Monday, October 31, 2011

Do Not Miss: October 2011

Seen in the internet on October 2011:

  • The Summoner by Cris and Piquifl: Arsies (Javier González) is not the only one painting at home. His wife, Cris, is a very talented painter, something she has always shown us since I know them. This is a very pretty piece, converted by Piquifl and painted by Cris. I Love her Craft! (Get it?) :P

  • Buster Crabbe (Kings Road miniatures) by Remy Tremblay: Kings Road is a miniature company that is releasing pieces which are different to what we are used to, and I love them for this. Look at this new future release sculpted by Remy Tremblay. Really something else!

  • Making scenery with Emmanuel Nouaillier: This tutorial about creating buildings from the start of the 20th century is simply awesome, it's amazing what this guy can do with a bit of plasticard and featherboard. And some good painting of course!

  • El Flautista by Jesus Martín: Second version of the Nocturna Models new release, El Flautista. I really love the miniature and the painting is superb.

  • Valhallan Diorama by Guilliman: I really like this diorama, specially the sculpting part, very well deserved award. It's not my style of painting though, very plain GW colouring without contrast. I would have loved to paint the diorama in a very different way but even so, it's a great scene and a lot of work put into it.

  • Stephan Rath tutorial on his Khemri standard: This article from Stephan Rath (aka Derwish) explains his approach on painting freehands. Chek out how he painted the famous Khemri standard that was awarded Gold in GD Germany 2011. A must! The bad part is that it's written in German.

  • Knightmodels new releases (at zwoart studio): Knightmodels releases a new set of stunning miniatures this month. Did I mention I fell in love with the stormtroopers?

  • Color warz serie 1 by Remy Tremblay These new figurines sculpted by Remy are simply a beauty. They are for a boardgame soon to be released. I don't know about the game but if the rules are half as good as these miniatures, oh my!

  • Building the lamps on Frutti di Mare: This is a tutorial on how Robert (a.k.a. Muhani from Massive Voodoo) built his lamps for the diorama called Frutti di Mare. I'm sure you know about this outstanding diorama but this tutorial is great if you want to build some lamps for yourself.

  • Batalla por Teutoburgo: Rafa Coll shows us in his blog the latest release from Historic Art Models. A fantastic diorama about Roman Empire times sculpted by Benoit Cauchies and painted by Jesús Martín.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Events Calendar: another great initiative!

And yet another great section for Volomir's Blog. This time it's the events calendar:


This new section will be great to know at a glance about all events and dates internationally. I will need help to build this little event database, so if you know of any important/relevant contests and their dates/locations, please let me know and I will include them in the calendar.

So from now on remember to check it out on the static pages of the blog and plan your entries ahead!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Seeking sensation: elements of suggestion

Today let's go deep into artistic talk, for all of you hardcore painters who seek something more than just a correctly painted miniature.

I'm having a wonderful discussion with my friend Francesco Farabi, a great miniature painter from Italy who I'm sure you a lot about already. The discussion was regarding his last piece, the Last Stand of Nuln, modelled by Mariano Numitone (a great honour) and painted by himself. I'm also sure you have seen this one already, presented on the last Golden Demon Italy and awarded Gold in Diorama (I posted pics previously on the blog):

While the scene is just outstanding, I pictured out that the painting is too clean for a battle scene like this, I miss blood and dust and dirt in general. I couldn't see how the guys could be dying from arrows without choking in their own blood. Francesco answered:

About the question of dirt... yes you may be absolutely right, but there is a reason because I chose not to put a lot of dirt. It's because there is no close combat body fighting been done there, this is a "long distance attack, like some terrible enemy attacking the bastion of the castle and the soldiers go to the broken part to defend as a last stand, but a great swarm of arrows arrive and kill them all. If you look there are no soldiers with blade weapons, only guns, also the campion shouted with arrow in the neck tries to bring his guns, not a sword for example.
About blood... yes interesting in effect! Also because I am an habitual gory painter (i make a lot of blood effects in my miniatures) but we talked a lot with Numi about how much blood I wanted to put and therefore I studied that arrow shots don't create some blood spatter effect because it is very direct and quick, there's just a little quantity of blood exit from the wounds before you pull the arrow off from them.

My comment just started a great discussion around the use of explicit elements to achieve sensation which I wanted to share with all the readers of Volomir's Blog because I'm sure you will find it deeply interesting and maybe we can learn a lot together with it.

I had my own inner discussion about this when I painted my Last Stand of the Crimson Fists (which has also flaws because of lack of time and impatience, but that is another topic). I used the illustration as the main source (I very much copied it and tried to translate that into a 360º scene with 3d volumes) and in the drawing there is not much blood, or even dirt. There is weathering on the armours, yes, but not that kind of blood and dirty stuff that you would expect from a war scene. And I tried to be loyal to that concept because the drawing pours war and drama sensation from every brushstroke and I thought I could get that with my scene using the same resources. Some say that I got it, some say that I failed. I really can't be objective because it's my own creation and I have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes I think I got it, sometimes I don't. There is also a bit of regret in some decisions that I took during the process, specially because it took such a long time that now when I think that I could have done better it just freaks me out. But anyway, that is done and past and from that I learned a lot (at least is what I try to think) and next time, when I do something to try and achieve something dramatic I'll try to use my own resources instead of just copying, so for that I am happy.

Here is a great example of how to achieve drama sensation and battle without the use of a single drop of blood:

When I see this picture of the spanish civil war I don't see dirt, blood or anything gory (it is true that absence of colours is also very powerful and we are adding colours to the equation so that is really something we cannot forget). I see drama there mainly because of two reasons. The first one and the most important and evident is the dynamism. The pose of the soldier falling, the weapon in the air, the clothes inflated and the blurryness of the picture around the area of the feet clearly suggest that there is action going on, and you feel that he is falling. Second is the expression of the guy. If you just concentrate con his face and forget about everything else you'll feel like if he is sleeping, at least that's what I get from it. But in the context of dynamism and movement you feel as if he is dying. You see no pain, you see no grief or scare, but you see he is "leaving", he is passing out. And you get the feeling that he is being shot because of the pose and specially the weapon on his arm, which suggests he was fighting. But you see no blood, no dirt, not even the place where he has been shot. And still you get the feeling that he has just received a gunshot.

Doing this is very difficult in my opinion. I see what Francesco tried to do, and I think he did it very well but there is still a long way to go I think. What if you had to do what Francesco tried to do, how would yo do it? Now I'll tell you about an idea of mine that could work:

In a scene like this you don't use blood, you don't use dirt, but you still need to reflect action, war and suffering. Francesco used the right colours for a realistic ambience, greys and dark reds, desaturated. But it is the same greys and amount of saturation that you use when he painted the rocks. What if you transform the scenery, and make it more colourful, more saturated, specially the banner, the ground (maybe adding grass or flowers, I don't know) and the standard bearer, his face much more reddish and orange? Just saturating their colours, but leave the dead in a more grey ambience, the same way they are now so that you suggest death with the use of colours. I think it would be a very good idea. I think that if you don't use explicit objects like blood or dirt, the use of colours is the key, and you used the right greyish ambience to suugest that. But if you don't show a contrast so that the effect of the grey ambience just stands out, I think that the main purpose just doesn't show.

So, today I offer you this interesting debate to all of you fellow readers of Volomir's Blog. What do you think? Discussion will help you better understand this great piece of work and will for sure motivate you in your own personal creations!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Premiering new section: Volomir's Compass

With this pretentious title, today I add a new section to the static pages of the blog. In this case, The Compass, a collection of links to other websites of interest about the world of miniature painting. You will see that there is a good list of interesting sites, some of them essential, that you must visit if you do not know about them already.

If you know about any very interesting sites about miniatures and painting, do not hesitate to send me a mail and thus make the compass the ultimate reference.

On the other hand, I have to say that the painting course I will organize in November in Madrid is complete. Anyway, I encourage you also to keep sending me emails if you are interested because you can enter the waiting list or become part of the first to find out about future courses.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Golden Demon: Slayerswords of 2011

With this last Golden Demon in Italy, the GD season of 2011 has come to an end. It has been a very good year regarding level and number of participants in practically every country. I would like to do a little summary of the Slayerswords we have seen this year, let's see:

Remy Tremblay's skaven diorama, sword in France.

Rubén Martínez's duel, sword in Spain.

Vincent Hudon's motorbiker, sword in USA.

Matt Cexwish's diorama, sword in Germany.

Kyle Morgan's ork, sword in Australia.

Angelo Di Chello's sorcerer, sword in UK.

Matteo Murelli's Nurgle paladin, sword in Italy.

Not bad at all! Which one is your favourite? And your least favourite? Do you think next year will be similar regarding quality? Is the level of the swords somehow representative of the level of the painting community of each country? Can we see any sort of national painting style just by looking at the swords?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Golden Demon Italy 2011 - Results

And finally, Golden Demon Italy took place this weekend, thus ending the GD season for this year, which I have to say, has been a wonderful year for Golden Demons.

Let's take a look at the SlayerSword, courtesy of Matteo Murelli (congratulations!):

Great work indeed. Take a look at some other photos of the contest, just very few of them:

You can see there was really good stuff to see in this GD. Take a look at these links (where these photos were taken from) if you want more information on this contest:
I wish I could have been there! I feel the deepest envy right now!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Golden Demon Italy this weekend: the last of 2011

This weekend we will have the last GD of the season, Golden Demon Italy in Modena. I bought tickets to go there but finally I won't be able to make it so bad news on that part. But anyway, there will be spanish representation as usual, my friends Fenix (Borja Garcia) and Platon will be attending, let's see what they can manage this time.

Good luck to all participants, we hope to see many good entries to close this 2011 season of GDs!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charity painting collaboration with Lamenter (Master of the Forge)

I'm sure you know this website:

If you don't... what are you waiting for??

I've always loved Simon's work. He has an extraordinary ability to sculpt and convert Space Marines trying to make them look more proportioned and real life like. And I've always wanted to paint some of his pieces. So I emailed him and we arranged a little collaboration project in which he will sculpt some Space Marines and I will paint them. The first of them is going to be this little marvel:

I will paint this wonderful miniature and hopefully I will have time to show you pics of the process. When I finish it, we will put the miniature on auction and we will donate all the money obtained from the sale.

Choosing where to donate the money is always very difficult, so Simon decided. He got the dog he owns now from that animal rescue centre and he really feels the work they do there is very important. This is a cause that is very close to his heart. And I am totally in favour! So that's where we will be donating:

Birmingham Dogs Home

Link to the eBay space for donations for this centre

So we will keep you posted about all the process. I'm sure it will turn out to be a great miniature and I hope we can raise a lot of money for the centre!

PS: The friends from "La Taberna de Laurana" published an interview they did to me on their blog. Check it out, we talk about some interesting stuff! (in spanish unfortunately for some)

Link to interview

Friday, October 7, 2011

Today we talk about contest controversy (GD UK 2011)

As I said the other day, Golden Demon UK 2011 was celebrated during my spiritual retirement. But even though I was away, news came to my ears that there were some important judge decisions that are now heavily questioned, and have generated a lot of chatter in forums. So let's talk today about contest controversy.

First of all, let's present facts. This is GD UK 2011 Slayersword winner:

And now let's see other European Slayerword winners this year (click on the names to see more and better photos of them):

This is Remy's diorama, winner in France.

This is Ruben's duel, winner in Spain.

This is Matt's diorama, winner in Germany.

I would never judge or question a decision. But this one just seems odd. We all know that GD UK is the contest with the greatest number of participants and entries by far. And there are a lot of great painters there, even many awesome non-UK european painters travel to the contest. I didn't go to the contest, but... was this sorcerer really the best miniature they found in all the contest? Really?

See more photos of GD UK entries here.

I know some great spanish painters (to mention just an example that I know of, not that I want to brag about spanish painting quality!) that entered competition with really great miniatures and dioramas. I believe that this sorcerer is a great miniature, that's for sure. But the best of the whole GD UK contest? Really?

Is this another example of GW commercial criterion being used to judge? Would this decision benefit GW commercially at all? Is there some other dark criterion we do not know of? Should painters start fleeing out of GW Golden Demons to protest GW policies as many people are proposing a long time ago?

I want to hear your opinions!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Golden Demon Australia 2011

While I am still trying to readjust to normal routine, news came to my ears that this past weekend Golden Demon Australia was celebrated in that distant part of the world. Well, I want to talk about this contest because a good friend of mine won the Slayersword there.

Congratulations KYLE!!

I am so very happy for him! This is his winner miniature:

I also want you to see this banshee, painted once again by the grand master Sebastian Archer (automaton), another great friend of ours. See with your own eyes.

I have to shamefully admit that Golden Demon UK was celebrated during September and because I was completely disconnected from the world, I couldn't really follow the news about it. I may talk about this contest soon because there is a lot of controversy regarding this year's choice for the SlayerSword and some judge decisions are being heavily questioned (this is not really something new but there is a lot of talk going on about this).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Returning to Madrid

I'm back in Spain! What does this mean? That everything is going to return back to normal: work, miniatures and of course, the blog will return to its past activity.

It's been a wonderful month in the USA, one of those trips to remember forever. And very inspiring in every way. I have new ideas for figurines from things I've seen or things I lived there. We'll see...

Right now, and to start strong, I have decided to do another painting course in Madrid before the end of the year since there have been several people interested. It will have the same format as the first two that were made: two days on separate weekends at least one week to allow time to practice and get things straight. If you are interested, send me an email or leave a comment and do not waste more time. The faster you are, the more weight you will have in the final decision of the dates! In addition, places are very limited, 7 people max!