Elemental King's loin cloth, is a stone tablet, which I wanted to paint the Horde symbol on. It doesn't matter what icons you're trying to paint, this article will give you tips on how to paint symbols on any surface; for example, Space Marine chapter logos and company numbers on curved shoulder pads or banners.
Painting the Outline
Paint yourself guidelines so that the symbol will end up roughly even and balanced.
- Outline: Planning
Plan the border with some dots around the edges and tips.
- Outline: Painting
Paint the outline to create the symbol.
- Fill In
Paint inside the symbol to fill it in.
- Fix Up
Use the background colour (Black in this case.) to clean up the shape of the symbol and remove the guidelines.
That's the main thing - create guides, an outline and fill it in.
Details and the Background
[Top 2 pics] Now that you've basically got the symbol created, add a little shading and highlights to it while keeping the border clean. This mainly creates a little texture and depth so the icon isn't one solid colour.
[Rest of the pics]
After that, I paint the background and border.
The border is pretty straight forward as I base it with a dark grey, followed by a dark, then bright silver.
Mixed greys create the background of the tablet, just be careful not to paint over the symbol as you highlight and shade.
A note on when to paint the background
There are two ways to do this and neither are wrong. You can either paint the entire background first - highlights, shades and all, or paint the background second.
Because this was just a flat open space, I opted to paint the symbol first, then work around it to paint the symbol after.
You may find that for something uneven like a banner or a cloak, it's easier to paint the background first. This'll give you an idea of how the symbol might flow over the surface.
Painting the Smaller Tablets
I wasn't sure how I wanted to paint the smaller tablets, but I didn't want them to be boring. It occurred to me to paint them themed with the elements that would be represented in the King.
For these I basically just freehanded them. There are some more defined lines, which I started with (like above) then blended the rest.
Here's a big ol' close up of the Elemental King's belly in its finished state, showing off the smaller tablets and the larger army icon.