After a few months of pouring over Nathan's lessons, I finally had the chance to try a practice board.
The board is 3ft. x 4ft., lathed and scratch coated. The carving mix is Tru-Pac from walt tools (Thanks Don). I carved on a very hot day with only alittle bit of surface cracking when trying to texture. Paint was just inexpensive acrylic from a craft store.
I noticed after it hardened I had 2 four-ways on the left side as well as a continuous line.
Any helpful comments from the Pro's out there would be welcome.