How to paint a shield

by Lee Lowe

This is part of an article that I wrote for Wargames Journal some time ago. As the magazine is no longer around I thought I would post it up on the site to help show you all one of the ways that I achieve a wood effect.

- Lee Lowe

Dry brushing is a very quick way of painting wood but can also be used to paint chain mail and many other features of a miniature. Dry brushing can be as easy as painting on two different colours or as complex as painting on many shades and weathering. To dry brush you simple start off by undercoating the figure with your preferred colour. In this example I have used Games Workshop's Chaos Black. I have chosen black because if you miss bits it doesn't stand out as much as white would and with dry brushing this can easily happen.
Once the base coat was dry I painted the whole of the area in Foundry 13A Spearshaft Shade. Once this was dry, I applied the first layer of dry brushing Foundry 13B Spearshaft. To dry brush you simply add paint to the brush covering the top end of the bristles and then paint a piece of cloth or tissue until it looks as if there is no paint left on the brush. You then brush lightly over the chosen area until you are satisfied with what you have achieved. I tend to use a soft, flat headed brush that's a good size for the area I am going to dry brush. Don't worry about using expensive brushes as dry brushing kills your brushes quickly - cheap ones work just fine for this.
For the second dry brush I followed the sequence by using Foundry 13C Spearshaft Light. Again, apply in the same fashion as the first dry brush. As the figure is a forest goblin you would think his living conditions were probably quite damp and dirty, so to reflect this on the wood I have a slight dry brush of (F) 29C Moss Light. If you don't have this colour to hand, Ochre with a tint of Green will work just as well.
As there is a metal rim around the shield I decided to dry brush a shadow using the base colour Foundry 13A Spearshaft Shade and a dab of GW Chaos Black. With a smaller brush, I dry brushed around the rim of the shield where the metal meets the wood. To finish off, a very watered wash of the colour I just dry brushed with was washed over the shield to blend it in and shade the wood grain.

The metal of the shield was painted using NMM (non-metallic metals) but that's an article for another day.

Happy painting!