The beauty of folk art is that it is not limited to painting on canvas. Many beautiful pieces of folk art are painted on wood and they reflect the artistry and craftsmanship that was poured into them by the artist. After all, painting on wood is a very long and tedious process.
One of the processes involved in folk art painting on wood is basecoating. Those who are just starting with folk art painting find this process very boring and tedious because it basically is just about preparing the wood and painting it with a basecoat color. However, mastering the art of base coating is key to creating a flawless piece of folk art.
Below is a step-by-step guide to basecoating for novice folk art painters.
- Plan ahead. One thing that you should understand about basecoating is that it is never a hurried process. If this is for a class project, make sure that you do the basecoating days before you need the wood for class. Do not do it the night before. If you are pressured to finish basecoating in a limited amount of time, chances are your work is going to get sloppy.
- Prepare your work area. When you are ready to basecoat your chosen piece of wood, make sure to have everything you need handy. Aside from the basecoating brush and basecoat color, you will also need sandpaper and wood filler. The wood filler is for filling up holes and dents in your wood, while the sand paper is needed to make your wood smooth and ready for basecoat painting.
- Seal the wood. This is actually an optional step and largely depends on what you plan to do next with your wood. If you plan to stain it next, then you need to coat it once with an acrylic sealer. However, if you intend to basecoat it using paint, you do not need to apply a sealer.
- Prepare your basecoat paint. Some prefer to apply the basecoat paint directly from the bottle, jar or tube using a flat brush, but some prefer to thin it using a thinner or water. The consistency of paint directly from the bottle, jar, or tube is thick and it might be hard for a novice painter to control it. If you thin the paint with thinner or water, you will find that the basecoat brush can move better along the surface of the wood you will paint on. Be careful not to use a very much thinned down paint because that will be disastrous.
- Apply your basecoat paint. When applying your basecoat paint, it's necessary to use the right tools. A flat brush is preferred because it makes the application of the basecoat paint more consistent. Use a smaller brush for smaller surfaces and a bigger brush for larger surfaces. You can also use a small sponge roller for basecoating. It is very easy to use and there are no brush marks.
Make sure that you apply the basecoat paint in even brush strokes. Make sure that there isn't too much paint on the brush, or else there will be ridges in the finished product.
Voila! Your wood is now ready for "real" painting.