Saturday, 16 April 2016

Step by Step: Making a weathered sign with a simple technique called Block Aging.

 Here's a little "Step by Step" on using a simple technique called Block Aging It's a great way to get that weathered sign look with a lot of work.. It's just one of the many techniques used in the film industry. For this type of sign, I like to use a rough plywood, or rough cut board, because of the wood texture. It's really quite a simple process, just put paint on a wood block, drag it over the surface, and voila, instant aged sign. This project was done using water based paints (cheap house paint.) Except for the raw umber age, for that I used artist acrylics. Let me know what you think.

Step 1: The raw sign blank. I like to use a rough plywood for this type of sign, it  gives you lots of texture to work with.You can also use something with a smooth surface. It just give you a different look.

Step 2: After coating the blank out with a flat latex paint, it was time to do the lettering Nothing more than a quick layout, and it's time to paint. Because this Step by Step is about Block Aging, I didn't spend much time on the layout, it just shows the steps. Not that you should spent much time on  a layout for this type of letter style. The brush should do all the work.

 Step 3: It's letter time. For this step, I  used latex house paint, mixed to a muted ivory colour. And a Series 2179  #10 Mack quill, to do the lettering. If you using a water based / water borne paint, make sure to use a brush that's designed for the paint.

Step 4: Once the paint has dried, you can start to block age. The nice part of working with water based paints, is how fast they dry. To Block Age, all you need is a block of wood. Any scrape wood will work, although it should be smooth. I use different sized blocks, depending on the size of pattern I want. Now the fun begins.

Step 5:  Put some paint on a larger block, And rub the blocks together. This spreads the paint evenly on the surface of the smaller block. I even managed to get through this demonstration without getting paint on my pants. By the way, the One shot reducers in the one picture was just on my paint cart at the time, and wasn't part of the process.

Step 6:  Once the block is loaded with paint, lightly drag it over the surface of the sign. I start with the background colour to break up the lettering. You can also mix a few different shades of greyed wood, and base colours, and repeat the process. When applying the paint, it's best the think about how a real sign would age. It really helps to make the aging look believable.  


Step 7:  Now I add the aged wood colour. For this step, I'm using a smaller block for more control. A little goes a long ways.

Step 8:  Next step is to add a little raw umber wash to tone down the colours, and give it an old weathered look. If you were doing a bigger sign, a pump sprayer, and spritzer bottles would be used. For this sign, I used a spritzer bottle and a rag to apply the wash.

     The finished sign:  Start to finish, little over an hour. This is a fast process, and works well to create that distressed look, fast and dirty. Hope you enjoyed the step by step.