zondag 12 januari 2014

Review Painting Class with Peter Zuidgeest in Eindhoven

Last Saturday I have had the pleasure to be teaching a group of painters some basics in painting. This time however I teamed up with Peter Zuidgeest (Scar's Miniature Madness) to combine airbrushing in the class.

Peter is a very talented and successfull commission painter, who has really dedicated himself to painting tabletop armies in record time. His main 'ingredient' is the airbrush, and he handles it with great skill. He is mainly self-taught, and that is what holds my respect. He knows a lot of tricks for painting armies in a quick way but with awesome results. even I was able to learn a bit or two.

We decided to combine our two disciplines: his tabletop airbrush techniques and my display oriented brush techniques. Our focus was on painting armies, both with techniues that get you results faster, but also with techniques that can get your single characters stand out more.

It was a good try, to see how this would combine. It is hard to combine fast tabletop quality painting with display quality painting, and maybe just one day is not enough to really get everything out of it as I would have liked.
But I guess we have been able to show the participants a hell of a lot of techniques, tricks, tips and short-cuts that can be used in all kinds of disciplines. Now it is up to them to take from it what they want and need.

Good points (as I see it):
- lots of easy-to-use information, but also some challenging excersises
- two mentors means twice as much attention for everyone
- two mentors also means that some participants that are on a different level or path can get the individual attention to still enjoy the  class.
- great venue to work at

Points for improvement:
- More detailed list of "what do you need to bring yourself" to all participants
- In that pre-mail, also make more clear what the class really is about (it was less a 'how to airbrush' and 'how to brush'- class than some thought it would be).
- I should have practiced more with combining Peter's airbrush techniques and my own, as I found I had to improvise a bit how I would continue after airbrushing.
- create a handout with all major information that was used in the class

Did we have fun? Well I did anyway, but considering the  remarks and manners of farewells affterwards, I'd say the participants did as well. It was a good crowd, really eager to  try out our excersises, even though it sometimes did not come easy. These guys did not get bummed by it, but realised that the learning would only come after the class.

I have seen them create really good results in just one day, and it's another class I can be proud of. I liked working with Peter, him and I being complete different kinds of tutors, but that just makes it interseting I guess :)

Yes, Peter and I will be re-evaluating this class and see if we can perfect it and do it again later this year.
In the meantime, one of the participant has taken it up to see if I can come to the Venray region to host a (display painting) class there. Cross my fingers...

zondag 5 januari 2014

First model of 2014: Kitty - a journey to joy

When I say 'first model of 2014', I actually mean the first model I finished in 2014. But actually started this one just after the Massive Voodoo workshop in december 2013.

At that workshop I 'won' a fun couple of small pieces of scenery, that I instantly intended to use. It were a stone column and a iron gate. Easy to see where that would go!

I figured that your original Games Workshop sized model would just seem too big for these. Luckily I had a few Hasslefree models in my cabinet that could fit the bill just right. I picked this model, Kitty, as it was the most obvious to place in an modern urban setting.

I took a lot from the MV workshop. Not so much in techniques (although I was able to finetune what I already knew), but mostly in attitude. Here was a model that would not instantly be conneted to a painting competition, or was a commission for someone. This model was intended for HAPPY PAINTING!

Obviously WIP

This was the most profound conclusion I made: the year before I had not been putting much soul, heart and joy into my painting. Somewhere between the workshop and painting this Kitty, I have found that sense of fulfillment and pleasure for painting again. I was not bothered with pressure for competitions, deadlines, regulations, and so forth. This model was going to be as I envisioned it.

This I found out: if I am working towards a vision where my heart lies, I am eager, willing and definately able to go back into the model, and finetune the little details further. I take more time to get it just right, try out new things (like pigments), push myself to achieve better, and most of all: be happy about it! With your own heartfelt commitment, you are able to achieve far greater and more fulfilling results.

After the first five minutes of wet-in-wet painting, MV style!

A quick combined shot for color references. Spot on, I guess.
When I finally finished the model (yesterday, in the happy company of my good friend Gert), there was a small pang of sorrow. I was done. Sure, I could have go on for weeks if I wanted to, but at some point you must call it quits. As I did yesterday. I felt like I stepped into a void. My mind could not even think on the next project, or look in retrospect at Kitty. There was just...nothing. I could only sit back, and look at the finished piece. And maybe for the first time, I did not look at it with my own creator's view of criticism, but see with a stranger's eyes and just enjoy the model as it was. No replies. No comments. No pointing out your own faults and shortcomings. Because that's easy. I took the hard way. I just...enjoyed.