MV Team: Johannes

by Johannes




Name: Johannes

Job: Finance Coordinator

Painting: Since I was about 12, but with an 10 year break in between

Media: Mostly acrylics, currently Schmincke and Scalecolor

Brushes: Broken Toad and Windsor&Newton

Airbrush: I'm not very skilled with it and use it mostly to throw colours on things

Miniatures: I love Dioramas and themed armies in 28-32mm scale, but also paint Busts and larger figures from time to time

Inspirational Miniature Artists:
Roman Lappat, Josua Lai, Raffaele Picca, Sam Lenz, Ben Komets.

And not a miniature artist, but traditional artist: Auguste Rodin. 


Gallery:   Putty&Paint   Instagram






Hi, 
my name is Johannes
and I live in a small town near Munich, Germany.

I bought my first miniatures when I was about 12 and started playing Warhammer Fantasy and was hooked from the first moment. Throughout my youth I played several systems and kept playing and painting until I stopped at about 20. In 2017 I bought some miniatures for the old times sake and soon realised that I really missed it and the happiness painting creates in me. Since then I delved back into miniature painting and-art more and more, visited several workshops and a private coaching by Roman.


I mostly enjoy creating scenes and dioramas, letting my vision become reality on a tiny scale. As an escapist, I love fairy tales, little stories and an overall theme of the "fantastic".

On the other hand I also love to play and paint miniatures for the sake of playing and looking good on the table. I especially am fascinated by themed armies and the ideas and relations of miniatures in context with the game you're playing.

Some miniatures for playing and my last themed army:




Miniature painting is my passion and I am truly excited and grateful for all the people I met and friendships that formed along this journey. And as a part of the Massive Voodoo familiy I am truly excited for the path ahead!

Johannes 

Review: Mike Blank - Color Harmony

by David


Disclaimer: I received the book as a free review copy by the publisher. This will not predetermine my review, which will be a fair summary and assessment of the book's strengths and weaknesses as I perceive them.



Hey all,

another book review coming in,
this time on Mike Blank - Color Harmony: Inside the Artist's Palette. The book was published in 2019 in Scale 75's Series Scale Editions. Within that series, which collects a diverse range of books on different topics, it is similar to Alfonso 'Banshee' Giraldes' book "A Colorful Mind" on which Massive Voodoo's very own Hansrainer has written a beautiful and personal review! This volume centers on one of the most well-known figures in the miniature-painting world, the Swede Mike Blank. If you have been around in the miniature-painting scene for some time, and especially if you're interested in historical minis, you must have heard of Mike - or at least seen some of his works. He is a modeling polymath: he sculpts, paints and creates dioramas. He is particularly well-known for his skill of sculpting lively and realistic poses, his super-focused and tightly composed vignettes, and his harmonious and atmospherically-dense paintschemes. While Mike's works are often-seen at modeling exhibitions, and the internet is reprelete with pics of his masterpieces, he does not entertain a dedicated web-presence or online gallery. Just search for "Mike Blank" in your preferred search engine's picture search and you should find his works.

The table of contents

In this volume,
Mike presents his vision in planning and executing a miniature-painting project and shares some invaluable advice drawn from decades of high-level painting. The book starts out with two personal prefaces written by two globally known master-painters, Fabio Nunnari and Alfonso Giraldes, in which they explain how they met Mike and what his work, friendship and inspiration means for them. This is followed by a brief introduction by Mike himself, which is framed by a brief recollection of a legendary night in a Paris hotel, in which the artist (who had been painting exclusively with enamel colors before) for the first time tried painting with acrylic colors. The remainder of the book has five main parts. In the first part, which consists of nine brief sections, Mike presents some general thoughts on his approach to painting, his vision of color harmony and some basic considerations on necessary tools, base-building, and painting metals and special effects such as blood, dirt, hair and fur. The second section includes an in-depth discussion on how Mike paints particular colors (focusing on base color, shading and highlights), including some that many figure painters find challenging such as white, black, red, and yellow. Section three presents a gallery of some of Mike's most prominent works; in Section four, he analyzes very systematically the color harmonies of selected projects in different scales. The final chapter takes the reader on a step-by-step tour of his painting approach, using a 75mm Confederate soldier sculpted by Keith Rocco as an exemplary figure. In this chapter, Mike masterfully integrates most of the insights he introduced in the previous pages, from his considerations in the choices of colors to his approach to include dirt and weathering effects into the paintjob.

Mike's approach to painting white...


... and black.

While I was reading the book,
I found myself repeatedly thinking: this is speaking directly to me. Mike writes that he works on multiple projects at the same time because inspiration is fickle and he likes the diversity that comes with project-hopping (I know this feeling really well, as I discuss in detail in this article). I also share his feeling of not being particularly interested in painting busts as he misses their integration in the surrounding. But more importantly, the book is a treasure trove of insights, tips and inspiration. For me, the strongest part is the discussion of how Mike approaches painting different colors and the in-depth analyses of selected projects in Sections 2 and 4. On those pages, you can find loads of great insights such as how Mike proceeds in highlighting and shading certain colors, how he achieves color harmony in his paintjobs, and how he integrates his figures into the bases. But almost all parts of the book include useful information for novice and advanced painters, for instance the cool tip not to wait until everything is finished before adding weathering effects and dirt on your mini, but to integrate it organically into all steps of the painting process! In addition to that, the book is written in an easy-going and personal style that is very engaging. The book also has very high production value, it comes as a sturdy hard-cover, and the pages are printed on thick, semi-matte paper that is stitched firmly into the cover and should be able to survive some rough handling.

Inspiration from Mike's gallery, focus on browns...

... and blues.

For me, the book's main weakness is that some of the pictures are not ideal. They are too dark and flat, such that the typical "Mike Blank style" of nuanced highlighting and complex color variation is lost somewhat and in parts it is hard to distinguish painted shadows. However this is mainly a problem of the galleries of older works collected the book's first three sections, while the pics in Sections 4 and 5 (which I would consider the main and strongest parts of the book) seem to be newer and are much more informative. Moreover, different than many other painting books, all ideas are well-understandable from the written words alone, thanks to Mike's ability to formulate his painting approach in a coherent and accessible style. I personally also would have liked to have Mike talk a bit about his approach to the composition of vignettes and dioramas, which I find one of the most fascinating and complex topics. Finally, at least at first, I was a bit confused by Mike's use of the word "value", which different to most terminology in painting is used here not to describe the light-dark aspect of color, but its saturation or "chroma".

Analyzing colors (note the color swaths, which correspond to the relative dominance of the main colors)

These minor issues,
however, do not detract from the fact that I really liked the book and would highly recommend it to everyone wanting to understand the work process of one of the absolute greats of our hobby. With a suggested retail price of about 40 Euros the book is not a bargain, but I would definitely say that it's worth it. Whether you're a novice wanting to learn about color harmony and how to shade/highlight certain colors or an advanced painter looking for some tips by one of the best, you are sure to learn something relevant and inspiring!

Step-by-Step: Confederate soldier - variety in grey!

Another section of the gallery: a typical Mike Blank dio, full of action and drama!

My verdict: highly recommended!

All the best,
David

MV Team: Sebastian

by Donnerknall




Name: Sebastian

Nick: Donnerknall

Job: Heating engineer

Painting: seriously since 2013

Media: Acrylics, Aquarell

Brushes: Winsor & Newton Serie 7, Raphael 8404,

Airbrush: Harder & Steenbek Infinity, Sil Air 20a compressor

Miniatures: 28mm to 120mm and lots of busts, Fantasy, Scifi and Historical

Inspirational Miniatures Artists: In addition to the usual suspects, there is also Simon Mart (an incredible diorama builder who works with natural materials, Oliver Partenfelder ( also a gifted diorama builder) and Arkaitz Perez (NoH)

Favorite Miniature Sculptors: Michael Kontraros, Patrick Masson

Gallery: Putty&Paint



Hi there,


my name is Sebastian and I live in a small town between Bamberg and Schweinfurt. 

The first contact with miniatures was in 1997 when a friend showed me Warhammer Fantasy. I was very impressed by the miniatures, but less by painting. The euphoria lasted for three years until my interests shifted in 2000.

In 2012
my parents asked me to finally get my things out of the basement. As fate would have it, my old Warhammer things fell into my hands again and I thought of the wonderful hours it had given me. Anyway, i now had the firm will to start a new army and only play when it was painted. Tata vampire army was born. But what can I say .... my painting skills have not improved since then, but rather worsened.




So I decided to improve and started searching the World Wide Web. Very quickly two names came up again and again, Massive Voodoo and Roman Lappat. So....i attended my First Beginner Workshop in early 2013. Well ... playing was no longer an option because I was drawn to painting.


                                                                                 Vietcong

Over the years I wanted to improve my skills and have attended workshops with different artists.
I wanted to choose from the many different techniques that I like best and make it my own way. So...i am standing at the beginning of my path and am already looking forward to where it leads me. In addition to painting, I was also able to get to know a lot of people and I was able to build up a friendship here and there. Since 2018 I've also been a member of a model building club called model building wolves. Here i am.

                                                                                Balson                                            
                


   

                                                                                Uther


Musica

by Roman aka jar

Interview: Daniele interviews Allan Carrasco

by Daniele "Found" Trovato



Interviews of the Sculptors Legend #3

Daniele Found interviews

Allan Carrasco


Hello mates
this is Daniele, and today I'm super happy to have here one of the most important miniature sculptors all over the world.

My friend and great artist Allan Carrasco.



This isn't a video interview because we didn't recorded it, sorry :-)

The interview 

D) Tell us shortly your formation. What you've studied? How you started to sculpt miniatures for living?


A) I have a baccalaureate in science (“A level” in English or “High school diploma” for US readers if I’m right). Then I thought I could study some art at university or private schools…but I was quite disappointed in both ways. At the same period I had my first contacts with companies and professional people in the miniature/gaming world, I did some painting commissions and eventually sculpting commissions for Ilyad Games and Fenryll (French companies) in 2004... 16 years ago!



D) Tell me something about your daily routine.
How many hours do you sculpt per day?
What time do you wake up?
Breakfast? Dinner?
Do you listen to some music while you work? If yes, what music?
Some specific and daily habits?

A) Ok let’s dive in my private life…:-D

Back in the days my whole day was dedicated to sculpting minis, I remember that time in the early times of Kraken Editions (a company we owned in years 2007 to 2009 with Jeremie Bonamant Teboul and some friends) of hard working days from 9am to 3pm…hopefully coffee, beer and meditation could help me.

Now, I’m a father, my daughter is almost 6 years old and my daily routine is related to her. Each day is different, I can spend 4, 6 or 8 hours working a day, and the day after only 1 hour or even don’t enter the studio. I’m quite free regarding that point.



I wake up at 7…or 8…and sometimes at 9… (Again, depends of my daughter). I’m vegetarian, drink coffee in the morning, love bread slices with tahin (sesam cream) over. I often listen to music, rock from the 60’s or 70’s (big fan of the DOORS), Cumbia, Mexican music (like Chavela Vargas) and a lot of traditional and ancient sounds from every parts of the world.




D)When you sculpt a new figure, do you always look at anatomy and proportions references, or do you sculpt everything by memory?

What is a practical exercise to improve the anatomy knowledge for sculpting purposes?

A) To improve you have to look, and not only look at, but study a lot of references, pictures, drawing or even your own body. BUT to feeling free and have a real pleasure of creation I prefer to work only from my imagination, inspiration and references I have in my brain.

So, that’s mean there are, at least, two different manner to work. The first one, using references is mainly related to commissions, the second one to personal work and maybe closer to Art.



D) Do you have a mentor? If not, who he should be?

There are many artists I admire, many. But I don’t consider I have a mentor, I even think it would be dangerous to place somebody over myself during years. We learn from other ones, for sure, but we don’t have to be attached to the same person. Maybe you’ll be frustrated without few names…so here there are (for sculpting): most of the classics, a preference for Michelangelo. I love Carpeaux, Rodin, Szukalski, Henry Clews, Adolfo Wildt…as living artists, Takayuki Takeya’s work impress me so much, I have to mention Jacques-Alexandre Gillois, maybe the most talented miniature sculptor out there, he taught me a lot in my early years at Ilyad Games. Brian Nelson, one of the GW sculptors is also one of my favorite.

D) Going into technical questions: favourite clay for sculpting?
Can you give us your mix? Why you choose that?



A) I like polymer clay, as fimo and the sculpey range. A the moment my mix is a blend of fimo (classic one, now called “professional”) and sculpey firm or medium, 50/50 more or less.
I use a lot of milliput yellow-grey epoxy putty for years, really useful material.

a

For bigger and different projects as my masks or doll/puppets I use water based clay, often stoneware. I’m a beginner for ceramic stuff but really enjoy it.

D) Sincerely, do you think that a 3D artist should be considered a real "Sculptor" or better "Digital Artist"?
A) Well, I don’t care! Of course there are big differences, but in the case of miniatures, only the result is important and many ranges digitally done we can see these days are amazing.

It’s a question of taste (and business also). personally I’m interested in this new tool for commissions and to improve and spend less time on some projects (I’m unable to do mechanical or symmetrical elements as Zbrush can do) but I’ll be afraid to spend my whole day connected to a computer…

D) If you should choose only 2 tools for sculpting which they'd be?
Could you describe why they're so important and how do you use them?

A) Spatulas or palette knives are my more useful tools. There are a simple pieces of wood carved with a flat side and curved side. These tools help me constructing all the structure of a sculpture, the
volumes or shapes (from overall shape to detail). That’s why there are important. I also have tiny ones made from metal wire.

Second kind of tool could be brushes, especially working on anatomy I use brushes and solvent (white spirit, turpentine) to smooth and shape more specifically the lines of muscles and silhouette.

D) As a sculptor, what is the most difficult thing to sculpt in your opinion?

A) I think each sculptor has his preference, and correlate are some difficulties. We are doing right what we love to do. I like anatomy and organic forms so I can say mine are quite good in my opinion. I dislike hard stuff, weapons, perfect symmetry, so I do as less as possible because other sculptors are far better on that point. I could add that a beautiful drapery is hard to obtain.

D) As your experience, if a sculptor should have three basic skills what they would have and why?

A) Sculpting is giving birth to a volume, and real object. It could be made from everything, wood, metal, trashes, clay…I guess many skills could operate to give a good sculptor, and many other skills would give a totally different one, but as good in his own way.

Maybe the vision is the most important one, be able to construct your vision in your mind, and accept the style you’re giving to your sculpture.

D) Today, in the age of 3D Printing and 3D sculpting, in your opinion, is it worth to spend time to learn traditional sculpting for job purposes?
A) In my opinion choosing a way (study, job) just to earn money is the biggest mistake someone could do in his life (okay maybe there are bigger mistakes...but that one is big enough). Alejandro Jodorowsky says the only way to not corrupt your art is to not making it your job…well, I failed!

And him too ahah…but we can understand the meaning of this advise, in my practice I try to keep a space of creation beside of my commissions, to make sculptures (or any other stuff) that I don’t want to sell, and so I’m much more free. I did an exhibition last year of my personal pieces, statuettes, masks, puppets and drawings. A large part of the visitors were surprised because nothing was for sale. It allowed interesting discussions about art!

So my answer is yes! if someone love traditional sculptures let’s do it!

D) If your daughter should decide to be a sculptor, what best suggestion you'd give to her?

A) I’ll try to help and answer her if she ask for it, if not I would be quiet…if I’m wise enough.



D) Where can we find you, your shop, and contact you?

I have no shop but a website I plan to transform as soon as possible (www.allancarrasco.net). A facebook account (allan diego carrasco) and Instagram which is the most updated (@allandiegocarrasco).

Some quick questions with "one-word" answer:

-How many figures have you sculpted in your career? :
No idea, more that 200 maybe?

-Favorite oil-based clay brand:
Chavant NSP is quite good.

-Favorite Clay-Brand:
Polymer you mean? Sculpey.

-Favourite Singer/Musician:
Fela Kuti…Lhasa… Sainkho Namtchylak…mmm… Bjork? Oh wait Jim Morrison…or… oups you said one word! :-D

-Favorite Movie :
Hard questions mate…“La danza de la realidad” and “Poesia sin fin” (Jodorowsky).

-Favorite song/composition? :
La Llorona.

-Favorite Food? :
Some Mexican or Libanese food.

-What don't you resist? :
Enter a library…


Final thoughts


The interview is AMAZING! 
Behind his words, Allan demonstrates. his great experience.

Thank you 

Daniele 

 Link and resources:

-Daniele Found Trovato Sculptor 
-Allan Carrasco Site
-More Interviews?

_____________________________________________________________________________


Support NOW Massive Voodoo!

If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Review: Private Coaching with Sebastian

by Roman aka jar


 Hello Jungle,
time for another review on a private coaching I recently thaught.
This time a long time student of mine, Sebastian was visiting me for his second private coaching.
Sebastian so far went through all my teaching curriculum, means all my workshops and seminars over the last couple of years and now wanted to learn a free approach on painting.

His toolbox is full of techniques, knowledge and experience.
Now it was time for me to teach him how to work with all these tools and how to make the right decision in the right moment that suits best for him. A topic I thaught for the first time and only in two days. I was curious as everything could happen, but I was also confident of what Sebastian already learned from me.





We painted.
And we painted.
We started with fingerpainting to wash away all that would limit Sebastian in his free approach. No recipe painting in numbers. Just painting after a vision.


I caught Sebastian in a moment and even turned angry on it. A moment where things did not make sense to him, because he was lazy to think from his toolbox. You know it takes a while until I become a bad cop teacher, but I had to concerning this topic.


 

After a moment the clouds cleared again and Sebastian understood what I meant. This was a crucial and essential moment.


Sebastian's result in these two days was breathtaking in the eyes of his teacher, me. It was a pleasure to see how he understood to use his very unique personal toolbox wisely to make decisions he can be happy with. We also went into deep talks about his inner painter voice and what it communicates to him if he was unhappy of a certain area ...

The result - Sebastian's Paintjob on
Balson, the Orangutaur by whitesharkgamingstudio

_______________________________________________________________________________

If you want to learn from me
in your very own private coaching session, do not hesitate to contact me for further details via
jarhead---at---massivevoodoo---dot---com


Plans for sessions in the first half of 2020 are in the making. I will be there for you and your personal growth as a painter! The first half of 2020 is filling up with private coachings and we can slowly start to plan for the second half. Just contact me!






You can find more information
about upcoming group workshops via this banner



_______________________________________________________________________________
You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.
_______________________________________________________________________________


Review: Beginner Workshop in Bern, Swiss

by Roman aka jar


Hi everyone,
it took me quite the while to bring this up as the last weeks had been busy and well, yeah more busy.
I want to write about a great trip I did earlier this year to teach my first workshop ever in beautiful Switzerland.

Thanks to the help of Josua Lai I was able to teach a really cool Beginner Workshop in Bern with wonderful students! Thank you for your perfect help, hospitality and organisational help, Josua!



Well, let's start this review from the beginning, shall we!

My teacher equipment when travelling for this class!
The cat hast to stay at home, even she does not want to :)
































I arrived some days prior to the workshop to spent some good time with my friend Josua in the beautiful city that is Bern.

The workshop venue was just perfect ...




"Besten Dank jedoch auch für das Halten des super Kurses. Ich denke gerne an die Kurstage zurück. Die Erinnerungen sind gemischt ;) (durchaus sehr positiv gemeint, Du verstehst, smile). Er war zwar sehr intensiv und hallte rein körperlich noch einige Tage nach :) Ich konnte aber sehr viel lernen, auch wenn ich sicher den einen oder anderen Tipp wieder vergessen habe, weil es irgendwann einfach "zuviel" wurde alles zu behalten (wie z.B. welche Farbe nimmt man nun schon wieder zum entsättigen von dieser oder jener Farbe...). Und je mehr man macht, desto mehr Fragen kommen hoch. Somit war es doppelt schade, dass der Kurs schlussendlich viel zu schnell rum war, und ich auch noch eher gehen musste. Was bleibt ist aber, dass ich mich nun leichter an Projekte ran traue da ich nicht völlig ratlos bin, wie man gewisse Ergebnisse erreicht, die man sich so vorstellt.  
Ich stehe maltechnisch noch voll am Anfang, der Kurs macht aber definitiv Lust auf mehr und ich würde mich freuen, den einen oder anderen Kurs von Dir zu besuchen in Zukunft. Die Aufnahme in Deine Facebook Student Group hab ich mal beantragt."
                                                                                                                                            - René







We meet on Friday and started the workshop with an evening full of theory and basing!






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!

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.



When it comes to basing
I got to thank the supporters of this class who made the class wonderful due their help in sponsoring some of their products, beside my own crazy material collection:




On Saturday
- after a good night of sleep and too much color theory we worked our way through more theory and finished this close to lunch time when we primed our projects ...



"Der Kurs vom 31.01-02.02.2020 in Bern stand ganz im Zeichen einer Beginner Class.
Hier jedoch zu erwähnen es war nicht der Beginn des Miniaturen bemalen sondern der Beginn von einer neuen Sicht auf das Bemalen von Figuren.
Einer der Grössten Meilensteine für mich war der Einsatz einzig von Grundfarben zum mischen meiner Palette beim Bemalen meiner Demontette (dies war mein Persönliches Ziel) was einerseits eine Herausforderung andererseits auch schönes «Abenteuer» war.
Es waren zwei ein halb sehr intensive Tage, man hat viel neues gelernt, man fühlte sicher jedoch nie im Stich gelassen sondern die ganze Zeit gut geführt und Unterstütz. Genau für dieses Gefühl möchte ich den Kurs, Roman und alle anderen aus dem Kurs sehr loben es war eine wahre Freude.
Ich bin überglücklich mit dem Resultat des Kurses und stelle nun mit Freuden meine erste nicht zum Spielen gedachte Miniatur in meinem Zimmer aus.

Ich danke dir nochmals für alles, Josua hat bereits eine kleine Malgruppe zusammengestellt, ich wünsche dir weiterhin alles Gute und hoffe auf baldiges Wiedersehen."                                                                                                                        - Luca




After lunch we started painting.
My students had to follow me through certain explanations and demonstrations to finish their base painting work until the late afternoon!



Explanation can look like this, but do not have to :D



We were able to enjoy a lot of different miniature projects that some students brought and shared, also some of my paintjobs ...






We painted late night on Saturday and met up early morning on Sunday to continue, tired but happy faces and I knew that everyone was on the right track to achieve my learning goals for my students ...


I want to thank everyone involved in this beautiful beginner class and the great vibes we shared ...



Results ...



First timers had to go through a demonette, while repeaters of the class were able to pull off their own ideas and I helped them on their way ...




































After the workshop I spent two days of relaxation with Mr. Rosenbaum himself ...
Thank you my friend!


And so I travelled home again ...



_______________________________________________________________________________

If you want to learn from me
in your very own private coaching session or if you want to visit a group weekend workshop, do not hesitate to contact me for further details via
jarhead---at---massivevoodoo---dot---com

 
I will be there for you and your personal growth as a painter!





You can find more information
about upcoming group workshops via this banner



_______________________________________________________________________________
You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.
_______________________________________________________________________________