In 2005, Games Workshop re-released their Wood Elves army. Along with the earlier Tyranid re-release, it was the start of GW trying to take back their edge in sculpting over the upstarts Privateer Press. It was a shock for us because suddenly, GW infantry weren't easy to paint any more, and we had to up our game in terms of efficiency and techniques. To this day, the Wood Elf Glade Guard are among the most expensive, basic infantry we paint.
They're normally painted in woodlands greens and browns. It's a nice palette, suggestive of summer and greens work great with browns, and this allows you to use bright red for small or salient details. The problem for Wood Elves players though is that everyone paints them this way.
Fall (Autumn), Winter, and "Shadow Woods" are solutions people normally turn to and we've done all three. Sean here wanted us to work on some Winter scheme Wood Elves. He sent us a strong reference pic and left the rest to us.
The centerpiece here an Ultraforge Treewoman (sic). Ultraforge is a small company that has made a name for itself in recent years working on well sculpted, high quality, resin substitutes for GW models. They're stuff ins't cheap but it looks great. The Warstore offers their stuff at 20% off:
The Treewoman looks good but that's because the model looks good. The paint scheme we used was very simple -- the model stands out because its a good sculpt.
The rest of the painting was pretty straight forward as well. We had to use a lot of white to tie in the winter theme, but we chose to shade with blues rather than offwhites to give them a cooler toned feel -- all the way down to enchanted blue. We needed brown for the wood, but this was useful because we could tie in things like brown leather and brown hair. The cloaks on the old school bowmen threw their painter at first, till I pointed out we should just use different brown tones to pick out the leaves. He didn't do as many as I'd have liked though (I think three tones would have worked best. Two seems a bit sparse and little unnatural).
Gold and yellow stem naturally from brown, so that solved the problem of what color to use for armor and such. I think many people would have preferred silver, but this is too suggestive of High Elves too me, and I think its too neutral a color.