Review: Private Coaching with Christian

by Roman aka jar

"We have a timer and we will set the timer to a certain time. 
When the bell rings, put the brushes down! 
No matter what you are painting. No excuses, no mercy!"

Hi everyone,
this will be a massive review to a massvie two day private coaching I was recently enjoying with Christian.

Christian approached me with the wish to become a faster and better painter at the same time. I was a lucky teacher as Christian already took several seminars by me, including my one day speedpainting seminar. So the foundation was already there. It was time for advanced speedpainting during the coaching ...

I will quickly hand over to Christian's review before I will add some more words in the end ...
Thank you Christian for writing this up! It was such a joy to read your perspective of the two days :)

Happy student = happy teacher = #happypainting


Dear friends of miniature painting!

At first I want to excuse any mistakes in my English grammar or typing. This is not my mother language and I will do my very best to write down everything in a way that it is understandable.

Let me take you to a journey and tell you a story of two days, which I may have spent, in a huge amount of spirit, energy, fun and a loooot (!) of click-moments.
The next lines could tell you something about...
  •      ... what will I (you) have from a private coaching? 
  •       Which benefit do I have and what is the difference between a „standard course“ and a private coaching?
  • -          ... was it worth the money?
  • -          ... what will others have if I attend at such a private coaching?
  • All of that will be structured with numbers, dates, facts.
  • And last but not least I try to transport some of the fun that we had in these two days.

If none of the above is interesting for you, you should skip this article because it will be a long run. 
BUT if one of these points is attracting you, keep reading. I am sure you will find interesting things in this article, which will also help you in your painting spirit.
Let the muse dance!

My subject and preparations:
Main subject was „painting speed“. Not actually speedpainting. In my opinion this is well known in the world of miniature painting by taking several miniatures from one kind and you paint them simultaneously. My subject „painting speed“ should have been ‚more’ than this.
My main problem of painting these little cuties was that I have started to get very messy when I wanted to paint in a quicker way, very time.

# So I wanted to have more structure in my way of painting.

# Also I wanted to know what is actually possible in 20 minutes as well as in 1 hour.

# Planning the figure. Thinking about colours. What makes sense and what is ‚too much’ in a certain amount of time?

# Setting the wet palette in the correct way. (have fun reading this part, this is magic J)

# Transport the knowledge onto a competition miniature. Where are the differences and what may be done on such a 1-hour-speedpainting-mini to transform it into a competition miniature?

I hope this gives you a quite sufficient overview about my ‚demands’ to Roman.

And guys, once in advance 
– he fulfilled them to 100% and topped it again and again. 
He even left his own comfort zone and was ‚totally destroyed’ after day two. J
For me as a student it was a pleasure to also push my teacher to his own borders. The little „competition“ that we had was really fun and both of us learned a lot.

1st day.

Start was 10:00 o’clock. I was allowed to arrive about 20 minutes earlier to set up my stuff and also „arrive“ with my soul and muse.
While I was walking from car to studio and back again I found a picture of mine, which I have shot at the grill party of my company that I am working for. So I was even happier.  Honestly I didn’t expect to be part of the photo wall. *littleproud*

When I arrived, I found a painting Roman in the studio (what else). Maybe he was preparing himself for my challenging subject? Maybe he wanted to just look cool? Didn’t know – but it worked. 
Walking into this studio was... I cannot find the correct words. It is just spirit and energy. And so much of this… It just fulfilled myself, even before I set up my stuff...

Before I could set up my stuff, I was welcomed with a hearty welcome from a super charismatic person, who I maybe may call a ‚friend’ from now on. Future will tell more. I knew Roman quite well from my several courses that I have attended already. But this was different. Just him and me. No one else.

Also some goodies welcomed me at my working place. @Roman: More different stickers, please!

After some time I was ready! Left is mine, Roman to the right.

Then we immediately stepped into the first lesson. 
No ‚blabla’ – straightforward. I directly felt respected and Roman showed me that he was prepared – and he really was. J

At first we have had a quick look at my ‚homework’. I have painted some zombies some days before the private coaching to train myself and to prepare for these two days. After some first thoughts we painted the first miniature to check my ‚Status Quo’.

One information for you: There was one rule:
# We have a timer and we will set the timer to a certain time. When the bell rings, brushes down! No matter what you are painting. No excuses, no mercy!

(Roman: I hate this thing :D)

Now I have to make a small commercial for Romans course „Zombie SpeedpaintingMasterclass“. PLEASE do yourself a favor and attend this class if you are interested in a speedpainting subject by just a little! I was there and it opened my eyes. And YES – this not NOT only for zombies. You can see the result of the technique which we have learned during that class on the character below, next picture. This is a mini, painted by Roman during the class at our very last challenge at that workshop. 20 minutes, not a second more.

To keep it simple and easy we took a guy for me who was not that complicated but still challenging. Not a zombie. The main target is to paint characters so we focussed on them.

After 25 minutes we put down the brushes and the result was the following:

Not bad, if I compare it with my zombie from some days before which I have painted at home for homework and for preparing:

Now we have talked about the result and Roman showed me a new technique on a whole miniature, which I could (!) adapt, but he left me my choice which one works better for me.  It was the guy #2 with the yellow firefighter jacket that Roman painted for demonstration and explanation while I watched him doing so:

I gave it a try.
30 minutes. A knight. Look at the result:

Just a huge WOW-effect for myself! You cannot imagine how big my smile was. It was such a huge experience to look Roman over his shoulders for 20 minutes and watch him painting. I just adapted his knowledge and this was the result.

A crutial moment:
After finishing the cloak before the cross I said, “Hey Roman, I see a white cross on the cloak.”
Roman: “Paint it”
Me: “Meeh, I am not sure because the cloak looks so good for me now.”
Roman: “Oh, so you are a Pu**y now?”
Me: “Yaah ok, you’ve won! How??”
Roman: *justlookingandsmilinglikeabadass* and told me how.
à Never fear to try something new by having doubt to destroy something! Never avoid painting something that you ‘see’ in the miniature! The miniature tells you how it wants to look like. And do NOT try to avoid it. You could never look into the eyes of that miniature again if you do not paint it as it wants to look like.

After some thoughts what we could improve, we have made a new challenge:
New character, more ‚sharpness’, more details. So we set the timer to 50 minutes. With this time we focussed a little more on smoothness (but not too much). At this point I have to say that this is the very first black skin colour that I have painted.

Again I was super surprised. I think ‘stunned’ is the correct word…
You cannot imagine my feeling that I had. I have just painted two (!) figures with a new technique and I have made this huge step. And we have just spent some hours (maybe 4?) so I could not even imagine where this journey goes. Please allow me to say that also Roman was stunned that the progress was that fast.

Let us continue. 

Next challenge after deeper discussions:
40 minutes, clear surfaces, more focus on zenital light situation.

Quite nice. But I wanted more. Greedy. Hungry. Exhausted.
Time for a break. Dinner time.

Please believe me. Speedpainting is not fun. The progress YES. The figures that you paint in a certain amount of time YES. The painting itself YES. But as soon as you put down your brush and ‘try’ to move…  it hurts. After some time it starts to burn. Your muscles start to burn. Your mind is burned out.

He just wanted to show is cool hoodie…

BUT HEY – we are not here to complain!

Next and final challenge for day 1:
45 minutes, new textures (fur in this case)

Ok the eyes are looking stupid on this photo… But hey, we had the codex to lay down the brushes when the bell rings. So I did it.

That’s it! Day one is finished. And I am done also. Full and empty at the same time. About 9 p.m. Time for a bed.

Please take the time and let us know in the comments your thoughts about day one! I would really appreciate.

2nd day.

My sleep was deep. Same time in Roman’s cave. Same mood. Lots of motivation. But some slower that yesterday. Both of us. Destroyed from yesterday. I couldn’t move my head to the left or upwards to the sky. But I need to keep it down to focus on my mini. Problem disappeared.

We had some in-depth discussions and talked about my homework. I should have thought about what I want to learn in day two:
  • -          The colour Turquoise
  • -          Cloaks and cloth in general
  • -          Big surfaces
  • -          Tattoos
  • -          Freehands
  • -          Warpaints
  • -          Battle-Damage
  • -          What comes ‘after that’? What can I achieve, if I add 10-30 minutes more into a mini?

Roman showed me how to paint a cloak correctly. Direction of brush strokes, creating texture through thickness of paints, light situation, colour saturation, brightness, BÄM - Roman's explanation and demonstration piece while I sat and watched and listened ...

So it was on me now.
Next challenge:
Paint a cloak in your own time, without time pressure to focus on the new learned subject.
I used about 30 minutes for the back of the cloak of a viking – now I would need maximum 10 minutes for it. I really tried to do it super slow, concentrated and focussed on my learnings.
Then we have talked about it and set a new challenge:
40 minutes to finish the model.

Quite happy. First controlled cloak. Looked again. Happy again. Next?? Pain. Shoulder starts to complain. NEXT!

Next challenge:
30 minutes, turquoise colour, big cloak, two different cloak colours, more complicated light situation on the cloak.

Very happy. Body starts to rebel. NEXT!

Next challenge:
50 minutes, huge cloak, two different colours again. More texture into the cloth, weathering effect (dirt).

Break. Shoulders, back and hands start to shiver. Left shoulder is a time bomb and will explode if I paint one f*ing more mini. Sandwich. Some talks. I tell myself that the shoulder will be fine again tomorrow. A lie. But a necessary one. NEXT!!!

Next Challenge:
60 minutes, new subject ‘War Paints’ including chipping.

Unfortunately this guy had SUCH a lot of these red stripes around himself that this cost a huge amount of time. I completely underestimated this fact while priming. But I am very satisfied with him in the end.
Neck has accompanied with the shoulder. Both are killing me. But there was a final challenge! And we will do it.

New and very last challenge!
20 minutes, zombie, new way of painting, free for all, all techniques.

I wanted too much with her. But satisfied at the end. The super-creepy blood effect of ripping off her own face compensates the painting mistakes. J

Please also let us know your thoughts about day two! I would really appreciate.

A lot of complaining about body issues in day two. But believe me… If I would not have written this, only the half of the truth would have been described. The pain was a continuous ‘companion’ with both of us. It was extremely hard to focus for the amount of time, fix a position, fix the brush, focus, colour control, focus, etc…

But in the end the result is unbelievable for me. Roman pushed me out of my comfort zone even further and sometimes I even didn’t know it.

In the end, both of us had a huge amount of miniatures painted.

I can not tell in words how much I have learned in these two days. 
If someone tells me “stupid” to spend such a high amount of money for a private coaching, I ask myself how much money I waste for unnecessary stuff. More paints, even If I have too many, already? More miniatures even if I have too many already, enough for two lifetimes? This list is endless.
Of course everyone has to think about by him/herself if this is necessary and worth it. For me it was definitely. BUT. I had a goal and I was at a certain point that I needed help to crash my borders.
It was a great experience for me and now I also can give back some knowledge to friends who want to improve their painting style.

In my personal opinion everyone should have done a beginners class from Roman at least, already. I had the goal to use this private coaching to crash my borders in a certain subject, which I knew that I could not break it by myself. But coming to this point needs some practice and painting time.

All I can say is: “Thank you, Roman!”

Some final tips for the busy people who read this article to the end.
-         There is NO secret behind the wet palette. J Just paint as you like! Put the colours on the wet palette and have fun with them! Mix them together and see what they want to tell you! In a lot of cases a new colour is ‘happening’ on your palette and you thins “WOW this is my new colour for thisandthat!”

o   But a true secret: Due to the fact that speedpainting is using a quite bit amount of wet-in-wet-blending, you should try the mixed colours on the palette BEFORE applying them on the mini. 
-          Hear the correct music! Keep in mind that your muse dances with you. With your mind. With your soul. With your brush. If the muse is not dancing, speedpainting is just NOT working. Easy fact. Easy but true.
-          20 minutes for Zombies is fine. For characters I would suggest to use 45 minutes. So you also have time for details which have no space in 30 minutes.
-          Of course there is the thinking of other people like “If you would have spent 5 or 10 minutes more, then you could do thisandthat more/better.” – Yes this is true! But you have to think about ‘Where will it end!?’. After these 5 or 10 minutes you could spend another and another. Just think about your target.
All of these minis are for the boardgame Zombicide. If I would spend 3 hours in one single miniature I would have two problems: At first I would never get finished with the complete game! At second, I would think twice to play with them because they are looking too fu**ing good for a board game playing table if a friend is grabbing them with his fatty junkfood fingers!
-         Focus! Paint against the clock! If you then click away the clock when it rings and invest 5 more minutes in very important parts, it is fine! But speedpainting will not work if you just start painting without any pressure. Then you will need at least the double time.
-          Painting with a friend and generating a (funny-meant!) competition it will thrill you even more and you are getting faster and faster.
-       Most important: Have fun! This is a hobby.

I hope that these lines have transported some spirit and kicked your muse in the ass again. I started to love my muse and I learned to communicate with her. We now love each other and I really appreciate that. I now know what she needs to get into full swing.

And now I ask Roman to have some last words. In fact it was his class and his words are very important for me. J

Well, what can I say?
It has been an immense joy to watch you learn that fast, taking one step more or even two with the next figure. Of course I saw you tiring and felt the same. I hated the clock on the second day. I wanted to destroy it as it destroyed my brain :D

Thank you for your trust in my teaching abilities and your open mind to learn the "Roman-way" ... I am a very proud teacher when I look back at this coaching with you. Seeing you motivated, sometimes struggling and always focused was a real joy to watch and the biggest thing that made me happy was after every figure you have finished. That sparkle in your eyes and the joy you did find in the way I was preparing this two day coaching for you ...

Keep on happy painting, Christian!


You want to book me for your private coaching?
Appointments for 2019 are already in the making. If you want to have your very own two day private coaching with your personal subject do not hesitate to contact me via:

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