Review: Private Coaching with Michael

by Massive Voodoo

Good Morning Jungle,

the year 2015 on Massive Voodoo starts with some good memories on how 2014 ended.
Some reviews are ahead and today we start with one private coaching review - the one we enjoyed with Michael who visited us in our Studio in Augsburg, Germany.

Michael took part in Jar's beginners class early in 2014 and had so much fun there. He decided to train on his painting skills he learned during the class over the last year. Soon he decided he wanted to go a step further. Painting gaming miniatures was not enough for him and after some talks we found his private coaching topic:

Taking the step from painting gaming miniatures 
to paint up display miniatures

We had some really cool two days in our studio, nonetheless because of the good start into the coaching Michael provided with his little gift to Sanne, Roman and Raffa - Mjam, Mjam!

So let's have a look what Michael has to say in his personal review. Thank you very much for your time and effort to write this up, Michael!

Michael's Review

Hello MV-Readers, 
Roman and Raffa kindly ask me to write a review about my private coaching. To be honest English is not really one of my strengths. So I had to struggle with myself and at the end I kicked me out of my comfort zone. I‘m writing this Introduction, because the coaching has done exactly the same with me - kicked me out of my comfort zone to improve my painting skills!

To make it short and not to wait until the end of this review, Roman and Raffa have given me so much over the two days. So it probably would be fatal for my painting karma, if I would give no reward :-) I would like to describe my motivation for the private coaching, because I‘m sure there are many readers out there who are in a similar situation: I started the hobby with gaming and less painting, but shifted more and more to the painting aspect. Painting became an important contrast to my daily work. It is becoming more a passion and less a task to have painted miniatures to play. In addition it bored me to paint the same figure more often. I like it to try new things and to improve my skills on every miniature. However, painting my complete WH 40k army became more and more frustrating and no fun at all. Therefore I have decided to differentiate my ambitions, depending on the project: “Quick and dirty” as a table top standard for my huge amount of playing miniatures and my personal highest standard to have fun for selected miniatures.

Based on my previous experience, it is always good to have an experienced teacher on a new path. So I decided to join one of Roman’s beginner classes in Aschaffenburg in January 2014. This was the first time I’ve painted a miniature with my new approach. I was so happy to see that it is possible to make a big step forward just in two days. Due to some big private events I had less time to practice the learned lessons.

Meanwhile, I have more time for painting. I was thinking about how to start or rather how to go further. The idea of a private coaching was born! Roman and Raffa as two superb Guides for my first own miniature project? What could be better in the world for a miniature painter!? Nothing! Why Roman and Raffa? My experience is that you will find a lot of people who are experts at their area of expertise, but you will find just a little group of experts who are also able to impart their knowledge – good teachers are hard to find. For me, I can say that I’ve found two incredible teachers!

I get in touch with Roman to organize the private coaching. After several mails we choose the topics and the miniature for the two day session:

- Starting a new Project
– Roadmap for future projects
- Improve my personal level concerning overall quality, cleanness, maximizing contrast and zenithal light
- Painting different material types: representation via different textures

The Miniature for the coaching: Olfo aka “Rodolfo”:

The base I’ve prepared:

Time for the real review. The two day session was planned for the 27th and 28th of November. With the help of my navigation device it was not a big deal to find the jungle. In front of the jungle the two chief monkeys Roman and Raffa, who helped me to carry all the stuff I brought to the jungle.

After a briefly demonstration of Roman why my old paintrack is bad we arrived the jungle ;-)

From the first moment it felt like coming home. We had a short chat to clarify the last details for the next two days. After Roman has shown me some slides as follow up to the beginner class I had time to arrange my workspace. After everything was prepared we talked about my personal project: the story behind the diorama, the atmosphere, the emotions, the colors, etc. Up to this point I was thinking just of a hobbit in the forest. I also had no idea which colors I should use to achieve a harmonious atmosphere.

To be honest, I had no clue how to start with such a project. So Roman asked me to draw a sketch of Rodolfo to develop a color scheme: This was my personal first BÄM-Situation after half an hour in the jungle.

After my first BÄM I started to apply the dominate color with the airbrush on Rodolfo, Followed by the first light situation also by using the airbrush. Then it was time to paint all the other basic colors on Rodolfo. And believe me … Rodolfo is well prepared for a long journey through Middle-earth – gnaha … It took me a couple of hours. But for sure, this was also one of my coaching topics (overall quality and cleanness).

Roman and Raffa impressed me with their eagle eyes, pushed me one more time out auf my comfort zone. I’ve never spend so much time for applying the basic colors with thin layers, but the result justifies the effort and I had less clean-up work later on. This was my personal second BÄM-Situation.

Next I used the airbrush to apply thin layers of a wash to sketch the first shadows. What for a cool and smooth way for a quick sketch for the shadow areas on your miniature. Guess? The third BÄM!

While I was happy with my first results I had to do some clean-up work with the basic colors. After Roman and Raffa used their eagle eyes I started with the first highlights on the red cloth. So far I was not too happy with my results when it comes to the highlights on my previous miniatures. With the great guidance of Raffa I was very happy with my first highlights on Rodolfo. The right idea connected with the right technique … BÄM! It was just fun to go further, but if it is at its best, you should stop. The first day just flown by.

The second day started with a delicious-good-morning-jungle-coffee and a briefly chat with a look on Rodolfo. Talking about what we have done so far and what has yet to come. Next it was time to grab the brush. Starting with the next highlights on the different materials. I also had to start with the skin on Rodolfo. I’ve never painted skin … I do not really know why, but I was afraid to mess it up.

Roman helped me with a special cup of tea with 14 different herbs, no idea what kind of herbs, but they’ve helped a lot ;-) The face was my absolute personal highlight… BÄM! Both jungle chiefs pushed me several times out of my comfort zone to gain more out of my project and to achieve the next goal of my coaching: maximizing contrast!

Afterwards we changed to the base. The idea was to achieve a more realistic and harmonic look. Raffa picked up the cutter and the milling machine and after a while … wow, what a difference. To tell a traceable story, we also add a footprint of a giant to the ground: Next we changed back to Rodolfo.

Working on the different textures: leather, metal, skin … Again I received very helpful explanations for the different textures. The knife was very “special” for me. Roman and Raffa again invested a lot of commitment.

At the end we had not enough time to finish all the details on Rodolfo. That was not too bad, because I had received new skills, inspiration und useful tips, which will remain a lifetime. So I’m well prepared to finish the project alone at home. Much more, I feel well prepared for all the new projects. Now it is up to me to use my new tool box and to train and to develop the new painting skills. After we cleaned up our working places Roman and Raffa gave me feedback to the last two days and helpful advices for the next steps on the model. Homework.

Finally I’m also the first one, who received his Ultimate Paint Rack!

Wow … two incredible existing days had just flown by. Two days full of painting joy, which exceeded my expectations! From my point of view, my personal learning curve went up extremely fast and higher than expected. It truly was the right decision to get in contact for the private coaching in the jungle. I know, this was not the shortest review of a private coaching. For me it was something like a little reward for all I’ve got and a matter that is near to one’s heart.

I just want to thank Roman and Raffa for this experience. Two professional teachers, cheerful hosts and inspirational characters.



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