Max "I'm a Lawyer HAHAHAHA" Betterman.. I met this guy back when I was in Augsburg for he Private lessons with Roman and Raffa prior to Duke of Bavaria. So he know's roughly where my quality level was at, and even then was giving me some tips and tricks on how to improve my painting.
I have the fortunate chance to run into him again at the Monte Show and he again went and tore new strips off me and my pieces that I put in the different categories.
Harsh. Brutal. Honest. Direct. Accurate.
Best way I can describe his feedback to me on how my painting is going and what I need to fix on the pieces. Cut right through me on a few points, and I have to say that it was very jarring to hear some of the comments that he gave. To the point that we only went over one display per day as that was all I could handle.
And he was loving every minute of it :)
But upon reflection, and many beers, I can say that it was all accurate, true pieces of information that I do need to hear if I want to move up to the Masters categories next year.
Biggest comments I can take from him were more along the thinking behind what is the model doing or why is something where it is. Been told this before, but now being given a bit more details or theory behind that comment with real examples on my pieces.
- Why is there moss on the metal roof of my Zombie Dio?
- Or the bricks.. making them not look like they were just glued to the building, and rough the up a bit more as well.
- That although I can do well enough with my contrasts now, I need to think on where do I want those contrasts and lights to go?
- Where is the focus on the piece? And thus where should I focus the light and effort on the piece?
- If the fisherbots string is not straight, it is not the end of the world.. unless it is the focal point of the piece and then it means that more attention to it is required!
- Think on the texture of a piece, and look for more reference materials for it. Such as the bandana on the cabin boy, and what fabric would it be made out of?
- Using Inks on the skin to bring in the shine, without having to bring in varnishes which might distort the colors.
And these are just some of the highlights.. I have several pages worth of notes from him on how to improve my pieces or work on future pieces as well. Something that I am putting into practice now on the Viking bust and looking more into the textures and thinking more on how I will paint it.
What was truly awesome is that he then did something very unusual at the end of the event. After winning Silver with his Historical Masters entries.. he was talking about what to do with the pieces. Jokingly Peter and I said we would help by taking some off his hands... and he said OK..
His award winner display at Monte... and some top shelf pieces indeed! Well worth the award for him here! And which did he give me?
At first I had asked if I could have the Cowboy.. again thinking that it was a HAHA fooled you joke for later on.. but when the competition was over, and we were all packing up. Max shows up with the Cowboy and hands it to me to take home! Like.. whoa! A great piece that I saw him start to work on at Duke, and now part of my collection at home where I can reference it for ideas on skin and linen styles... mind blown!
But then while he was packing the rest and complaining about how he was going to take the rest home he offered me his Germanic Warrior bust as well!
I mean this was really a surprise and an awesome one cause I have this piece at home. Really like how he did it, and can now use it as a Side by Side comparison for when I begin to paint up my version!
Incredibly humbled by this, and I have to say thank you over and over for such a gift! Now looking forward to seeing him again in February when we paint up the Andrea Ronin with Alfonso "Banshee" Giraldes in Augsburg. Though he also said he didn't want to sit near me due to how fast I paint compared to how slow he paints. But honestly.. if he paints slowly, and gets these results, then he must be doing something right! And seeing him paint might be interesting all the same!
Until the next time! Enjoy the week, and Max.. thanks again!