Dicey Posted September 5, 2019 Share Posted September 5, 2019 (edited) I took 5 classes and am happy to provide reviews and feedback on all. For a little background on my skillset, I have been painted about 3 years, mostly to "tabletop" standard and not very seriously. I have previous experience with watercolor painting (before painting miniatures), and I think that helps me with blending, even though I don't have formal "training" on how to blend. I've done minimal work with milliput, handled green stuff about half a dozen times in my life, and enjoy building terrain sets from foam. #1 - Skin Deep with Erin Hartwell - Thursday, 10 AM This was hands down my favorite, best class of the weekend. Erin did a great job teaching. She also provided a multi-page handout and a separate "face map" page to help us visualize. She used deep dark colors to encourage us out of our comfort zone. She asked us to gather around for demonstrations, but also went around individually to offer feedback to each person while we were working on what was discussed. She also walked around with a miniature to demonstrate steps if needed to each person. While the class is dependent on blending, I don't feel like previous blending experience is necessarily required if a painter can pick things like that up quickly. Erin went over two different blending methods (wet-blending and glazing) in the class to help people find what worked best for them. I came out of the class much more confident on blending skin tones and putting more contrast into the skin. I took the information learned in this class to my MSP Open entry, which I painted in 2 hours on Friday getting in just in time. I honestly don't think I could have gotten Bronze without this class. The skin on the face of the chibi model was one of the biggest pieces of praise I got from the judges of my model and I credit Erin's class for nearly all of it. 1000% would recommend to anyone, though some experience in blending or at least an aptitude for learning that sort of thing would probably be helpful. I don't think it's necessarily required to get something out of the class. Basically, I can't say enough about this class or about Erin and I feel that I owe my Bronze in Painters to her this year. I even made the practice mini from her class my profile image! #2 - Sculpting Details in Putty with Bob Ridolfi and Julie Guthrie - Friday, 10 AM I didn't know what to expect from this class when I joined, but the instruction and atmosphere was pleasant and I came out knowing more than when I entered. We were given two Bones models and some green stuff, along with some tools hand made by Julie for the class. The class started with a discussion of green stuff and its properties. We went over how to add straps to models, adding bags to the straps, how to make pouches, how to build on sword/weapon blanks, creating scale textures, and adding hair to a model. The class was fairly freeform, taking into account the goals of the students and their experience. Julie sculpted examples while talking through it and then Bob walked around with the piece to show to each student, occasionally answering questions, before it made it back around to Julie to go onto the next step. The freeform structure could be a little rough, but it offered us all an opportunity to steer the class and glean the information we were most interested in from these amazing artists. Bob and Julie were extremely open in talking about techniques, tools, and were basically open books for the class. I enjoyed it and hope to expand my sculpting skills in the future. I wish I could have snagged one of those tools after all their classes were over, but I didn't have any cash on hand. Oh well. Maybe next time. Or maybe I can make my own from poultry needles too. #3 - Intermediate Basing for Miniatures and Models with Lyn Stahl - Friday, 9 PM (Night Owl) This was my most disappointing class. With a name like "Intermediate", I expected to learn something. The class was scheduled for 1 hour, 45 minutes like all the others but it was really 20 minutes of her talking about a "shopping list" of things to use when making bases and their properties, most of which I knew already, and then a simple 5 minute instruction on 3 different types of bases, which we were left to complete on our own. The classroom was starting to empty after 45 minutes and at 1 hour into the class, I was the last one left. I did create 2 bases that I'm happy with, but I don't think that I needed this class to do it. Simply seeing a picture of the base and having a base form, some green stuff, and a tool would have been enough for me to have the same results. After sending us to make our bases, Lyn sat in the corner on her phone, though she was available for questions. She made it clear repeatedly that she had more meetings to attend after this class and that we shouldn't expect it to last the whole time. Honestly, it felt like I was a burden just by being there. Others there, when asked for feedback on the class, stated that they thought the class would be something else or that there would be more to it. I wasn't the only one that didn't learn much and I don't have much experience with basing anyway. This class needs to be renamed. It's misleading as "intermediate". This is a beginner class. I would not recommend this class to anyone hoping to learn anything unique about basing beyond putting a wood plank or stone texture into green stuff. I do not plan to take any other classes by this instructor ever again. Not worth $20. #4 - Bones Mashup! - Saturday, 10 AM This was the only class my husband and I got to do together and it was probably the most fun. I'm not sure in terms of learning that this class is anything special, but it is completely creative and carefree and fun! There's several large bins of Bones that are placed on a table. You get super glue, snips of various sizes, and a extendable hobby knife. The only rule is "no blood". And that's basically it. You find pieces, cut them apart, glue them together, and are basically a mad plastic scientist for 2 hours. There are lots of great sculptors in this room as well, and their jibes and banter and conversation was just about as fun as smashing together pieces of plastic to create something new and terrifying. We both had a blast and hands down recommend it to anyone. This will be our most sought class for next year. #5 - Painting Flesh - Pushing Paint with Michael Klieman, Saturday, 1 PM I enjoyed this class. We each got a barbarian type Bones model and a piece of primed heavy cardstock. Michael went over his glazing technique with everyone, demonstrating his preferred paint to water ratio and letting everyone practice on the primed card before moving on to the mini. He also provided a helpful single-page printout to demonstrate good and bad example photographs on a similar card, with notes on why they were bad (too much water, etc). He went around and gave feedback to each person regarding the amount of water to paint they were using or how they were holding the brush, the speed of their strokes, etc. The individual feedback was nice. We then base coated the mini and started building up layers by glazing to define each muscle. Starting with the darkest colors, we pushed our glaze layers into the cracks between muscles and leaving more paint on the bottom sides of the muscles. We worked up to progressively lighter shades of color. I'm not sure if I have the technique down, but Michael was open in his feedback and offered individual helpful advice. Contrast is clearly a key here, and keeping pieces of the previous layer for smooth blends. I feel like I did get a lot of useful information out of this class, but I'm not sure glazing is my preferred painting technique, so I don't know if I'd take it again. I don't regret taking it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about "pushing paint" around in thin glazing layers. My husband also has some feedback on his 8 (yes, eight!) classes, but he doesn't want to write them himself. I may come back to share some minimal thoughts on his classes, though our Bones Mashup experience was shared and more or less the same. I hope these reviews help! Edited September 5, 2019 by Dicey 8 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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