Friday, May 2, 2014

Massive Voodoo Private Lessons...

TGIF! And what a week it has been! I can honestly say that last week kicked my butt so hard that it took all of this week to recover and I am still working on it!

This is why the review and recap of the workshop with Massive Voodoo has taken so long!

So you have already seen the article concerning the pre-workshop painting with Jason back on Tuesday this week. With that, I won't go over it again but have a look if you haven't already!

But where to actually start?!?!?! To be honest there was so many topics discussed throughout those 2 days, and so much information provided that this is why it has taken so long to write this article.

So I guess I can start at the beginning... and every beginning starts with the first steps.. and first steps require some sort of ground to stand on.. so the basing is probably a good place to begin with!

I had brought with me 3 versions of a sci-fi post apocalyptic base to work on. And so the first thing we did was choose one of them, and discuss it a bit more. 

First steps of overloading me.. deconstructing my base and trying to get a story out of it. To be honest.. this is probably one of my biggest struggling points ( even after going to Matt's Basing workshop back in January! ). And one that is difficult for me to create the right atmosphere or story behind it in order to continue with the model itself!

So with some encouraging words to push on... and a few megatons of basing material boxes... our intrepid wastelander was standing on his own little piece of paradise. Surveying the scene of carnage below him from his well used outpost location. 

Truly a base fit for the apocalypse! And now also a lot more interesting and telling a story to all around. 

But of course this required colors... and so the next discussions revolved around color theory but to an advanced level ( how else do you think Massive Voodoo do? ). Explaining the purpose of the Hue ( not you ), Saturation and something else that I will probably remember and then forget again... I did say there was a lot of information in these 2 days!!!!

In the end, with all the bricks we settled on an off red color with some heavy brown tones in it. Working from a more pale version to allow for a greater range of light and shadows to be used in the future on it. 

What was nice is that there were a few times that even the teachers became the students... like when Roman learned and put to use the Strongbow Airbrush techniques that I learned from the Airbrush class over from The Weekend Workshop artist John in liverpool!

Such concentration on Roman's face here... 
With the base out of the way.. it was time for a nice lunch out. And with my Canadian roots the boys took me out to a Turkish Donar shop! Where else to take a Canadian that lived in Turkey but now lives in UK but travels to Germany for lunch!

Funny side story... while Massive Voodoo orders in Germany, and we speak to each other in English, I was able to order in Turkish! Much to the surprise of the waiter! Always love that effect in Germany!

So with bellies full of donar, and jokes stashed away for later.. we began work on the model.. what model? Well the new Figone Sci-Fi Maulg figure named Bill Tcherno. The thought process was that it would be a great model since the original Maulg is so great, but we did find issues with regards to painting it as the session went on. Nothing more to do with it now though except to press on!

Color choices also came back into play again. Again discussing the base color, and how to get the most out of it. For this model, I really wanted to try some wild colors here.. and in this case we went for a lilac purple like tone. Something that could go very dark with a darker purple or lighter with pale blues and whites! And helping to bring the atmosphere from the base into the model the leather sections were all based in those same colors. 

Roman looking on as Raffa's explains his reference model in greater depth
It was a lot of paint throwing occurring at this point.. and time flew by quite fast. Even when Max the Lawyer Judge man from the wild west ( or at least brought a piece with him from the wild west see below ) showed up.. 

Max's cowboy that he finished just in time to display with the rest of the judges pieces at Duke. 
By the end of the night we had completed most of the base portions of Bill.. and stopped when Raffa began to notice my painting to become a bit sloppy! So that was the end of that model for the night and we fell into discussions about other basing and ideas... such as where my Scuba Diver could be for a good sized base. Maybe the beach... or a dock.. but what is the story there.. so then things like a forest, up in a tree came up.. or the moon since his helmet looks sturdy enough... yeah.. base discussions past midnight while drinking beer is probably not the best avenue to take!

Wednesday morning came far too quickly though, and again we were back on the road to the studio! With a slight shift in the morning to get some advice on color variances on the Scuba Diver and the Sci-Fi bust. 

Raffa was brave enough to tackle the Alien bust with me, and gave me hints on how a slight red hue shift on the skin can dramatically shift the character of the model. And right he was! Just look at the piece above.. We concentrated the redness around and on the parts grafted to his skin and into the shadows a bit. Focusing on glazes with the airbrush more than anything here to get the desired effects. We also sprinkled or splattered gloss/satin varnish over the model to give it a bit more oily effect. Both of which came to great effect. 

The other suggestion was to redo the eyes. I really liked the Riddick style of eyes, but Raffa was leaning more to souless blackness. It would be after the workshop that I would redo them in black, but not before finding the perfect metallic flake colors in Turquoise that I would do just that. And achieve what I believe is the perfect eyes to make this guy quite sinister and angry!

Roman then took the helm to help me transfer some of these ideas to 28mm scale and to really dive into the level 3 details of a piece. He began to conjure up quite the story of this unlikely hero and that he is quite the dirty dirty man.. 

So we picked out the boils and pimples throughout his body and worked on making them quite infected and diseased. Also working on how to make cuts and work on skin variances on the knees and elbows of the piece. 

Huge steps were made at this point to understanding the importance of these slight shifts in hues and special effects and how it brings the pieces alive!

More food was consumed to help the digestion of these techniques and teachings began to take hold. 

Bigger strides were taken very quickly though in the afternoon when both of the Boys of Massive Voodoo sat to watch how I painted. I can say in all honesty.. this was probably the next biggest section that really helped throughout the 2 days. Between the 2 brains that make up Massive Voodoo they were able to pick out ways that I could improve my brush strokes to not only paint faster, but also cleaner. 

I had already begun to fix my brush work back from Tommie's class in Manchester, but this was taking it to the next level with reinforced comments and critique. 

Mr Lee hard at work here.. trying to apply the secrets of brush control!
There was another massively-huge-epic-style secret that was provided to me involving items that can be found around the house. It was another Ah-Ha moment for sure.. but one that you need to take a private lesson to receive ;) 

In the end.. I came away with a ton of techniques.. and a really well painted model started. 

And then a "not in the workshop" photo of the model... 

Still far from finished however.. but that is where I can take the skills I learned and press on with it. In the meantime enjoy the photos.. and some of the crazyiniess below that occurred during the sessions... sorry for the lack of more photos though but in this class there was very little downtime allowing for photo taking! So thanks again to Massive Voodoo crew, Max, and Sanne also for taking some when I was not looking!

Enjoy the weekend.... I'm off to paint some more!!!!!


  1. Great pics Mr Lee ,you look fun with your friends , love your Sci-Fi bust .
    Greetings .

    1. Thanks LOL.. there were many LOLs in that session and the week as a whole. Was a great week!

  2. Sounds like a very cool weekend :)

    1. The whole week was awesome.. can't really say more!

  3. Sounds like a very cool weekend :)

  4. And another great article showing your hobby time and progress. Hope to get chance of spending some time with you painting again!

    1. Sure thing! And glad that you liked the article!

  5. Hope you were inspired to do purple on skin after seeing it work to such great effects at Salute... ;)

    1. I think subconsciously that is why we went with purple! Who doesn't want to win the speed painting competition there! Think of it as practice for next year ;)

    2. Mwahaha, just make sure Roman and Raffa don't come to visit. I fear they may just have a few speed painting tricks up their sleeves...looking good though mate!

  6. Such a cool time we had. I am really proud of you when I look at your result from the class! We are working on our review these days, should hit the jungle soon :)


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