Review: Private Coaching with David

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle dwellers,

again it is time for another review.

Last week we had David for private coaching with a very unique goal for his two day lesson and we spent a great time during these two days, painting much, explaining much and listening to much 90s Hip Hop.

Yeah, you see on the upper photo, too much 90s Hip Hop on our minds and souls. David is a really nice guy and an ambitious painter. We both - Raffa and I - really were looking forward to the coaching with him as his own goal for the coaching was also something new for us. Usually many students want to improve their painting quality. They want to paint cleaner blendings and learn different effect tricks here and there - which is a great goal, don't get me wrong. David was different.

 Roman's (above) and Raffa's (below) explanation figures

David wanted to learn to become a faster painter to learn faster. I can only recommand to read his thoughts on it, below. Worth it! We prepared ourselves with figures for some quick paintjobs ahead and David also brought some already primed figures to give the teaching a quick start. Now there was no turning back now :D .


David's Impression of his private coaching:

"Let me start with the end: when I got home from the coaching session I felt a bit sad and pretty tired - but I was extremely happy. I felt energized, exhilarated and highly motivated to continue on right away. All this thanks to the great inspiration by Roman and Raffa during my time with them in their new painting studio.

I am still pretty new to mini painting: After some first forays into the world of scale models and fantasy miniatures as a teenager, I decided to pick up painting miniatures again roughly two years or so ago - not for playing tabletop games but exclusively for the fun of painting. I did not have much time then for actually practicing, but tried to get as much into the theory of painting as possible - watching and reading tutorials on YouTube, CMON, and - of course - Massive Voodoo.

After finishing a big "real life project" (tm) earlier last year, I finally got around to take Roman's beginner workshop in Beckingen/Dillingen (Saar) last summer (if you want to check it out, my demonette is the undead-ish looking one in the graveyard/moonlight scene). It was fantastic, and I took a lot from it in terms of light and color theory, painting and basing techniques and a whole grab-bag of tips and tricks. Without doubt, these helped me to improve my painting and made me a better painter. But I still was very busy and did not have as much time to practice as I would have liked. So, over the two years since I started painting, I had only finished somewhat around twenty or so miniatures.

This was a source of frustration, as I had the feeling that although I was slowly getting better, overall, the process of painting and progressing on a single mini was too slow. My blendings were getting smoother, the color palettes more harmonious, the light-shadow situations more dramatic, but painting a single mini often felt like a slog. I felt that in order to get better, I needed to paint more minis, test different techniques on different poses, materials and themes; but I did not have (or wanted to invest) the time that I had spent on my previous minis (usually between 10 and 20 hours or so per mini).

So, when I decided to take the private coaching lessons, I had a very specific goal in mind: I wanted to become a better painter - faster. I wanted to be able to pick up a mini and paint it to a nice-looking (but certainly not perfect) display standard in 5 hours or so, such that I would be reasonably able to churn out a mini a week. So I asked Roman and Raffa to show me something I called - for the lack of a better word - "painting strategies", i.e., general approaches to painting a miniature that will lead to a nice result after 5 hours or so: a mini I could put into the display cabinet after that time - but which also would be a solid base to continue on and take it to the next level.

David's last projects and his test figures for the class ... well, that Skaven was already done as the first mini in the class ...

And that was exactly what I got. Roman and Raffa showed me four different painting strategies - the wet-in-wet approach, the shaded washes approach, and two different basic-color/wash approaches - and a whole wagon-load of smaller painting tips and tricks. They included airbrush and paintwork, tips on painting leather and metals, OSL, basing, and huge amounts of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink, and resulted in clean, and in my eyes, powerful paintworks - none of them took me longer than five to six hours. Of course, none of the minis are perfect and really "done", and I could continue on for hours with each one of them. But that was exactly where I wanted the minis to be: at a point where I could put them down and have a nice "finished" result - but where I could also take them up again if I wanted to, and add more details, deeper shadows, stronger highlights, etc.

Overall, the coaching session was an amazing and unforgettable experience. Two days, jam-packed with hours of painting and watching and learning and practicing flew by - not least due to an extra dose of extra-sour green tea, lots of laughs, awesome music (1990s HipHop for the win!), and good talks about all the world and his wife. Roman and Raffa were not only extremely professional in their teaching, but were also perfect hosts, kind and warm and welcoming! So, I was really sad to leave the studio, but felt this nice mix of exhaustion and happiness I described above! Thanks, Roman and thanks, Raffa.

So, if I may, I'd like to end with a piece of advice: if you ever get the chance to do the private coaching with Roman and/or Raffa: take it! The two want you to go home with the feeling that you got the most out of your time and money spent on it. I am sure that you, too, will learn much from them!



The proud and tired painters ...

Well, David, thanks for your kind words about the time we had together. We can just give this back to you. We learned also a lot from your class goal and it was really a great time. Thanks for your support and your will to learn! I am sure we will see again!!

Keep on happy painting and never stop learning!
Roman & Raffa


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