Monday, October 29, 2012

Aachen - Being a tourist for a day..

So after 3 almost full days of painting, and learning, I had a free day before I headed back home! So with the advisement of most of the workshop attendees, I set out via train to Aachen to see some of its sights!

Aside from the rain, and being a bit cold, it was pretty easy to get around. I think I only got lost 2 or 3 times overall!

First place that I headed for was the Aachen Cathedral which was quite interesting. The stain glass windows, and architecture within it was something to behold.

What I also thought was interesting was the stature outside in the yard behind the fence.. not sure of the significance of it, but he had a really cool cloak on!

The second site was the Town Hall. Where they present an award for the best ideas to promote or improve the European Union ( or something to that effect ). I had listened to the audio-file disc set, and heard all the history, but well.. I was hungry :) Suffice it to say, people like the Pope, Clinton and Churchill are all recipients of the award.

Quite impressive looking from the outside.. and inside there were quite a few interesting pictures and statues!

A few of my favorites inside were the ones containing the Cherubs.. it seems they were a little bit mischievousness and in some case deadly!

Once I finished the tour of the Town Hall, I had a nice little lunch and beer at a Mexican place ( Mexican food with German beer ).

I had also found a hobby shop, however it was more focused on RCs, Trains, and such. Pity, as it would have been nice to find some plinths/sockets etc or some more brushes to take back with me, but alas that was not to be. Even on the way back, another thought popped up to check out the local GW store! However that also was a bust due to they being closed on Mondays?

Oh well, am back in the Hotel in Eschweiler! Where although the owner knows no English, and I know no German we have found out that we can still communicate.. with Turkish!!!! I have to say that I am surprised that I am using it outside of Turkey, and that it turned out to be a huge help as well! I guess all those hours in class, and the years in Turkey have paid off to help me in some way ;)

There are more photos in the album of my day out that can be found here in it's album. And this will be my last chance to go around Germany for this trip as I head back tomorrow. It was a lot of fun, and now I hope to return one day to learn more from other artists in Germany.

Watch his space for more concerning the workshop, and a review on the model holder!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dervish Workshop Day 3... Final Day!

And here we are at the end of a weekend full of new tips, tricks and techniques for painting your favorite little models!

So today was all about free hand work on a banner.. and after how badly my NMM and layering work went this weekend, I stuck with a more simple pattern to test out.

As you can see in the photo to the left there, I made a decent start in on the skull pattern. The style being taking a photo ( such as the skull ) and making it into a checkered pattern. Like a grid. And then re-creating this grid on the banner piece, and painting over it or through it to get the image there.

I have to say that this was getting a bit sentimental to me actually. It reminded me first of when I was learning to draw back in Elementary school ( yes that far back! ) and how we used to take a photo and draw it upside down. So that we focused on the lines, and not the final picture.

It also reminded me of drawing with my Grandfather ( Papa ) back when he was still with us. Sitting at the kitchen table and taking a picture between us. The most memorial one was of a black and white sparrow, and how ( apparently ) mine was closer to the photo as his had eaten too much!

So that aside, yeah I was feeling a bit more into today's session, although I did take a more simplistic route with just a skull. Though once getting into it, and doing the outline I was more happy on how I was able to do it with a paint brush ( although I did start with a pencil just in case! ). Will make me a bit more willing in the future to try such things!

Though the hard part was then the coloring! Compared to the rest of the choices, this was actually probably one of the harder ones! Since there is no color on the original copy! Oops! So I started in on it, and although I wanted to do more in line to the curvature of the banner, Dervish suggested to take it a bit easier on it and just paint the shine as it would be if the banner was straight.

So I took one of the other pictures as a guideline instead for shading and gave it my best shot! Was not as easy, and I have to admit I cheated.. or at least in terms for what I was supposed to do.. I used more wet blending then the layering techniques we learned yesterday! Bad Mr. Lee! Bad bad bad! That being said, I think it came out nicely.

I was unsure until I put the green background to it. Once that was done, I think I like it more now! Though should go back to it later on, and add something else to it.. like a little banner on the banner with a motto or something.. or a border on the banner.. or... well.. ideas are flowing now, and I guess that means that today's lesson on freehand had some very good side benefits!

Also the manner in which to do the banner was interesting. As you can see, it is attached with Pattafix to the packing tape that is applied to a coaster! So that you have a more comfortable handle to hold on to for painting the freehand portion! It was this ( and many other tips ) that I found out during the workshop.. and maybe I will share them? Let's see ;)

A quick group shot of everyone ( sans the photographer since they didn't want to be seen online! )...

Quite the crowd attended, all with different levels of talent ( all well above mine! ). The group as a whole were a great bunch of people, and really friendly with both advice, and help, and putting up with all my questions, frustrations and ENGLISH! I cannot say again how much I appreciated that everyone tried to make me welcomed to the group. It really shows what a difference makes when although you are the odd man out ( OK there was MaGie but she knew some German so.. ) that you don't have to actually feel it!

So thanks once more to everyone that I met, all the people I hope to get in touch with again in the future for more painting classes and exhibitions, for Dervish ( front kneeling ) for teaching everyone new things, and especially for the people who hosted and organized such an event! Time well spent for the participants, and hopefully for them as well!

I have more to say on this workshop as a whole, with regards to how it ran versus what I was expecting, what I would do differently ( more on my side vs Dervish! ), and my final thoughts after resting for a bit and recovering from the experience!

So I leave you with a few more photos of the walk back to the hotel from the workshop. I walked back as most were heading in other directions, but also cause the cold crisp air was reminding me of Canada. Just another nostalgic moment while attending a workshop in Eschweiler, Germany! Enjoy!

The start of the long walk to the hotel.

A strange smoke stack, but it looked really interesting ( though not too clean! ).

And safe to say it was not Mcdonald's for dinner tonight.. had that for lunch all weekend.. and I think it is still working on breaking down! Am currently having a nice sit in at the restaurant in the hotel I am staying. So will have some nice Greek food! Which means probably Pizza with olives ;) Cheers for now!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dervish Workshop Day 2...

Annnnnnd Day 2 ends somewhere after the midnight mark... not bad all thing considered actually.. Since the day is advertised to be on-going until you want to stop! Thankfully most were exhausted, and thus this was a good compromise.

Today's schedule was all around how to do proper layering, eyes, and at the end some NMM just for kick..

I have to say that before coming to this workshop I thought I had an idea on how to do layering. I really did! I had a scheme, trick, or style that allowed me to do layering for the models that I had in such a way that worked for me.. Holy Crap Batman was I wrong! In today's session I felt like I was the kid that just joined the advanced science class, and everyone else were honor students!

The manner and way that Dervish was teaching the class and explaining was spot on. His technique is quite easy to understand, and straightforward. I am not saying anything bad about his technique cause it works, but man oh man is it a tough nut to crack. I seriously am feeling a bit out of my depth in this workshop, and honestly it is quite refreshing. I never had any notions that I was good at painting, and I know I don't know everything ( regardless of what Mrs Lee thinks when she calls me a Mr Know-it-all! ). But this class has opened my eyes to a few new things that I will be exploring a bit more later on.

Suffice it to say that the skin on my poor marauder lord is not doing so well at the moment. His cloak is suffering as well. But this is OK for a first attempt at a new technique, and I will just have to practice more in the meantime ( in between comms that don't require it of course! ).

As for NMM, I think I have the idea behind it down. Again will require a lot more practice, but the biggest difficulty? You guessed it, the layer aspect to make it happen! So again, an area that once I master this layer technique, I can move onto other items quite easily!

So where is my marauder lord that was talked about? Well, he is hiding cause well he is ashamed of what he looks like at the moment. I will post him later on, once I have a bit more chances to work on him. Or enough people ask for him early on to offer up comments on how to make it better ( which isn't hard to suggest.. many things can be improved to it! ).

In the meantime.. here is a collection of shots of the models put on display by others in the class..

A quick shot of the dinner group that I sat with.. a great gang of people who were nice enough to ask me a ton of questions about why I joined if I live in Turkey ( or Canada as some asked )..

The dinner shot once more.. so healthy here.. again.. don't tell Mrs Lee!!!!

And finally a quick shot of this annoying Blonde who kept sitting beside me all day.. she would continually add "That's what she said!" after some very strange sentences used by others throughout the day! How rude!  :P

Actually this is none other than MaGie herself from MaGie Miniatures! And although she curses like a sailor while painting NMM, her work is quite the treat to see. Check her blog and see some of her pieces, some of which I had the chance to see in person ( and take photos of above ) while over here.

Yes she really is short.. or I am really tall.. either way.. that is it for today folks.. Until tomorrow where we tackle... FREEHAND!!!! Challenge has been laid down to beat Dervish's Tomb King banner ( the one above, and yes that is painted! Yikes! ). Let's see who is up for the challenge.. I know I sure am not!

Till tomorrow ( or rather later today! )..

Watch this space!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dervish Workshop Day 1..

And Mr. Lee heads to Germany for his first professional painting workshop! Held by none other than Dervish from over at Rathcore! And yes I am posting this up quite late tonight cause we just finished ( and I just cropped the photos ) for the first day..

So after a couple mis-steps in the travel from Brussels to Eschweiler, Germany ( where the workshop is located ) I was able to meet up with Dervish and the rest of the "students" to get our hands dirty and learn some of his secrets! And when I say mis-steps I mean it is all about Mr. Lee and the natives not able to speak the same language ( You no know German, what you stupid? )  but thankfully everything got sorted in the end, and things moved along nicely.

One of the first things that occurred was the pairing off of students into the desks that then faced where the teacher would present and show us his magic. Now being that this workshop is in Germany, and the teacher speaks German, and the students all speak German, and well Mr Lee doesn't speak German.. well this sounds like a recipe for disaster eh? Not so! Seems that there is another student here that also isn't fluent in German ( but can understand it ).. MaGie from MaGie's Miniatures! So Mr. Lee is not alone! Better yet, we got paired off into the same table to make it easier on Dervish for when he translates some of his teachings into English at quieter times throughout the session.

Things that we tackled so far though was the assembling of our model. The Maruader Lord kit from Avatars of War! Quite the model to tackle in the beginning, but one that has a lot of areas that will lend itself to what we want to learn this weekend ( or at least what will be taught to us.. let's see how much Mr. Lee can absorb shall we?!? ). We also got to receive the upgraded version of Dervish's model holder.. but a more in depth review of that to come at a later date. And the final piece that we learned was how to smooth out the rough parts of a model.. super secret technique! Shhhh.. watch this space later for how it is done.. once I get the materials myself to replicate it that is ;)

Once all of this was done, Dervish then went into 2 hrs of theory on color contrast, and saturation. Again, all in German, but thankfully with the help of MaGie and others in the class ( who speak GREAT English! Thank you for this! ) I was able to stay up with the topics well enough until I have a more in depth chat with the teacher later this weekend! The only interruption that we really had was the arrival of our "ever so healthy" dinner that was later.. and with that it was pretty much the end of the first day.. Not much on the hands on portion, but I think that will be filled in tomorrow.. not sure if I will have the energy to post something up directly afterwards like tonight, but we shall see!

Keep watching this space, and in the meantime I will leave you with a photo of tonight's meal! Shhh don't tell Mrs. Lee!!!!

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