Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Meg Maples Masterclass - Wellington (Guest post)

One thing i wanted to do more this year was get other people in my gaming groups involved in some guest posts. Our local PP Press Ganger Pelarel posted this originally on the NZ Warmachine blog, Thrallblacks.

Original post is here, http://www.thrallblacks.com/2014/02/meg-maples-masterclass-wellington.html

Or "I've been doing it all wrong!" ;)

No, Meg didn't actually say it but we all quickly realised that we had :)

Saturday started with a lot of sunshine (as usual, Metservice had predicted rain) and 16 painters turned up to learn from the awesome Meg Maples.

Meg supplied the minis, though we did have a choice as to which mini. Bearing in mind this is a class and we'd be learning techniques that we'd never used before we chose...

Steampunk Dorothy from the Guild of Harmony

Boy, did we make our lives difficult for ourselves! Awesome mini, beautifully detailed and posed.. perhaps a little too detailed to learn on, but hey! why make life easy for ourselves :)

After everyone had found their seats and gotten the pre-coffee banter out of the way, we settled down to business and Meg showed us how to prime our minis - yes, we'd been doing it wrong!

With priming, less is more apparently, who'd have thought!

Once we'd all gotten that sorted, we were into base coats. pay attention to the skirt on my mini..

Skin and clothes base colour in place, and apparently sanguine base is a little dark to easily learn the two brush blending technique that Meg was going to wow us with - seriously, we were all wowed!

OMG!!! this was an awesome effect that Meg managed to impart clearly and with plenty of commentary as she worked. Great artist, great teacher what more can i say? The gasps and "holy sh!t"s floating around the room were testament to this, people got it and it was mind blowing! Though, the "holy sh!ts" from those using GW paints may have had a slight edge of frustration to them, eh Charlie? ;). For the 2 brush blending technique Meg uses you need a paint with a longer working time, something that GW paints are not noted for.... Those with PP paints in their collection became very popular..

Through all of the tutorials Meg made great use of discussion on colour theory to tie the steps together. Having the discussion approach gave the colour theory much more context and made it understandable for everyone. Also having a selection of her minis available for reference was a great aid to discussion, allowing topics to wander over to "how did you do this colour", "what technique did you use to achieve this?"..

A view from the naughty table

The afternoon was interspersed with the discussion and eyes and faces.

6 step eyes... yes SIX steps to 28mm eyes!!! oh, and you do the eyes BEFORE you shade and highlight the face... no, seriously, you do cos Meg says and she really is right! (See the continuation of the 'I've been doing it wrong' theme?) the faces continued the 2 brush blending theme and a discussion on skin tones and how to work them through. this was pretty much the rest of the afternoon with lots of "oh my god"s and other exclamations as people got it.

see, lipstick, eyes, eyebrows and a beauty spot! I could not have painted like this on Friday!

Day 2 came along with more sunshine and plenty of light. I have to say a huge thanks to Sue and Heretaunga College for the venue - we couldn't have asked for better!

Metallics, hair, free hand and glow effects were the order of the day for day 2.. with more colour theory!! :)

and, guess what - metallics with 2 brush blending. The choice of shading tones has a real impact on the final effect. annoyingly I feel I did better on the back of the rifle stock than I did on the front but didn't take a pic :(

the hair went a bit better:

I managed to bring out the filigree on the stock and a bit more detail on Tonto.. I couldn't bring myself to tackle the basket of flowers.....

I didn't get around to applying Megs free hand and glow effects tutorials to my mini but I definitely have a much better idea of how to approach them for future projects.

All in all, I was really happy with how the mini had turned out and the techniques that Meg somehow managed to get into my head will definitely stay with me for later work, there is NO way I'm not using 2 brush blending at every opportunity!!

All 16 people at the class had a great mini to show off at the end with everyone learning so much!

For anyone considering asking Meg to run a class you should stop thinking about it and just do it! Organise your fellow painters and get a date and venue sorted, you will not be disappointed. Meg manages to impart so much of her passion and enthusiasm for painting whilst still giving a technically excellent lesson that suits all abilities - you don't have to be a top painter to really step up your game with Meg but already great painters will learn a lot too! Go into the lesson with a willingness to learn, with the odd fun sidetrack and you'll have great time and come out the other end a much better painter for it.

I will be working to coax Meg back to continue her great work sometime in the future - I'll definitely be keeping in touch! (until she un-friends me on Facebook and blocks my email address anyway! ;o) )


PG Palarel

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