Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Masterclass Painting 101

Conscript Perry G. sends this guest post.  Over to you, Perry...

"This last weekend (Oct 30 and 31, 2010) I took part in a “masterclass” miniatures painting workshop taught by multi Golden Daemon award winner Mathieu Fontaine. His website is here ( if you are interested in looking at his work, which is pretty damn good. A lot of the minis you see in the gallery he actually brought with him (I was too frightened to actually hold one when he was passing it around!)

"In any case, the class was fantastic. It was geared towards anyone with an interest in painting minis, whether you were a beginner and hadn’t picked up a brush before, or an expert army painter with several thousand French legion[aires?] under your belt. There were 15 in the class, and we had a good mix of ages (a couple of teenagers, and some old sods). No stinky girls though. ;-) And Bill who frequents the occasional miniatures battle on Chestnut was there as well!

The class was stretched (crammed?) into two intensive days: Saturday from 9am till 6pm and Sunday from 9am till 6pm (although we were done by 4:30). Day one was about priming, some basic techniques, blending, and working on painting cloth and flesh. The evening was all about colour theory, focus and a little art history. Sunday was about painting faces, using metallics and having fun with tattoos, nicks and scratches. We practiced all the techniques on GW ogres, which are nice and big, and allowed for plenty of “moob” jokes. The class also allowed plenty of one-on-one with Mathieu, and time to practice painting, gabbing with classmates, and sharing stories over a glass or two of wine!

All in all an amazing experience, although very intense and sometimes depressing – blending ain’t for the faint of heart! My own conclusion was loud and clear: give me that Devlan Mud Wash! STAT! (Mathieu was quite against washing for the sake of washing, so it was an ongoing gag for us to mumble “pass the wash” over the course of the weekend.). I definitely took a lot away from that class, and will be using at least some of those techniques in my future paint jobs.

A special thank you to Neil Berrington who arranged the entire class, brought Mathieu to Winnipeg and took us all out to dinner on Saturday night! His hospitality was amazing. For my $80 I truly got my money’s worth!


Greg B said...

Have to agree on the Devlan Mud wash - they need an industrial size container of that...

Sylvain said...

Thanks for the story. I will definitely consider participating in such a class if an opportunity arises. BTW, "akaranseth", which sounds like a cool fantasy name, is how AK-47 is pronounced in French.

DaveV said...

Sounds like a very interesting weekend. Jen and I were out of town, so I missed it.

Greg: I blend using oils, but that Devlin mud is SO very useful. I would also buy an industrial sized version.

Sylvain: I've attended several painting seminars over the years - Shep Paine, Rick Taylor, etc. Always good to get expert advice.