Monday, July 30, 2007

Notes from Jeremie Bonamant Teboul Seminar

Getting the chance to listen to Jeremie talk for 2+ hours about his amazing painting was a privilege, and was the highlight of Games Day for me (yes, even above getting honorable mention. Did I mention I got honorable mention? I'm pretty sure I did.) What follows are the notes I took during the seminar. Some of it is well known technique, but when he mentioned it I decided to write it down for re-emphasis. During the seminar, Jeremie repeatedly stressed that his methods were not "universal truths" for painting, but were only his personal techniques.
  • After white primer coat, apply 4-5 base coats for color consistency. Paint should be about 6-7:1 diluted.
  • Applying paint to change color of the paint underneath is a glaze; to change lighting is a wash.
  • Alternate brush stroke direction between coats to minimize brush marks.
  • Paint transitions in color by applying less pressure with the brush during the stroke. (Practice for consistency)
  • The same brush can be used for the entire model, with different pressure used to create different line thicknesses. He typically uses a 1 or 0 brush, Rafael or W&N Series 7.
  • Paint can be pushed as well as pulled; use decreasing pressure as you move away from the paint source.
  • Remember: complex processes can always be broken down in to a series of small, simple processes. Don't be intimidated.
  • When sculpting, use aluminum foil as filler over your armature. It's cheaper than putty.
  • For a sculpting tool, use a "color shaper" (basically a brush with a rubber tip.)
  • Take a picture of a live model in the same pose you want to sculpt, for reference and correct anatomy.
  • woods chips, cut and connected with milliput, make great basing.
  • for dirt on basing, create a layer of milliput, then press a textured object into the milliput and let harden. (alternative to flocking.)
  • For moss, glue the protective foam from blister packs to model, then rip away. A small amount of foam will remain stuck to the glue.
  • For water effects, use a 2-part epoxy. The label of the product will have instructions on how to color.
  • For glossy objects, mix gloss varnish right into the paint. It adds depth and volume.
  • Owl pellets are a good source for small bones for basing (yuck!?!?!!?!?)
  • Style item: repeat color between the base and the model, for overall theming.
  • For title plaques, print a negative on transparency and then paint the backside with gold paint.
  • Do not just highlight edges. For true zenithal lighting, always highlight surfaces perpendicular to the light source. Surfaces parallel to the light source should receive no blending at all.
  • Zenithal lighting splits planes of light and shadow.
  • Focus more highlighting on the parts of the model that you are attempting to accentuate.
  • For edge lining, highlighting a portion of the edge more than the rest works more dramatically.
  • since metallics reflect things around them, highlights should appear all around them.
  • effective metal can be produced with simply "boltgun" and selectively applied black washes
  • Do not use metallics in shadowed areas. The metal flakes will reflect light and ruin the shadow effect.
  • For scratches, prime white, dab with masking fluid, spray white again, wash brown, then remove masking fluid with cloth. (I think I left out a step in my notes... maybe putting the scratch color on before the masking fluid?)
  • For dust, dab model with foam from blister pack (just a tiny amount of paint, like dry brushing)
  • On gems, do not make a strong line on the bottom of the gem. Small effects help, like tiny white specks on the top.
  • Contrast warm to cold - put some yellow in the highlights and blue/purple in the shadows
And then some things I didn't write down at the time, but can remember.\
  • To "box in" water effects, use masking tape. Once the water effect (epoxy) has cured, the masking tape pulls away easily.
  • Freehand work is seldom precise enough to start. Draw the initial lines, then edge them with background color to make them thin and sharp.
  • Seed pods from tree (silver birch?) make great basing leaves.
I was talking to Marc at the GW store about all this, and mentioned how inspired I was. He said, "Yeah, I was too the first time." Apparently his inability to apply techniques he had witnessed from better painters was frustrating for him. I will not be discouraged!


  1. ...and now you can use those exceptional tips to paint...

    ... a plain, blue police box for me. Seems something of a downer in this context!

  2. After white primer coat, apply 4-5 base coats for color consistency. Paint should be about 6-7:1 diluted.

    I never understood this concept. In my experience, if you dilute most paints 7:1, they will NOT coat anything. But they will flow into cracks and recesses, leaving lovely tide marks when they dry.

    Do not use metallics in shadowed areas. The metal flakes will reflect light and ruin the shadow effect.

    I find that a thick black or brown wash will also kill the gleam from shadowed metallic areas. But this might get messy on a complicated model, unless applied carefully.

    I like the "one brush" and Color Shaper tips, both are dead on! A good #1 brush will do eyes better than a poorer #00, for sure! As for Color Shapers you do need to have both firm and soft tips, for different steps of sculpting.


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