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Creating wood grain effect


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I'm trying to create a grained effect on the banner pole of a figurine. The basic wood is brown - but looks very flat. The pole is smooth, so I doubt that a sepia wash is going to help any. Does anyone have any tips? Thanks

Add the texture by scratching the pole with a wire-brush or possibly a file. Then do the sepia wash, brown liner, etc.

 

You might consider this: a 28mm woodcutter chopped down a 45mm (caliper) tree, a 28mm sawyer cut the trunk up into lumber, a 28mm turner used a 28mm lathe to make (literally turn) that piece of lumber into a 28mm pole, then a 28mm woodwright drilled, fitted, and capped the pole, making it a bannerpole, and then he handed it to a limner who finished the job by painting and laquering the bannerpole.

 

If the sculpt has a smooth, even, untextured (brass-rod-like) finish it represents the product of the craftsmen in the preceding paragraph. It could be any color, probably one that complemented the colors of the banner.

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Yes, but even smoothly-sanded wood has wood grain. It doesn't have to be textured. I am also very interested in any suggestions for wood grain painting on a smooth (non-textured) surface. My current project involves a staff of sorts that I made from a copper rod. Right now it's painted plain brown, like Lord Karik's described banner pole.

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True, but smoothly sanded wood that has been painted will not show any wood grain, one that has been lacquered probably won't either. If you really think about wood grain and the scale of the miniatures you are not likely to actually see any wood grain at all. However, if I have to create wood grain then rather than scratching it with a file take a razor saw (the one that comes in a lot of x-actgo sets) it has a very fine tooth to it and run it down the length of the pole. Lightly buff or file it afterward to remove the burrs and you will have something that resembles wood grain enough for our purposes. Although the pictures don't show the detail very well in the last picture of this sequence you can see that technique in the porch in this piece: Reaper Halloween

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The 1st article I remember seeing on this topic over at CMoN: http://www.coolminiornot.com/articles/1487-painting-woodgrain-on-a-smooth-surface .

 

I generally will do the usual highlighting/shading over the basecoat and using a fine tipped brush lay down some thinned Brown Liner for the woodgrain. I'll add some stronger highlighting on the under surface of the woodgrain lines. Here is one I did recently:

WIP6-1.jpg

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Most woods do not have a visible grain at the kind of distances where they appear the size of miniatures, so having no grain is entirely defensible. That said, wood grain looks good, so I often paint it on.

 

To be visible, you must greatly exaggerate the size and (often, anyway) the contrast of the grain. I usually paint the wood a blonde color, then streak the wood with a medium to dark brown. I recommend that you do a google search on "wood grain" and look at the images for the grain pattern. On a rod, most of the grain will be parallel to the rod with the occasional loop back where the branch wasn't straight or where there was a knot.

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Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to take a 'before' photo, but here's the 'after', having scored it with a file and modeling knife and then done a sepia wash. I'm really happy with the result. Please excuse the lousy quality - I desperately need to work on my macro skills!

Glad it worked. Does your camera have this symbol next to a button or appearing on a menu someplace?

macro_symbol_packshot.gif

This symbol means macro photography mode and step 1 is to get it activated if the camera has that option. If you decide to go for another the photo, put the file used in the shot as well, it would be interesting to see the implement that did the trick.

 

The symbol is supposed to be a flower.

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On future figures, you can avoid carving woodgrain by painting it on.

The spear-shaft on my rendition of Anatole (with the blue background) is smooth but has painted woodgrain, as is the sword-blade on Alastriel. I work dark-to-light when painting woodgrain -- lines of the lighter color over a darker base. The lines should be roughly parallel but not straight and not uniform, because a tree doesn't grow exactly the same from year to year; occasionally two lines can diverge and a third line can start in the angle between them (or one line might end and the two lines on either side of it can converge to close the gap), indicating where the surface of the wood has cut across a branch or something like that. Then I usually go over again with another highlight to give the grain a little more depth.

 

Just look at real woodgrain until you understand what the light and dark areas represent, and you'll be painting plausible woodgrain in no time.

 

Good luck!

 

Derek

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Thanks Derek, but this presupposes a level of craftsmanship which I have yet to attain to :upside:

On future figures, you can avoid carving woodgrain by painting it on.

 

take a piece of sprue...or any long round plastic piece and practice painting woodgrain on it. Thats how I started and it looked horrid the first couple attempts....then once you are able to make a nice looking fake wood pattern on the large sprue, then move down a size. Eventually after some practice you will be painting fake woodgrain like it is second nature.

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