I carve plaques and signs into pine wood. I'm using Createx paints and want to know what prep do I need for the wood if any. I get light and dark spots in my colors.
Interesting, do you sand carve, drill or chisel? I have not done wood as I don't want wood pulp in my cyclone extractor. However, after carving and before painting are you laying down a clear coat as a sealer please?
Pine is a very resinous timber, without doubt, you will need to use a primer or/and a clearcoat but a wood sealer is your first step; as this will help you remove tiny fibres left after sanding as well. Your carvings look very good, approximately what size are they?
I've done a lot of guitars starting from bare wood... it really depends on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to get a nice even color, then you really need a sealer, since the grain on the wood will absorb the wet paint at different volumes, giving you different saturation. If you put a sealer on, it will help, but laying down an acrylic clear coat, just something simple out of a rattle can, before you lay down any color, will help give you a more consistent color overall. If you're trying to do artwork on the top, then I would go with the sealer and then a sandable primer. You won't get any of the wood grain showing through, but it will give you the best surface to paint on, if your going for an actual image, rather than just a simple color.
If you're just after a good color saturation, I would suggest something along the lines of an aniline dye. If you want the wood grain to really show through, then rubbing on a base of dark brown or black and then sanding it off will make the grain pop, since the grain will absorb the dye more the denser areas... then once its sanded, taking whatever color you want, just rub that on.... the darker stained grain will still show through and the rest will take on the other color you are rubbing on... hope that all makes sense.
They are good, what size are they? One suggestion if I may, they might benefit from highlights and lowlight's on the facial features. Have a look at Airbrush Tutors latest video on Cameron Diaz for some idea's.