Hobby Tip - Painting Aged Parchment

Step 1:
 Apply a basecoat of 1 part Vallejo Model Color Russian Uniform (although Games Workshop Catachan Green might do in a pinch) and 3 parts GW Bleached Bone at a 1:1 paint/thinner concentration

Step 2:
 Layer on 1:4 GW Bleached Bone/thinner, leaving the shaded areas and deepest depressions uncovered

Step 3:
 Apply a wash (or two) of GW Devlan Mud over the whole of the area to be painted as parchment, paying extra attention to the depressions and shaded areas

Step 4:
 Layer on a first step of highlighting with 1:4 GW Bleached Bone/thinner, making sure to only brighten up the most raised and/or light-facing areas

Step 5:
 Apply extreme highlights to the edges and most raised areas as finely as possible, paying close attention to sharp edges and corners

Step 6:
 Using a mixture of 1:1 Scorched Brown and Black Ink (or Chaos Black and Badab Black, by preference) thinned down to at least a 1:4 paint/thinner ratio, carefully paint the lines of your letters on the parchment. You might want to practice on some scratch paper beforehand, as it really comes down to getting a feel for the hand movements when putting the brush to figure. It would be a good idea to do the first, last, and middle letters all in the same relative size to get the spacing correct, and then fill in the rest of your lettering as you can subtly adjust the sizing of your letters to accommodate how much room you have left.

 It might sound like an oxymoron, but the thinner you have your paints when doing fine detail like this, the more control you will have.

Step 7 (The All-Important One):
 Inevitably, you may need to go back and touch up things a little. Again, thin your paints by a decent margin so as to be able to get it to flow easily. You want to have as sharp a point on the tip of your brush as possible and be applying little to no pressure, simply letting the brush do all the work and allowing the paint to wick off onto your figure.

 In this case, I wanted to neaten up the letters a little bit, and add a slightly lighter "highlighted" black to the right-most lettering. I increased the size of the image, too, so that you can see it's not all smoke-and-mirrors, but generally a case of "if it looks about right in close detail then it'll look very close to right at regular scale."

Happy painting!

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