Review: Painting Class in Versailles, France

by Roman aka jar

Good Monday Morning Jungle Painters,

already some weeks ago - back in the middle of January - I was travelling to Paris, France.
No not really Paris, more in the outskirts to Versailles and even a little further away from Versailles in a small town called Fontenay-le-Fleury.

I was really looking forward to the trip as the first class Massive Voodoo did in this place back in 2012 was a real joy with very nice people. You can find a review of this class here.

My thanks go to Francois and Peter who helped organising the class, every student who attented the class and everyone involved in making this happen again in France. Francois wrote a review about the class on Fig'78 Team, another one at Tutofig and I can also only recommend to you all to check out their cool group blog called "Chestnut Ink". Well, thank you again to everyone who helped making the class real. Thanks to the additional photos to this review.

My trip started in my hometown - Augsburg - on Thursday before the class weekend and I was packed like this with all the stuff for the class and my stay:

Next Stop Train Station Augsburg

Next Stop: Train Station Stuttgart switch from ICE to TGV
Next Stop: Train Station East in Paris, Gare de l'est

Next Stop: Planning my further trip with the metro and smaller trains to Fontenay-le-Fleury
and tryting to still be in time for the hotel check in ... seriously chaotic, but all worked well. First a coffee with my french name on it.

Allright, after having a good nights rest, a good warm shower, a walk around Fontenay-le-Fleury to find the way to the class place and to see beauty in every corner, even the weather was not the best, but what is to expect from the weather in January, eh?

In the afternoon I did meet up with Francois, we took his car to Versailles, had some too expensive coffees there and - you won't believe it - the sun came out to shine. Unfortenately we had to leave her and after a small visit to Versailles' Games Workshop store we took off rather quick back to the painting class location to make everything ready for the class:

Francois unlocking the gates of paint!

We prepared the class and already some participants arrived, prepared their places and helped here and there. Merci beaucoup! We had to wait until everybody arrived as there is always a little traffic jam around the bigger area of Paris.

... but we had candy.

... and I was able to prepare some more. Just check the zenithal light on this bald head there, eh?

Well, the class started and we found ourselves in the middle of preparing the miniatures, building bases and a lot of theory.

The theory parts of the class contain:

- 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
- Learn to lose fear of doing something wrong
- much more!

That all during Friday night. No, just some of it.
Some impressions and another big thanks goes to the sponsors of the class, those companies who help MV with their support in material to bring a happy painting time to different locations:

Basebuilding time!

What about a cave?

Or careful cutting with a blade?

We took our time and Friday night passed by with having a lot of fun. Now it was time to look forward to the next day of the class as painting time was approaching, finally - it often feels weird for my students when they attend at a painting class on Friday late afternoon and start painting after lunch on Saturday.

Before we did start we finalized some basing work, made everything ready for priming and learned some more tricks in this stage.

Some had to wait because they were so fast ...

Others made ninja monkey moves:
Others made more obvious monkey moves. Well, we have to tell that there was a little game going on: Who is the biggest monkey and makes the biggest monkey photo! The winner was to recieve a cool gift sponsored by Francois. and so my camera was filled with monkeys, but in the end there could only be one true epic monkey.

Prime time ...

 ... and then finally painting time after some serious and important ... flussh ... teacher instroctions. We started with painting our colour and light situation sketches to our bases.

I was truely happy to see a very young student in the class and having fun. Thanks to his dad's translation from my english he was able to get all the information of the class and it was a pleasure to see him work with us. My youngest student so far.

Well, we painted Saturday and Sunday until there was no energy left in us. I always took my students for explanations to my important teacher table and helped on individual issues to solve them. In fact that is what makes the class most exhausting and rewarding for me as a teacher. Checking for the students individual levels of painting skill and helping them from this spot to reach further and grow better in their painting.

On Sunday afternoon I was truely proud to see the results of the weekend.

Well, we tried to make a group photo of all of us but failed on the first try:

... we had a lot of fun, for example with ninja monkeys on our shoulders - this was the winner of the monkey game. He was ninja enough to place this monkey sticker on everyone's shoulder without someone recognizing it. Cool, eh?

Allright, let's have a look on the weekends results. 
I - as the teacher - who told all the important stuff was really happy to see everyone's project evolve to such heights and to see all the theory we talked about take grip in everyone's project. Sorry for the random quality of the photos. It wasn't that easy to get good photos of all of them.

This student took the class for the first time and had to paint a demonette to let the class content really pop out:

Another first timer of the class - straight use of the theory parts of the class, very cool:

A well advanced painter already, but still learned much on his demonettes. Also took the class for the first time and I was happy that there was at least a point or two where I could teach him some more tricks in theory and practical painting:

Again - a first timer of the class - going for red, facing problems with red during the class when it came to highlight it, but we managed to get a grip on that. Red is often a pain in the ass to paint.

Another pain in the ass to paint is yellow, but this first timer here managed well to get a hold of it:

Another first timers demonette, this time in pink going to blue in the claws. A true beauty.

Another really advanced painter taking the class for the first time, having serious fun as you can see in his result.

A class repeater goind for his personal subject in the class: painting cleaner, sharper and learning a thing or two about skin, volumes and metals:

With this model the repeater of the class wanted to learn different tricks, approaches and ideas on painting the colour black.

A class first timer going for green on his demonette.

Another first timers green one ...

My youngest students base ... well done!

... and his miniature. Love that blue on the claw!

His dads demonette on the cave base - sorry for the bad photo :/

Another repeaters base

Very sad me that we do not have a better photo of this result. This student had his own topic chosen by learning to paint smooth transitions finally and we went from a very dark blue tp a bright blue in several attempts, always forcing him to more patience and helping him were I could. I really loved to see him grow on that and after half of the painting time being hard it made click and it looked very, very cool ... but bad photo :/

The lady in the fallout desert was another repeaters project.
We were mainly focusing on painting the skin and the stocking.

Another repeaters project, the red colour thrower. Loved to see it grow!

Well, thank you all for a really cool weekend!
I hope to see you all someday again and always remember in happy painting you find the right spirit to learn on your own and be able to push yourself further without being frustrated - so:

Keep on happy painting!

After a good nights sleep it was time for me to start my travel home again. This time the other way around, starting at Fontenay-le-Fleury.

Next stop: Gare du Montparnasse

Next stop: Gare de L'est again ...

This time with my german name on the coffee?

Time to head out as soon as the lights go green!

Au revoir!


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