To make a free hand draw on a part of a mini confrontates most painters with the blank-page syndrom. I try to find a draw which matches with the global concept of the diorama or which gives some keys about where the scenery is taking place or who a certain character may be.
In the case of “Daughter of the desert”, the complete diorama was thought to in-scene a Rackham character. That’s why I choose to reproduce the cover of a box from “Age of the Rag’Narok”.
After you get the concept, the first step is to make a background on the Item you wishes to draw. My free-hand should have blue as main color.
The second step is to place the different elements of the draw with their main colors in order to become a feeling for the proportions.
After that, the first details can be set. I first worked with inks for the shadows.
Then, slowly, I made the blendings on each part. I used very transparent colors for this and a retarder in order for the colors to be as smooth as possible.
Then I set the highest accents and reworked the background.
The last step is to think about the 3 dimensionallity of the free hand. Even if a draw has is own lighting, it still remains a part of the complete diorama. Therefore, the global light of the diorama has to be applied. I used light inks layers in the deepest points and put some light in the highest points for that.
One think I loved to in making free-hand is to make miniature versions of some bigger draws.