How to Paint Iyanden Aeldari

Learn how to paint Iyanden Aeldari, one of the most iconic Craftworld color scheme!  This technique breaks down all of the complexity that painting yellow can be!

Painting Iyanden Aeldari

This technique is perfect for a simple and striking army that won’t make you hate painting yellow!

This specific technique uses an airbrush.  If you don’t have one, or are looking for a different way to paint your army, you can check out this other easy technique for bright yellow.

Then you are free to come back for the other steps in this guide, which don’t require an airbrush.


Our trick for this bright yellow is a classic art theory trick of using a complementary colors to create a natural shading.

This sounds pretty complex, but it’s not rocket science.  Look at the color you want to paint on a color wheel; yellow in this case.  Then look at the opposite side of the wheel; in this case, purple.  You have a lot of room for changes and different results here by changing which kind of purple you are using.

Because we want a super light yellow, we also went with a light purple, bordering pink, Genestealer Purple.

If I was doing the full army, I would consider The Army Painter Alien Purple, because it comes in a shaker can and that is a big time saver, even if the color is darker.

Next, we layer on some Flash Gitz Yellow, in two or three light coats.  This will build up the vibrant yellow, with darker areas in the recesses because of the purple base.

Next, we we add edge highlights, again using Flash Gitz Yellow.  This highlight will help define the armor plates and give them a crisp look.

Lastly, we apply a thin and even coat of Cassandora Yellow over everything.  This will further the definition of armor plates, and also make sure that even the deepest recesses have at least a yellow tint on the leftover purple.


The other iconic color of Iyanden Aeldari is the blue that contrasts the yellow.  A mistake here would be going too light with the tone of blue we want to use.

Start with a basecoat of Kantor Blue.  Next is a matter of personal preference to highlight.  You could use something like Calgar Blue that is a little but muted down, but in the example miniature, we are using Caledor Sky.

Then shade with Drakenof Nightshade, or Nuln Oil if you were heavy handed with the highlight.


There are multiple ways you can paint black for this scheme, which is mainly used on the guns (and possibly on the frames of vehicles)  The one we are using in this tutorial is Black (any kind) highlighted with Wolf Grey.

If this is too steep of an highlight, you can add a generous shade of Nuln Oil over.  Be careful with the ‘generous’ part, as Nuln Oil bleeding on the yellow is something you really don’t want.

Gems and Lenses

Another feature of the Aeldari are the various gems that adorn their armor and weapons.  The official color for Iyanden is red, so that’s what we went with.

Gems are an area where you have to pick your poison, as it’s possible to do 3 colors, but also 12 to get that perfect look.

Because this is a gaming piece intended to be painted as part of a unit, we went with simple and striking.  Over a black base coat, highlight with Mephiston Red, followed with Evil Sunz Scarlet.

Left to my own devices, I would go for purple. It would look great, and ties in with our yellow under coat.  Purple would also be perfect for the various power weapons for Wraithblades and Banshees.


As it’s pointed out in the video, a darker base is best.  This is the general rule of thumb for light models.  The one we went with is industrial looking silver, washed with Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade, and Reikland Fleshshade.

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