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Monthly Archives: April 2015

A Step-By-Step Guide To Painting Basic Freehand Designs On Banners

 American Music Club ‘Western Sky’

Freehand designs can be a bit daunting, especially on banners. Not everybody has an artistic talent – God knows I don’t – but they become easier, and more straightforward, when you plan them out beforehand, and break them down into small steps.The key is to keep refining and sharpening-up the lines until you are happy with the effect.

First, because this was going to be a Black Legion standard-bearer, I made some sketches of basic designs from GW artwork:


To begin painting, plot the outline with dots:


Then connect the dots:


Thicken the lines:


Again, plot the next stage with dots (you may notice how the mistakes were painted over during this stage):


Connect the dots:


Use the same technique to create the arrows:


It can be difficult to paint symmetrical angles; so, because I wanted to make a pointed effect, I painted a line down the centre of each arrow:


Then created the tips:


Before painting over the superfluous part to create the sharp angles:


Again, thicken the lines:


At this point the design looked a bit top-heavy; so, to balance it out, I painted a ribbon underneath the icon – again, plot this out first:


Then fill this in:


Add colour by glazing the design with thin layers (in this case Vallejo Smoke); while adding texture via painting on cracks and chips. I also painted thin layers of dark red (GW Rhinox Hide) around the design to give it a bit of depth:


Finish by painting in the eye, and adding roman numerals. I also painted on some tears in the space between the icon and the ribbon:


So, it’s not too difficult to paint effective freehand designs, as long as you approach them step-by-step.

Quick Method For Painting Dark Red

Grenadine ‘Steely Daniel’

Red is sometimes tricky to shade and highlight effectively – there are lots of different methods available, but for a straightforward red colour-scheme I use the following colours:



Step by step 

1. Basecoat: Rhinox Hide (GW)

2. Layer: Burnt Cadmium Red (VMC)

3. Edge Highlight: i) Red (VMC) ii) Red + Goldbrown (VMC)

4. Glaze: Baal Red (GW) 002




Some Old Models, Re-Painted

Wool ‘Little Darlin’

First and second-generation Khorne Berzerkers – from the late eighties and mid-nineties respectively:



Between the two, the older model was much more enjoyable to paint.

I also made a slight change to the Plague Marine that I painted a few days after Christmas:



Interesting Odds & Ends:

The Blanchitsu-themed invitational at IronSleet is showcasing some very imaginative re-interpretations of models.

WarhammerTV has a good video tutorial on painting an Adeptus Mechanicus colour scheme.

The DieVincis have a review of a painting workshop with Mr Giraldez – which has some helpful pointers on colour theory.