When something as beautiful as this arrives on your workbench you know that there is a project ahead of you, where you will enjoy every moment …
Well, there comes the first issue I do not allow myself to take hold:
To be unsecure what I paint there because I do not know the outcome. How can I know the outcome?
Sure, if I plan properly and follow this plan of my vision strictly, but what if you want to paint something up and do not have a straight plan for it? Start painting flexibel and trust in your skills. You always can change something on the way. So the way is the key, not the plan. At least for me, sometimes.
Still absolutely unsure about the colors I am placing I contine to work on the following aspects:
- Contrast in dark/bright
- Placing all basic colors to see the full image
- Including textures
These are all technical aspects that can be followed, no matter the color you are placing. Like I said if you keep it desaturated you will always have the option to bring back saturation.
Finding the character
After a while, after some painting sessions I start to search for the character. Very often with busts I do paint the eyes to see the character in front of me and its ‘soul’. I slowly bring in colors that I want to see, for example the owl’s eyes are important for me, so I pick them out of the pool of desaturation.
While doing so I called that grandma the ‘Hydra of Owls’ as there were so many appearing everywhere 😀
Sometimes I paint a small detail
and focus on it, because I just like how the sculptor sculpted it. For example with the bottle over there. As you can see I was still unusre about the farbrics. On the upper part I created fabric texture already to at least understand the material that I want to paint. Still desaturated. On the other hand I did mostly nothing to the purple dress beneath.
It is important in life and in painting to make decisions.
I was not able to continue my path of desatoration without knowing where this would go. I was happy and self-confident until then, but slowly felt I need a vision to it …
I imagined the hag standing in her hut.
In a dark hut filled with a lot of things a witch fills her hut with.
She was cooking a spell in a big massive witch bowl while her owls went nuts around her.
I decided to give to fluid in her bowl the color green.
With this decision in hand I went all in and used the airbrush and sprayed a medium olive from below into the figure. Everything I so far did got touched by the green. Nice effect of pulling everything together.
Her dark purple dress invited me to paint some grandma clothing pattern on it. So I did.
I wanted her hair to stand out really strong so I increased the contrast in the hair to almost pure white in this stage, while other areas lacked behind such an intense contrast. I do what I want to see and what I need will be painted so I got to ask myself all the time:
- what am I missing right now?
- what do I want to change?
- what is there that I do not like?
- how can I change it to like it more?
These are the main questions I always ask myself to find a way through a project to call it done in the end. Questions everyone can ask himself. It does help, believe me.
Now I wanted to have the pool glow more powerful, so it was time to bring in more saturation in the greens. So I did with glazes.
And even more … now adding a flouroscent green to the mix. This stage helps me define areas that are hit from the light below (genital light) and helps me to guide my eyes on the areas I have to work from the top (zenital light).
In this stage I also rebuild textures I lost and continue in pushing contrast in both direction.
After several painting sessions I found my vision, even I started so way off from it.
Still it is not finished yet.
It was time for focusing on the details that I so far ignored. Darklining, texture improvement, contrast, painting the little demon …
That demon 😀
Hiding in an owl costume 😀
So ridicolous 😀
I now also went for the ‘hydra of owls’ and tackled the birdies. Feathers recieved structure and contrast and all got eyes, but not without checking back with references on owl eyes.
In the final stage I went in for extra details.
That means a brushstroke here, another one there. A correction here, another one there. Always asking myself my certain questions. Playing with skin variation here, repairing a highlight, adding a stronger shadow here. This procedure is always the same until you say to yourself: It is finished!
Yes, I wanted tattoos or some kind of trival henna that she did put to her body. Or was it the litte demon?
I was also including the plinth and added a strong area of green there to make my final vision more easy to understand.
Well, well, well …
Did you expect the outcome when you saw the first work in progress photo?
If your answer is ‘no’ than I am happy. With this article I wanted to show you that you can arrive everywhere you want with your project if you do not limit yourself in techniques and trained on process. They are important, no discussion, but after a time of copying a recipe over and over again you might feel a foul stench arriving in your painting spirit. This is a way to break this up! Do what you like, follow a vision, create one on the way, change where you want to see change, push it as far as you want to.
Do not stay limited in your creativity. Sculptor’s don’t, why should we painters when bringing a sculpt to life with paint?
Here are some final photos of Mamabúho
She found a new home with a private collector a while back and I am grateful for your support in my art, passion and work! Many thanks!
Keep on happy painting!
inspired by the recent article by Josua and me about how color choices can create various characters I will get back to a bust that I really did paint often for my terms. Usually I do not paint one figure several times. It is not very fascinating for me to explore well known volumes over and over again with my brushwork, but in the case of “Laszlo” by Fer Miniatures I somehow did different. In this case I really found a canvas that is on hand simple and can be painted in a small amount of painting session. On the other hand it offers challenge to your creativity and brain.
I am sure you will enjoy the article and the different insights on each go and I bet you will be inspired. These six here have been painted over the last three years… let me take you on a ride!
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I painted my first version of Laszlo as a boxart for FER Miniatures in a very natural way, trying to catch the fierce character’s nature of the grim sculpted look he recieved by the sculptor, Raffaele Picca.
I started with a warm natural skintone on this one …
In the end he turned out to be quite the grim guy, not properly shaved. Really beaten up and still looking forward to his next fight. His skintone is a very warm one to show that blood is pushing through his body with all the excitement going on around him. This was the story behind this guy:
“Hungary. A story.
Laszlo was their vicious leader. A strong leader of a big growing criminal institution and money, girls, glory and violence were always surrounding Laszlo. All things come to an end and Laszlo got imprisoned.
It was time to prove him again and build up structure and settle leadership in one of Hungarys most protected prisons.”
You can see that such a small bust without too many details is a perfect training ground for skintone. This time I planned to paint a very pale version of him with a really crazy rough start.
It was time to clean this up and go way more pale to recive my goal.
Smoothen up, little fella!
I wanted to work in some skin irritations to show he has different issues than the original Laszlo.
This was truely fun.
An experiment in painting pale and unhealty looking skin. The yellow and greenish amount in his skintone make him look unhealthy. I think we can agree on that this guy – even it is based on the same bust – looks much different than #01.
Unfortanetely I do not have any work in progress photos of this guy, sorryio!
Started with natural skintone, added shadows and highlights before the green kicked in …
It was a real joy to paint these effects and make him look angry …
During this time, back in 2017 I was in the mood to go away from the common ‘miniature painting thing’. I was in the mood to paint to teach myself how you can transport emotions to your painting, even the canvas is a figure or bust.
I decided to dive deeper in the emotion ‘anger’ and compared to my first version I wanted to go red instead of green.
I started quite different on this guy and made him glow up from below.
He turned out to look really demonic. Important for me in this paintjob was to let lose of traditional ‘rules’ of figure painting. I focused on patterns, linework and brushstrokes. The glow from below allowed me to show him in a different light and as red is a very powerful color to show emotions I was super pleased with the result.
One of the more experimental versions I did with this bust was one that was inspired by a miscast I found in the garbage of Raffaele’s casting cave. I called this version “Envy” and also wanted to transport a feeling, an emotion.
The miscast was so interesting as some parts were missing and even opened up that I wanted to fill his throat with yellow/green envy. While – again – went away from traditional painting methods and worked on his skin with a lot of texture and structure.
I can not explain to you what is going on with this guy. It is not a plan that I have painted, it is a feeling. A display on how envy can destroy persons if they do not have control of their ego. I tried to paint textures and important spots the way they would feel instead how they should look. Like I said very experimental, but still based on the same bust.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight
and my thoughts on the various versions of this bust. What I learned from it is when you do know the volumes on a bust by heart because you painted it several times you can start thinking out of the box in not so common ways of creativity. Not just putting paint to a surface or a sculpt but breaking them up and create your very own vision. For example with starting to paint emotions, where the shape does not matter, it matters what you feel and how you transport your feelings via brushstrokes, color choices and different extras.
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The Lake Ferryman
in this short article I show you my personal step-by-step to create a really “different” miniature.
He is a lake ferryman, a commission that was given to me as a commemorative sculpture for the Verbania Model Show, 1-2 June 2019.
Every year the contest has created a historical miniature for the occasion, but this year, the organizers decided to create even a fantasy miniature, in order to attract all the fantasy painters, just to give them a piece really unique sculpture. So they commissioned him to me.
Being the location near the lake, I was asked to create a “contextualised” miniature.
So I did a little historical research, just to have some ideas about it.
I noticed that an historical figure, he was the “lake ferryman”, a person who had the task of taking people from one side of the lake to the other, using a small wooden boat.
|fast Sketch while I was in a flight|
The cane is created by single wire with some green stuff then Zak Mix, and baked before all.
Saro – The Lake Farryman
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When I saw this sculpt for the first time I was in awe with it. Such a melancholic piece with tons of meaning and story behind it. Lately I am bit bored by painting barbarians, space marines, orcs and many other warframed subjects. I do not enjoy the aggressive attitude in most of the sculpts out there on the market. Maybe it is because I am getting older, who knows. In this case it is still a war-themed
piece and I love the take of the other perspective to it.
When I first had this cast in my hands I knew I will not paint it blue as it would remind me too fast on a certain movie called “Avatar”. I decided to paint her yellow to challenge myself as yellow is a color I do not paint very often. For the clothes I went for a “Mother Teresa” look to create the effect of even more innocence to the girl’s character. From the early stage I knew I wanted to create massive emotions with making the small alien girl dirty with some dried mud and soot that shows that she just got out of a refuge space ship and has been through dark times.
When I was painting her eyes I could not help myself to paint them absolutely alien-like. I wanted to create the look of small galaxies of hope in her glance.
You can find more photos of Roman’s version via:
Tell us what you enjoy about this sculpt and the two different paintjobs!
Happy Painting to you all!
Josua & Roman
As you may noticed I painted a lot of animals in the last time. Today I want to give you a small insight of how the water buffalo project came to life.
I started with a rather simple but still extremely beautiful buffalo figure. After some cleaning and sanding I glued him down to a simple rectangular piece of wood. My vision was to let him be submerged in a river or pond full of
After this first initial step of bringing colour to the whole thing I started concentrating on other areas. I started to add texture and small details like the eyes to bring this calm guy to life. A few hours in started to feel like he is missing something I painted the whole thing in a pretty cold and bright blue while the base still remained in a rather bright warm green. At this point I realised that I need to bring these two together way more. The base and the buffalo need to look as they would be one unit instead of two different things.
In the next picture you can clearly see what different it made to do so. I do not have any pictures of the steps in-between as I was in some sort of colour and painting rush I completely forgot about time and other stuff. I also started to add some green dots in the front part of the base by stippling as this is a pretty time-consuming thing to do on a whole base I knew that I need to have another solution to create the duckweed.
I hope you liked this small insight of this buffalo project.
See you soon
today it is me.
Speaking about colors. About paint.
I am working as a self employeed miniature artist since fiveteen years now and you can believe me that I used several different color brands, tried this and that, used this new paint sensation and the other. You can bet that my workspace is packed with different sorts of paint. From hobby paints to artist acrylics. Have a look:
Well, that’s a lot, eh?
I do mainly paint with Acrylics. Rarely I use Oil paints. Super rare nowadays. Sometimes I am really happy to start just with my primary paints and mix what I want or the amount of colors just drives me nuts. Most of you know that I do not paint in recipes. I mix on the go and mix what I need. Of course I do not want to miss my special paints, like washes, inks or specific effect colors.
Since two years I work mainly with Schmincke Primeacryl tubes.
I do enjoy the strong pigmentation, their thickness and the way I do paint them. They start to shine after a while because the high pigmentation closes the surface fast and makes it smooth. Unfortanetely these paints to not have a matte medium inside so you can not avoid the shine. I conquer the shine with matte varnish via the airbrush once it gets to annoying while I paint.
Deciding for a painting brand as favourite is something very personal.
You can read Hansrainer’s thoughts on good or bad paints in this article.
On the other hand I never stop testing new color brands.
I think this comes with my job. I usually never buy a full range before not testing them proberly if they fit my needs. Once in a while I sort out paints that I got on my table, but never use. There is no need for them to stay there.
Most important in my eyes
for everyone to understand is that there is no perfect color as individual needs differ from painter to painter. There is no perfect color range that makes you a greater painter, there is not this one color that will change your painting forever. Same with brushes. Everything a color can do is coming from you, the person behind the brush, your knowledge and experience.
Of course, if you buy super cheap colors in a dump store you might not be able to work properly with all the many techniques of painting miniatures out there as the quality just lacks behind.
Testing. Give new colors that catch your interest a try. Find out what you like about them during painting sessions, use them for different techniques and styles and decide if they will stick in your working stock, or not. Grow from that and you will soon find your own best personal tools.
it is really beautiful to see a wide range of colors available for us miniature painters (on the other hand we can just name us painters, painting on a different surface and canvas. A three-dimensional one.) … but the amount of colors you can buy can also be confusing. Do not worry, just go step bby step to increase your collection and give you and paints time to understand eachother and see if you like eachother. One painting technique you like so much, might not work with a certain brand, while another works even better with the new paint pot you got. This is the beauty of painting, you never stop learning and growing.
now to the topic:
The new Scalecolor Artist Colors
I got these on my table now since several weeks and was asked to write my oppinion about them. Of course I had to paint with them before I would be able to say anything. So I did. This article is not about comparision with other brands or telling you to buy this and that. It is just my honest oppinion on these new colors. It is all my very own perspective and thoughts. I do not speak for the full team of Massive Voodoo. I write this up, so you can make your own oppinion on giving these a try or not.
They come in tubes and look beautiful.
I like when my paints comes in tubes. It makes the handling easy and for me tubes avoid color explosions or dried out tips with bottles, also tubes avoid awkward handling with paint pots. On the other hand you might think a tube does not leave you much space to use just the amount that you need. Well, when I paint I do not want to save paint. It is like driving a fast car. Driving it and in the meantime worrying about using gas for it. Colors are for painting.
So far I was painting with two sets:
- Basic Colors
- Skin Tones
The size of the tubes is medium
if I compare them to the Schmincke medium tubes (35 ml). The Scale paints come in tubes with 20 ml. It is a good size for the average hobby painter and they will last quite the time. For me it, if I would only use them for the next months, they would be gone empty in about 4-6 months I guess. It just depends on how much you paint.
I will not talk about money in this review.
High quality colors do cost more than not so high quality ones. Simple fact and always your very own decision on how much you are willing to invest. Do not be scared to use high quality products, they are able to change your results. Just think about running shoes. If you buy cheap ones you might have problems while running or a hurt ankle. If you buy high quality ones, you might not face these issues so often.
The basic colors are setup from red, blue and yellow.
Plus black and white and burnt siena. With these you can mix everything you ever need, except special paints like inks or washes or metallic paints. I do miss a strong magenta, for my personal variety I seek while mixing, but I just take it from another brand.
and really gives you all in hand to paint beautiful skintones if you are open to start mixing on your own. They do not offer a recipe. These paint sets are aimed for painters who mix freely. And in combination with the basic colors you are able to push them in all directions.
Putting these to the palette already shows their thickness. They do behave like toothpaste, which I am used to from my Schmincke heavy body paints. These colors are not diluted in any way. This is up to you. You can form them for what you need them too.
While I was painting on my palette I was mixing them and can say they are supereasy to combine. Mixing is easy with them.
You can dilute them and thin them down to a glaze for your nedds without problems. You can use them in your airbrush if you thin them with airbrush thinner.
You can easily use them to paint wet in wet and mix them on your figure or base.
I can say they are easily comparable to the quality I do find in my Schmincke Primeacryl when it comes to the power of pigments.
They can be used to bbe painted thicker and with an opaque result.
They can also be used thinned down to a gentle glaze to tint a certain area.
What really feels good with these colors is the smoothness. It is hard to describe. Everything you do with them feels smooth. Mixing, application, pushing contrast. Just smooth. They blend together smoothly and leave a smooth finish. They dry matte, which is an important point for many painters.
Every new color range does not invent the world of painting anew. Fact.
I can say I really enjoy working with the new Scalecolors and I will summ up my thoughts and experiences I got with them:
– If you are a painter who mixes a lot, you will not be dissapointed by their pigment quality
– they mix absolutely easy and smooth
– comes in tubes, makes regulation and handling easy
– they can be used for mostly every technical aspect of miniature painting techniques without chaning quality
– the color sets are well thought of and make sense when you are used to mix
– the finish of the dried paint is matte
– when you paint a layer on top of another one they connect smoothly
– the only downside I did encounter is that they are drying faster on my wetpalette, compared to the Schmincke I regularly use. I think this is because of a certain magic medium inside that keeps them so matte and smooth. I mean they are not drying in one painting session. I speak about a week.
From my end I do recommend these paints without hesitation. If you are a painter who works mainly with recipes from hobby paint bottles these might not be the perfect thing for you as these paints are aimed to make you mix colors. If you want to learn mixing colors they are a wonderful start as you will not get annoyed by side effects like a shiny finish or bad pigment quality. If you are a painter who is used to mix your own paints from primaries regularly they are a really good addition for your asset.
I am still amazed by the smoothness!
If I should find one word for the Scalecolor Artist Colors I would say it is:
I hope you did find this useful.
Keep on happy painting whatever colors you use!
You can find more Miniature- and Material Unpacked articles (Mu) here!
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Object Source Light?
Nothing wrong with that. Many painters paint it, but it is always good to know the wisdom behind it. In my one day masterclass seminar “Object Source Light” we are working on this. In depth knowledge on OSL.
I have been in Hamburg just recently to enjoy some days of holidays and visit some friends, but also to teach this class up north. I want to thank everybody for joining up, from near and far. Thank you all for your will to learn from me and your support in my work, art and teachings. From my curriculum about this seminar:
Instructor: Roman Lappat
Duration: Saturdays (one day)
I usually do not teach masterclass seminars, but when I do these seminars focus on one subject, because they aim to teach you to master a certain topic. This Object Source Light (OSL) Masterclass
all about light sources from objects and about the “how to” place them and the “why” behind it. After this seminar you can transport these into your projects easily.
– Understand the principles of OSL
– Learn how to include them on different materials
– Learn about different time slots when to include these effects in your projects
Student level: All
Early in the morning when my students achieved their first OSL studies. I call them “basic knowledge” to understand the theory behind it, before we go deeper in how to apply advanced knowledge.
… and the group’s results:
Thanks to Heiko and the WuDao Kung Fu School for providing hospitality, a roof over our heads and a relaxed and chilled atmosphere for this one day seminar … It is always a pleasure teaching in the Wu Dao.
After the basic knowledge we enjoyed a quick lunch and then continued painting until it was dark outside. Of course it was not dark on our painting tables as it was now time to understand OSL and its application while other basic colors come into paly …
This was my epxlanation figure for the advanced part of OSL:
Thanks to everyone again for a real cool day and your will to learn from me. OSL?
From now on not a big deal for these gentlemen!
Keep on happy painting!
Somehow I was not able to take many photos as we were both in depth in guidance, teaching and learning. Really enjoyable chats about life too. Time went by in a glimpse of an eye and Thomas did really learn quite a lot. So far he was using a basic color for certain areas and a wash on top of his gaming models without deeper background on why or how to do something different. This is were I came into play with the content of my beginner seminar:
Instructor: Roman Lappat
Duration: Friday/Saturday/Sunday (2.5 days)
The word ‘beginner’ might be confusing to many first time participants of this class. It is not a class for ‘only’ beginners. In fact it is a class for every person, at every age interested in figure painting, whatever their experience level is.
‘Beginners class’ means that I give an introduction into my way of thinking while painting; in detail a lot of in depth theory is explained while extracting art concepts from art history lessons and putting this knowledge in practical exercises on miniature canvas. During the weekend you will not only learn to improve your painting skills, you will also learn to understand the ‘Why?’ behind everything. With that you will be able to teach yourself in your own hobby future by just recognizing what nature has to offer.
Main topics:– Learn to see your world with different eyes
– Introduction into basing composition
– Learn how to feel harmony in different aspects
– Important contrasts for figure painting
– Explanation about how to paint a light situation on your figure
– Understand colour theory and learn how to use it properly
– Learn about different materials, their unique properties and learn to paint them
– Wide range of painting techniques explained and used
– Learn to lose fear of doing something wrong
– much more!
My experience level in doing this specific class is high as I have done over 60+ hands on seminars over the last decades. Many of my students visit this class several times to manifest the massive amount of knowledge presented in one weekend.
Student level: All
Of course this seminar usually takes 2,5 days. In this private coaching I had only two. This is mainly the reason why I did not take many photos during the coaching. We were busy.
“Nochmals vielen Dank für die empfangene Gastfreundschaft und das für meine Begriffe perfekt Coaching – freue mich darauf, heute Abend die Dämonette meinem Bruder zu präsentieren.” – Thomas
Thomas’ beginner content demonette:
Thank you for two splendid days in good company, Thomas and your will to learn from me 🙂
Keep on happy painting!
You want to book me for your private coaching?
Appointments for 2019 are already in the making. If you want to have your very own two day private coaching with your personal subject do not hesitate to contact me via:
Or join up for a larger group seminar instead:
For more reviews like this check: