With all the Raven Guard work I've been doing lately, I'd had a request for how I paint the symbol on the shoulderpads. Here's the process broken down step by step.
Now at first glance, this might seem like a bunch of steps for something that Forge World makes both decals and brass etchings for... so why even bother right?
I prefer to paint my symbols on instead of using decals for two reasons:
1. I'm not a big fan of decals to begin with, lots of work.
2. I have the ability to paint them on... but still lots of work.
Wait a minute, what's going on here?
In an effort to show other Raven Guard players how I break down the symbol into manageable shapes to paint, I've included the image above. You can save it to your computer so you have it later on to follow. When you look at the image, the Raven is fairly simple, read it's not exactly like the real icon. This is because I created this in a drawing program and it's more important to get the steps in the right order than it is the actual exact shape of the wings and such. You can make those adjustments as you go along... but you need to know the steps to getting there.
I'm sure there are other ways to do this as well, this can't be the only way. But for those who don't even know where to start, this might help get you going.
Doing this well will require a fairly good detail brush and a steady hand. You can clean up your edges some, but it's much easier if you can get your shapes correct with your first pass. I don't usually thin my paints much, but I will when I paint iconography like this. Just a little bit, you don't need much water to help get your paint to flow smooth. It's easier to make two or even three thin passes with your color than it is to try and get complete coverage in one pass the first time.
It (the image) looks fairly self explanatory, but I may suffer from knowing it inside and out at this point so it looks complete in my eyes. If I've missed something or you've got a question about a part of it, just let me know and I'll do my best to answer.
Here are a few more posts that might help:
The trick to painting icons
Adding freehand and decals to your models
Weathering icons and freehand