So today we're back to more traditional territory with a quick article on how to paint wood grain. The examples here were painted onto a piece of 8″ x8″ MDF but could just as easily be reduced down slightly to fit on almost any model. Wooden steam tank? Titan? MDF buildings?
The first step then was to simply spray paint a nice even base coat of yellow, any yellow will do. I used VMC golden yellow.
I then mixed a little vallejo mahogany ink with thinner to make it less opaque and loaded it into the airbrush. The psi was set at around 30 and I coiled to airline around my wrist to keep it out of the way.
I then started making sweeping gestures across the surface, about a cm or 2 from the surface of the MDF. I hold the air open continuously and gently pull the trigger back and close it during each sweep to release the paint and make dagger strokes. Dagger strokes start thin, thicken in the middle and close to a point. A perfect technique to learn to achieve lettering and fine lines.
I gradually added more and more of these lines. Until a nice pattern was created. I don't really plan a design, it just grows organically and I go with whatever develops. To add extra texture I then flooded a few areas and before the ink dried I dragged at it with a large household brush. This started to define where the knots would end up.
I then mixed up some VMA burnt umber and started to add more definition. A few dark dots really make the knots stand out and sell the wood grain effect. I gave the surface a light gloss varnish at this point to add some oil paints. For this I just added a few dots and smears of burnt umber and then with a soft flat brush I blended and dragged these to blend them back into the grain.
At this point I decided to add some screws. Using a WFB blast template I used the inner circle as a template. I sprayed a little dark grey to the lower half, light grey to the top and then masked off a thin line across the middle which was sprayed with a very light grey and shaded black.
And it's that easy! I did a couple of test pieces. On one I applied oil paint streaks below the screws which I have not yet blended in. These will be dragged downwards and made more subtle one the oil has started to dry a little.
On the other test piece I masked off and sprayed dark lines to represent boards or panels. These lines were made less uniform by painting over them with a soft squirrel hair brush. The brush was gently rotated and twisted and allowed to drift outside the lines a little. I again added screws and this time darkened and weathered the wood a little with Russian green. (I added a little drying retardant) this was applied by flooding selected areas using the the airbrush and blending in with the household brush.
I'm now determined to go buy an Empire steam tank this weekend. I think it would look wonderful with wooden instead of metal armour. Photos to come next week!
So that's about it for this time. I hope that was of some use to you. As always if you have any questions or comments leave than below or find me on twitter @wrkbnhwrriors.
Don't forget to head over to The Dice Bag lady's site for the best in dice bags and wonderful gaming and drinking paraphernalia. Bendyboards for the best in folding gaming tables. And don't forget to visit the excellent Rosemary and co site for simply the best brushes around. I will be giving away a couple of sets of these fantastic brushes over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned.
Think you for reading and see you next time