So as stated on Friday.. I headed up to Manchester to join up with Tommie for his Fundamental's Painting class. Heck, you might even say that he put the Fun into Fundamental painting even.. Sorry.. said I wouldn't write that, but it was just too good to pass up :)
It was quite the trip up to Liverpool where I spent the night with fellow 5-th-dimension member DarkMessiah before heading over to Manchester in the morning to meet up with Tommie, his crew and all the fellow painters to learn his mysterious ways.
Biggest thread of thought that he preached throughout the class though was "Risk assessment and Damage Limitation". Everything he spoke about, taught, or showed us was along those lines.
Now, some might think.. "Mr Lee... really.. going to a class about fundamentals? Why? Haven't you learned those enough in previous classes?" Honestly, this is not really a class about fundamentals though. It is more about the principles of paint theory and seeing a different way of working the brush.
Main focus of this class is probably primarily about how to paint great table top quality models quickly. Though that is not to say that this cannot be used for showcase models.
Tommie's style is very clean and heavy metal styled. Though his style is one that can be used for a variety of ways and really just opened up a few new tricks for me to put into my arsenal.
But first things first.. better not get ahead of ourselves. And this was brush control. Tommie walked us through his process of why he uses MDF boards for a palette, and how this allows us to understand how the colors will look and play like before being put to the models themselves.
Another classic line from Tommie... "What happens on the palette, happens on the model". And with this style of painting it is highly recommended.
But it was good to play around with the paint here and see how the paint reacts with water at different consistencies, and how we can utilize those different levels for different painting styles. The middle photo above was Tommie's palette, the bottom one was mine. As you can see, it was a bit of a trial and error(s) for me to play around with it. Though from this Tommie was able to identify the main points or problems that we could work on with my painting style. And where if I worked on them I could improve my painting style further. Let's just say that we need to work on controlling dotty, and leave it at that. ;)
The first things we did with this new found knowledge of course was to get a base coat onto our model that we will work with.
We all picked out a cultist from the stack of primed models. And trying to prime the piece with the minimal strokes as possible. And to get a good overall coverage while at it. This was my attempt here, and the model I would redo a few times through the class. Not because I felt I have made a mistake, but more because I had the time and ability to do so! And cause, since the point of a lot of the class was on how to understand how to use our tools better, and faster. It only made sense to put them together as much as I could while there!
After base coating the model, we then talked a bit more about the different techniques around that can help us.
This is where we focused on brush control now! And I am very happy to get this part of the class. Cause it helped me to better understand where and why at times my brush control falls apart. We focused on 3 ways of brush control; Pull, Sideways, and Push. But it was the Pull technique that I had to focus on the most as it was where I could begin to understand where my personal style falls at times.
The teaching to all of us was very simple though. When doing the pull technique.. make sure you pull in the same direction as the handle of the brush itself. This way you ensure that you get a straight line and it doesn't turn into a sideways pull instead.
He spoke a bit also about the fact of why he does not like to base coat with an airbrush, as he can do it faster with a large drybrush sized brush. And honestly it is quite quick! We got to test it out on a second model to which I got to use the second style.
The other style that we learned or talked about is about drybrushing. And again, it was interesting to see this. Not because of the fact that we do not know how to drybrush, but because of the way that he showed us on how to use it for things other than what we typically used it for.
Now hopefully Tommie is OK with me saying this, but as it is quite evident on my model it would be hard for me not to mention it :)
By using the drybrush, and really pressing it into a flat surface it can help to create a bit of texture on that piece. As you can see from my second model here it gave me the opportunity to play with that texture and begin to make nics and folds within the piece. And really make the cloth/leather piece come alive!
I had learned this in the past, but never really spent too much time into it. But I then worked on trying to create texture on the flat portions of the legs. And well you can see how well that turned out. It really does make the leather and pieces a lot less sterile overall. And heck.. who am I kidding.. it was fun just playing around with the paint at this time.
Actually cause I was going through the steps so quickly I did get quite a bit done on this model while others worked on their steps.
I basically had the opportunity at this point to begin to really just play around with all the things that we had learned in the day, and try it out again on the first model. Whom got to get some more basecoating happening before trying out all the steps once more.
He didn't get finished in the end, but he did get a lot of practice on the techniques provided today.
Overall it was a very interesting day learning or in some respects, relearning, techniques that I have done in the past. But it was a great experience to rethink on how I do a few things, and how I can use different things at different times to get different or even specific results. Was very refreshing!
Just want to say thanks to Tommie for the day! Wish that there was a bit time at the end to chat further about more things about painting or his style. But alas I was needing to get back to Liverpool to tour downtown Liverpool and check out what both the nightlife and historical buildings were like. To which we went into one Sunday morning.. but more on that in another post.. In the meantime, check out some photos of Golem studies and their line up of models that they have completed for many people past, present, and future. Enjoy!