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Argentee

Reapercon 2019 Class Reviews

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Thought I would start a thread where we could talk about the classes we took. 

 

Please list day, time, class name and instructor. 

 

Thursday - 10 am - Intro to OSL - Greenwald: I am completely new to OSL and this intro class was geared to people like myself. How the direction of light effects the highlights and shadows, how being close to light source washes out details, and how color of the light affects the color of objects was discussed. Handouts were provided, and a good portion of the class was spent working on a figure with the teacher providing live feedback. Recommended for: beginners or those previously defeated by OSL. 

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Erin Hartwell's Skin Deep (Thursday, 10 am, and repeated on Saturday; I attended the Thursday version) was a class that mostly focused on emphasizing the effects of directional light on highlights and shadows (with strong emphasis on skin). The purpose was at least in part to get the students to move out of their comfort zones and push both highlight and shadow much harder for artistic effect. Very useful for me (not least because @Corporea is a very good instructor), and I expect to use the attitude and technique directly in my next serious piece (especially my next larger scale piece).

 

I'd say it really wants to have a student who is comfortable with painting a face to at least minimal competition standards and who is fairly adept at blending. I'd also say that I think most beginners would have trouble getting good value from the class. Highly recommended for painters intermediate and up.

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Beginner Freehand - Cocanour - Thursday 3pm - This class did not have a handout, and would have benefitted from one. A quick overview of how to paint stripes, block out a repeating pattern, and paint a simple daisy was covered, with emphasis on painting during class time. I struggled to take notes on the techniques and tricks mentioned (and the teacher asked twice why I was writing things down :down:) while also painting my figure fast enough to keep up with the instructor. Not everyone could get close enough to see his demonstrations, and instead of moving the other side of the class to repeat the demonstration, he expected the students who had already seen to make way... and they didn't. I would not recommend this class (from this instructor at least) to anyone who has not mastered blending and painting swiftly.

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Hello Argentee,  

I apologize if you felt that i told you that you could not take notes.  Personally I always take notes and always encourage it so I am not sure what I said.  I would like to make this right for you.  I can put together a hand out for you if you think that would be helpful.  And i would be willing to set up a google hang out or something like that to go over the things that you couldn't see.  I appreciate the feed back as that can help me improve the class for the future.  I really work on my class with the intent to help my students.  This is the first time i have ever been on the forums or any forums for that matter, so I am not sure how we can communicate.

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9 minutes ago, bcocanour said:

Hello Argentee,  

I apologize if you felt that i told you that you could not take notes.  Personally I always take notes and always encourage it so I am not sure what I said.  I would like to make this right for you.  I can put together a hand out for you if you think that would be helpful.  And i would be willing to set up a google hang out or something like that to go over the things that you couldn't see.  I appreciate the feed back as that can help me improve the class for the future.  I really work on my class with the intent to help my students.  This is the first time i have ever been on the forums or any forums for that matter, so I am not sure how we can communicate.

I've PM'd you, but maybe you were confused that I was writing when I 'should' have been painting or as to what I was writing down? 

 

The average person talks 100-130 words per minute, but the Average person writes (when transcribing) 33 words per minute. (Composition is slower.) Add in little things like my trying to sketch in how to use a marked piece of tape to do a grid, or the steps of turning dots into a daisy... I ended up spending more time on that rather than painting, since I am ALSO a slow painter, but felt having enough information down so I could try again (at my own pace) later was more important.

 

I feel the class was worth every penny I spent on it. And I tried to get enough in my notes to start attempting freehand. But I love getting handouts because it cuts way down on the notes I have to take, and I can focus more on the -doing- in class.

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I decided to cover both of these in one post as they might seem like similar classes, and I wanted to highlight both how they were alike and how they were different.

 

Non-traditional Skin Tones - Kim - Friday 5pm:

Handout provided, which is good, because the TSA seems to have lost my mini when they ransacked my luggage! :grr: Thankfully I swatched colors on the handout. Covered was Green skin (Orcs, dryads) Blue skin (Frost giants, etc) and Undead skin, with the handout also covering red, purple, and dark skin. Veins and age spots were covered as well. This class was classified as 'Intermittent' which meant 'I'm going to assume you know how to blend, shade, and highlight, and let's go from there'. It's a class useful for tabletop or competition painters, since you decide what level of blend shade and highlight you're up for..

 

Multicultural Skin Tones - Schultz - Saturday 10pm: 

Handout provided, which is always good. This class was also classified as 'Intermittent' but she took the time to talk about where you would start/stop each layer of color on the mini we were painted. Several different skin tones were demo'd on the same mini, and she talked about using the different reaper skin triads as a starting point, adding another dark shadow color or brighter highlight color, and when a half (or other fractional tone) might be needed between the others. Despite what might seem like more hand-holding, this led to a class that was strongly beneficial to people interested in competition, since the bits she was walking you through were the ones that might cost you that silver medal...

 

 

Edited by Argentee
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I had one favorite class - Blending by Ian Markon. No, wait, there were two favorite classes, blending and shiny paint by Lauren Cowles. What about aging and weathering? Oh, all right, I had three favorite classes, blending, shiny paint, and aging and weathering by David Cecil. That's all, just three favorite classes :)

 I was exposed to a huge amount of information in all my classes, and if I can remember ten percent of what I was exposed to I would have learned a lot here.

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13 hours ago, Zoxe said:

I will give @LordDave a shout out for his Water Effects class (Reaper U: Basing – Realistic Water Effects (Cecil), Thursday, 10am). Was a really fun class, very hands on, and he was the most prepared of any hobby/painting instructor I've ever had.  Target audience is maybe tabletop and those new to the world of clear resin, but basics could be extrapolated to more refined projects as well.

 

Editing to add a pic of our results to give a better sense of scope of the class.  Each student started with a blank base and learned to glue down and seal the cork.  We set that aside and each student was handed a cured cork base and asked to do basecoat and some details.  This second stage was then poured over with clear resin (the result is in the mini cup behind the index card).  Lastly, we were handed a cured base and asked to create the wave and add the rippled water surface seen in the foreground.  The multiple stages were required because of cure times; this way we got to see all stages of the process in rapid succession.

 

20190829_134706.thumb.jpg.af4362cc086eaa39dca4d684051f2ce1.jpg

Thank you for that.  I really enjoyed teaching this class and the format worked out great.  I will definitely teach this one again as many people told me they wanted to take it but it was sold out fast.

sidenote:  I actually practiced the entire class several times at home to get the timing nailed down.  It worked out perfect at Reapercon.

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I decided to cover these next two in one post as they are related though obviously different.

 

Diorama Building Tips - Ridolfi - Saturday 1pm: The description said 'from concept to construction' but it was 98% construction. No handout sheet, instead he handed out catalogues from 2 companies, and samples from one of those companies and samples from his materials. Which was great, totally awesome, and I loved. But I took four pages of notes in my little reapercon notebook (front and back) of notes and wish I could have saved myself some writing. I can understand why he didn't, because a lot of it was class discussion and learning how to look at things as possible material. If I was designing a handout, I think it would focus first on hazards of various materials (I did not realize milliput was so toxic!), and then on tricks for getting the most out of materials (mixing fimo with green stuff to extend work time,  for example), which would let the class ramble over the materials (which everyone seemed to enjoy). I would also remove the words 'concept to' from the class desc. This is a good class for any skill level, tabletop or competition.

 

Display details: Paper, Plants, and brass etch. Oh My! - Zuniga - Saturday 3pm: Cute name, but needs to be shorter to fit better on the tickets. Samples of Japanese papercraft, European brass etch, and the vellum plants that Zuniga manufacturers were provided, along with a section of graveyard fence on a base so we could work with the different materials and get a feel for them.. His thin paper plants were exactly what I was looking for 2 years ago for my diorama and couldn't find, and despite having more than half of the generous sample he gave us left, I've since bought one of each sheet of plants he sells. Fun, hands on class, more useful for competitors than table top. Take it if you're wanting to try before you buy.  Seriously, those butterflies on the sample sheet... finally butterflies that don't look awkwardly thick! Can't wait for my order to arrive...

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10 hours ago, rawlkeer said:

I had one favorite class - Blending by Ian Markon. No, wait, there were two favorite classes, blending and shiny paint by Lauren Cowles. What about aging and weathering? Oh, all right, I had three favorite classes, blending, shiny paint, and aging and weathering by David Cecil. That's all, just three favorite classes :)

 I was exposed to a huge amount of information in all my classes, and if I can remember ten percent of what I was exposed to I would have learned a lot here.

Thanks!  Feel free to ask me any questions about the stuff we covered in my weathering class.  Well you can ask about blending or shiny things too, but my answer to those won't be as good as Kuro's or Oneboot's.  lol.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LordDave said:

Thank you for that.  I really enjoyed teaching this class and the format worked out great.  I will definitely teach this one again as many people told me they wanted to take it but it was sold out fast.

sidenote:  I actually practiced the entire class several times at home to get the timing nailed down.  It worked out perfect at Reapercon.

I overheard bits of this class from next door in Tattoos, Spots, and Other Skin Effects (Peiper)  Great information, and if nothing else a small correction on my glazing technique made the whole class worth it.

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I want to give a shout out to Jen Greenwald for her "This Class is about Contrast" class on Thursday.  She had a hand out of the Powerpoint presentation she had, and it was packed to the gills with useful information.  It's the one class I really, REALLY wanted to take and it did not disappoint.  We ran out of time before we could get to any actual painting, but the info was so useful, I didn't care.  I felt miserable the entire time, as I was rocking a migraine, and it was still far and away my favorite class of the weekend.  Definitely useful for all painters across the spectrum, since it dealt pretty much entirely with theory instead of technique.  I cannot recommend this class strongly enough for next year.  I hope she continues it.

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43 minutes ago, leolson79 said:

I want to give a shout out to Jen Greenwald for her "This Class is about Contrast" class on Thursday.  She had a hand out of the Powerpoint presentation she had, and it was packed to the gills with useful information.  It's the one class I really, REALLY wanted to take and it did not disappoint.  We ran out of time before we could get to any actual painting, but the info was so useful, I didn't care.  I felt miserable the entire time, as I was rocking a migraine, and it was still far and away my favorite class of the weekend.  Definitely useful for all painters across the spectrum, since it dealt pretty much entirely with theory instead of technique.  I cannot recommend this class strongly enough for next year.  I hope she continues it.

Definitely! this was the last class I had to review, and I had to leave a few minutes before the end due to being sick. Contrast is my Nemesis, but this class gave me concrete examples and charts and graphs, something I can refer to rather than 'just take a picture in black and white, that will tell you'. SO useful to people who are interested in upping their contrast for competition, no matter what their painting level.

 

Edit: I know most people can look at a black and white photo and think 'ok, needs more contrast' I think 'shadows blend up to highlights correctly, I can tell different fabrics and skin apart, figure stands out from background, looks good'. I need that histogram of what judges consider 'good' contrast to compare to my piece, because I just don't think like the judges do. Maybe I'll learn eventually, but the charts and graphs help NOW.

Edited by Argentee
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I ended up with 5 classes, these were both on Friday:

 

Shaded Metallics with @Clever Crow - Second time taking this class because it's been a couple years and I have a lot of big armored miniatures.  Much like other painters, Michael's technique has improved since I last took this class and there were new tricks I didn't learn the first time.  I HIGHLY recommend it.  (Aaron Lovejoy's version is a good compliment)

 

Intro to Shaded Metallics with Brien Piersol - Definitely a tabletop class and a completely different approach using opaque, non metallic acrylics.  Brien is a good teacher, but this class didn't have much new for me.  

 

 

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