Whenever we create a new album cover, it is always a methodical process of research and ideas, that come together to help best create a piece of art to complement the music. On the new album for the Americana / Roots band, Carolina Still, we were talking with the lead singer and guitarist Justin Casey about doing something very reminiscent of the lyrics visually, while also working a bit of family history into the story. Our concept is based upon the lyrics to the song, "The Color Of Rust" along with an old family farm house on their property in eastern North Carolina.
We knew that by doing a process illustration on some old barn tin from the property we could add a sense of authenticity to the visual side of the album and ground it within a folk art setting. Below are a few reference photos to show how we put it all together along with the actual painting of the cover.
If you want to paint on any old metal surface, be sure to properly clean any rust scale that could flake off before you start. Getting the paint to adhere and last the test of time, is the ultimate goal for preservation. After any excess rust is cleaned off with a wire brush, mineral spirits work great as a cleaning solution to remove excess grit and grime. At this point, you have the option to lay down a base layer of paint or to let the rust and age of the metal show through. Personally, we enjoy seeing the old metal come through as the vintage look was part of our illustration concept.