Painting With Mona Lisa Smile!

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! Except for anyone that happens to live in a state where it decided to snow or more accurately blizzard today. It is Spring, right?

Anyways, after shoveling the latest practical joke by mother nature off the driveway I got to work on some things I wanted to get through today and I think I managed to get through just about all of them. First among them was a reminder from my friend and co-host of The Ourcast, SoapBubbles, to watch a favorite movie of hers, Mona Lisa Smile. I’d never seen it and she is chomping at the bit to talk movies so we decided that going forward we’ll devote a portion of the podcast to her talking about movies and getting me caught up on all the culture I’ve missed out on over the years. Right before I started watching it she commented on Twitter about how combined with the painting I was going to be doing was appropriate for the subject matter of the movie. Turns out she was right and I found it doubly interesting because they spent a little time talking about the concept of what is art? A subject which I’ve often discussed because of my somewhat contentious relationship with the ever widening modern definition of it. I try to be accepting and understanding because the reality is my personal tastes cannot and should not dictate what others feel is art.

As Katherine opined in response to her students hoping they wouldn’t have to write a paper about a Jackson Pollock painting they were looking at:

“Do me a favor, do yourselves a favor. Stop talking and look.

“You’re not required to write a paper. You’re not even required to like it.”

“You are required to consider it.”

It may not be easy for someone like me to stop criticizing long enough to stop and just consider something that someone else spent their time and inspiration to create but I know that I’ll hear Katherine Watson in the back of my head chiding me from now on.

I quite enjoyed the movie and we’ll definitely talk more about it on Thursday when we record the new episode of The Ourcast. This should be our third maybe even fourth week in a row which gives me a deep sense of pride to have carried this on for at least a month straight. I think in the next week or two here I’ll get it set up so I can release an episode a week on our PodBean Page so we can clear our backlog and get everyone up to speed.

I started a new mini today to go along with the movie, I didn’t quite manage to finish it but I’m very happy with how it’s progressing. I was much more aggressive with thinning my paints this time around so I could take my time and get some smoother layers. I can feel my brush control very slowly getting better which is nice as it cuts down on the amount of times I need to go back and fix my lines. Painting minis that are literally only black and white will probably be fantastic practice on that front.

I compiled a few pics in an album if you want to have a look!

A fellow painter and imgur poster @beerjingles was nice enough to offer some pointers after one of my posts. We got a chance to talk tonight after I was done painting and he had some invaluable insights that I hope to put into practice in my upcoming painting sessions. Just goes to show that people who love a hobby who are willing to reach out to us newbies can make all the difference. I look forward to checking in with him again in the future.

Anyways, I think that is about it for me today! I’ll be back tomorrow with… something I’m sure.

Happy painting, gaming, movie watching or whatever it is you enjoy!

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Star Wars: Legion Releases!


Just a quick update since I’ve been talking about this for probably more than a week now, promises unboxing videos, painting and in general content based around this game.

Is it still happening? YES. 

But wheeeeeeen? SOON. 

For real though, it is soon. What I discovered today was that my lighting game, in the words of the youngins, was weak af. I thought I could get away with a bright light on my craft table, the ambient light in the room and maybe an additional light stand and get a decent starting quality video.

Just stop laughing for a second and let me continue, okay? I’m learning here. Like Jack Donaghy said, “There are no bad ideas in brainstorming, Lemon.”

That being said, hoooo-boy that didn’t go as I expected. 20180322_183730

Nice, right? That’s what I thought. My camera did not agree. The low lighting among some other quibbles I wasn’t ready for caused constant autofocus issues and made showing off the contents of the box difficult to say the least. This picture is also missing the boom arm for my mic as I moved it over to my computer desk for other work, I need to find better placement for that as well since the audio wasn’t quite as solid as I wanted. I may consider doing a voiceover after the fact just to clean it up but we’ll see, I have some options before I get to that point. I don’t really want to put out things that people have to work at to enjoy or get something out of. So I’m keeping the video as a learning tool and once the light kit I found arrives and I get it set up I’ll give it another go. This means I’ll be doing a couple maybe three videos in fairly quick succession, those being;

  • A quick unboxing and rundown of what you get, what they look like.
  • Pre-assembly prep, priming before gluing anything together.
  • My first foray into painting this set in addition to being the first time I’ll attempt to paint something on camera… should be easy, right?

Suffice it to say this stuff is still coming and I’m really excited to be doing it but you’ll have to be a little more patient with me as I navigate all the weird nooks and crannies of this undertaking.

I’m considering this weekend possibly trying to get a D&D centered video up as I’ve recently come across some interesting discussions that I’d really like to weigh in on but we’ll see how much spare time I have between trying to hit all of the deadlines currently cluttering my calendar.

For now, those of you who have Legion, have a blast with it as I’m not far behind! Otherwise have a great rest of your day and I’ll be seeing you soon!

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I Can’t Spell Patience Without Paint

I’m no Confucius, I’ll happily cop to that but the experience painting my very first mini from a collection that I’ve been putting together for too many years was joyous, cathartic and relaxing. If you’ve looked at my twitter or read one of my recent posts, I may have even mentioned it on the podcast, I have been eagerly awaiting the U.S. release of Star Wars: Legion. I wanted to start my path on learning to paint with the release of the set but as with most things I get excited to start something new and it’s hard to wait around just staring at my nicely set up table not getting used. I started going through my minis like I’m sure most people with any sort of collection enjoys doing on occasion and found several primed and waiting pewter figures from a campaign we started years ago. As they can do that group petered out and didn’t continue but I always planned to still go through and paint the figures. Today I got a wild hair and decided I’d get a little practice in before Thursday, figure out good light placements and arrangement for my stuff as I’ll hopefully be filming my learning as I go.

Well, as it happened that little bit of practice escalated and in the span of a few hours I have a completed painted mini sans the finished base which I’ll do as soon as I pick up some appropriate litter, grass and rocks for it. I’ve also been watching a lot of TheTerrainTutor so the prospect of doing a fully realized base for this figure is very exciting. Now, let’s get to what you’re all obviously here for, pictures!

I’ve set up an account at Imgur where it should be easier to look through the pictures. Unfortunately WordPress’ document formatting with images is uh… limited. Either that or I’m not nearly as smart as I think I am. Little of both probably. Anyways, pictures!

I had a really great time painting the mini and I’m stoked to do more. Unsurprising I think to most people is that it was simultaneously easier and harder than I thought it would be going in. I figured I’d get held up just doing the skin parts, not be happy with my paint consistency, color choices or what have you. Piece by piece though it came together and almost before I knew it I was done or at least just touching up little problems here or there. It’s almost silly to think about all the excuses I’d made to not get started on these sooner ultimately all just procrastination of some form of another. Well, no more!

Soapy and I have another podcast scheduled for this Thursday, I think we’re at least a couple ahead now for safety because life can be a bit unpredictable. Once we have a bit of a buffer and a regular schedule we can keep to I’ll start releasing them a bit faster so we can get caught up. Otherwise the fun will continue later this week for now, thanks for joining me and have a wonderful day!


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