Saturday, March 30, 2013

WIP Weekend edition.. Necromunda Gangers..

So the articles for the rest of the workshop are finished, but I wanted to show off a few items that I have made since the workshop!

More gangers for the Necromunda game, and for my UK Client.

Biggest thing here is that I am attempting to take the comments and ideas that I learned from the workshop into practice now!

So the cloaks for example were wet blended, and then slashed a few times to give it some texture. The skin was painted to some extremes here as well. To maximize ( or attempt to ) the contrast between light and dark.

They are standing at about 90% finished at the moment. Not bad, and I hope to get them finished over the weekend ( most likely tomorrow when the house is empty! ).

Couple more shots of my favorite 2 models of the bunch below.. let me know what you think of them!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Painting Class: Final thoughts!

So final thoughts of a workshop well done.. well.. it was well done! Actually well done wouldn't quite cover it, as I am still talking about the weekend with those around me a week later! So maybe I should be saying it was fantastic! A lot of fun, and lots of practical advice that I can put to use immediately. A stark difference from the one that I attended in October of last year. 

Some initial thoughts though.. Roman is a lot taller in person than he presents himself online! Was a bit surprised by this.. even in the photo above he is squatting in front of everyone else instead of standing at his full height!

A photo of the all mighty Kong in his natural habitat standing! Also he is apparently having a conversation with his chair, probably due to the rest of us trying to work on his teachings so intensely!

Other impressions on this class versus the others is that no one thought they knew everything ( OK maybe some did but we don't point fingers at anyone do we Markus? :) ). A nice change to the other workshop once more as it was refreshing to look at the teaching with bright wide eyes of astonishment and wonder as Roman took us through his teachings. 

Many of the teachings we had you would think "Duh, that makes sense!" But then walk away thinking, "Then if it makes sense, why was I not doing it before?"

Sharing some of his works with us such as those below were also a nice treat. Many of which was pulled up to the central table to explain how the technique could look once finished and refined ( a few hundred times or over the course of several days worth of work! ). 

Really inspiring stuff... though not to completely overshadow the works of others in the class that also were on display.. 

Again.. some great works here. Another thing that was pretty cool was that we had a guest from one of the local hobby stores paint with us, and be able to provide us with some extras to assist us in our painting! Was able to pick up another W&N Series 7 brush ( as if I needed more ) and some more Milliput Yellow/Grey for future projects. There was also the ability to pick up sockets from Sockelmacher like those below..

I know that Steffen might read this, so apologies! By the time the shop and models bit was done, my cash reserves were already low! So will have to look at ordering some of these later on as they were truly unique and of high quality!

We we also able to shop from ForgedMonkey directly.. as Raffa was working hard in the studio on his many projects for upcoming competitions.. but he did put aside some time to set up shop for us to browse his works! Have to be honest here.. I dished out a bit of cash here to pick up a few of my favorites.. which ones I won't say until I get around to paint them and can show them off first!

So in the end, I learned more about how to do up some basing ( that can be used for display and gaming alike! ), where I can push my painting further ( MOAR CONTRAST!!! ) and how to create a mood or scene with the 2 combined. Met lots of great people, of whom I hope to keep in contact with. But most importantly though.. I got to meet the Massive Voodoo crew in person! Seeing the other side of the curtain so to speak and seeing how the magic really comes alive here!

Would I go to this workshop again.. no. Sorry, had to say it. BUT only because I am flying in from Turkey and the costs are just too high ( maybe cheaper accommodations next time? Hint Hint ). HOWEVER.. MV don't just do beginner classes.. so I do see myself going back but it would be more for their more advanced class of BAM ( location now determined yet as there are many to choose from in the coming year ) or even just head to Augsburg itself and set some sort of private lessons up instead. Which was basically what this beginners class was in the end considering all the 1 to 1 assistance he was dishing out to everyone!

In the end, I highly recommend this workshop to everyone who wants to try something new, wants to push their abilities a bit further, or just want to hang out with other like minded individuals for a weekend and paint up a kick ass model!

He says that he can only take so much credit due to the fact that we were holding the brushes, but I do believe that it takes someone with patience and teaching ability to unlock those skills in others. And as mentioned above, the 1 to 1 attention he gave ( or I forced him to give? ) was very much appreciated. Really helped me to know why I was not getting the result I wanted instead of just being told to do this or do that. Means I can learn a bit on my own outside the class as well ( in theory! ).

So final thanks to everyone there. Thanks for putting up with this Canadian invading your German workshop. For allowing Roman to switch to English and not remind him to switch back to German at times. And to the MV crew in general for their help and guidance throughout the weekend! Until next time... 

Keep on happy painting!*

*Unless your name is Bene.. in which case.. get back to filling pigments containers! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Painting Class: Painting!

Go figure the second part of the painting class would involve actually painting something! Wow.. what a concept... who would have expected that!

Again we were hit with a ton of theory. Talking about contrast, saturation, color theory, complimentary vs contradictory, blah blah...

He also had quite a few slides concerning some inspiration pieces to get the ideas flowing. Always commenting to look at your surroundings and take them for additional ideas! Don't force it..

So starting with the basics, we all walked away from Kong's desk, and went back to our own. Looking at our bases, and thinking do we go for complimentary or extreme contrast!

For me.. I went the path of most frustration.. extreme contrast! Why frustration.. well I worked with a color that has caused me pain in the past.. VMC Turquoise! A good contrasting color to the brown/orange base that I had already. If this wouldn't pop and go BAM off the base, well then not much else would I think.

Beginning part was to lay down a good base coat. 2 to 3 layers of our main color, which was recommended to be a bit less saturated overall. So adding a bit of grey to the mix to bring the intensity down, and make it easier to deal with. In the end our paint palettes looked something like this ( but with different colors )..

This was Roman's palette more for the basing, but the same principles applied. Taking the base color in the middle, and then setting up your darker and lighter tones on each side of it.

What this accomplished was being able to always go back to your base color to make corrections or at the very least have consistency within your colors.

Sounds simple, most will go "Duh, Mr. Lee.. that just makes sense.. " but unless you are familiar with doing display or more complicated color schemes.. this was quite useful information! Plus it shows a different style of using a wet palette ( as many seem to be posting up photos of theirs as of late as if theirs are the new black or something ).

So base coat done, we start to work the shadows. Easy enough.. this is something that I do well, not great, but well enough already. But the highlights.. ARGHH!!! How they be the bane of my existence still!

Roman was good enough, and patient enough, to keep helping me here and directing me to where and how I can do highlights. Though looking at it even now, I know I can push them further ( and should! ).

Base colors and shadows/highlights happening. Oh and yes.. one of the few times we drank.. and drank in HELL!!! Right where one should drink while working on Daemonettes apparently! ( Good beer though! )

This photo on the left was of one of the participants who joined the workshop a few times before. His project was a bit more intense then the rest of ours, but it shows the level of extremes and contrast that Roman was pushing so hard for all of us to understand.

Hope to see more of it in the future over at 5th-Dimension from Malekith!

Once all the skin tones were touched up, and darkened, and lightened, and darkened, and lightened.. and more of that cycle for a while we worked on the finer details.

Eyes, color transition for claws, metals, and leather. Have to say, the part that I found the more interesting here was the leather bit. How to make it feel a bit more weathered, and aged. How doing layers of different washes, and shades of highlights, etc.. could give certain effects. Still on the learning curve there, but I have a few models that it can be tested on soon enough!

In the end, this is what my model looked liked, and also what the others from the class were able to put together as well!

As I said, I tried for a stark contrast between the base and the model. Oh and a bunny for challenging my deamonette! Still not 100% finished though.. ugh.. 

A good example of using complimentary colors between both the base and the model itself!

Great use of contrast once more, but I absolutely love the way the base came out!

Another returning member to the classroom. Taking the lessons to adapt a Red Box miniature for this workshop. Also using some of Forged Monkies' red pigment to make the globe glow!

Not quite sure if this is complimentary or contrast, but the flow of the model and the base are top shelf all the same! The use of moss on the trees are a great little touch especially. 

I won't lie.. when seeing this in the beginning, I was not sure the colors would work out, but damn was I wrong! The extreme lining used here really made the lady pop! And the highlights were perfect levels!

My partner in crime's model and base. Great use of the colors.. only problem was that he ran out of time and didn't finish the freehand marble effect! DUH!

Fantastic work at blending a very difficult color here. Very brave to do yellow, but it cam out great in the end. 

And the test model from Roman. He didn't get as far along as everyone else, but that was because he was too busy answering my questions! Oh and teaching the class probably too!

Next up is just a final wrap up review of the workshop. Final thoughts, comments, and what not concerning how I felt about it, and what other things occurred during that time. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Painting Class: Basing!

So the workshop is over.. I am back in Istanbul ( despite the weather trying to change that decision! ) and now I have had some time to reflect back on the time spent in Augsburg with Roman and the rest of the class.

One of the first things that we worked on was the basing of a display model. Understanding what is needed, and how to tackle this aspect.

This was the main part of the first day, and a good portion of day 2 as well. With tons of theory being thrown out concerning the flow of the model and the base, and how to align them. How they can shape up and how it can look pleasing or not to the eye.

So with boxes and containers full of basing materials, some Milliput Yellow/Grey, and motivation from the presentations we all got to work on the bases!

Biggest thing that Roman kept pushing for was to just let it grow organically! Don't force it, just go with where the pieces take you..

Mine apparently took me out to the back woods.. thankfully I wasn't shot.. this time around!

Using a fairly large piece of tree bark, broken up, along with some twigs, I think I managed to make something that might resemble a forest or outdoor scene.

After letting the putty harden over night, we glued on some dirt, and did a 2k priming to begin painting. The technique used for painting would be used a few more times throughout the workshop, and that was the wet blending style.

We also took photos at this time so that we could reference back to them to understand where the light and shadows should be with this model.

Can't speak for others, but I took the photos.. and never looked back... bad Mr Lee! Not listening to the teacher! Even if it was mostly in German ( though as the workshop went on, Roman slipped into English more and more.. go figure! ).

The wet on wet style was veeeeerrrrrry interesting as it really did allow for some nice transitions between the colors there. Something that I am very eager to try out again!

The color I started with as a base was Mournfang Brown from GW, and then used P3 Coal Black and VMC Black for shadows, but GW Screaming Skull and VMC white for the highlights.

I cannot stress enough how awesome this style was for speed painting up the base sketch ( as Roman called it ) of the base! Within 5 minutes we could see what direction the paint was taking and where we could go darker or lighter.

And yes, I say 5 minutes and that the paint stayed wet enough to use this style. Due to added a lot, and I mean a LOT of water to the mix. It was almost like just painting with colored milk on the base.. and when we were feeling confident that it was about finished, we "sealed" it with the mini hairdryer that sat on Roman's desk. *This either has to be dedicated to just miniatures or Raffa's.. can't see Roman needing it for anything else ;)*

One piece that I did do more on this was push the contrast. Again the theme of the weekend more or less here. Roman had pointed out that now that the main colors have been touched upon, we could tackle a bit more of the mundane or not so much fun bits. Taking a fine tipped brush, and hitting everywhere that light would reach on the base. And dotting it with a lighter color than what was there.

So the highest points got pure VMC white, others has a mix of base coat and white, etc.. even the shadows that were an off blue color got some highlights with the blue/white mix. To show that light can be found anywhere.

What's left now? Well actually the base is pretty much finished, though I still want to tackle adding a bit of foliage to it. So now that I am back at home, I can do just that! Add some grass to parts, a bit of fallen dried leaves here and there, and see what that makes it look like. Expect more shots of it next week, but in the meantime more articles concerning the other aspects of the workshop!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blood Angel Banners

So while in Germany ( and before taking off ) our resident artist friend Mert from Ankara has provided more content for another Guest Post! Yay!

This time around it is the update of his Blood Angel Dreadnaught banners for his, well.. Blood Angel army!

I am always amazed at what some people can do in the world of art, and with Mert that is no exception!

So taking his favorite impressions and visuals from the 40k universe and combined with his love for all things Blood Angels, he has come up with some truly unique banners!

What's more.. he wants to share them with others! Great stuff!!

Have a look at the banners, feel free to download and re-use as you wish ( so long as you credit this Turkish artist while doing so! ) and comment if you would like to see more from Mert in the future!

More photos below, including shots showing them attached to his current collection of dreadnaughts. It is like a fashion show for vehicles!

"Before shot showing his older banners"

"After shot with the updated banners! Quite the improvement!"

Keep an eye out, as Mert has also stated that he would like to do more of his great tutorials in the future for us here at Mr Lee's! I am still going back to his Lava Tutorial for inspiration and to try it for my own!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Off to Germany! Augsburg Here I Come!

So I will be in Augsburg, Germany meeting up with the Massive Voodoo crew of Roman, Raffa and Bene ( maybe? ) to learn how to paint! This is their second class in a row to teach what they call their Beginners class.

In the class we will learn how to create a scenic display base, and paint up a Slannesh Daemonette. Now I have painted a "few" of these before already, but they were all for the table and done to a basic level. So now I will see what can be done to one of them when I really try!

What is great about this workshop is that they have done it a "few" times before as well.. as can be seen from their reviews page here..

I especially like this photo from their Vienna Workshop..

It shows some of the daemonettes done up, along with some other pieces from those who have joined this workshop multiple times! Yes, people sign up to this class multiple times! What is also crazy is that this level of quality can be produced over the span of 2.5 days! That is the most insane part to be honest..

So to say that I am excited about this, is an understatement actually. I have been prepping myself for this trip for the past several weeks, and checking and re-checking the details over that time period as well. In the end, I am looking forward to seeing what comes of it, and if I can take away as much or more than what I had in the last workshop that I attended in Eschweiler!

Expect a full review next week as I suspect I will be too tired to post anything over the weekend ( nor have real access to do so! ).

Cheers for now!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wed: Junk Heap

So this is a random piece that I started over the weekend.. not sure where it is going, or how it will turn out in the end. But I am having fun trying something new and moving out of my comfort zone here.

The idea is that it is a broken down, rusted out, car. Sitting inside or near a junk yard.

I still want to fix the rust portions here a bit more, and also the dirt areas. It was an experiment using a variation of the hairspray technique without the hairspray! Go figure..

Not sure how it will turn out in the end, but I am liking the direction so far at least, and where it could go! So let's see how this turns out then eh?

Cheers for now!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Project UK: Delaque Gangers!

So another gang is about to land on Devos IV.. this time the Delaque Gangers.. with their trademark trench coats  and bald heads. They will be kicking in doors, and scooping up loot before you know it!

This is the first model of the gang. And by gang, I mean small resistance force as Zzzzzz had picked up the entire Heresy group for me to paint for him.

The coloring can be seen in the first photo to the left there. Dark brown leather like trench coat, with red inside. Black clothing for their normal gear, and a pale skin tone.

I think overall it came out really well in the end. Though the base is a bit bare, so need to figure out what I can do to spice that up a bit more as well. I have had suggestions for newspapers for my Infinity crew, so many that might come over here also. Will see.

I still have a ton more to do for this gang, but I think after doing the test model I will be busting through the rest of them in short order. Finished this up while watching 2 shows, so for a test color scheme, that was quite quick for me. Can't wait to see how the whole gang looks when finished!

Best part for me is that I think I am finally coming to grips with how to paint up black to a level I enjoy. Again using the Vallejo Model Black, mixed with P3 Coal Black, and some GW Kislev Flesh for the final highlight. Thoughts? Comments? Am curious to what others think of it.

Some more shots of this guy..

And then while he was set up and my camera was out, I tried some other "artsy" type shots..

"Wild West version"

"Classic Vampire version"

"Under a street lamp version"

"Polarized version"

Again had fun painting this, and can't wait for the rest to be finished. Will be working on them this week, while I prep for the workshop, and probably will finish them off post Germany. Or at least that is the hope!
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