I have returned from ReaperCon. I had a great time, and it was nice to be in a place where miniature painting is really the only focus. I got to go classes, paint a bit, and chat with other painters, sculptors, and pro-painters. While there, I took the following classes:
Intro to Painting Freehand Patterns with Jessica Rich — my first class of the con, and one of the better ones. I wanted to learn how Jessica does freehand, and basically, her “theory” on it. I got the basics I wanted, and also learned that I cannot paint a fleur-de-le at all. I spent most of the class un-doing and re-doing the same section over and over. I expect when I do my first free-hand, and I expect it will be soonish, I may go with with celtic knots or something like that. I would have also liked to hear her talk about portraits on cloaks as well. This piece here always impresses me:
Next up, was Painting Tips & Tricks with Marike Reimer — also very good. She ran it as a Q & A, and it was nice to see how her painting process is and how she thinks. As happens with Marike, it ended up eventually going to sheer cloth and free-hand which I would have preferred it not to go to, but with her, it is going to go there eventually.
That was it for my first day, and I am glad I only went with 2 a day, and with a 2-hour break in between for the entire con. On Saturday, I started with Hands-On with Pigments with Justin McCoy. This was probably one of my favorite classes of the weekend. I have always been interested in using pigments, and looking at the internet, you find so many opinions that contradict each other that it is hard to see what is true and what is not. Justin broke it down great for me, and took the fear out of pigments. I can see me using pigments in my near future fairly often. I just need to get myself to Secret Weapon Miniatures and get me a set or two.
Painting Textures with Noel Meyer was next. Sadly, this one was a lecture and not hands-on. I really was excited about this one, and it didn’t pan out to be as good as I thought. My roomate took the version of the class that I really wanted to with Aaron Lovejoy, and I frankly wish I had gone to that one. Don’t get me wrong, I learned some things, but not being able to see well while she worked and often the examples she passed around didn’t exemplify what she was talking about that much for me–might have been the lighting. I wanted to take this class when I first saw one of Aaron’s entries for a couple shows ago. This too ended up going into sheer cloth. What is folks obsession with sheer cloth. This was one of the bigger disappointments of the con. If it had been hands-on, it would have been a lot better. I tried to practice right after class, but to no avail. I will be chatting with my roommate hopefully at next paint group to get what Aaron taught.
The last class of the con was How Not to Suck with John Bonnot, and it was a huge disappointment to me. John I can tell is great teacher, and I want to take a class from him in the future. This class I have heard about each year about how good it is. And I expect it is, if you are brand-new or fairly new to painting miniatures. I am not. This class is almost basic miniature painting. It is probably should be called Miniature Painting Basics 2.0. It was a wasted 2 hours for me, and it made it worse that I could have been at Aaron’s Painting Textures instead of this. The others in the class did get a lot out of it though.
So, overall, ReaperCon was great. I learned a lot, and had a great time. My only regrets are I wish I had taken some sculpting classes, but most of them I found were too specific for my current talent level. I will be practicing that more in the near future. More on the ReaperCon competition once I get some photos of my entries.