A few weekends ago, I went to a painting course taught by Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo, organised by James from Rising Ape Miniatures. It was in a really nice charity café in rural England. We assembled the daemonette used for the course, and settled down to a whole bunch of listening about how to draw the eye to parts of the miniature.
The course alternated between theoretical tips about eyelines and focus, and practical ones like "how to use milliput and dried earth in basing. While it's advertised as a "beginner's course", that's because a beginner can start with it. There was still plenty for me to learn despite having been painting for years.
There was a lot of practical stuff as well, alongside the theory, such as painting your own colour wheel from scratch. I've had a bunch of colour wheels waved under my nose before but never quite clicked with them. Having to mix the paint for your colour wheel yourself was a big improvement for me.
It was remarkably late in the weekend before we actually undercoated the miniature. While we were using opaque paints, we still did a two stage spray zenithal to help us get a good idea of where the light was going to fall.
We'd all got different ideas for what we were doing. Some people had paid more attention to "don't make a huge base" than others.
We then dropped three primary colours on our wet palette, mixed a grey from the three of them, along with the three "mix two" colours. This was using some of Roman's own artist paint, just to give it a go.
We then got asked, to practice mixing colours, to try and mix from the primaries, a colour to match the skin tone of our thumb. I'm deeply pleased of how quickly I got to a pretty good approximation, and am feeling a lot more comfortable in messing around with paint colours in future.
We then spent a bunch of time painting the base, playing around with wet blending on the model, and learning about sketching colours in to tidy up later. It was late Saturday and we hadn't even started painting the model!
We painted in the skin to start off, taking the intended mid tone and deliberately desaturating it. I did make a mistake here with the colours I had available to me as I ended up having to try and strengthen my mid-tone with a more saturated colour as my intended mid-tone didn't have enough coverage.
To emphasise the top of the model, we then desaturated the lower legs further, and highlighted more around the face and upper body. This sort of thing of lightening towards a particular focus point on the model is something I've not bothered with when army painting but it really wasn't that hard to do at all, so is a real temptation in the future.
"Not the skin" then took up a surprisingly tiny amount of the Sunday. We did a bit of practicing a different type of blending on the claws, and got the hair and eyes done. There was also a bit about how to try and highlight up metals by moving from dark to light metals and emphasising the highlights your first metallic layer shows you in the light.
Everyone on the course seemed to be happy with how it went and there were a real variety of skill levels and everyone seemed to get something out of it. There were a wide range of visions to the figures, and there was some lovely miniatures to look at when we all finished.
I've called it a day on my daemonette with what I did on the course. There's bits I missed painting and poor quality blending in places, and some colour issues where I realised the issue but decided to keep soldiering on to pay attention to the lesson than trying to fix all of it. For all of the imperfections, she makes me happy as I learned a lot on the course, and there's a whole bunch I'm really looking forward to applying to my painting in the future.