Friday, April 11, 2014

My take on Adepticon 2014 Classes... and my Tudor House

Two posts in less than 24 hours?  It must be snowing in hell.  But seriously, I was going to lump these two entries together, but it got late and an hour and a half commute at 5:15am with less than 5 hours of sleep isn't the most pleasant experience.  This being an adult and having to make a decent living isn't what it's all cracked up to be.... but I digress... This is going to be a long one, but I'll throw some pictures in at the end.

I suppose I should start by talking about the classes I did take.  Oddly enough, one of the "classrooms" I ended up mostly in was on the 13th floor of the hotel in a parlor room which looked like a normal hotel room (minus the bed and bedroom furniture) with a kitchen and 4 rows of work benches.  An interesting setup.  I took 7 classes while at Adepticon this year.  Yep 7 two hour classes....  Color Theory with Meg Maples, Acrylic Additives with MajorTom11 of Dakka Dakka, True Metallics with Dave Pauwels, Intro to Two Brush Blending with Matt DiPietro, Intro to Green Stuff Modeling with Joe Orteza, and Building Gaming Scenery with Marcin "marcineczek0" Ignasiak.  It was a busy weekend to say the least.

I'm not going to be terribly harsh since I did learn something from every class.  The overall theme I got with most of the classes was they needed to be more hands on.  I hate just sitting there listening to lecture format.  I feel like I'm in high school again and I'm fuckin 31 now.  I want to touch things and work with my hands.  That is why I love this hobby, its an outlet for me to fiddle with things.  Also, I think if the instructors had some kind of a projector showing what they were doing blown up on a big screen.  That way, we could see first hand what they're talking about and interact with the instructor while they were teaching would've been extremely helpful.  I'm not a fan of looking over someones shoulder as they're explaining something.  You could say "Then buy a DVD and learn from that", and to that, I'd say "Yeah, but there is no interaction between said named DVD and what your doing.  What if you have a question or you are experiencing a problem?  How is a DVD going to help you then?".  Those are the themes that seemed to follow most of these classes.

The first class I took was Color Theory with Meg Maples, an award winning artist formerly of Privateer Press.  She's an amazing painter.  I actually met her before the class in the elevator without even realizing I was having a conversation with the teacher.  The class was interesting.  It was lecture format with a pen and pad of paper.  She went over how different colors contrast with one another, such as warm and cool colors.  Not having any formal art schooling, the color chart was pretty much a mystery to me.  We got to see some of her works up close as well.  The last 30 minutes though she let us loose to work on whatever we wanted to if we had brought miniatures.  It was my first day and first class, so after taking an upclose look at some of her other miniatures, I took off.  I think this class would be more suited for a 45 minute lecture rather than a 2 hour one.  Maybe having a color wheel for everyone and getting a more hands on use of it would've helped nail home the bullet points she was making.

Next up was Acrylic Additives with MajorTom11 of Dakka Dakka.  Sadly, this was the most disappointing class I took.  The topic is interesting, but the presentation was terrible.  Maybe because it was formatted to someone who has no knowledge of the different things you can add to your paint to get a different effect.  The instructor seemed like a cool guy, but just the presentation was bad.  He went over your basics like gloss, satin, matt, drying retardants, paint binder, flow improver, ect, ect.... but he didn't do any demonstrations of what each does.  With this type of class, just verbally telling people what each does is no better than google'ing it.  The last 45 minutes the class turned into an airbrush conversation.  I've never used an airbrush before, so what was being said really had no relevance to why I was there.  Thats about all I can say about that class.

Third up was True Metallics with Dave Pauwels.  Dave is an amazing artist (multiple golden demon and slayer sword winner) and I would love to sit down with him and just paint while asking questions.  Sadly, this class was more aimed at how to wash metallics and how to create your own washes (which is still pretty cool) rather than painting silver and gold.  My big issue with my painting at this stage is I have issues layering my metallics and just end up dry-brushing then going back and fixing "chalky" areas by layering and rewashing.  I want to completely eliminate the use of drybrushing miniatures.  Don't get me wrong, it was a very interesting class, and I learned alot.  I was just hoping for more of his fundamentals on painting with metallics via layering and blending rather than washing and rewashing.

On the second day after the Lord of the Rings tournament, I went straight into a class called Intro to Two Brush Blending taught by Matt DiPietro.  Matt DiPietro is the one if not the lead painter at Privateer Press.  If you've ever picked up a Warmachines or Hordes box and saw the painted models on the cover, you probably saw his work.  A very talented artist.  This was one of those classes that really needed a projector showing what he was doing.  I had alot of trouble grasping what he was trying to teach as well as most of the class.  I was part of the second group of four groups to go up and be shown the technique he was using by watching over his shoulder, and I felt it was extremely rushed through, and when I got back to my seat I instantly had problems applying the technique.  I'm not used to using a #2 brush, let alone two of them.  Also, I'm not used to using two brushes at once while constantly licking one of the brushes.  Saliva is a natural solvent in using this technique.  Needless to say, it felt awkward and clumsy, and he went too fast in explaining and showing it.  I had issues grasping the concept until he came around and showed it to me on my white paper palette the concept of the technique.  Even then (and now) I didn't feel confident in using the technique effectively.  I think 2 hours was a bit short for this class as well.  I think 4 hours would've been more sufficient for everyone to fully grasp (or atleast me).  Also, the lack of paint colors available was a big problem.  If I would've known that color schemes were going to be scarce, I would've brought my own.  I still haven't tried his technique since the class, so its something I'm going to need to practice to get perfected.  Maybe I'll go explore youtube and see it up close to fully understand what he was trying to teach.

Two Brush blending was the only class I took Friday.  On Saturday, after my Freeblade's game, I took a class called "Lose the Fear: A Introduction to Green Stuff Modeling" taught by Joe Orteza, a 14-time golden demon winner.  Needless to say, the guy is crazy artistic and quirky, which I found very entertaining.  He had a very interesting way of teaching the class mixed with awkward humor that kept me interested in what he was talking about.  I'm not sure if I enjoyed the class or just the guy teaching it.  It was a pretty basic class dealing with creating purity seals, a feather, and a chain out of greenstuff.  Again, this was another class that needed a projector showing what he was doing.  You can tell he's taught these classes for awhile now.  He had a white board and was drawing what he was talking about, showing us step by step how to mold the greenstuff.  It was a little confusing at first without knowing exactly what the end result was going to be.  Once the greenstuff started taking shape, it became quite clear what he was talking about.  I also liked the fact that he went around the room after every step or two and looked at our progress, showing his work to us, and/or correcting our mistakes by showing us what he's talking about within visual distance then watching us to make sure we understood.  Again, I really enjoyed the class and will probably be taking another one with him.

The last class I took was my favorite class by far.  It was called "Building Gaming Scenery with Marcineczek0", taught by Marcin Ignasiak, a very talented scenery guru that apparently built a shit ton of the scenery used on the playing tables.  I wanted to take this class last year, but really didn't know the protocol on attending classes after the webstore stopped selling.  Apparently, you just walk in, ask the instructor if there is any room for you (which in every class I was in there was), sit down, take the class, and pay up at the end.  Anyhew, I thought the class was awesome.  All the materials were provided, the directions were clear, and the instructor was on-hand to help and answer any questions you might have without being too aggressive or uppity about it.  I prefer this type of class where you just get down to business, plus I love building terrain.  One big thing I learned from this class is my new love of superglue gel.  The stuff is amazing for both scenery and miniature assembling.  Sadly, I didn't get my building built in class, even with an extra half an hour tacked on.  I would've liked to have seen how much plaster and water he uses for the walls and whatnot.  The following day, I spent a good afternoon finishing it and spent a good portion of the week painting it.  Needless to say, next year I'm going to attend another class with Mr. Ignasiak.

Next year, I don't think I'm going to take as many classes as I did this year.  There were certain instructors that I liked, others that I felt were lacking.  In the long run, I can say I atleast learned something from each class.  Also, next year I'm going to try to get into some of the classes that sold out within the first 20 minutes of the webstore opening.... like OSL and female faces.  I'll have a lot to pondering in the upcoming months.

So if you made it this far, your probably like "Where the fuck are the pictures you promised d-bag?".  Don't worry, I didn't forget.  So here are pictures of the tudor cottage I finished painting the other night.  I think it turned out really good.  My wife especially likes the window.

My cluttered hobby desk

Yep, that's bird shit on the roof

See, completely scratch build minus the doors and window which were casted by Marcin

Back View

Side view

Up close

I tried the light house for this guy..... just a tad too big to work

28mm True Size Uruk Hai for scale purposes

So that's my new house.  If I didn't build it myself, I'd swear it looks store-bought.  Now I want to build a bigger one or an entire village to battle in.  Oh man, too many ideas, not enough time to complete it all.  Anyway, I hope I didn't bore anyone to tears with my wall of text and I hope you guys enjoyed looking at my little cottage.  Let me know what you guys think.  Thanks for checking my blog out.

No painting tonight I'm afraid....

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