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Woodland Scenic Base – Painting.

Let’s talk about painting the woodland base I built for the Viking’s Chief. This Is not gonna be step by step tutorial. I will talk more about what and why I did it, not how I did it. Focusing on my thought process more than brush strokes. I will discuss separate parts of the base: the trunk, bark, mushrooms and rotting foliage on the ground.

If you want to know how I made this base, the please have a look at Woodland Scenic Base – Pt 1, found here.

This article is a remastered repost from my old blog twistedbrushes.

Even though the piece of heather I used already looked pretty much like a fallen tree, I decided to paint it anyway. For one thing, it lacked some discolourations and delicate moss here and there. But mostly because I thought it would look weird next to a painted miniature if left unpainted. Painting them unifies the whole piece.

So first, I took care of the naked parts of the trunk. Using GW washes, GW Graveyard Earth and P3 ‘Jack Bone, I covered certain areas in paint, creating stronger contrast. It also added some colour variations that could appear in a wood exposed to the weather for a long time.

The damaged parts of the front were a bit more tricky. It was challenging to reach the deepest recesses with a brush. I introduced dark washes and some Catachan Green (GW) using a big old brush. It emulated moss that could find its way there.

For this part, I used primarily dark brown, some GW washes, a bit of P3 ‘Jack Bone and lots of GW Catachan Green. I used Brown washes to deepen the shadows and Jack Bone to highlight the colour and add extra contrast. I then painted thin layers of green, mostly under the trunk and in the recesses, to mimic moss. It often grows on older, and especially fallen trees. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, google ‘old bark moss’, and you can find many examples.

Below, you can see various stages of painting, from the very natural unpainted wood to the final version. I decided to post only one set of photos for both the trunk and bark. They would be very similar; you can see all the painting steps here.

Mushrooms are the exception on this base. They were mostly left as they were in a natural state. I was afraid that too much paint would cover the natural pattern of the tobacco stalks. They reminded me so much of the actual mushrooms, so I wanted to preserve them.

I didn’t really paint them as such. I only used some GW washes (brown and green) to better unify the colour with the rest of the base. You can still see the natural texture and the thin stripes of light and dark colours. Adding the washes discoloured them only slightly, making them look more like a part of the scene. But as the shrooms are pretty alive, unlike the fallen trunk they grow and feed on, I kept them in warmer colours.

Below is a photo of shrooms just after I glued them to the base and after applying washes. In the third frame, under a different angle, you should be able to see the pattern I was talking about. Darker and brighter lines create some visual interest and emulate the real mushrooms.

I painted the fern mostly with an airbrush. I used Catachan Green as a base and some GW Desert Yellow and Snakebite Leather mixture to do the highlights. For the shadows, I used various GW washes. I have no photos from painting this part (even though I’m pretty sure I took some), so you need to take my word for it:D

I painted these parts using the same colours as on the bark. Dark brown washes and some gently dry brushed ‘Jack Bone to create contrast and unify these parts with the rest of the base. Then, I used some green washes to emulate moss that started to grow on the leaves. I focused the green mostly under the trunk, at the front, and in deep shadows, where the moss would grow the fastest.

There is also some amount of moss in the open areas. If the leaves are laying there for a few months, starting to rot already, there should be some moss on them as well.
The photo below could be better, but you should see some greens on the ground.

And that’s all I could tell you about painting this base.
Here you can read about how I built the base.

The only additional tip I can give you when working on a project like this is to look at how nature does it. It’s the best way to make your bases look epic and natural. So, next time you are out and about, look for things you could recreate on your bases. Or at least Google extensively to build an image base to draw from when you are working.

Here how the base looks finished.

Thank you for reading about my process of painting the woodland base for the Viking’s Chief. I hope you found my insights and tips helpful for your own projects. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and let your creativity guide you. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I’ll happily answer them. Happy painting!

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