Review: MV's Jar's Beginners Class in Copenhagen, Denmark

by Massive Voodoo


"I entered the workshop as fine Legopainter, I left as an apprentice model painter… Sometimes you have to break everything down to start anew."  -- Crof

Sometimes a journey is like a song.  
Roman did a journey to Denmark recently to hold his first of MV's Jar's Beginners Classes in Copenhagen. He decided to travel not with plane, but with train, several days and this was just a splendid decision. This trip, filled with only wonderful memories was just like a song. So if you want to skip all the text, listen to this song and you feel how this journey was for Roman.

This review will be a little different
than others so far, just because the journey Roman took was so different than everything else before.
Denmark. Roman was not there yet and he frankly did not know what to await, but hey before we start with Denmark we will start where the journey started off ...

... in the Massive Voodoo Studio, Roman packing all his stuff.

Saying goodbye to his two best buddies at home, already knowing he will miss home. You always miss home, when you leave it. Always. Lesson learnt: always take it with you, carry it in your heart.

Waiting for  train to come with a box full of figures, a backpack and the beast of a bag with painting class equipment and more or less some fresh socks.

Roman's first stop on his journey was Hamburg, visiting his friend Heiko, Shifu of the Wu Dao Kung Fu school. This place feels like a second home in the meantime to Roman, thanks to the friendship to so many people there.

Heiko and Roman sat down to do a little relaxed painting session on the evening.

Thanks to Heiko's hospitality Roman is more or less speechless and Roman knew he will do the same stop when going the other way back. Sherlock, one of the Wu Dao cats chilling.

With orders from friends in the Wu Dao and his girlfriend to bring back loads of salty lakritz from Denmark Roman left the Kung Fu school on the next day and went to catch a train once again with all his bags and such.
Journey to the north, journey to the unknown. Still no clue what to expect there. So into the train once again, reading a fantasy novel about vikings ... until we had to leave the train during a ferry ride. Yes, they did put the train to a ferry and crossed the street of the whales. Big surprise for Roman and he enjoyed this surprise with sunshine making it even better :)

Thanks to the lady Roman did meet up here, the coffee and the great chats about life :)

Another ferry with several trains on it, maybe even planes or who knows?

The sound of waves! Lesson learned: If you go to Viking country, they will put your train to a ship!
Roman arrived at Copenhagen main station and got picked up by Kristian and Thomas, two fellow painters Roman already knew from several miniature painting events. Many thanks to the both of them for the warm welcome and the journey to meet the others in a burger restaurant, close. It was time to meet more fellow painter friends and eat burgers.

Bestillingsseddel was funny to read as when you read it aloud you can easily get the german word for it: Bestellungszettel. Quite interesting, Roman was able to read and understand a lot of danish, but as soon as the people spoke Roman was quickly lost.

Mjam! Mjam! Mjam! Over 9000! Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome!

The townhall of Copenagen.

... and off we went for the Bastard Cafe, which is a nice bar packed with many tables and couches and boardgames and many people who enjoy playing boardgames there. Lovely place. 

... until night and we all know that night is full of color theory.

First big THANK YOU
goes to Jacob for helping organising the class together with Peter of MV. Both have been an excellent team and helped Roman to enjoy this class and the trip as whole great experience. Thanks to the hospitality of Jacob and his whole wonderful family Roman's stay was just beautfiul. He left as a very happy guest and ... well, thanks for everything, Jacob!

Before the class, relaxing a whole day in the danish sun. It is always a good idea to gain energies before you have to spent them in a weekend class.

In the early afternoon Jacob and Roman head out to downtown Copenhagen, to Faraos Cigarer a place Roman called "Geek Heaven". It is not only one store, it's three different houses, one for board- and cardgames and tabletop, the other for comics and one for larp. Massive. Huge. Unbelievable. Inspiring. Powerful. A place that speaks for himself, Copenhagen is full of proud geeks and that is just lovely!

After a great sandwich and a free apple Roman was looking forward to the class. Maybe his brain was also a little sunburned. Who knows!

Faraos Cigarer.
Back. Geek Heaven. This is where the class will take place. Wow!


Many great models in the cabinets, especially loved Thomas' Chaos WHF Fantasy Army.

WTF? C'mon guys you are kidding me?
Blood Angels vs. Tyranids, I might know a little bit about this duel :D ... Wonderful!


"I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the workshop and the weekend, it was very warm and filled with lots of fun and eye-opening moments. It was great sharing the passion for the hobby with you and all the other participants. For me the expectations for the workshop was VERY high and yet, you managed to meet them all and so much more.

I was very surprised at the level of quality teaching you presented and how you managed to evoke a sense of confidence in my own painting skills throughout the course. The learning curve was a constant steep hill all three days, but the climbing of it was always fun and educational. I remember the feeling saturday evening that I just couldn't take in anymore impressions and learning points - but at the same time I wanted to keep on learning and trying out all the new things I had learned. And I am very proud of my deamonette, especially because it reminds me of all the things I have learned. So once again - thank you very much for a great workshop! It was pure art-ness."
-- Tobias


"Amazing atmosphere and a great teacher!
I loved all the examples you showed for the theory and I have been going through the google art project browsing artworks and spotting the focal point :)" -- Vasilis


MV's Jar's Beginner Class
We started the class with saying hello to everyone and small introductions from the Faraos staff. They even made a great deal for all the class participants in giving some % off during the whole weekend for everyone attending the class. It was already a great atmosphere before it even started properly.

Big Thanks #2
to the guys from Faraor Cigarer for such a great welcome and your hospitality and friendly attitude on everything. There is not much Roman can say - again this fits best: Thanks for everything!
Big Thanks #3
... goes out to my students in this class. Without you and your interest in miniature painting, without your driving passion to learn more about painting, without you attending to the class the class would not have happened like it happened. Thank you all very much in supporting Roman as a teacher and artist by taking one of his classes. 

Many thanks to Jacob and Peder for supporting this review with the photos they took.

Special thanks to Kyle who was the only repeater of this class in this event and also for coming over from the UK. Also special thanks to Burak who travelled from Izmir, Turkey to take part in Jar's Beginners Class. 
What is best in life?
To prepare miniatures for painting, because then you can base and paint them. Preparing works wonderful to good music:

Thanks to the supporters of this class who made the class wonderful due their help in sponsoring some of their products, beside Roman's crazy material collection:


"For the night is dark and full of theory! Learning colors and contrast with Roman at Faraos Cigarer in Copenhagen." -- Peder

And after a night full of theory and tired eyes follows a morning with coffee.

... and even more theory. 

We managed to get everything done in time and primed our projects just right before the lunch break, some went already mad on being "hangry":

Lunch break was not far and we went to the marketplace to get inspired by colorful food, people and a sunny weather.

And it was time to get some lakritz for everyone back home on my journey stops.

Salty Lakritz.


Roman was quite happy about this order, he is not into Lakritz at all so there was no danger in him eating all the ... salty candy :)

Thank you, Thomas!

Oh what a lovely day!
 Beautiful Copenhagen!

The old library... lovely details.

Back on the brushes the class students went after lunch. Happy Painting time!

"I went home from the painting class with so much inspiration that I started a new project already the next day. I am also working on some small Hasslefree minis on which I more or less repeat the work of the painting class to make it really stick, that is a good exercise. A lot of happy painting this!"  
-- Kristian 

"Romans beginner workshop was a wonderful experience. Being a "beginners" workshop he covered a lot of basics of color theory, priming and applying paint. Still as a somewhat experienced painter myself there was quite some eye-openers. Roman showed us pictures ranging from modern fantasy artwork to classical paintings to show us the use of lines, light-dark and other types of contrast. All things that could be used not only in the painting of the miniature, but also in the composition of the base. I was familiar with some of it, but never gave it much thought in miniature painting. That sure has changed now! I learned a lot from his presentations, and was made more aware of putting this knowledge to effect i miniatures.

All in all, Roman put great emphasis on showing us the methods and tools for miniature painting, and then letting us find out how to use that ourselves. His guiding hand was not far away though, and even with a full class of 25 knowledge hungry students he was always at hand for answering questions and offering suggestions. 

The base building part of the workshop was one of the most fun experiences! We were given total freedom in creating our base from all the materials he had taken with him, and then it was up to us to remember the knowledge he had imparted on us about composition. This resulted in so many different and beautiful bases across all the participants' models.

Roman was a great and pleasant teacher, and his experience from more than 50 workshops was evident in his skillful explanations and exhibitions of how to use the tools and methods he showed us.

Most importantly Roman showed us the playfulness and joy in painting miniatures. His was truly the path of the jedi miniature painter.

Thanks again for everything :)" -- Peder 

We went on with more explanations, Burak here was not convinced or was he? ;)

Look, if you do a), b) might follow and even c) might appear... and if you do it the other way around it can be the same. Got that? Do not be scared of paint, paint with joy and self-confidence. All the time. No matter your skilllevel, it will grow from it. Massively.

Burak was not convinced ;)

Look, if you can make your hands glow we can concentrate on it so hard that Burak might wake up from the light source. Focus and concentrate. 

Painting and explanation time.

Light can not appear without shadow.

Really this works, if you paint. Lucky 314, Sir!

 Vasilis is checking for Burak?

Midtones to understand the concept of a color transition.

"I had lost the joy to paint: I was not enjoying the end product no matter how hard I tried, and this caused me to lose my mojo for painting. I felt like I was at a point to get help and advice from a pro. This was what I was thinking when I was signing up for your class. I learned tremendous amount of stuff in the class even though I failed to apply some of them in practice. But that does not matter, since I am already pursuing an idea for scale model challenge -hopefully-. I have drawn the sketch of the diorama already... So thank you again for giving me back my mojo. Until next time..." -- Burak

"I have been painting on and off as an adult for about two years now but has just recently started to really get back in the hobby. Being a perfectionist I actually spent more time reading tutorials, techniques and theory than actually painting and to be frank it was actually slowly taking away what I enjoyed and replacing it with a search for perfection. While I had some expectations for the class I actually had no real clue what awaited me. 

While the class took me through basics, theory and application it was your approach to painting that opened my eyes to a new way of painting. You simply brought back my joy in the hobby/painting and I don't think there is any higher praise than that. "It all happens for a reason" I look forward to trying out a bunch of new stuff, painting more and seeing where my journey will take me!" -- Mads


"As I mentioned, I've been painting for 1 year now. 

I have primarily painted in isolation at home because I use painting as meditation and stress relief which I later found out to be true of many other painters. I used it as a coping mechanism after the birth of our first child and my wife's very bad postnatal depression. I have fallen in love with painting miniatures and it is something I hold very dear and enjoy A LOT! 

Your painting class was the second time I have come out to interact with the broader painting community of which I know very little about. I was very nervous as I am very much an outsider and my colour theory was limited to knowing the primary colours. Because of that I really appreciated your stern but very respectful manner. Especially welcoming of all levels of talent and that you focused on us finding our own path and that painting is fun! My brain is exploding with ideas and it is amazing that with the knowledge you have given me I can now explain a lot of the things in my past miniatures that I felt something was wrong… but didn't know why and now I have 314(!) tutorials to investigate. 

Thank you for being an excellent teacher. " -- Andrew


Sadly, Roman forgot to take a good photo of all projects when they lined up on the table. Stupid. He found some shots, but nothing can compete with the full power all your projects had in real. Happy Painting, lined up!

Thanks to everyone of you. Roman left Geek Heaven as a very proud teacher.

If you want to read additional review material, please check:

Faraos Cigar - photo album

Mr Lee's Painting Emporium - 3 years between classes, what's the difference.

Mr Lee's Painting Emporium - Jar's Beginners Class in Denmark

Happy Painting to all of you and Roman hopes to paint with you again! Keep on happy painting!

Does this review now finally come to an end?
No. As the trip is not over yet for Roman. After cleaning up the venue with the help of many helping hands some still not tired miniature painters went for a small stroll in the Tivoli Gardens. Thanks to Dr. Tobias great idea!

A place full of magic and madness. Magical madness.

Well, Roman left Denmark with great memories, thanks to everyone involved. Does this review now finally find its end?
No. It's a full journey report.

Roman went home the next day - time to say Goodbye to Denmark and Copenhagen.

Thanks for everything!

... he travelled down south again, again train on ferry and viking books. Again Wu Dao and another great afternoon and evening was spent there. Tired from the class still, but Heiko and Roman managed to stay awake long for drinks and deep talks about life.

When they decided they go to bed Roman decided to keep up traditions and entered the Dojo alone for some weirdo photos with some kung fu weaponry. Alone, because ususally Raffa is always with Roman on such occasions. So alone in the Dojo, Roman asked himself what weapon to choose as Heiko's two young cats came by. Time for a cat shooting Roman thought - for the traditions:

On the next day Roman again jumped a train and went home.
Then he slept for three days.

Thanks for everything!