In a follow-up to my 2nd Company Freehand Cape Tutorial this walk-through covers the step-by-step process I used to create the 2nd company banner.
This tutorial was generated as part of a user driven contest here at the Relic forums and is Tinweasel's winning banner entry. I will link the other two banners here once the tutorials are complete.
Vallejo Game Colours: Imperial Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Beasty Brown, Parasite Brown, White, Dark Green
Vallejo Model Colours: Light Yellow
Citadel Colour: Codex Grey, Wolf Grey, White
When I paint a banner or large freehand design I start by marking out the area in which I will be working. I don't find it important to pencil in all of the detail, since I will be painting over the markings, but marking out the *area* lets me make sure I'm happy with the *size* of the design.
The Space Marine banner is wonderfully easy to work with. It is mostly flat and is large enough that you can use a ruler to help you mark out the center and grid lines within which you will be working.
Looking at this photo you can see where I marked out the vertical and horizontal center of the banner. If you look closely, as the lines are faint, you will also notice that the banner was divided in to 8 boxes before I penciled in the outline. This allowed me to make sure the design was more-or-less centered and even on both sides.
I used a thin coat of my base colour (VGC Imperial Blue) to outline my work area. Don't worry about covering up some of the pencil outline at this stage as it doesn't contain any real detail.
Unfortunately I seem to have skipped a photo. In this photo I have used Beasty Brown to fill in my outlines and gone in with Parasite Brown to start adding definition to the NMM (Non Metal Metallic) gold areas. Note that I have left the body of the eagle open as he gets feathers there later.
Remember that it's okay to be a little messy at this stage since you'll be doing clean-up work later. Paint more, worry less.
The first of the feathers has gone on to the banner. I started in the corners and worked my way in to the center. This allows you to gauge how much space you have left without being surprised that you have fewer feathers than you wanted.
More feathers and a bit of paint smoothing.
Feathers on the second wing again going from the top corner - inside corner - 2nd top feather - 2nd inside feather - etc. This process is shown clearly in the photos of the text, below.
All of the feathers are in place and ready for some clean-up.
The first NMM highlight is applied. This is Beasty Brown mixed with Light Yellow
The first highlight is smoothed out and the tines added to the star -- I skipped the base colour for the tines as I want them to be more stark against the blue background.
2nd highlight - now with more Light Yellow.
Pure Light Yellow is used to pick out the edges of the wings.
I used Codex Grey to fill in the Ultramarines icon - this will allow for a smoother white. I also turned two of the inside feathers on each side in to feet... oops.
Layers of Wolf Grey and White made up the U
A little bit of detailing added in the form of claws on the eagle and the II in the star.
A bit more clean-up with the Beasty Brown -- and some detail added to the eagle on his neck.
Although it's hard to see I've gone in and used Black to define the eyes and nose on the skull.
Layers of Beasty Brown and White made up the highlighting on this sad, sad skull. I actually plan on going in and re-doing this section at some point. He just looks like he's pouting to me. Ah well.
Wreath filled in with Dark Green.
White mixed with the Dark Green for the first highlight on the wreath.
More white added to the green mix for a final highlight.
Before I started painting I found a version of this banner online and set it as my desktop background. I do this with a lot of source material when I'm painting. Unfortunately that painter took some liberties with the original design and, in this image, I'm correcting what I can by re-doing the scroll at the bottom.
Highlights with Beasty Brown and white - filling in most of the area and only leaving pure Beasty visible as an edge and shade.
Yup, more white in the brown mixture applied in several thin layers -- with most of the highlight at the top of the scroll.
And now the fun part... lettering. The banners in the book all place the M in the center despite having an even number of letters. This reflects the letter spacing.
When I'm not placing a single letter in the middle I will start with the inside edge of the outside letter -- so I would use the left line on the M and then the right line on the A.
Working from the outside in I have placed the U and S in this image. I used this same process to do the feathers, above.
I now start working my way from the outside in again on each letter. In this case back to the right with the A.
And here with the L. Placing letters in this fashion makes it much easier to keep from running out of space. I now know exactly how much room I have for the TR in ULTRA.
From there I finished off the lettering in much the same fashion and then added the white border and bottom detailing.
There is still a fair amount of clean-up to be done to this banner before I will really consider it finished. For the moment it's sitting on a shelf while I recover from cranking it out in just a couple of hours.
Thanks again to everyone that participated in the banner contest -- and to Tinweasel whom, I hope, will get some benefit from this tutorial for his own banner.
Please feel free to post questions, feedback, etc.