Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My First Foray Into Freehand

When I first started getting into 40k, somewhere, someplace I saw a unit of gorgeously painted Daemonettes with Slanneshi tattoos all over their skin. I was smitten, and I wanted my own girls to look like that. But, having no painting skills whatsoever (art classes were very sad for me growing up), I didn't think I could give it a shot.

Now, I have a lot of miniature painting under my belt (at least compared to before, when it was none) and I've decided to give it another shot. A couple months ago, I picked up one of the Gotrek and Felix novels, and on the cover, Gotrek has this nice blue tattoo on his face. That inspired me to give it a go on my Slayers.

Surprisingly, I wasn't as awful at it as I thought. I'll definitely be trying this technique again. I'm a little disappointed about doing them in blue, since that's the color everyone seems to use on Slayers, but with their hair and skin color, it was honestly the best option to ensure it stood out.

I used one of the new paints for it, Altdorf Guard Blue. I've really only tried a handful of the new ones. I still have so, so many of the old paints that I haven't needed to move on just yet (plus, I started my Dwarfs with the old paints). It'll probably be a while before I'm using mostly the new paints.

Gotrek here actually got a bit of a makeover in addition to the tattoos. I changed his eyepatch to black, because the gold just didn't stand out as much as I had hoped for. 

There are lots of small opportunities for me to try free hand again in this army, and I think I should take advantage of that. I have a jolly roger in my future for my pirate-theme warriors, but I think I'll work my way up to that. Overall, I think my nervousness over trying freehand was unfounded and you can't get better at something if you're not doing it at all.

I'm still tempted to go back to my Daemonettes and give them the once over to smooth their blending and add the tattoos. If 6th edition gives me a good reason to break out the Daemons again, I'll probably give them some TLC.


  1. It definitely worked out well!

  2.  Thanks! I still have 20 left to do, hopefully I'll have the patience to finish them out soon.

  3. I think the freehand adds to the models. I also think that after 20 more of them, you'll be a pro at it.
    The trick is not using too bright of a color and instead of trying to accurately draw the tattoo, just go for a representation. It's more important that a viewer recognizes it as body art than they recognize it as being a fish or whatever kind of image it is. 

    Freehand like this is used to evoke a feeling. You're doing a great job.
    Ron, FTW

  4. I really like what freehand can do for a model, and I've seen it used beautifully many times (like the Daemonettes I mentioned). I rather regret not trying it on my Daemon army, because there's so much skin to work with. The Slayers have a lot less.

    Thanks for the advice! I'll keep it in mind when I tackle the rest of the unit.

  5. This type of freehand fits the models perfectly. Great color choice, and you have avoided trying to do too much. It is very convincing and aesthetically pleasing! Keep up the great work.

  6. I definitely over did it on the first one I tried and had to redo the flesh on that part. Oops.


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