Review: MV's Jar's Beginners Class in Arvika, Sweden

by Massive Voodoo

What a great trip.

MV's Jar's Beginners Class was held in Sweden in early August and MV Peter and Roman travelled up north for some painting fun. For both it was their first trip to Sweden, but both agree that I will not be their last. Enjoy the review :)

First of all: 
This introduction is written by Roman.
The review will also include write ups by Jonas and Peter. As soon as  the author switches Roman will let you know.

Most important:
Thanks to these two wonderful guys. Peter and Markus. Both organised a wonderful international class for Roman. He was so relaxed in teaching because the two of you. Thank you both for your unconditional help and so much more and everything!

Special thanks
to Peter, for being who you are and who you grow to be in the future. A great friend, a great help and a very genuine soul. I am happy to call you friend :)

Peter & Markus

Thanks to
all the people who came to this class and were interested in being students of Roman for this weekend. Thank you for making this seminar so alive with your presence.
Thanks to everyone who supported this review with his photos. As usual, Roman was not able to do many on his own as he was busy teaching.

Special thanks goes to 

for their great support and hospitality for each participant during the seminar.
A great online store for all the nordish hobby people!

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:

The trip was started from Stuttgart. Jumping a plane to Hamburg ...

 From Hamburg to Oslo, Norway ...

That is where Markus picked us up for a two hour car ride to Arvika, but with a surprise on the road.

After this great adventure Peter and Roman arrived in the hotel and their room sign was already full of creativity and art. As we learned Arvika is a great town related to Art everywhere.

Arvika is small, but very, very beautiful ... try to make it there one day.

After a hike, where Peter and Roman encountered their first sign of an Elk (Elk footprint) they were invited over to Markus place and enjoyed a wonderful dinner time.

What is this?

Elks are around us.

Elk teeth & Tiger snail

The word 'beginner' might be confusing to many first time participants of this class.
It is not a class for 'only' beginners. In fact it is a class for every person, at every age interested in figure painting, whatever their experience level is.

'Beginners class' means here that Roman aka jarhead gives an introduction into his way of thinking while painting, in detail a lot of important theory is explained while doing a walk through Art History and is used in practical exercises. During the weekend you will not only learn to improve your painting skills, you will also learn the 'Why?' behind everything explained and with that you will be able to teach yourself in your own hobby future by just recognizing what nature has to offer.

The theory parts 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!

Ready for some happy painting!

Trust him, he is a Jedi. A Jedi from Norway. Jedis from the North. Far up north!


Last September, I received my first e-mail from Markus regarding a painting-class in Sweden. At the beginning, I was not very sure if the class would really take shape. Over the last couple of years, I received a lot of requests for painting-classes outside Germany, but sadly a lot of them were canceled when the people heard of the things they had to organize. To be honest, it´s a lot. As we are usually unfamiliar with the situation on place, we have to ask the locals to do the "work on site" (finding a suitable venue, pre-checking for materials, gathering stuff, etc.). I´m happy that Markus was so very eager in getting things done! There are still 28 mails in my account and tons of messages on Facebook regarding the class in Arvika. So, I want to thank Markus for his energy and endurance :) Markus had a happy little accident :) - such a color waste!!!

As you might know, I accompanied Roman during a lot of classes in the past years, but lately work and life in general made it difficult to do so. As I received the mail from Markus, I thought the class might be a good chance to take some days off, visit a new country and spend time with a close friend. Markus was very supportive to make things possible. He organized the hotel and picked us up from Oslo airport. While driving, I enjoyed the sight of the “primal woods”, breathed the good air and felt very relaxed. The visit in Ivanssons Bilskrot, Båstnäs made the first impression of Sweden even better. Walking, climbing and crawling through an awesome old graveyard for cars helped to leave all the stressful thoughts behind. I had arrived in my holiday.

The following two days were all about exploring Arvika and the surroundings. We received a map from the friendly ladies in the tourist office and started a nice long hiking trip through the woods. It was a calming and comfortable walk, even if wearing short was not the best idea. The mosquitos are monsters, but after a time you somehow get used to them. After a nice dinner at Markus´ (aka Super-Mega-Host) place with a lot of chats, it was already Friday and the painting class was going to begin.

For more photos like this - you know for the right inspiration for a painter - you can follow Roman on his hobby photo instagram thingy:

I´m pretty familiar with Roman´s class and his way of teaching, but I always manage to identify some improvements every time I accompany him. When supporting him during a class, I try to help the students as much as I can. Though I keep myself more or less in the background, I love it to walk around and have a look at everybody´s paintjobs. If there are questions, I´m happy to help. 
Arvika was special in some ways. 

All the students were so open-minded and eager to learn. 
They sucked the information up so fast and were ready for new input. Their personality is very positive. We had a lot of nice chats and I enjoyed my time a lot. While walking back to our hotel in the evenings, Roman and I were discussing the progress of the single students and thought about how we could push them to higher levels. We wanted the students to have the best experience possible. The results we saw on Sunday evening speak for themselves J I can only advise all of you guys to keep on painting and do it together as often as possible! You are awesome people and it was an honor to share the weekend with you. 

I will try to join Roman next year, so we can repeat this event, which left a very positive impression on my soul. Thanks a lot.

Best Wishes

Taking photos of the final results.

Do not forget your base on Roman's table, or this ...

Work in Progress.

Work in Progress. Underwater Love.

All primed.

The color wheel by Johannes Itten.
 A tired brush ... drowning.
 Our painting palace.Thanks to Markus for being such a good host. Once again. Supermega!


This is my own, very personal thoughts and feelings of my impressions of the Beginners Class that where held in Arvika, Sweden. They are completely biased and reflects from my standpoint that I am a relative beginner and have just setting of on the journey to raise my painting standard since about a year back. I have been painting actively for about three years now and took the decision about a year ago to see how high I can raise my standard. I have only been to two workshops before this one, the first was a small class and the second was a one-on-one for a whole day.
What I'm trying to say is that I'm not the most experienced painter out there but I enjoy it immensely. It is like life it self with it's ups and downs, two steps forward and one step back sometimes. But most of all I do it to appease my lust to create and to enjoy the medative state of mind that I'm getting in to every time I take up a brush.

Jonas aka the funny one. Wearing the perfect shirt.

I arrived to Arvika without any particular expectations other then the fact that I was given some time away from my family doing what I enjoy most, a sort of mini vacation in my vacation, and that I was certain that I was going to have a good time. And I did indeed!

About the class it self:
I noticed right away that Roman had done this many times before, he appeared very confident and relaxed when speaking to a large group of people and is an excellent teacher with an immense amount of knowledge to pass on to us, the students. He was very willing to share his knowledge to us without holding back and is very passionate about the hobby. A great source of inspiration to his class which I think is rather rare among teachers in general.

When the finger is up, something is important!
Roman explaining color work on the base.

 Uh yeah. Sketching.

The tempo of the class was very intense and this suited me fine, I personally like it when things are setup like this class was. It keeps me on my toes and there was never a dull moment throughout the whole weekend. Infact I was some emerged in the "zone" when it was time to call it a night that I didn't want it to end even though I was super tired. A fact not tributes to Roman, Peter or the class but to the lack of sleep thanks to all the party buggers in Arvika that weekend.

Progress on the basework.

 Roman is scared as the inquisition is behind him.

Peter. Serious teacher's eyes!

One of many colorful fingers.

To Anders. Explanation sheet.

 Color Hue. Check.

Batman is everywhere. Even med paddel.

When Sunday evening came I actually felt sad to leave the class and go home, I was in no mood to stop painting and just wanted to continue the class. It felt like leaving my new family, of sorts.
A good rating of the class as any, I guess.

The class held a very wide but consistent theme, teaching a lot of different techniques and ways to consider painting and many different aspects of the hobby.
Some techniques I new beforehand, some I didn't like, others I have merged into my own style of painting while others I have just begun to practise.

An interesting thing occurred sometime after the class when I was home painting: the first few days afterwards everything about my own painting was flowing, I was very inspired and was able to see actual progress in my painting. But after about a week I crashed, completely. Nothing worked out the way I wanted it to. Blending was suddenly impossible, using the new techniques that I learnt from the class didn't work at all. Nothing did and I became very frustrated with myselfand painting in general. I scraped a few projects, started another few and just let time pass. I dreamt of painting at night and thought of painting and ideas of projects during daytime at every chance I had, automatically. My whole brain was set on painting but I couldn't tap into that source and take advantage of the state of mind that I was in. Days passed like this and then it actually felt like I dropped something or more like everything settled into it's place and when I started painting that day it all worked for me.

I'll guess that it actually took my brain quite some time to process all of my impressions from the class and work it out for it self how to apply the new knowledge. A bit hippie-esqe, I know but a true story.


I think that's says quite a lot about the class itself: it was so intense that it took awhile to process all information and impressions. But as I stated before; I like intense and it works for me.

The course plan for the class was very well thought trough and again I think we could benefit from the fact that Roman had much experience of holding classes like this before. Everything was tied together and well prepared and had a nice flow to it. The theory parts was well mixed with practical work and allowed me to process the theories when working.

The choice of miniature to paint was also very cleverly chosen, I had not painted a Deamonette before and even if I had there are endless possibilities with these figurines. Smart!
The base building part was great and gave me new insights on how to actually plan my painting to tie it together. Brilliant!

All in all the class was all about sharing, thoughts, ideas, learning, helping and passing on tips and personal knowledge to others. (Btw, the thing with the Superglue and slowly breathing on it to make it cure faster is true!)
I am convinced that it created a whole new class of happy painters!

The only thing that would have like differently is this:
The introduction of Peter. He was more or less introduced as the sidekick and Roman's friend that just tagged along for the fun of it.

This meant that since I wasn't familiar with him, his level of expertise or previous work I didn't draw from him his knowledge and didn't take advantage of the fact that his is also an extremely good painter and an excellent teacher as well. It took me until half of the Saturday until I figured out his roll and his level of expertise.

I have since the class amended my lack of knowledge regarding Peter and his work and I think that the next class could benefit more from Peter if his roll is made clearer.

This is the only thing I can come up with that could be improved with the class and it's setup and planing. To make more use of Peter and his knowledge.

This is just my own thoughts and my feedback to you both, it was a truly awesome weekend and I am very, very glad that I signed up for it be cause it was an eye opener in many ways and it truly made me a even more happy painter! So I would say that your goal is accomplished with this class and I hope that you will continue to bring others this experience, it's a very unselfish quest you guys have embarked and with this feedback I hope I can give something back to you!

With the most colourful regards,
Jonas aka The Funny One


Results of this weekend's class:

Thank you for the photos, John!

Thank you all for a great weekend!
Roman left the class exhausted and as a proud teacher. He hopes that all of you paint on with joy and always remember: Learning never stops!

The Gathering in Arvika.

Double V.

Keep on happy painting!

And do not forget to support your local dealer:

Special thanks goes to 

for their great support and hospitality for each participant during the seminar.
A great online store for all the nordish hobby people!


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