This time it's not gonna be step by step article. I will focus more on separate parts of the base: the trunk, bark, mushrooms and rotting foliage on the ground.
Even though the piece of heather I used, looked already pretty much like a fallen tree, I decided to paint it anyway. For one thing I felt it lacks some discolourations and delicate moss here and there. But mostly because I feel that natural, unpainted materials look weird next to painted miniature. Painting them unifies the whole piece.
So first I took care of the naked parts of the trunk. Using GW washes, GW Graveyard Earth and P3 'Jack Bone I covered the areas in paint creating way stronger contrast and some variations in colour that could appear in a wood exposed to the weather for a long time.
The damaged parts of the front were a bit more tricky, as it was quite difficult to reach the deepest recesses with a brush. With a big and old brush I managed to introduce darks washes and some Catachan Green (GW) to emulate moss that could fint it's way there.
For this part I used mostly dark brown, some GW washes, a bit of P3 'Jack Bone and lots of GW Catachan Green. Brown, washes and 'Jack Bone was used to even out the colour (with drybrush), and introduce some contrast. Thin layers of green placed mostly under the trunk and in the recesses look like a moss that often grows on the older trees. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just google 'old bark moss' and you can find lots of various examples.
Below you can see various stages of painting, from the very natural unpainted wood to the final version. I decided to post only one set of photos for both, the trunk and bark because they would be very similar, and you can see all the steps of painting here
Mushrooms are the exception on this base. They were mostly left as they were in natural state. I was affraid that too much paint would cover the natural pattern of the tabacco stalks reminding so much the true mushrooms. I just used some GW washes (brown and green) to unify the colour a bit with the rest of the base. But as the shrooms are quite alive, unlike the fallen trunk, they grow and feed on, I kept them in warmer colours.
Below you can see photo with shrooms just after glueing them to the base and after washes. On the third frame, under different angle, you should be able to see the pattern I was talking about, darker an brighter lines creating some visual interest and emulating the real mushrooms.
Dead leafs and ground
This parts were painted mostly the same as bark. Dark brown washes and some 'Jack Bone to create contrast and unify these parts with the rest of the base and some green washes to emulate moss that starts to grow on the leafs. I was focusing the green mostly under the trunk, at the front, and in deep shadows, but there is also some amount of moss in the open areas. I assumed that if the leafs are laying there for few months, and starting to rot already, there should be some moss growing on them as well.
The photo below isn't the best one, but you should be able to see some greens on the ground.
Fern was painted mostly with the airbrush, with Catachan Green as a base and some mixture of GW Desert Yellow and Snakebite Leather to do the highlights. For the shadows I used various GW washes. I have no photos from painting this part (even though I'm pretty sure I took some), so you need to take my word for it:D
And I thinkt that's all I could tell you about painting this base.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful. And if you have any questions, or comments, just leave a note underneath, I'll be happy to answer.
Viking's base, phase one - building