Today’s weather sucks, at least here it does ;). And what better to spend these rainy summer days than to watch some painting videos!
Recently Dark Sword miniatures released a new painting DVD featuring Jessica Rich. Unfortunately that DVD is not (yet) available for download so I cannot give you my thoughts about it. But it sure looks promising. Because I do own the Marike Reimer DVD (of course!), I thought this might give you an insight wat to expect from the other DVD set too. So I wanted to share my thoughts on “Marike Reimer Masterworks Miniature Painting HD download”.
I have watched many painting DVD’s. What can I say? I just really like watching other people paint. But not only that, I think that seeing how other people approach their projects can give you lots of inspiration and also teach you many new things. New techniques, but also new ways of looking at miniatures. For me, Marike’s painting DVD did both, and I will tell you why.
I have purchased my downloadable content from the CMON store. You receive a collection of downloadable files which are categorized based on the DVD that they are on, and on subject. Basically, this is what you get:
This first DVD starts with two introductions to the DVD. It covers a section on tools, paints and brushes. Next comes a very good introduction on Marike’s style of painting by talking about paint consistencies, colour theory and the different painting techniques that Marike uses by showing how she blends and layers shadows and highlights.The last two parts of this DVD cover more difficult processes, such as painting female skintones and sheer fabrics.
The second DVD is mostly about painting freehands, one of Marike’s greatest trademarks. There are two movieclips on painting geometric designs on capes, brocade patterns and lace. This DVD ends with painting some of Darkswords critters.
On DVD three Marike shows how she uses Non metallic metals in both gold & steel, and she also covers how she paints dark female skintones, eyes & lips and hair.
DVD 4 contains recordings on doing the perfecting steps of Marike’s projects. This includes Object Source Lightning and Battle damage rust & dings. It also covers Repairing dings & cracked paint, conclusions, outtakes & bonus footage and galleries.
It’s a whole lot, and covers about 13 hours!
I cannot give an extensive review on each of the videos, that would be too long. So I will try to give a general impression of the whole set.
The short version: I absolutely loved it!
As many of you know I am a big fan of Marikes painting style. I like the clean, almost ethereal look of her minis. The bright colours combined with great NMM and super sophisticated freehand patterns is just “my thing”. So for me, just seeing how Marike tackles her projects was reason enough to like this DVD already. But, apart from that, I also think she explains her way of painting quite well. Perhaps not in that many words, but it is still very clear. Although normally Marike would spend a ten-fold of time on the separate parts of the mini than she does in the DVD, the result is mindblowing I think. Marike starts out by making a sketch on the minis (this is especially clear on the NMM part) to see how the shadows and lights will look. The movie will display this in their “squinting” cam. After that she will start cleaning the blends and go into her “Happy tree zone”.
What also comes across very clearly to me, is Marike’s philosphy on painting. She explicitely says that she doesn’t always follow the rules of physics: “If it looks good, do it!”. I like that thought. It creates the strong contrasts on minis that make them stand out.
I also enjoy the dynamics between Marike and Jim Ludwig from Darkswords who gives the commentary.
On the DVD you will not see a mini painting completely from start to finish. You see different sections of miniatures painted for explaining each different topic. So for example, gold NMM is explained by Marike painting the armour of Tywin Lannister, and dark skin is explained on a Thieve of Hearts mini. I think that is actually quite nice. In this way, you will get the best examples to explain a particular technique. The areas are typically large and therefore translate well to the picture.
In terms of video quality I think this series is really good. Yes, sometimes the view goes out of focus for a short time but that is not often. Also, as you know these minis are super tiny, but still they manage to zoom in quite well to show the smallest of brushstrokes on, for example, the face.
My favourite topics have got to be the gold NMM, it is explained super well and the results are really stunning! But the most interesting part for me was how Marike paints the lace patterns over seethrough material. The use of differing brush strokes gives a really convincing effect. What I also enjoyed seeing is that Marike is not necessarily a very clean painter. She lays down basetones quite rough, and she strikes of her brush on parts of the mini itself. Also, she uses quite large brushes even in tiny parts such as the face. And what surprised me even more is that she uses nylon brushes in most of her blending! Then, the minute she steps into the blending zone the painting becomes much more controlled and you see the magic coming in…
So you might wonder: what if you have seen other painting DVD’s before? Well, I have seen many other DVDs before, such as Miniature Mentor and CMON Painting Secrets. Personally I don’t think I will ever get enough of these DVDs as I just enjoy watching them and it gives me lots of inspiration and new ideas. When it comes to learning techniques, sure there is some overlap between this DVD and others. It gives a complete overview so that is to be expected. I do think that it is very complete on its own. Different ways of handling issues are discussed and shown. Also, you hear Marike’s personal insights on projects which I always find entertaining and helpful. Some sections are absolutely new to me, like the part on painting lace and sheer fabrics. To me, this DVD would never be redundant after watching many others. It would be if I didn’t like the clean style Marike uses, but I do 😉
In conclusion: If you like Marike’s style I would suggest this DVD over any of the others I have seen, no doubt! If you don’t necessarily like the style (uhmm…what!?! JK), then I still think there is a lot to learn from watching the DVD. It doesn’t go into huge depths, for that I would suggest following a workshop, but it does give a good basis about that. I think this DVD is most beneficial for people that already have a basic grip of colour theory and blending, but are dying to try out more difficult techniques such as freehand, NMM and transparent clothing. But even if you have some experience with that, you will gain some new insights!
I cannot wait for the HD download version of Jessica Rich’s DVD!! (I hope it will come)
Well I hope you liked this review. If you have any particular questions, please let me know 🙂