Reaper Artist Conference Day 1

Thanks to a series of fortunate circumstances I was able to attend the Reaper Artist Conference (RAC) in Denton, Texas this weekend. I'm splitting my adventure into two parts & I'll share my experiences on Day 2 in my Thursday blog post. So many great experiences and new ideas floating around in my head, it's hard to know where to start! 

On Saturday morning, as I made my way to Reaper HQ Saturday morning in nervous anticipation, I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and the promise of a beautiful day (not that I'd need to spend much time outside!) 

Denton Sunrise.jpg

The Reaper staff was there bright & early and the space was decked out in Halloween-themed decorations. I'm happy to say that I was able to work in several great classes both days! First up was Jennifer Greenwald's "Painting Modern Figures". I admit, my Chronoscope miniatures are the most unloved miniatures sitting on my "Shelf of Shame", a term I learned at RAC. While the figures are sculpted well, painting modern things is considerably more challenging than painting, for example, an imaginative magic staff on a figure clearly based in fantasy. Painting denim needs to be convincing, since people see it on a daily basis. Jennifer gave me some great ideas & tips for adding interest to simpler sculpt with lots of surface area to play with. Here are a few of her miniatures she passed around to the class-- I look forward to trying her ideas including painting a striped, cracked pavement base.

JG Modern Figures.jpg

After that, I took a break for sustenance! Found a great little sushi place down the street where I was able to meet up with some family for lunch. Cue the gratuitous pictures of food!


Next up, Shaded Metallics with Michael Proctor! I had the pleasure of meeting Michael at this past ReaperCon where I was first introduced to his style & use of dynamic colors. After trying my hand at the NMM (Non Metallic Metal) technique, I decided that there's just as much value in painting with metallic metals, as long as you approach it in the right way. I've attempted a few TMM (True Metallic Metal) miniatures, though I couldn't seem to produce the desired effect that I wanted. His class opened my eyes to incorporating color glazes and shading applications to creating different types of metal effects. While I love taking these classes, I find it most rewarding to watch painters paint, see what they use & exactly how they use it. Here's a picture of Michael's workspace during his demo (taken with his permission of course).

MP Shaded Metallics.jpg

This was a paint-along class and my demo miniature turned out better than expected. I tried techniques in both silver-steel & gold-bronze. Can't wait to apply my new knowledge to miniatures with lots of sculpted armor!

Mocha SM demo mini.jpg

Last but not least was Derek Schubert's "Painting Monochrome", where I excitedly took notes on how to identify certain values and assign those values to different textures and surfaces. Derek is one of my favorite painters and I was so happy have some one-on-one time with him at the last ReaperCon. His intelligent & practical approach to painting really resonates with me. As he explained in his class, when painting monochrome, one isn't distracted by colors and can focus on assigning light & dark values to achieve high contrast in their miniature. Of course, those same techniques can be applied to colorful miniatures as well. I can't wait to try painting a sepia-toned miniature with lots of different textures.

On a side note, while recording instructors is understandably prohibited at these events (and taking photographs of them without their permission is quite rude), I focus on taking an appropriate, if not a bit blurry, picture of the table. Here, Derek brought some example minis & source materials during his class to show & share. I'm not sure why this picture makes me smile so much but it does! Maybe it's the photo of Sean Lennon and his thoughtful expression that seems to say, "Hrm, yes, it's true. Painting in monochrome is never boring."

DKS Monochrome.jpg

One photo I didn't get was of my own miniature in the Halloween painting contest. Since traveling to Denton, Texas was a bit rushed, I don't have a picture of my own mini! I hope to have one as soon as I'm back. While I'll have more information & pictures about the painting contest to share on Thursday, I can let you in on a secret and tell you my great experience at RAC may have been made even sweeter after these guys were involved...

RAC Trophies.jpg

See you Thursday!