I take my inspiration from the Greats! Below, Icarus on a Halfshell:
I actually painted this thing standing bent over. The painting and the props were both resting on top of the crate.
While the wood colour was laid down willy-nilly above, I made sure to clean it up by dragging a textured bristle brush through it in the direction of the grain of the wood before letting it dry (below).
This wood texture was then easy to build up with a combination of semi-transparent scumbles and glazes.
Much easier to paint the text over the wood after letting it dry: