Face app and smiling busts

by Roman aka jar

Good morning Jungle,

recently I found the so called "faceapp".
A funny tool where you can play around with faces of your friends and of course your own.

I thought about doing this to some busts of mine that I have painted in the past and let them smile. While doing this I had so much fun you can not imagine and I realized that our figure world is packed with serious looking figures all around. I mean is smiling not healthy? Hope this makes you smile ...

Original sculpt of Laszlo by FER Miniatures that I have painted in 2017:

Some more that made me jiggle and wiggle ...

Smile more and to the sculptors outthere - even sculpting teeth is a pain in the ass - sculpt more smiling faces!

Keep on happy painting!

Workshop Announcement: Georg's Blending Workshop in Trier

by Massive Voodoo

Good Morning Jungle people,

our friend Georg Damm is doing a painting workshop again after a long break. Great news!
His main focus will be on teaching you to paint and create a perfect blending.

Georg's class concept focuses mainly on techniques to understand everything that makes a perfect blending and training, training and training. If you want to get behind these mysteries this workshop is for you!

The workshop is held in June, in german language in the beautiful city of Trier, Germany.


Review: Private Coaching with Marcus, Paul and Alex

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle,
today it is time for another private coaching review. This time Roman got visited by a group of students with a really interesting topic. Alex, Paul and Marcus asked me to teach them how to become more creative while going through a project. Not only in terms of ideas, also in the way how you can approach your figure, technically and conceptually.

Well, several new things for me:

- Teaching a small group of students in the same topic. Preparing myself for it is different if it is a one on one coaching session.

- The topic: Creativity. Wikipedia says: "Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a literary work, or a painting)."

I'd say in miniature painting creativity is something we all already got. Everyone who is painting a figure has it. Some do not know how to set it aflame and do not trust in their ideas. This new topic to teach really killed some brain cells on my side on how to literally teach it to others, but I made a plan ...

While at a friends place I made a sketch on this bust by Pegaso Models.
Using my fingers and some primary acrylics. It was amazing how many steps of my vision are already included in this concept. I now have to break them down to make it easier to follow.

The bust shows Jacques de Molay, last grandmaster of the order of the Templars, who got burned alive in Paris. If you want to know more about Jacques de Molay, check Wikipedia on this topic.

Well, I had a plan now. Still unsure if everything will work out, like I wanted, excited to see my students arrive to my teaching plan. My plan also was to stay creative as a teacher in case something goes wrong. Creating a teaching concept that works for students is the hardest part in teaching.

"When we headed to Augsburg we had no clue what the next two days of painting madness would bring.

As I don’t want to spoil the experience for anybody who is willing to do this creative quest I give just some outlines:
  • The welcome was warm and friendly
  • Roman managed to force us out of our comfort zone several times and magically pulled us back into the known territory of miniature painting
  • It was far from what I expected, but definitely one of the best learning experiences I had in regard of miniature painting.
  • You can paint things by burning other stuff! Oh Yeah.
  • The beer in Augsburg was excellent.
Summarizing the whole experience I must say I would definitely do it all over again as it changed my approach to miniature painting from a quite technical point to a more creative approach, which is way more fun and rewarding.
Overall: The most fun you can have with your pants on."
- Alex

My students homework was to arrive prepared and to know the story and life of Jacques de Molay. With coffee in hand we talked about it and then I killed it all, by tasking them with finding a new topic and story for the model. Let's get creative :)

All our four plans had to be discussed and creative juices were flowing.
Followed by painting sessions where we switched the models during different stages we all learned a lot. After explanations from my side, we started with some finger painting sessions - then switched the four models for the next session - and continued to work on it further by just using a sponge and paint.

Basic sketches, done by our fingers and sponges.
Jaques de Molay as a Templar.

Gulliver's travels ...

The captain during the ship's mutiny

The priest, caught by a not so friendly tribe on an island

We continued on and on with still switching the model from one person to the other for several steps and we all had to think double time to achieve the result of this stage that would fit in the individual idea and vision and technical approach.

"Vor einiger Zeit hatte ich das große Vergnügen wieder an einem private Coaching bei Roman teilnehmen zu können, diesmal mit zweien meiner Malfreunde.
Dass Roman ein großartiger, lustiger und freundlicher Kerl ist und dass seine private coachings super sind, dürfte sich bereits ausreichend herumgesprochen haben. Da es bereits mein zweites Coaching war und ich auch letztes mal komplett von Romans Konzept überrascht wurde, ließ ich das Thema "kreatives Malen" diesmal einfach mich zu kommen.
Es begann damit, dass Roman uns bat, eine bestimmte Büste zu besorgen, die ich mir nie selbst gekauft hätte und die zusätzlich schon ein sehr striktes Thema vorgab (der letzte Großmeister der Tempelritter am Scheiterhaufen) - also eigentlich in der Kreativität sehr einschränkend war.

Trotzdem schaffte es Roman uns mit einigen Gedankenspielen dazu zu bringen daraus ein völlig anderes Modell zu erschaffen. Und das ist es was Romans Figuren so besonders macht: Er schafft es wie sehr wenige einer Miniatur Leben und eine Geschichte einzuhauchen.

Ich versuche mal praxisnahe  zu erklären was mir persönlich am meisten gebracht hat:
Wir alle kaufen Miniaturen aus dem Bauch heraus weil sie uns auf Anhieb gefallen oder weil wir eine einzelne zündende Idee haben. Dieses "Feuer" verlischt aber gelegentlich ziemlich schnell wenn man die Figur dann zuhause hat und an die Umsetzung denkt und so kommt es dass einige (hust) dieser Figuren einfach für Jahre auf der Strecke bleiben oder entweder niemals fertiggestellt  oder das ganze einfach keinen Spaß mehr macht etc.
Roman hat uns (mit meisterhafter Vorbereitung) beigebracht, dass die Erschaffung einer Figur weit weit vor dem Gedanken an eine technische Umsetzung beginnt und dass es sich wirklich auszahlt, wenn man denkt ,dass man bereits eine gute Idee hat, nochmal zur Ruhe zu kommt, die Gedanken fließen lässt, vielleicht Konzepte wieder verwirft und noch einige andere Ideen zur Figur sammelt bis man wirklich zufrieden mit seinem Plan ist.
Und das ist meiner Meinung nach der Schlüssel für langfristige Motivation: ein sehr detailliertes und klares Ziel vor Augen zu haben und genau das erreicht man damit. Natürlich wird nicht jede Figur in Zukunft ein krasser  Umbau werden, aber ich persönlich bin ein eher ungeduldiger Maler der rasch zu schnellen aber unsauberen Techniken greift um das Projekt fertig zu stellen und genau das werde ich in Zukunft (eher ;) ) vermeiden weil ich eben mein schönes klar definiertes Ziel erreichen will, auch wenn es länger dauert. Alles in allem hat das Coaching wieder dazu beigetragen, dass ich Miniaturen und das Malen  mit noch mehr Liebe und Begeisterung sehe :)"
- Paul 

We continued painting on day two, too. 
Pushing further and further. As a teacher I really enjoyed the progress my students made in the end. If you look at this you might now think it was started with just color on their fingers.

"Hey happy painters!
After some weeks of hard work I have time to give you some review of my private coaching with Roman Lappat. Everything starts with an idea.... Two very close painting friends and I were thinking about how to improve our art aspect of hobby "miniature painting".
We had a great technical workshop with Kirill Kanaev recently in Vienna and now the next step had to be Roman @ the massive voodoo home base.
So we talked with Roman about a (how we call it now) master class in creativity.
The only things we knew befor the workshop was the date, time and the Pegaso bust we will paint. Risky business not to know what's planned, but we took our car and drove about six hours to Augsburg.
1. day, Roman welcomes us like we are very good friends, it was a pleasure to meet him in the studio. After a little welcome small talk and coffee we still don't know what come next.
We get a white board and markers to write on it. So we start thinking about the topic, What is creativity? What is it for us and in general...
Next step: take the historical concept of the bust and kick all that ideas away :D first time we are out of our comfort zone....
We make our own concept at a bust which has a historical background.
After rebuild the bust and prepare it for painting Roman: we don't use our brush the next hours. So we only have fingers and a Little sponge. Next time he kicked us hard out of our comfort zone.
After we sketches our busts, he kicked us out again.... now we shuffle all busts and paint on another bust. We did that and tell us our ideas of the bust.
It worked perfectly and the bust start to look very .... creative ;)
After sketching the busts we are allowed to work on with our brushes and are shocked how well this concept work.
So what he did to us is, he kicked our heads out of a very classic method of painting and showed us a way of getting FREE.
Free in painting techniques, free in thinking about concepts and also have fun with difficult projects.
To short that article down, the busts look amazing and never expected that.
So Roman is a perfect teacher in workshops and also a perfect private coach.
Inspiring person...
So for everyone who's able to have one of this private coachings, you get an amazing time.
Thank you to my friends to be part of this trip. "

- Marcus

I really want to thank the three of you for your kind words on this coaching, also for taking the time to write them down and the great time we shared together! Really appreciated.

Keep on happy painting and stay creative ;)

Feel free to contact me for your private coaching!
Right now I am fully booked with two day MV private coachings until the end of September 2017. All requests from now on will be planned up for autumn 2017. Right now I can not give you any specific dates yet, as I the second half of 2017 will be planned around weekend seminars and these will be settled in June/July.

Inspiration: The Art of John Harris - Beyond the horizon

by Roman aka jar

Aloa Jungle,

as active painting is not happening from my side at the moment - still - I realized that many other creative things are happening in my brain. Of course, some, related to miniature painting. I decided to let spring also hit home in the Massive Voodoo jungle and will hit the jungle with different ideas of blog posts.

If I am not painting much these days does not mean the jungle has to be silent as the jungle in my head ain't quiet itself.

FYI: You find me writing posts these days under my personal account on Massive Voodoo, not the MV Team account. Through all the upcoming Kong Fu I am going through in the next couple of weeks I did not see it would fit writing in the words of the team. Official MV announcements and such will drop in from my side by using the MV team account.

With these book reviews I want to share the inspiration behind the reason why I bought myself one of these and how it - maybe - will influance my future miniature projects. Also what kind of projects I already did who fit to the topic.

You will find future book reviews also linked up to MV's Miniature Unpacked area. 


A book review of
The Art of John Harris 
- Beyond the horizon

publised by Titan books.

Somehow I found myself into some space movies last winter. "Gravity", "The Martian" and some more of this kind really made my mind drift out to space. New worlds. New thoughts.

Then - as a big Mass Effect series fan - the computer game Mass Effect, Andromeda caught my attention for a while and the visuals made my journey continue.

I found myself searching google for some space art and I found the art of "John Harris".

I love how he plays with color, I love how he plays with atmosphere and I enjoy how he plays with vast space and scale differences. I did some research about his work online and decided rather quickly to get myself his Artbook for inspirational purposes on many fields.

Opening up this book takes you on a far journey ...

Love this one ...

The book is a high quality printed hardcover with excellent images and interesting texts to give insight to the artist's work and his visions. I just open up the book for you a little more.

Everything is big in space. That is what I feel when looking at this.

Colorwise for me this is a pure joy to observe and draw inspiration from ...

The following is actual my favourite painting by him and I also see it as my desktop background right now. It is called "Ascent" and was done in 2009.

It is so lovely to observe brushstrokes and color choices in John Harris' work. I am amazed.

In many works he combines traditional views we might understand as humans. This look like Tuscany in Italy but well the architecture tells you different.

The full side artworks are just magnificant:

I see some visions coming in my brain that need to be fullfilled in the future. Mass Effect and John Harris inspired. This book has a pretty heavy impact on me and I open it up once in a while when I dream myself into the far future.

I can only recommend this artbook to everyone interested in painting. No matter if you enjoy spaceships and the vast unknown, it will take you away colorwise.

This book, combined with Mass Effect did heat some ideas of mine up. Let's see when I bring them to a miniature :) - So far it made me draw on paper again what I did not do for a long time, I call it:

 'Here I go again, going down the only road I know'
Mixed Media, text marker, white edding, Alpha design marker, kuretake pens on paper.

If somebody is seriously interested the original is for sale.
Feel free to contact me anytime. See the original on the table after finishing it.

Keep on happy painting!
- Roman

Review: MV's Jar's Advanced Class in Blumberg-Achdorf

by Roman aka jar

"Having attended numerous workshops over the past few years, I can confidently say that Roman's advanced class is one of the best out there. This workshop is fantastic for everyone who wants to get a better understanding of how colors work and how to create a concept for achieving a specific atmosphere on your miniature. Highly recommend!!"
- Thomas

I held my second Advanced miniature painting class,
a class that takes my students deeper into my brain, after my famous Beginner's Class.

The themes and topics plus schedule is getting more complex and after I took about 2,5 years to work on the concept, made thoughts, collect stuff, think about how to explain something, break information and steps down to a level that everybody can understand and follow what I try to explain in this class.

You can believe, when I say - even as a very experienced teacher - was nervous about the concept premiere one year ago and still was for this second run.

Even tough I was able to teach this concept for several times now in private coachings, was able to improve something due the lessons I have learned as a teacher I still was corious to take it to another group of students.

Main topics for MV's Jar's Advanced Class:

- Learn to paint atmosphere in a Miniature Project
- Learn to visualise, analyse and understand the variety of colors

- Learn to keep all harmonic
- Doing a small conversion to make your figure personal
- Learn simple, but very effective rules for a gaming base
- Learn to paint skintones
- Learn to paint black and white
- Advanced Color Theory
- Advanced Blending Techniques
- Advanced Happy Painting Methods
- and more!

First of all 
a big thanks goes out to Hasslefree Miniatures, who supported the class with a big bunch of "Tregars", which were actually perfect for the class concept. I like to change the seminar figures in this class every class and I am really happy that everyone was happy with their barbarian who actually looks like "Conan".

They got great miniatures, check them out here!

Here are our results from the weekend. 
Well, this photo does show them all, but they are too small. Maybe I should start the whole story from the beginning.

We did meet up in Blumberg-Achdorf,
a small village close to the Swiss border, but still in Germany. Even April and May still were a little grey Blumberg greated us with sun.

Many thanks to Vlado from BigPandaV.de, Phil and Peter for the organisational part. It was once again a so called "deluxe workshop" where we all slept and ate in one house. Thanks to Phil for additional photo material for this review.  

Thanks to Peter for a nice car ride from Stuttgart to Blumberg. Many people arrived earlier than us, but not all of them ;)

"I feel like a really lucky guy, to accidently attended a Roman’s beginners workshop back in 2011. To now get another insight in Roman’s miniatures painting technique was really amazing. I highly recommend this workshop for those who want to know how colors work and gear up their miniature painting.“ - Phil aka Tuskar

Blumberg is always a place to meet old friends and new ones :)

"As most of you know, it can be challenging to generate a vibrant atmosphere on your paintjobs. You have the right idea, but your attempts are failing and frustration is rising. In order to overcome this situation, I took a Private Coaching with Roman two years ago and also joined him on his first Advanced Class last year. In both cases I was able to improve my understanding of atmosphere a lot, but never achieved a real breakthrough in my mind.

To be honest, I sometimes struggle with the understanding of colors and due to my daily work it can take time to accumulate enough practice to achieve this "click"-moment. The first Advanced Class put down important basics which I worked on for over a year.

To take the Advanced Class a second time was one of the best choices I have made in my painting career. As I already knew most of the lessons and exercises, I could concentrate on further internalising the important facts. So, in this happy group of painters, in this little village called Blumberg, I had some big "clicks" happening in my mind. Don´t get me wrong, I understood the theory in the first place, but painting is a lot about "feeling", which is hard to explain on a scientific level. Either you get it, or you don´t. There is nothing wrong about it, if you don´t. The mistake is, to stop trying to get it.

So, if you are one of these hobby painters who wants to push his own limits, take the chance and join Roman´s Advanced Class. It´s a real challenge, even for an experienced painter, and you should be ready to work hard. But, I promise, you will get more information than you can stomach. Take you time, practise and join the class one more time... it´s worth the investment as the result will speak for itself."

- Peter

After a litte late start and some great dinner we started with some theory, followed by preparing our models for their journey:

Did I mention the great dinner we had this evening and all the rest of the weekend? Thanks to our god in the kitchen, Rainer.

Friday night arrived pretty fast and after some drinks we went to bed as the next morning was welcoming us with advanced color theory, starting from here:

The color theory part in this class leads to one main thing for my students brains:
Learn to visualise, analyse and understand the variety of colors and be able to mix it as this makes the understanding of atmospheric painting much easier to approach:

"Don’t attend this class if you can’t handle that your brain might explode. A class that is not really about technique or improving skill but about improving your whole approach to miniature painting. You will most likely change your view on everything and maybe even change your whole painting style after it. So.. much.. knowledge… on just one weekend.
100% recommended after you attended a Beginner Class (you just need to know the basics) and if you want to improve your painting."

- Sebastian

Everybody got busy and a little brain melted after these hours of color knowledge, but again we had some good lunch and were ready to start off to the figures:

After the first stages we went deeper in the paintjobs, everybody absolutely focused as the brain was working to bring together the color theory and atmosphere parts to the actual painting process:

After a colorful painting time we once again head to bed, some earlier than others and the next morning was greeting us with sunshine again.

Today it was time to push the models further and to increase the connection and understanding of atmosphere knowledge to our figures, but suddenly Sunday was also a day to find us outside once in a while as it was just too beautiful.

We also had an area of finished projects and I was proud to see the progress of many of my students in their new paintjobs and projects.

Panda-love! You can get this little fella via BigPandaV.

Somehow the sun was great, but somehow not. I mean if you are supposed to be painting inside and outside spring is showing his first powerful lasting sunbeams it was hard to not be outside once in a while ...

"When you get the chance to attend one of Jar's Advanced Painting Classes, go for it! I can only recommend the perfect mix of theoretical lessons followed by practical exercices and individual support he offers. One of the best workshops I have attended so far!" - Tanja

Many thanks to all my students in this class. 
After some days now after the class I hope you can feel the impact the class should implement on your observation- and color analysis-skills. Visual studying and understanding I call it. Many thanks for all your great and honest feedback to the class. This will help me to improve it further.

I also want to thank you all for the nice time we spent and the good talks about life and such. It really helped me to see my own creative track a little better through the fog. May spring be with you!

Thanks to Tanja you can find her review on the class here:

Tanja's review, part 1

Tanja's review, part 2

Here are the results of the weekend.

Many Tregars or Conans or Afrohulks as you may call them. Unfortanetely I missed one. Not on purpose, sorry, Felix! Main focus on these was the color play happening if you decide to understand miniature painting with athmosphere, harmony and ambience. We started painting on Saturday early afternoon and pushed as far as we could.

Keep on happy painting everyone!
- Roman