Sunday, December 7, 2014

Meg Maples Montreal Masterclass, Day 1

This weekend in Montreal saw the last Masterclass to be held by Meg Maples in North America before she moves over to Australia. As a Christmas gift to me from my family, I went along. This was my first painting class of any kind, and I didn't know what to expect in terms of how many minis I would need, how many minis I would get through.

We were given a list of things we would need to bring, and a list of techniques we would try to get through. The first day started off with two brush blending. Before the class, I was aware of the existence of this technique, but that was about all. After a day of doing pretty much nothing bu that (the techniques was explained first for the very good reason that it was the basis of the other parts of the class) I think I'm staring to get the hang of it.

The minis I put on the table at the start of the day. There was no way I would get through that many, but it was good to have a selection to work from.

Cloak on a Reaper Wood Elf King, my first attempt at two brush blending.

Black Wolf Raiding Party Leader, an attempt at the same technique on smaller areas.

Alexia. I love this mini, and I have had her for years, but have not had the courage to paint her, as I didn't have the skill to do so to the level I though she required. No time like the present!

This mini was one where I was using the two brush blending technique to work on the metalllics. Hence all the work on the sword. I am happy with the way it turned out,  but the pictures do not do it justice, I promise better pictures after the second par of the course tomorrow.

So, I am back home with sore shoulders from hunching over under my lamp all day, and a sore head from concentrating so hard. I have never spent such a long time in one sitting painting before, and it was hard work, but the time flew past very quickly indeed. I have learned a lot, including that I need to learn more about colour theory. In addition to the technique of two brush blending, which I will not go into here, as that's what youtube is for, I learned that to get proper shading, you need to go darker than you think. For example, with the elf king's cloak in the first image, I initially went with a darker green, as per normal colour triads, but it just didn't show up at all. I soon plumped for Coal Black (P3), a dark purple/green black, which turned out to be perfect. I used this as a means of darkening pretty much all the shadows from then on. Mixing the Coal Black with an Umbral Umber (P3) gave the darkest shading on the metals too, looking like a proper black at the deepest parts of the shadows, whilst still maintaining an natural looks. I think I'll be using much more of this colour.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, as there is a whole lot more to learn, and I'm really excited to get these minis finished.


  1. Nice work on the multi-tone highlighting.

    1. Thanks very much. The trick was to go for contrast. More than I normally would with my normal ink shading method.

  2. Love the green cloak. If that's your first attempt I can't wait to see what you can do with a bit of practice! :-)

    1. Thanks Paul, I was very proud with how things came out this weekend. I hope to post better pictures tomorrow. I have a few now, but I am too bushed to post them this evening.