New Beginnings

I quit my job and moved across the country! I'm now a proud resident of Wisconsin and starting anew with freelance projects and... you guessed it: miniature painting :) We're all moved in and I have my new office set up. My creative space is a bit smaller and doesn't have a closet to stuff my gigantic hoard of miniatures, so I had to get creative using wall space and a shelving cabinet to store my basing materials and alarming amount of unpainted miniatures.

Using my handy dandy label maker, I sectioned out spaces and organized them by manufacturer. Anything that didn't fit in the shelving unit went into the basement (which is a thing up north, evidently). Luckily, it was only a few things: a box of Kickstarter minis from Ninja All-Stars and two fairly large plastic tubs of Reaper minis (LOL). I figure when winter comes, I'll be able to hide away with a space heater and paint miniatures until I'm forced to go outside in the frigid cold weather. 

In other news, it's time for ReaperCon 2018 in two months so I better get painting again! ReaperCon this year is August 30-September 2, 2018. I understand is the exact same weekend as DragonCon and NOVA. I'm bummed that I won't see all the regular artist peeps but I'm looking forward to seeing the folks that are able to make it this year!

I'll be teaching four classes this year (first year as a full-time instructor!): 

Multicultural Skin Tones (x2)

Have you ever tried painting a different skin tone, only to have it turn out all wrong? In this class, we'll venture outside of our creative comfort zones and explore the tricky art of painting various complexions. I'll share my methods of finding inspiration and reference material, planning overall color schemes, and applying finishing touches to help your miniatures stand out (in a good way!) During this class, we'll touch on a few different topics, including a bit of color theory, blending, and glazing techniques. Students will need to bring their own brushes.

Painting Eyes

Ready to face your fears and tackle the dreaded eye? With a bit of patience, you'll be able to paint more expressive faces in no time! In this class, I'll explain my favorite step-by-step process as students get hands-on experience painting happy little eyes. Individual guidance will be offered each step of the way. Please bring your own brushes, including a finer detail brush.

Speed Paint Scramble!

Imagine: it's almost game night and you need a last-minute mini to play with your tabletop group. What do you do? Speed paint scramble! Join me in this beginner-friendly class where I'll break down my method for painting minis quickly, using a limited color palette. Students should bring a medium-sized brush (approx. size 1-3) for base coating and a smaller brush for finishing-touch details.

Last year, I tried to cover too much material at once in my "Blending Skin & Fabric" class, and I'm narrowing it down to just skin tones. I really don't know what I was thinking trying to cover skin + blending + fabric in less than 2 hours with over 12+ students and calling it a "beginners" class. Yeesh! I'm grateful for the experience and now that I'm a bit wiser, I think pacing will be much more manageable. 

I'm still not sure what I've decided to enter in the painting competition, and I'll need to figure that out soon! Luckily, there's still time. I'm going to commit to finishing my entries before the convention, not procrastinating until the last minute like I have before in previous years, blaming my demanding work schedule for the lack of paint time. That's not an issue this year! However, I'm feeling the pressure of dwindling personal savings, so I need to get out there and paint some commissions-- more on that soon! 

I'm Teaching Classes at ReaperCon 2017!

Hi, folks!
My sincerest apologies for my last blog post being... well, too long ago. Three deaths in the family, two weddings, health issues, and a crapton of overtime at work will absolutely kill the drive to paint and share it with others. However, many thanks and appreciations to those who reached out and encouraged me to keep going, keep painting, and expressed that they missed me. I feel invigorated and motivated by those who enjoy my work and I want to keep you all happy ^_^

So without further ado, the most exciting thing that's happened to me in the mini painting world has been the fact that I was approached by Reaper to teach classes at their October convention! While there are many talented painters, sculptors, artists and all-around great people who will be teaching classes there, I'm thrilled to have been asked to be a part of it! Reaper has played a huge part in my development as a painter, gamer, and member of this community. I'm absolutely honored. My first instinct was to teach as many classes as possible, but I didn't want to sign up for more than I could handle (and most new instructors are only approved for two classes their first year). So in the end, I narrowed the topics I wanted to teach down to two classes– techniques I've been asked about the most: blending and painting eyes.

Friday · 1:30pm: Painting Eyes

Basic/Intermediate - Demo + Hands-on
Ready to face your fears and tackle the dreaded eye? With the right approach and a bit of patience- you'll be able to paint more expressive faces! The class will be part demo- part hands-on. Students will be provided with a handout and are expected to bring their own brushes– including a liner/fine detail brush.

Saturday · 10am: Blending Skin & Fabric

Basic/Intermediate - Demo + Hands-on
While there are many approaches to blending- smooth skin and fabric transitions can take your miniature to the next level! In this class- we'll cover concepts from beginning to end– from choosing & mixing colors- to application techniques and final balance of contrast. Students will be provided with a handout.

This last one is especially ambitious. This could easily be broken into two classes and I'm attempting to make this both a hands-on and demo class. Wish me luck! While I'm a bit nervous (as anyone would be standing in front of a group of strangers), though I hope to impart a fraction of the excitement and creative inspiration that I felt at my very first ReaperCon back in 2014. In case folks don't retain everything we cover, I'll have a handy print out that I'll share for their reference, though I'll ask that they don't post it around the internet with respect to Reaper as well as my time and effort put into something that's reserved for the folks who sign up for the specific class. To some, it may sound selfish, and others may roll their eyes thinking "Yeah, those artists just want to keep the secrets to themselves so they can keep making money off convention classes", but to me, each class is unique and special. I've learned that many miniature artists share their knowledge and expertise freely, and keeping the artist's interests and livelihood in mind is another way of showing respect and admiration for their craft that they've built over years of study and diligent practice. That's my 2¢ anyway!

While you may not be interested in the particular classes I'm teaching this year, there are many other great instructors teaching a shockingly-wide variety of class options throughout each day at ReaperCon. If you're interested, I highly recommend checking them out:

Classses for ReaperCon 2017 go on sale July 14, 2017 at 10:00 am CST at

On another note, I finished Bombshell Minis "Wu Ling Shu", which was a commission I've been working on for a while. I remember almost 20 years ago, I visited Beijing on a class trip, when I was studying Mandarin as a foreign language, and I attended a Chinese Opera. The costuming was absolutely gorgeous and I recall the bold red color playing such a major role in Chinese architecture, decor, and clothing. Now, please forgive my potential ignorance, but I wanted to portray what I remember as a young lady tourist in this miniature– rich colors, a spin on the traditional white/red eye makeup, and the bold confident attitude that so perfectly fits this Bombshell mini. Here are some of the Google images I pulled for inspiration:

While I was unable to execute the freehand and intricate patterns shown above, I looked mainly to the overall theme of red, gold and purple, which contrasts nicely with the blue tones in her cold, steel sword. [Click to zoom in:]

Another miniature that I've been working on is for a person who's incredibly important to me. She happens to have some rad tattoos and often plays a barbarian female in her D&D campaigns. She previously sent me pictures of her tattoos and I took it upon myself, as a personal challenge, to paint freehand tattoos on a miniature that embodied her free-spirited and fearless nature.

Last, but not least, my attempt at freehand tattoo. This was a beast and I'm not done yet... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Next up, the final photos (and a new tech-savvy surprise) for my Effin Cool Minis Djinn miniature :) See you next time!