by Roman aka jar
As you might have seen, last week we had another one of MV's private coaching, in our Studio, in our Hometown. It is always a great time to help another painter with our experience and we were happy to welcome Lorenzo, from Italy. A really cool, funny and kind person with whom time flew by way too fast, but not without the lack of sleep :)
So far Raffa and I enjoyed only private coaching with painters from Germany or Austria, so every coaching was held in german language or german language with strong austrian accent. Let me say some words about our first international private coaching: The language was never a problem. I already knew this while writing email with Lorenzo as we planned his days in our hometown in Augsburg. And if a mail subject looks like this, you can be sure that we had some stuff to plan:
"R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: R: Re: I: Re: R: Re: R: Re: Painting Trip" :D
I have to tell that Lorenzo really did something to be proud of. Not by taking the class, the class was about learning and going further on the way of the miniature painter. I mean something different. Lorenzo showed some balls for his passion. Something to be really proud of is taking holidays from work off, to sit in a train to Germany and spent some days there for painting. Every normal person would say "Why not do holidays at the ocean instead?" ... the reason is passion, the fire that burns in everybody. With painting Lorenzo found his passion that burns him from the inside and it is always good to listen to the inner voices ...
Lorenzo brought his passion ...
A describtion on what we exactly did during the private coaching will following my words here, written by Lorenzo as he was so kind to write his impressions down. We can only say we had a great time with him, even he was a little tired from the though train ride on the first day. Many thanks to you Lorenzo, it has been our pleasure. Raffa and I found some things you forgot, we will make a little parcel ready for you soon with all that is missing. From now on enjoy Lorenzo's impressions!
"Hi there, jungle people!
My name is Lorenzo, i’m from Italy and I just returned home after a private coaching with Roman & Raffa.
I want to give you my point of view about this kind of coaching, both because I think it’s been a great experience and because I hope my review can be helpful and inspirational for others fellow painters.
I’ve been painting miniatures for a long time but never constantly: after a long hiatus, 2 years ago I realized it was one big passion in my life, and now I’m putting lot of effort into it. So i decided for this private coaching to help me boost my skills, and I admit my expectations were very high.
I choose the guys because I really like their style, and also because I think they share their “happy painting” philosophy: we need more such people in this hobby. :)
We met on Tuesday, October the 22th at Augsburg train station, were they picked me up. I felt we immediately got along, and soon we were at the studio and I could see they were as eager as me to start the lesson, but before that we sat down to discuss: they looked at the figures I brought along and they asked about my goals for these 2 days.After a little talking, we started with Roman showing me some color theory, warm/cold and saturation/desaturation contrast and much more: things I already knew about, but listening to him was way better than reading a book. That was the first time during the 2 days where I realized that having someone show you the way is very different than trying alone.
Then it was time to start painting. After some basecoating, I started working the skin of my figure: one of my goals was to increase my blending skills, and I was shown a new method of doing it. I was out of my comfort zone but, after a few hours, I started getting confident with this technique and results soon followed.
I was constantly asking Roman & Raffa for suggestions: another goal was to better understand light and shadow placement, and they helped me explaining where I could push the lights further, or where I painted wrong areas. Things i could not see by myself.From time to time, they showed me models they were working on to share tips, tricks or just to explain how they applied the same things I was being instructed in. My main “duty” for the first day was to complete the face, and I was able to: the result was many steps ahead of my previous level, and I must thank their constant support for that.
Painting time ahead!
Lorenzo brought a cool demon figure from Clockwork Paladin!
We also were accompanied by Sanne, a very cool lady and our awesome trainee during these two days as she is working on her first figure ever ... more about Sanne and that evil Zombie soon!
Lorenzo's first steps ...
After a good night’s sleep ( and breakfast with german food, yay!) we headed for the studio again where Roman put down a schedule of “to do” things for the second and last day: we started with Roman showing me his wet in wet technique for blending, which I tried on the arm and legs of the demon, shifting the color from purple to black: I tried this thing before with poor results, but again, it’s different when you have someone showing it to you and, in fact, the blending was pretty good IMHO! Bam! :D
Then, metallics came: I usually paint my models in NMM but this time Roman & Raffa talked to me into trying true metal because, even if I don’t use them so often, they could teach me their way so that I could have the technique available for the future.The important thing is that they never forced me, and that is what good teachers should do: also in other occasion, for example colour choice for the eye, or the lava on the base, they gave me suggestions I was free to follow or not. Sometimes a teacher can show you the way, but you have to decide for yourself and, maybe, go your own way and fail so you can understand on your skin what the teacher was telling you. That is my humble point of view.
Many different things on our schedule ...
After that we stopped painting for a while and moved to creating the lava. It’s amazing how these guys were unsure how to proceed but found a quick and realistic solution. Raffa helped me putting the lava in place and he painted a separate piece of it, so I could take inspiration.
Raffa also helped me with colour choice and painting of the flames: we went magenta because, really, is there something cooler than a demon with magenta flames bursting from his back ? :P
Again, he invented an incredible yet simple effect for the fire and I was like “ how could not think about it?”… that happened a lot during the coaching, and it helped me widening my mind towards new ideas: you have to take into consideration every strange solution, because it could work.Time passed very fast and soon the coaching ended, but I was satisfied.
Before closing the review, I want to give you my personal interpretation of it.
It’s not like this kind of coaching it a “magic wand” that immediately makes you a genius painter: sure, I’ve made big progress and learnt many tricks, but now I have to do a lot of practice to develop these newly acquired informations.
I see this coaching sorta like planting seeds in your mind: you are responsible for making them grow, and both Roman & Raffa pointed out that, without practice, you go nowhere.
Having a great teacher can help you improve faster, and also can help you remove some blocks in your way of understanding miniatures: things that maybe, on your own, would take months or even years to develop.
So, have my expectations been met?
Yes, I’m happy to have invested in this lesson and now I feel more self-aware and inspired in painting miniatures.
But this went beyond the coaching and I’m satisfied also on the human side: I’ve met 2 incredible persons which whom to share my passion for painting, persons I could laugh and talk with about everything, not only miniatures.
They helped my finding a place where to sleep, they gifted me with many things and we went out for a dinner and a walk in Augsburg. I felt not as a “customer”, but as a honored guest.
Thanks again Roman & Raffa for this experience and keep on the happy painting! :)"
Our only group shot, early in the morning, close to Lorenzo's departure. We went to such a cool place to eat in our hometown the night before, in the dungeons under the city's main hall and said all the time we have to make that photo here, but we failed, instead we had a great time all along with some strong german food and beer and cocktails and water ...and the lack of sleep :D
Many thanks again to you Lorenzo, for being open in learning new things, fighting your way through unknow terrain and your patience with the both of us. I am looking forward to meet again and as I told you, try your best to show up in Monte San Savino this or next year ... so cool and by the burning heart of passion that you got in your chest I know you would love it there!
Keep on happy painting, Lorenzo! Explore the myths of miniature painting further, test, paint, paint, test, paint, test, paint ... learning never stops!
Roman and Raffa
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