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I needed logs for cribwork. Dowels were cut and roughed lengthwise with 50 grit sandpaper. Smaller dowels were added to represent limbs. I would add more branches.
That is a 3/8 inch diameter dowel.

Prime the logs with white primer. This is Kilz2 primer. Any flat white paint will work.
Stain the logs with raw sienna drawing ink.
Wash thinned burnt sienna drawing ink over the log to dampen the yellow.
Mix grey sanded tile grout with burnt sienna acrylic tube paint. Daub this over the log to represent the under bark. Stipple the surface to make it rough and accentuate the grout.
Drybrush the tree color to represent the bark. Here I used a grey. Leave a slight edge of the burnt sienna under bark showing. Apply a very light wash of black to bring out the roughness.

Scrap the paint off the limb ends.

I applied a wash of alcohol/india ink that was too strong on the logs. It made them too dark.
Click images to enlarge
Mike Siggins used our method to make logs.