Inspiration: Dinotopia - James Gourney

by Roman aka jar

Hey Jungle, 

I was quit silent on these things that inspire me during my life.
Well I was not so inspired for a long time now. Life. As you can see the jungle drums slowly find their beat back in the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy this :)

Remember I started a series of inspirational books
that you can find in the review section of MV?
No? Check them out here:

I continue this today with one of my all time favourite books ...

I think for most of you who are interested in Fantasy Art and Fantasy Art Education James Gourney is not a noname. At least I hope so. You should check out these books too, they offer so much inspiring content and knowledge about painting ...

back to Dinotopia.
Who does not love Dinosaurs?

The beautiful thing I like most about the book are of course the Illustrations and paintings by Mr. Gourney. I am just in love with his style. The great thing about this book is also that is all build up on a great story that is based on a dad and son that are stranded on an island that is magically inhabited by humans and dinosaurs who live together.

Colorfully amazing ...

You get a lot of explanations on how the social system works. About big things and small ones.

I really enjoyed studying Gourney's Color & Light before reading this book. It helped me to understand his paintwork better and I am also able to observe his color game much more.

A lot of interesting colorful detail you will find, if you look close ...

The first book was published in 1992 and well you can read much more about it via wikipedia.

One of my favourite books ... I promise you, if you are interested in fantasy and dinosaurs,
you will love it.

Happy inspiring reading!

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.

FM: Acherontia - Mobile Brigade Squad

by Roman aka jar

Hey Jungle,

enjoying to get back to the brush.
With this bust from Luxumbra. A character from the Infinity Game.

I wanted to paint her as a battlefield medic. Really dig her look. It looks angry and frustrated , but still convinced that she is still giving her best in the eye of stupidity and carnage.

I really enjoyed painting
a strong texture to her white clothes that is included in the ambient light situation. That was a lot of fun and painting joy.

She is also on Putty&Paint:

In private collection.
Thank you for your support in my artwork and my passion!

Report: Miniature Art at the Academy of Art, Munich

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle,

earlier this year I have been invited to speak about miniature art at Munich's Academy of Art.
This was my second attempt to reach a different audience with my passion. Like in the first one
- an exhibition - I have no clue if it made an impact :D

But let me tell you about this experience ...

A friend of mine, who is studying there had to present his project idea. He wanted to introduce the miniature hobby, from his angle, mainly the gaming and painting for gaming aspect to his fellow students and teacher. His class - as far as I remember - was a mix between art, art pedagogics and social media connection to art. An absolute interesting field in my eyes. His goal was to present how this form of hobby connects people and how you can build from there. Good point as we - the ones in the miniature world - know.

He asked me if I want to be part of this talk and show another perspective on this hobby. The more artistic approach and if I want to briefly introduce what I do, teach since over a decade and explain my way a bit. Sure I said yes.

I took a train to Munich on a cold morning to Munich ... and arrived at the Munich Academy of Arts.
After a good chat and a coffee we both made our way to the teaching room.

A statue in front of the Academy

The hallways were super-artsy 

and it was nice to spot something that makes you think here and there ...

... and a superlarge building ...

I found interesting stuff here and there that reminded me of our field of passion.

And then some other parts that just looked
 like the messed up hallways around the MV studio today ...

of course I was a little nervous
speaking in front of "real" art students and a teacher about my geeky work, but another feeling was there too: Simple pride. I prepared a small presentation to introduce everyone into what this miniature world is about: Sculpting, creation, storytelling, conversion, painting on another form of canvas and much more. I did a decent job and everyone was interested and looking forward to the talks ahead of us. I told my friend I would stay for the talks about his project and the conversation that started was really interesting. Of course I did not show the typical Space Marine chopping off Orc heads, but also stuff that is more pleasant and more artsy for a larger crowd. From composition examples on bases, to sculpting projects and the painting aspect I tried to cover a wide range of what this hobby can mean.

A lot of question popped up and I was happily helping my friend to answer them from my perspective and we all had a good conversation. For some questions I was not prepared at all:

"Could you do this also in big, like real big?"
- Ehm, maybe if you pay me the materials, sure, but the reason for doing this in a tiny scale is the secret behind miniature work :D

"What's its philosophical deeper meaning to the world and the human society?"
- Ehm, seems like I am not prepared at all :D

 In fact we had some more questions that made me rethink if I was well prepared. They were deeptalk. And answering them just lead to deeper talk. Do not get me wrong, I love deep thinking and deep talk, but somehow it felt that a lot of students in that class have a lot of ideas on what they are actually studying, but often I felt it a little bit off from reality, I mean life. Ok, this might be a little bit too harsh. Do not get me wrong. I do have some friends who studied art on different academies, it was definatly not easy for some to find a job or make their passion their job without knowing the right persons in the artworld afterwards as life is different than just studying. Life is different in theory.

Some students were really interested though and I was happily answering questions. Not for showing off or anything, just for educational aspects and insight in our small world. Thanks to those who have been really interested :)

After an hour of interesting talks and discussion I decided that my time as a guest speaker was over. Left the building quite confused, but happy that many new people heard about miniature painting.

Speaking of confusion: 
I was quickly calmed down again by looking at the large scaled bronze statues out there in front of the building. Calmed my head whilst studying texture, sculpting elegance and snowfall. 

Then I kicked a pink bike off the stairs and felt happy again :)

No, just kidding.
I was happy without kicking it.
It was really an interesting trip with interesting talks and deep conversations on a lot of theoretical aspects on how the real art world is definatly something that has a lot of philosophy in it. I think sometimes we miss this in our miniature world. We are too much stuck to rules, technical aspects, competition thinking instead of asking us more frequently: What if ...? ... and then continue and explore this road more and more ...

We are also too stuck on strange subjects
of miniatures most of the time: Warriors with chopped off heads, Orc boobs, Ogre Samurais, SciFi Ninjas, Armies that slaugther eachother, boobs, butts and Barbarians of course. It is something that might work in the figure world as it is a world of Fantasy and Scifi geeks. I am one too, do not get me wrong, but presenting this to the outside world as an artform can lead to awkward moments for both sides.

What if ...?

I hope you enjoyed this little report!
Keep on happy painting!

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.

FM: Dr. Doom

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle,

Yesterday I finished a comission on Dr. Doom by Knight Models.
I am happy how he came out in the end, even

It was an interesting ride and challenge due a) painting my style to a model that has to look like a comic character, and I am somehow not free in color choices, b) it was a really bad cast, even though I took my time for good preparation. While painting and going on for more details it showed how bad the cast really was: supersoft white metal, almost no sharp edges, wobbly volumes, bubble holes and overall frustrating. Those of you who own one of these will know what I speak of.

Due all these circumstances I am really happy how he turned out in the end.

This is what my client said:

I followed the progress through Instagram. And it was an absolute joy to see it come to life. But it's also safe to say, I feel a bit guilty for having you to go through the 'hell' of Knight Models. Still, the result is absolutely stunning! I'm thrilled to add this to my collection. "

It is a very classic sculpt
and many know the boxart Alfonso Giraldes has painted for Knight Models. It is a true classic and just shows how good his interpretation of this figure back then already was. You see both are completly different.

I painted my version
with a hybrid of true metallic metal and nmm. Means a lot of colors are mixed into my metals to either make them more matte or colorful as they are reflecting the sorroundings. Unfortanetely it is hard to see on these photos. You can check back with a small video on Instagram if you like:

While preparing the figure I had to wait for putty to dry several times. In the meantime I did sculpt the part of the Dr. Doom's Carpet that you can see in the base 's front left corner to give this simplistic base a stronger comic look.

I hope you like him?
Keep on happy painting!

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.

SBS: Champion of Khorne

by Roman aka jar

Hi Jungle,

time for another step by step that fits the mood of the studio move thingy:

Chopped off heads can only mean Khorne.
Well, it is funny I was painting this guy up in the middle of 2018 and now I am mainly in the mood to paint peaceful sculpts. So writing about this feels a little bit ironic for me as I am sick of chopped off heads. It is still a very cool bust by Hera Models, sculpted by Raul Garcia Latorre.

You can drop a vote on him via
if you like to do so!

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.

back to chopped off heads then instead of singing birds and beautiful animals that are close to extinction. I was actually starting to paint up this bust by taking two chopped off heads and gave them a start during a private coaching to explain how to build up skin colors.

Two chopped off heads that belong together, basic colors of hair and skin applied.
Great thing when painting rotting flesh is that you can bring in tons of variety. They are allowed to change in their appearance. Just saying: Look at them right now and look at them later.

... but there is a third one. Another dead skinton variety applied. You see, most of them are started desaturated. No reason to saturate the dead. Saturation means life.

While painting these I also decided to make the great Champion of Khorne - the wasteland champion in chopping of heads in a certain amount of time -  in a more demonic looking flesh look. Instead I managed to paint him like a smurf with his basic colors, but the plan was still to get him there later on. A guy that once used to be a barbarian, but the gifts of the dark gods make him turn slowly.

I can tell that in the beginning of the paintjob I was quite confused. Not only chopped off heads, but arms, hands and legs and other bones. I would understand if he is a man-eater, but he just likes to impress the girls with his looks, it seems and this justify his ways, of course.

Basic color were applied. I am really fast in sketching in main colors in the meantime. Sometimes I use a wet in wet application here and there to see first effects of shadows and highlights (for example the fur). I went for true metallic metal on the armour parts with plain silver as the plan was to tint it reddish later on.

Ok, now.
To make him look more kornish I had to to tint the armour red now. In the meantime I also touched other elements like the chopped off arm remains, highlights to the smurf skin. You see I am actually tackling everything that confuses me. So starting off confused can be helpful. You quickly see what you do want to change and change it to a better solution.

It is pure gore there, but also fun to create these different nuances of decay. Sometimes I also felt I wanted to puke.

Giving him a touch of purple to the horns and the slow change in his human-to-demonic appereance I finally knew that this character has some serious issues with his mom.

Even I touched texture of the leather in this stage I was still confused. I was putting the bust away and continued painting only on the chopped off heads. I mean you know what you got in front of you there. Hair and decayed flesh and stupid looking faces.

It was a true joy to place them in place to the butcher's area on the bust.

You can see on my thumb many of the colors I have used on the heads. I decided to have the kings face mostly intact as it was also meant like this from the sculpt and it shows that he just recently started chopping off heads in complete kingdoms.

Only with the chopped off heads the true character of the bust arrived in place. A fierce looking guy with actual a numb look in his dead eyes. Chopping off limbs and heads makes you numb I think, but yelling "For Khorne!!" at the same time makes it legit.

Starting to work with desaturated reds in the open decayed wounds.

Slowly working more saturation on the reds it also helps to define several areas. For example finding out that he is not only chopping off stuff but also likes to rip faces from bones and attach them to his armour. What a guy! Quite angry or filled up with mother-issues. Well, purple and red glazes to the face and he will quickly turn into a more serious not so smurf-looking guy.

I brought back a little bit of blue from below to show the cold chaos wasteland ice deserts. It also connects everything from below.

With increasing contrast in the blue parts from below I was able to work out my light situation much stronger. Applying contrast by including deeper blues in the shadows, while at the same time starting to paint cold highlights into almost everything.

This guy was craving for some demonic attention in form of the demonic eye in his chest. I mean this is why he is chopping off all that he encounters. I made him glow out of his chest with Magenta.

To finalise my vision of "Kingdom Chopper" I worked on details. Darklining between leather bands, gently touching a glaze of a certain color here and there, making the magenta glow from below ... glow. More. Also in his armour.

You can now see it in his eyes,
he is ready to chop of some more!

I can say the most fun I had was playing with these many skintone variations. It is a great bust for it if you can stand the smell of decay while painting it. It was interesting to show this bust to my mum and try to explain, believe me.

It has been a brutal paintjob, as the bust was calling for it.
I can not explain it. I was not able to paint this fella up in a calm mode, I think you can see that. I think my biggest mistake was in the beginning: Painting him smurflike. That made him angry and so brutal. I enjoyed painting the king's chopped off head the most. All the color game I was able to pull off there was pure color joy. Not really subject related, but color joy.

And somehow also a brutal step by step :D

Hope you enjoyed it anyways!

Keep on happy painting!