalized since each image has its own unique histogram (colors, darks and lights). So I suggest, you use the image from here to practice the tutorial, so that you can experiment with different values on your own images later on.

Final Result:

how to turn man into rusted iron statue



Textures (rust iron images)

Brush (Download)


Open the portrait image in  photoshop.

Using pen tool, select the man from the image and mask the background.

Create a new layer just below the active image layer and apply white and  black radial gradient.


Place the rusty cast iron image.

Using pen tool select head and neck part of the man.

Right click the path and select “Make selection”.

Now, select the rusty cast iron image layer and click on “Add Layer Mask” or Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection

extracting shadows:

In the next few steps, we are going to extract shadows from the man image and apply it to the rusty iron image to give facial details.


Duplicate the man image and place the layer just above the rusty iron layer.

Desaturate the image (Ctrl + Shift + U).

Add “Levels” adjustment layer with following properties.

Using Polygonal Lasso Tool make selection of eyes and teeth.

Apply “Gaussian blur” with Radius 15 pixels.

Now, merge the desaturated image layer and “levels” adjustment layer. (select the two layers and press Ctrl + E)  And name the layer as “Shadows”

Select the “Shadows” layer and set blending mode to “Multiply” and the result should be like this…..


Now, we separate skin texture :

Duplicate the “shadows” layer, move it to  the top.

Go to Filter>>other>>High pass

Set blending mode to “Linear Light”. This will add some sharpness to the image.

Mask eyes, teeth and beard.


Enhance Highlights and Shadows.

Create a new layer at the top, fill it with gray color(#808080) and set blending mode to “overlay”

Using “Dodge tool(O)” and “Burn tool(O)” paint over the image to improve highlights and shadows respectively.


Group all layers (ctrl + G) except the background image and the original man image.

Name the grouped folder as “effect1”.

Using the brush provided in the link, mask out the unwanted areas of effect1.


Lets add some shadows to the edges of the skin.

Go to “effect1” folder layer, Ctrl + left click on the mask.

Create a new layer at the top and fill the selection with gray color (#808080) and set blending mode to “overlay”.

Add layer effects : Inner shadow and Outer glow with following properties.


The result is a bit dark, lets improve the lighting and sharpness.


Add patches to the statue:

Create a new layer at the top.

Select the brush provided in the link with gray color (#808080).

Set blending mode of the layer to “overlay”.

Add “Drop shadow” layer style with following properties.

Now, brush over the image for patches.


In this final step, lets add rust leaks to the image to enhance the effect:

Import rust leak images into the scene and position them at the edges of the masked effect.

Set blending mode to “multiply”.

Mask unwanted areas of the rust leaks in the following way to get the final result.

how to turn man into rusted iron statue

I hope that you find this tutorial useful.


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Category: Photoshop

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