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"Grand Manner Longhouse "How To"" Topic


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370 hits since 17 Oct 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2017 12:31 a.m. PST

I had several requests for a "how to" concerning my GM Longhouse. Here it is.

Here are all the "ingredients" that you will need to finish the longhouse, as I did.

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Let's start with the undercoat. I will ONLY use Walmart flat black spray paint as my undercoat. Cost is 97 cents per can and you cannot find a better primer, at any price. You may not agree, but this is what I used. Trust me on this one. It's an important step. Everything else gets layered over this.

I gave the model a good even coat, both inside and out. I'm not sure if I am going to bother with the interior, so I left it black for now.

Before spraying, I run the rattle can under hot tap water for about a minute or until the can feels hot. This heats up the paint and allows a better flow from the nozzle.
I sprayed outside on a hot, sunny day. This helps the paint to dry evenly. I let the model dry for a full day.

First up, was the DecoArt Americana Light Cinnamon. I gave the entire model a heavy drybrush with this color. I used the Craft Smart # 8 Flat brush for all the drybrushing that I did. It's the lighter brush in the picture. Make sure you mix the paint thoroughly. I used a battery powered mixer, that cost about 10 bucks and is well worth it. I also use recycled paper to wipe the paint from the brush. It more absorbent and it's rougher.
Those industrial brown paper towels are perfect.

I began by brushing all of the "beams" of the house. I used very, very little paint and ran the brush along all of the supporting branches. This kept the black shadows on both sides of the support branches. I then brushed across the roof….back and forth, catching all the bark pieces on the top. Brush against the grain and go lightly. Less is more, here.
Next, start brushing the sides of the house longways. Again, brush against the grain of the bark. Try to build up layers.
Go over this several times, always lightly.

Once I finished with the Cinnamon, I left it to dry overnight.

The next day I looked at it in a different light and saw some
misses. I went back and went over it again, with the Cinnamon color, until I was satisfied.

When that dried, I started with the Anita's brand Coffee paint.
I began with the support branches, as I explained above.
Up until this point, I had not used any washes yet.

I used lighter strokes with the Coffee color and I tried to hit the middle part of the bark pieces with a heavier stroke. I took the flat part of the brush and ran it in a downwards stroke, from the roof to the ground. I wanted to catch the middle and ends of the bark pieces, leaving the sides and the top part dark.
I did this until I was satisfied with the colors and put it aside to dry.

The next day, I did as I explained with the Cinnamon color and gave the model another few brushings of the Coffee color.

I had this bottle of Dr. Ph Martin's "Saddle Brown" watercolor concentrate # 13A and I decided to attempt to wash the bark with it.
I put 2 drops on the pallet and added about 30 drops of water. I mixed it with the brush.
I used the smaller red brush, that you see in the picture, to apply the wash. The brush comes from a cheap "10 in a pack for a dollar" set. I use these to apply washes,because they have soft bristles, that let you place the liquid where you want it to go.
I started the wash along the support branches, letting it settle in above and below the branches. I kept adding color and water as I went along.
I just eyeballed the color mix, here.
I tried to place the wash in between the bark pieces to define each piece.
I did this over the entire model.

When that dried, I went back and applied more wash where it was needed.
I did that over and over again, until I liked what the effect was.

We now move on to the Craft Smart Golden Brown #23627.
I went back to the flat # 8 brush and went over every "shingle"
with this color. I think that this is what made the model "pop".
I applied this over the Coffee color, concentrating on the middle portion of each bark piece.
I used downward strokes, so that the brush would not hit the top portion of the individual piece. That portion would remain darker, as it would in nature.
Eventually, I brushed from all angles with this color. I stopped when it looked right to me. I left it to dry overnight, again.


The watercolor wash really compliments the Golden Brown. I applied this everywhere, using the same ratio of 15 to 1.
You can make this wash as dark or as light as you wish. I just eyeballed it. It's probably better to vary the mixture, as you get a different result every time.
I repeated this step several times. I wanted the bark to look like it had been rained on and dried.

Finally, we come to the Anita's "Nubby Linen". I used this just to catch the very tips of the bark shingles and to lighten up spots that were too dark.
Use your lightest touch, here. Make sure your brush is really dry and almost paint-less, when you apply this color.
This is your finishing touch, so apply it sparingly. You just want to highlight here.

When that dried, I went over the whole thing again and adjusted for whatever mistakes I made. I dropped wash on spots that were too bright and I used the Nubby Linen to soften up some spots that were too dark.

That's it. I hope that this is of some help to you and good luck trying my method.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2017 12:46 a.m. PST

Maybe this works?

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athun25 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2017 5:12 a.m. PST

I absolutely agree about the Walmart black primer being the best option. Inexspensive, covers very well, and never loses detail.

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