Ask the Artist: @Hendarion
Updated: Jan 3
Hey guys and gals! Today's release is a big one! I've followed this artist for over a year now, and am continuously amazed by the quality of his work. The first time I saw one of his miniatures, I was adamant it was a computer generated image. In my mind, there was absolutely NO WAY someone painted it by hand!
I mean, seriously....look at those minis! The thing about @hendarion's work I feel sets him apart from almost every other painter I've seen is his understanding and manipulation of volumes. His conceptualization of motion and light are perfectly captured by the placement of highlights and shadows on the miniature. Something else that really causes him to stand out is the courage it takes to use bright, vibrant colors. Even when he RARELY decides to paint pure black, those few pieces are painted to be glossy or reflective! He doesn't just slap some dark paint down and say "that's a shadow". No. He uses different degrees and tones of the desired color to walk you down through the valleys and up to the peaks. The amazing effect of this is a smooth transition and an effortless visual flow, allowing the viewer's eyes to wander all over the miniature without being boxed in by harsh black tones, or overly punishing bright spots. If I had to use one word to describe his work....the best I could give you is a hyphenated one: Silky-smooth. Honestly folks, this guy has one of the most over-the-top, out-of-this world, just... jaw-dropping artistic talents, and I'm beyond excited to share his response to our questions!
1. How long have you been involved in the hobby in general?
"For about 25 or 26 years. Although I have had a lot of years not painting at all and a lot of years painting barely anything. Actively trying to improve, let's say 10 years".
2. How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media?
"I think I started sharing my "terrible" minis on Warseer and CoolMiniOrNot at first if that counts as social media. I guess the first time was around year 2000".
3. What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm?
"A friend of mine played a game with me, Battle Masters. Loved it, bought it, painted it, the full box - with Revell enamel paints. Terrible. Then got a paper about 40k with all that lovely old-school terrain and some Marines shown. But the 2nd flyer also showed some Eldar and made me love them instantly".
4. What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why?
"40k as a setting I would say. I like Deathwatch Overkill (despite most people just bought it for the minis) and Space Hulk the most. The visuals attract me most when it comes to factions and I really like Tyranids and Genestealers, of course Marines have an epic impact too, but in my heart I'm an Eldar. Grace, swiftness, deadly rainbow. Love it. I will never forgive Gav Thorpe though for nerfing the stellar Shuriken Catapult to a useless shotgun :) ".
5. What is more enjoyable for you personally: painting or playing the game?
"Painting. By far. I liked fielding super heavies and apoc games until a new GW store manager said: "No more apoc here, we don't earn from that". That made me very upset and disappointed. Since then I never really enjoyed any regular 40k game anymore. Busted".
6. If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment?
"I would buy and expand heavily on Sisters, Genestealers/Tyranids or even Necrons after having finished at least one model of every Eldar and Marine squad type".
7. Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style?
"Since Biel-Tan is my home, the contrasting bright and dark greens fill my heart, but various people have influenced the style I'm going for. Jaume Tugas Muñoz, Darren Latham, Nicholas Gareth, Michał Szymeczko, Giovanni Di Lena, Richard Gray, Andy Wardle, Christian Göbels".
8. What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby?
"I will quote Duncan here: Thin your paints, two thin coats. But apart of that, do what you like. Paint the way you want. Those are your miniatures and you have to like the look of them. When it comes to tools, a fine tip is required, a brush smaller than size 1 is probably the wrong choice and if you have never used a wet palette, make one yourself. If you want to improve, study objects and materials in reality, study how those things get painted differently by different painters and which results give which kind of impression. Watch videos. Experiment. Learn how each paint has its own characteristics".
9. What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your painting path?
"In general, completing things. It's something I really have trouble with. The most progress on a mini is done in 10% of the time and after that, all the details take a massive amount of time. I love seeing minis finished and I like trying new things, new colours, new combinations. So I constantly keep starting things instead of finishing them".
10. What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a painter?
"Definitely winning a Golden Demon. Even it was only a bronze and I don't have much hopes on ever getting another, this was an achievement I wanted to hit since I ever heard of that competition to exist when I was a teen".
11. If you could do anything to expand your company/studio/hobby footprint, what would it be?
"It would be cool if platforms like Twitter or Instagram (which are my main channels) would offer a feature to keep the most prominent posts on top. Most people know me for my Phantom Titan or Autarch, but with constantly posting work in progress shots, tips or tutorials, the most famous posts are impossible for usual people to find or stumble upon".
12. What product line do you endorse and what about their products do you feel sets them above their competitors?
"I'm using a very wide range of paint brands and I would recommend most of them. I don't judge by line alone, because I think every brand offers some very good and some bad paints. Some are more transparent, some more opaque. It depends on what the goal is I want to achieve and sometimes one paint fits it better than another, despite them looking similar in the pot or bottle".
13. If you could earn a sponsorship or endorsement from your dream company, who would it be and why?
"I've been contacted about something like that before and I rejected. On one hand it would be cool to use products for free of course and I like telling people about brands I like and brands I don't like, for what I use them and why. Getting sponsored would mean I would have to emit a positive image for a brand I possibly don't even fully support. I guess, if a company had a chance for me to speak positively about the quality hobby products, it would be Games-Workshop, Privateer Press or Reaper. I really like their tools and paints the most, despite sometimes being on the expensive side. However, if we're talking about brushes, I would be open for a lot of brands as long as I would buy them myself. Some are just too expensive in my eyes compared to the quality for me to justify advertising them. It feels like I have a responsibility towards my fans and I know that if I use a certain brand and talk about it, people want to use them too. But if I feel like being ripped off by certain products and their prices, I wouldn't want my fans to be ripped off just because I advertised for it".
Hendarion, thank you so much for your time! I know I speak for a huge portion of the community when I say it is truly an honor to see your work, and we are all anxiously awaiting your next project!
Readers, thank you for your support as well. It has been really fun interviewing a lot of fantastic artists, and seeing your reactions as well as suggestions! If you have an idea for an artist in the community you would like to see an interview with, let me know! Instagram or Facebook work best. Most importantly, if you're not following Hendarion's Instagram, you need to! Click one of the many links on this post to take you there.