Making my wood texture look better

Really like Hand painted models and have been looking at examples of people making weapons like the kind from World of Warcraft. I’d love to be able to achieve that style too so i’m starting some simple hand painting. The first object i wanted to try was a shield as i thought it’d be a simple enough shape/texture to do. Whilst i’m quite happy with the metal rim of the shield i do think that the wood could definitely be improved. Could anyone give me some advice or tips to how i could maybe improve this? (on the newest version of blender).

Take a look at some photographs of real wood planks. Oak would be a good choice for shields.
You’ll notice some things that are missing from your image. First would be color variation. Wood has light and dark patterns built into the wood itself, from the way it grows naturally. Try to duplicate this pattern.

Next, you have some indication of grooves in the wood, from the light and shaded colors. Some of these make sense, if the shield is made out of sawn planks. But, even long ago, carpenters could cut wood in straight lines. So your planks need a bit of fixing. The rest of the grooves seem to represent weathering… natural cracks that appear in the wood as a result of age. Again, take a look at some weathered oak planks, look for patterns in the cracks, and try to mimic them.

There are three short straight grooves clustered together, perhaps to indicate battle damage? In these cases, you have to ask yourself what sort of weapon would this shield be damaged by, how would the damage happen and what sort of marks would the weapon leave behind. I cannot come up with any reasonable weapon that would have made those three marks.

Finally, in making grooves, be aware of light logic. The light falling on the shield making those light and dark sides to the grooves cannot be coming from more than one direction (even if light IS coming from more than one direction, the grooves show the sum, not the individual light sources) so decide the main light direction and be consistent. If you look at your current grooves, some are lit on top, some on the bottom, some on the left side, some on the right side. Not good. Choose left OR right, top OR bottom, and make them all conform.

Just a start but what do you think so far?? Tried the new paint tools and had a lot of fun ^.^!

Also strokes are to constant- differ width of highlight bevels