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 Weathering/Staining Stripwood with Gouache
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MikeC
Administrator

USA
21584 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2007 :  9:13:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This past Monday Chuck Doan posted an update to his incredible "Big Fordson makeover" thread (http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17079&whichpage=3). In his update he described how he mixed gouache with Bragdon's powders to achieve a completely realistic color and texture to the PTO pulley face.

In my reply to him, I mentioned that I have been using gouache to weather and stain stripwood. (I started using gouache and waterpaint pigments a couple of years ago, when I was building Quincy's Salvage.)

Yesterday, I got a couple of inquiries about how I use it, with a request for elaboration. So here it is.

First off, gouache (usually pronounced "gwash") is a special waterpaint pigment designed to be opaque or semi-transparent rather than transparent when applied. (Ordinary watercolors are "transparent" and allow the paper or undercoat to show through.) It can be thinned with a variety of liquids, though water is the most common. Packaged in tubes like watercolor pigments and oil paints, it comes in a variety of colors.

For the stripwood on Quincy's salvage barn (in the photos below), I decided I wanted a heavily weathered, unpainted appearance, such as I often see on barns that have stood for several decades. They are usually gray-brown to gray-black after long exposure to the elements. To that end, I first stained the stripwood in one of my acrylic paint stains to get the base brown color. Next, I made up a thin stain of Ceramcoat's "Barnwood" and their acrylic thinner and randomly brushed and dry-brushed it on the stripwood. The object was to allow the brown color show through the gray stain.

The final step was to squeeze out a small amount of gouache - I used Winsor & Newton's "Ivory Black" for this - and add a few drops of Solvaset (the decal setting solution) to it. I didn't actually mix the two together - rather, I got a small dab of gouache on the tip of my brush, lightly wiped it once on a paper towel, and then dipped it at the edge of the Solvaset. Then I lightly wisked the brush up and down each piece of stripwood, making no attempt to get even coverage. Again, the aim was to get the variations in color of aging, weathered wood that is common on barns and other outbuildings. As the brush began to dry out, I reloaded it with gouache and Solvaset and kept going until all of the stripwood pieces were "weathered." The end result was a semi-transparent black stain that still let the base brown and barnwood gray show through. I was pleased with how it turned out.

I used this same technique last year when I was building my "Tie Hacker's Cabin" diorama and was pleased with the results on those structures as well.

Oh - the reason I used Solvaset instead of water was that I had already scribed the stripwood for grain. I figured the Solvaset wouldn't close the grain back up, whereas the water probably would, and I'd have to redo it all again. As it turned out, I was right. The Solvaset worked great!





This 3rd photo is of a shed on the Quincy's diorama. Here I used Winsor & Newton's "Indian Red" watercolor pigment for the secondary stain (over the base brown) and then Winsor & Newton's "Red Ochre" gouache for the final weathered appearance. The techniques were the same as I described earlier.



And that's how I use gouache. It's just one more way to color wood, and it works for me.

bpate
Fireman

Australia
3090 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2007 :  10:39:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much for the detailed description Mike. You have obtained excellent results with the technique. This one goes in my reference file.
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AVRR-PA
Fireman

USA
5005 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  07:10:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit AVRR-PA's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi, Mike -- thanks!

Read it, printed it, hole-punched it, and indexed it. Next step is to talk to one my artist tenants - she uses gouache and can suggest local sources.

I'm anxious to try it - after I get back from Maine.

Don
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PaulS
Crew Chief

USA
812 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  07:20:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

Thanks for the info and tutorial on how to use gouache. Like others, I've filed it away to try at some point.

Good stuff and Thanks again,
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George D
Moderator

USA
16811 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  08:04:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the good information, Mike. I'm going to give it a try.

George

Fly Army
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Dutchman
Administrator

USA
33320 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  08:15:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

You've certainly obtained a great look with that technqiue. Like the others, I have cut and pasted your instructions into my "Modeling Tips" folder.

Bruce
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MikeC
Administrator

USA
21584 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  09:49:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys. I'm glad you found the info to be of potential use.

Don, Michaels carries gouache, although my local store has only 3 colors in stock. Dick Blick (www.dickblick.com) has a full line of colors by several vendors. It's worth noting that Daler-Rowney (one of the vendors) has a "designer" line of gouache that includes 3 shades of cool gray, 3 shades of neutral gray, and 3 shades of warm gray. I haven't bought/tried them yet, but I keep thinking that having some of the grays on hand with the umbers, siennas, and Ivory Black might be a good thing for future weathering projects.

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RichBeau
Fireman

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  11:06:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm just gonna hav ta quit this place!!!!
Just as I learn one new thing someone else presents another cool idea!
Thanks a lot!
--Rich B.
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hvig
Crew Chief

USA
986 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  11:11:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit hvig's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much Mike. I keep wondering what other tricks you have up your sleeve. They all seem to produce wondrous results.

How did you produce those nail holes? They look much more precise and clean edged than I get with the pounce wheel or a T pin.
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Danny Head
Fireman

USA
1889 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  11:24:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great info Mike! Thanks for sharing this! Danny
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Chuck Doan
Fireman

USA
1560 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  11:42:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent results Mike! Thanks for the info, it is going into my reference file. It hadn't occurred to me to try it on wood.[:-bouncy]

CD
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KVRailfan
Crew Chief

Canada
790 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  12:30:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit KVRailfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Another great bit of artistic ingenuity from a Master! My reference book (books?) is getting thicker by the day [:-eyebrows] !

Steve
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wvrr
Fireman

6658 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  12:35:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit wvrr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Mike! I've bookmarked it, too. Terrific results.

Chuck
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akimmons
Fireman

USA
1436 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  12:58:37 PM  Show Profile  Send akimmons an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Beautiful work from a "busy man." Thanks for sharing!

Arnold Kimmons
General Manager
Royal and Edisto Railroad

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=49360
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GreggW
Fireman

USA
1324 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  1:02:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike,

This method really gives a great look. I need to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!!

Gregg
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MikeC
Administrator

USA
21584 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2007 :  2:38:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again, thanks for the comments, everyone. If some of you try using gouache, I'd like to see a photo or two of your results with any feedback or info on variations you may have tried.

quote:
Originally posted by hvig

How did you produce those nail holes? They look much more precise and clean edged than I get with the pounce wheel or a T pin.



Normally, I use a "headless" T-pin chucked in a spare pin vise, and I try to use a light touch when making the holes. And I always use a 6" metal ruler to help keep the lines reasonably straight. However, because I'm doing them by hand, I don't try to keep each pair of holes (2 per board normally) evenly spaced apart. A little variation looks good to me. Here's an example of nail holes/heads made with the pin.



Now, for the holes in the salvage barn and shed, I did something a little different. I don't recall what my reasoning was at the time for my deciding to try something different. Instead of the pin, I used a 5mm Pentel pencil lead, which I sharpened to a very fine point on extra fine sandpaper. Again, I used a light touch, just enough to indent the wood and leave some graphite for coloring but not enough to make an actual hole in the wood.

As I commented in another thread a few days ago, I don't use a pounce wheel. I don't like the shape, depth, or spacing of the holes they make. Using a pounce wheel is definitely faster, but hey!.... I'm retired, I've got the time.



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