Ultramarines symbols are a perfect opportunity to learn how to paint freehand on your models. You don’t need any drawing talent to do them!
The first army I ever painted fully was Ultramarines back in 2008. It thought me a lot, but one thing that stuck is how simple freehand can be if you break it down.
Ultramarines Freehand Step by Step
I’m not an artist in the sense of the word, nor do you need to be. Put me in front of a blank sheet of paper, no art will come out of it.
So instead, whenever I want to freehand something, I break it down into manageable steps. Unless I want to push myself, I stick to simpler things, like numbers, insignias, and, like this example, an ultramarines chapter symbol.
Here are the two best tricks to make your life easier:
Pick a paint that covers well. I will compromise color selection slightly if it means better coverage. In this ultramarines example, I use Ulthuan Grey instead of a white, because one coat produces an opaque finish.
Always use a reference. I don’t care how dumb it is to google pictures of different fonts of a number, just do it. Same for letters, shapes and symbols. You want a clear model of what you’re doing.
How to Paint an Ultramarines Chapter Symbol
Here it is, broken down into 5 easy steps.
Step one is drawing on a circle. My trick is to start smaller than what I want the final size to be, and as I perfect out the circle shape, it will end up bigger.
Add a line on top of your circle. Just like before, start smaller than your desired end goal, and work your way to the perfect size.
Turn each side of the line you just painted into triangles, connecting where they meet the circle.
This is honestly the hardest part for me, I can never get them to line up as cleanly as I’d like.
Using the blue (or whatever color) that’s beneath your symbol, draw a circle inside your white circle. Try to make it above the middle if possible
Using the same color you just used, paint a line in the center of your symbol to separate the triangles and the top of the circle
Free hand is rarely perfect on the first attempt. The good news is that it is much easier to get the perfect shape when doing touch ups. I am not entirely sure why it’s the case, but I have found this to be true.