I have dabbled a little bit in free-hand art on my 40K projects; mainly symbols and emblems, but it is hardly something I would describe as my forte. The challenge for this morning was to paint a Medusa on my Imperial Knight's Ion Shield. I wanted her to look attractive, but also... venomous. To get into the groove I did a quick sketch and had a go at painting the basic shape to scale. This helped me to practice the shading and brushstrokes that would be required.
After getting the rough shape of the head done, I added the darkest detail of the face, as I have found that this is the easiest way to figure out where to put the lighter shades.
After that I added the whites of the eyes and outlined the snakes.
After blocking in and shading the snakes I added the blue background and got the sense that it just wouldn't work with the rest of the Knight. By itself it was fun but compared to the rest of the piece it is lacking in contrast, distracting with the flesh tones and missing some vita elements.
To give it the best chance possible I added some extra weathering and highlights, deepening some of the deepest shadows and adding more contrast to the face. On the Knight it looks fine, but I have not decided if I am going to keep it yet. I'm going to sleep on it and get some feedback from the 40K community before I decide what to do. The process was great fun, though, and I will keep pushing myself this way I think, so that some day I will feel more comfortable with free-hand designs.
See you across the table,