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Vaitalla last won the day on July 7 2013

Vaitalla had the most liked content!

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About Vaitalla

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  • Birthday 06/21/1972

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    Denton, TX
  • Interests
    Dog training and showing, writing, painting tiny pewter people. I am She Who Makes The Paint for Reaper.

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  1. This was a pretty-much-flawless piece in person. Thanks for posting up the link and the photos for those who didn't see it before! My favorite parts are the movement on the flames and the teensy-tiny spell books.
  2. Vaitalla

    New Classes Up

    Hey there guys! I wanted to let y’all know that new classes have been added to the ReaperCon schedule, including two taught by myself. :) I haven’t really taught for the last couple years except for fill-ins, but decided to do a Blending (layering and glazing) class on Thursday at 1 pm, and a Painting Textures (using paint to mimic texture effects on large models, when you see what I’ve been painting lately you will understand) class on Sunday morning at 10 am. The painting textures class I’ve put down as intermediate/advanced; you’ll want an understanding of paint consistency and light, good brush control, and some really fine brushes to take full advantage. Here’s a quick link to just my classes. ...but please take a look at all the new offerings. :) —Anne
  3. I typed all this out for a person over on our Facebook but it is also useful info for this group, so I'm bringing it over. :) The concept of painting using CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black/white) has enjoyed varying degrees of popularity over the years. Though it seems like it should work, in reality the two systems (CMYK vs pigments) are fundamentally as different as different mediums--which, essentially, they are. Here's my response post after another party mentioned the difficulty of getting good browns with CYMK. "...speaking as the person who actually creates the Master series paint line...the reason mixing browns doesn't work so well with CMYK is that you are utilizing two different color systems with two different properties. CMYK deals with inks (dyes) which are completely solvent and transparent. Paints deal with pigments, which are particulate, not fully-soluble and have varying degrees of opacity [Anne's note: thus, two different mediums]. In addition, CYMK theory ignores that in pigments, there are both warm and cool red, yellow and blue, so you will have a lot of trouble mixing certain hues. The Clear colors were created to assist with this--they aren't perfect, but Clear Blue will give you a red-phase blue instead of the green-phase blue of the Cyan, for example. You are also lacking an orange-phase yellow. Not sure which red you chose, but Clear Red is your best all-purpose. [Anne's note: yellows are either green-phase or orange phase. Magenta is actually an extreme blue-phase red, which makes mixing a good orange with it difficult.] Sorry for the novel. :) I myself carry only about 20 to 24 paints when I travel these days--colors to mix from and also colors I like and use enough that I don't want to mix them every time. :) For browns, in addition to your CYMK I would pick up 9072 Rust Brown (Red oxide), 29830 Ruddy Brown HD (Brown Oxide), and Umber Brown HD (29848 or 49 I think?). Have fun!" Bottom line: pigments are different from inks. You can get close, but you'll never get the full color range from trying to limit yourself to CYMK paints only. Instead, you'll be painting with a limited palette, which is actually very enjoyable and can lead to unique color combinations--but it can also be frustrating if you don't know WHY it works like this. :)
  4. Vaitalla

    Happy Birthday Anne (Vaitalla)!!

    Awww, thanks guys! I had a very nice birthday, even though I am getting pretty ancient.
  5. Vaitalla

    Advice to painting teachers

    Ahhh, yes, the "not enough light for the camera to function properly" issue. That's definitely fixable next year. Thanks!! :D I'm glad that overall you guys had fun and still learned well. I was a bit worried about going to larger class sizes but most con-goers mentioned that the plus of being able to actually get the classes they wanted out-weighed any lessening of personal attention from the instructor. Now get painting! I want 600 entries at the competition next year!! ;)
  6. Vaitalla

    Advice to painting teachers

    Those of you who had the experience with the instructor who had a hands-on class but didn't teach one--please PM me on here so I can see who it is and make sure there wasn't a misunderstanding (and that, if so, I don't repeat it next year!). Those of you who had an issue with the class description not being what was actually taught--same goes. I thank you all for this thread because, as the person who actually contacts (and contracts!) the instructors, arranges subjects and times and specifics, and tries hard to make sure that the description says what the class will be about, I usually only get as much feedback as people offer me in person at the Con regarding instructors and classes. For the record--our instructors are not paid to teach. Their payment is for Reaper to fly them in, pay hotel and most food, and take care of their needs while they are here. This is ENTIRELY different from all other Cons (to my knowledge) where the instructor must pay their own way and then charge enough for their classes to make ends meet. I think that our way allows for that "painting/sculpting carnival" feeling instead of instructors being stressed about whether they will make enough to pay for their trip. Likewise, whether to provide a hand-out is left up to the instructor. Many instructors take the time to make one…many equally do not. As we are not paying them, we do not require a hand-out from them in order to teach. I personally have been one of those people who never had time to put together a hand-out (understand, please, that doing so takes many hours for extensive documents like Rhonda (Wren) gives out). Bottom line: always bring a notebook. Always ask for websites/resources that you can find to fill in if there is no handout. Always be ready to take some notes. Be very appreciative if there IS an exhaustive hand-out…producing those takes time and effort that the instructor is not paid for. I suggest thanking them and giving them glowing reviews. ;) There were several new instructors this year and hopefully now that they know how things work there will be no panicked hand-priming at the last minute. :) At least I'll try hard to address that in advance! Thank you very much for the feedback, I really appreciate it. We try to make things run smoothly but with over 30 instructors this year we did have some hiccups! The cameras were a new experiment this year and experienced many technical difficulties…that said, we and the instructors learned a lot from this year and I suspect that next year things will go a little smoother. :) Many instructors actually liked the cameras once they got them to work so I'm hoping they can become an effective teaching tool for larger classes! The layout of classrooms…very much an experiment this year! Rows of tables not being conducive to instructors walking around, noted. Will try to put things in "U" shape next year which may make things easier. :) Yes, we put specific ability levels in the class descriptions and no, we can not limit classes to those students who fit that description. :( The best I can do is make instructors aware of the dichotomy and ask them to keep to the level of the class as posted. Thank you again for letting us know that this is an issue. The person who "audited" the class without buying a ticket…thank you for the heads-up. We had no idea this had happened. I will make sure that ALL instructors are aware for next year that this is NOT acceptable. I thought it was obvious that people who had not purchased a ticket weren't allowed to sit. Apparently I was wrong. Ah well…there are always things to fix. :) Did I forget to address anyone's specific concerns?
  7. Hello folks! A little bird named Heisler told me about this thread. I'm happy to inform you that water comprises less than 25% of the Reaper washes. Let me tell you a story... Once upon a time, several years ago, a (different, and not-so-little) bird named Gus came into Anne's office. "These new (insert other company here) washes are fantastic!" he raved. "I bet you can't do anything as good as this." The Paint Goddess raised an eyebrow. "O Really," said she. "Produce these washes, I bid thee." Thus did the Gus order a set of the new (other company) washes, and presented them to the Anne. "See!" he said, "Awesome!" The Paint Goddess said merely, "Hmmm." A period of R & D ensued... Two weeks later, the Paint Goddess did present the Gus with a new Formulation. "Test these, I bid thee." "OMG," said the Gus, "These are wicked good," (or something to that effect). *** The moral of this story is that I work best when challenged with a "You can't possibly do this" but also that much thought went into the Reaper MSP wash formulas. You can rest assured that they are not merely "add water to paint." To do so would mean that they would separate and break down far too easily, as Heisler said, and we don't settle for lesser quality here in the Reaper Paint Department if we can instead exceed expectations. To summarize without releasing too much proprietary info, the Reaper washes are formulated off of a base that is primarily a water-soluble acrylic, giving them the necessary body; then additives are employed to enhance flatness, flow, and translucency. Also, I may have been reading too much Victorian fiction of late. Humor me. p.s. Heisler can cast the spell "Summon Anne" twice per week, at 10th level. I assume he's at least 10th level. How else could he be our ReaperCon auctioneer??
  8. Vaitalla

    Questions For Anne?

    Yes, Reaper will be glad to forward you the MSDS sheets for the paint; contact questions@reapermini.com and if you do not hear back there, email ed@reapermini.com directly. Reaper MSP's were spot-tested by spectral analysis by the same lab that found cadmium and mercury in the Vallejo paints, and found to be free of those materials. No one should be surprised about finding cadmium in Vallejo; they use artists' pigments to make their paints, and that includes cadmium reds and yellows which we do not use. The mercury, though worrisome, was I believe no fault of Vallejo's but an issue with the pigment manufacturer they used at the time, and has since been rectified (to the best of my knowledge). I would like to point out, Willen, that you should always wear a proper ventilation mask no matter what paint you are airbrushing. though fine-ground silica and resins are perfectly non-toxic if you get some on your skin while painting, none of it is good to breathe!
  9. Vaitalla

    ReaperCon Painting Competition Rules Update

    I'll /poke Heisler to look at this when he has a second, because I don't have one right now--thanks for the heads-up Cash, our web people are absolutely swamped so I imagine we just forgot to take an older section down when the new was updated.
  10. Vaitalla

    Color Usage Discussion - MSP and others

    Hmmm. There may also have been some Brown Liner. Can't remember. What about you guys? Do you have any unusual colors you like to use in your shading?
  11. Vaitalla

    Color Usage Discussion - MSP and others

    The DDS wasn't in the gallery probably because it was up in our photography studio room. There are more photos on our website. I had to duplicate Michael's paint job on the ruins, and couldn't believe how many colors he uses. The Stone Grey base coat was airbrushed but everything from there was brushwork with different colored glazes, then highlights. By the way...there is no Pure Black at all used on the ruins. The dark shadows are created by overlaying multiple dark colors with glazing. I started off with Stone Grey and then examined the piece. Michael had given me the list of colors he used--about double the colors I would have normally used! Blue Liner seemed to be initially used everywhere to bring out shadows, cracks, and sculpted detail, so I hit the whole ruins piece with a heavy wash of Blue Liner. Michael then used various canceled liner colors (red and green). I didn't have red but did have green, and yes Swamp Green would have been my choice to substitute. I used Crimson Red HD in place of the Red Liner and though it was a little lighter I liked the effect. With these colors I applied mottled randomized glazes of color here and there, concentrating on the shadows but not getting concerned when they splashed over on other areas. Forest Green was also used here and there...glazing or stippling green helps create an illusion of lichen or moss growing on the stones. I glazed until I was happy with the contrast, and made sure that most of my shadows fell where the light wouldn't reach (on the sides and undersides of stones, keeping the tops lighter). Highlight colors were the weirdest I have ever used on stonework but after playing with them I really liked them! Highlights were Burnt Orange and a combination of Burnt Orange and Linen White. Selective glazing with the Burnt Orange on upper surfaces created an illusion of warm natural light coming from above. Though I don't usually utilize nearly as many colors in my own work, I do like to shade with weird colors at times. I enjoy shading green with purples; olive greens especially react well to this. I use Monarch or Regal purple for that most often, though you could use Nightshade as well.
  12. Vaitalla

    Color Usage Discussion - MSP and others

    Yes, if RMS come out of the bottle with separation, then recap and shake a bit more. They should not require much shaking--I remember having to shake some of my Vallejos for over 30 seconds, at most an MSP you have not used in a while should require 5-10 seconds of shaking. Shaking till you hear the slight rattle from the agitator is a good benchmark. Colors you use often shouldn't need much shaking at all.
  13. I wanted to start this thread because of something I read in another one--specifically, that the MSP "primary" colors were mixed with white and thus of limited usage in some applications. I thought I might clarify a couple of points about how MSP was created and which parts of it are good for what. After I babble on for a while, I would love to see you guys talk a bit about how you use color. So if you want, just skip to the end of this Wall o' Text. First off, when we created the line, I was aiming to provide a good selection of colors that were fairly matte, had great adhesion (i.e. they would stick to the model as well as possible, and stand up to handling with a minimum of wear and tear), and would cover as well as we could manage. I also had some colors in mind that I had not seen in any other line at that time--really dark purples like 9022 Nightshade Purple and 9025 Burgundy Wine, for example. I began to learn paint chemistry and to work with different bases and pigments during this period and found that the brightest of colors inherently lacked coverage for various reasons unless paired with certain base types we weren't using (if you want me to elucidate here, just ask). Because of this, I did not concentrate on creating "pure pigment" colors for the first 54 (the initial release). So, though the first 54 MSP colors in the Core set make up a nice selection of hues, they aren't as good for pure mixing. As the line grew, we got the opportunity to expand to over 200 colors and I added in the Clear Brights--9094 through 9099. These are colors containing only one pigment or one plus a dash of another. They contain no white or any other colors. Because of this, they are very brilliant and translucent, which is why they were named "Clear (red, green, blue, etc.)." These colors are IDEAL for mixing and glazing. You can also gain a lot of "pop" using these over highlights initially laid down in white, or you can shade and highlight in colors that might cover a little better and then brighten and smooth everything with a glaze of Clear X. There are other single-pigment colors in the line, great for mixing, that I have mentioned in other threads--among them, Palomino Gold (yellow ochre), Pure Black, and Pure White. 9071 Chestnut Brown is your Burnt Sienna alternative. I also added in the initial Liner colors (9064-9066) during this period. I have never been one to use pure black in my shadows and found that Brown Liner and Blue Liner expanded my shading options. The Liner base is more fluid, has more flow improver added, and goes nicely translucent when thinned, allowing for subtle shading and glazing effects. We later added three other colored liners (Red, Green, Violet) but they were not nearly as popular and were sadly canceled due to lack of sales. Now I think they may merely have been ahead of their time, because I get requests for them an awful lot! We capped the first 108 with Flow Improver (though there is already flow improver added to ALL MSP's), Brush-On Sealer (works great as a matte medium--wash formula is 3 drops water, 3 drops Brush-On Sealer, 1 drop paint of your choice, adjust to taste), and our Brush-On Primer (white). Additional additives were later added with brush-on Black Primer, Anti-Shine Additive (add a tiny bit to make paints or washes more matte), and Drying Retarder (add a little in place of water to slow the drying time of paint, but be careful not to add too much or it won't dry!). All other additions have just been collections of colors that we thought might be useful to have around in a bottle so you don't have to mix 'em every time. In the HD line, we were looking for coverage, but again I didn't want to change the base too much. So we went with high-coverage pigments instead, and have been very happy with the results. The Heavy Gear line was created as a collaboration with their parent company and has some excellent and unique colors in it--both traditional MSP and HD types. Now--I would love to hear about how you use the colors you use. What do you like for shading, for highlighting, what are your most favorite and useful colors? Doesn't have to be MSP. I'm curious about whether you are shading with complementaries, highlighting with warmer and shading with cooler or vice versa. :) Who are your Color Theory gurus? Any good books to recommend? Online resources? Examples of minis you've painted with unusual takes on color?
  14. Vaitalla

    Colour and Light Theory and Application

    I came in to comment on something to this effect, then realized that a Monkey(sloth) had beaten me to it. Though the digital aspect can help illustrate certain principles, I agree with Willen that it is an artifact with its own way of seeing and terminology. That terminology may be getting in the way here, I think. When attempting to communicate new terminology to miniature painters, it helps to relate that terminology to current miniature-painting terms and concepts. I understand what you are saying about primary shadow. As noted by someone else above, your "primary shadow" equates to "mid tone" or for many painters. "Base coat" isn't a word I would use for ultimate comprehension, simply because some painters start dark and work toward light, or the reverse. The reason that the overall color of the object appears closest to that primary shadow/mid tone (you mention this in one of your posts) is that it seems to take up the majority of the object's surface (from the point of view of the viewer). Practically speaking, in painting, an object will seem to be the color that appears on the majority of its surface. This is why a red highlighted with orange can start to look orange instead of red--it will do so if the highlights become too broad. Using an example brought up before, Jennifer Haley's older work often appeared pastel (the color set, not the medium) because part of her style encompassed broader highlights. The primary shadow/mid tone takes up the majority of the object's surface because it is not being directly hit by the primary light source (as the "highlights" are), nor is it receiving primarily or only secondary light reflected from the ground/surrounding objects (as the secondary and far shadows are). Put a different and very logical way, the primary shadow/mid tone isn't facing the light source directly, nor is it facing substantially away. The above would change if the primary light source was coming from directly behind or next to the viewer, or from the side of the object opposite the viewer. Gurney works with these concepts well in his books. Finally I would like to request that we keep things friendly in here. In reading this entire thread, people are not attempting to prove anyone wrong, nor are they mindlessly accepting "conventional normality" instead of challenging it. The people in this thread are trying to understand what is being said, so that they can use it. If they challenge a concept that is presented, that's because they are interested. Put a different way, if I have a traditional understanding of something, I can be perfectly open to a different way of looking at it. However, part of great teaching is not only to present new and exciting concepts, but also to figure out the most effective way to engage the people you are seeking to teach. In line with this, as most of your readers are asking for examples of painted figures that illustrate these concepts, you may find it more effective to present photos of painted models. Also: for examples of someone who comes closest (in my opinion) to putting high color saturation into his shadows, look at the work of Michael Proctor. Carry on.
  15. Vaitalla

    Colour and Light Theory and Application

    This is a great advanced topic. I'm a fan of Gurney also. This might be an even more effective teaching tool if you can show photos of miniatures that illustrate some of the concepts above. I could see how many people coming to this topic might find it very hard to understand without specific examples to illustrate what you are trying to describe. BTW folks, this is why the first thing I do in my Basic Color Theory class is throw the color wheel over my shoulder. Any color wheel, as Minx says, is simply a system for organizing and thinking about color. Most of us have that simple six-color "rainbow order" color wheel memorized from kindergarten; it really can't tell us much more than it already has. However, keep in mind also that if you are starting out and trying to avoid basic errors, there's nothing wrong with starting simple and then expanding your knowledge with the concepts that Minx is covering here. I also highly recommend James Gurney's book Color and Light for an excellent read (with many beautiful works of art to illustrate his points) and simple way to build your knowledge base if you are interested.