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Masterclass with Meg Maples

Masterclass with Meg Maples

The weekend before Christmas I had the pleasure of taking another painting class from former Privateer Press studio painter Meg Maples. She has recently gone back into freelance painting under her own studio, Arcane Paintworks, and has a whirlwind schedule of international classes scheduled for 2014. Luckily, she has family here in Northern Virginia, so when she comes home for the holidays, she occasionally schedules a class.


Two years ago, Meg visited the area and hosted a class in which I learned 2-brush blending, and stole lots of great color recipes for various textures and colors.  This year, I was able to show my mastery of 2-brush blending, and pick Meg’s brain on things like painting eyes, flesh, hair & fur and freehand painting.  The class was two 8-hour sessions, and with about 12-15 people in the class, there’s plenty of one-on-one time where Meg helps you out individually.


The class is loosely structured around Meg’s process with Meg answering questions along the way. The class begins with priming (after model prep, which we didn’t spend any time on), and heads immediately into showing you 2-brush blending using the largest surface of the mini.  In our case, the cloak.  Once everyone has had a chance to focus on the technique, Meg took us through painting eyes, then flesh (and faces), then hair and fur.  All the while, we pelted her with questions about what colors to use here or there, and how she would achieve a certain look that we wanted to try out.  One attendee purposely chose difficult colors like black, white, red and yellow, taking advantage of the time with Meg to learn those often troublesome colors.

I’m not going to write up all the things I learned here.  Some will become more in-depth tutorials later on and others are just color recipes that you’ll see eventually.  In any case, if you’re looking to really up your game, you’re far better served attending one of Meg’s class, or any class by a professional painter than just reading and looking at pictures.  There’s something fantastic that happens when you get a group of painters together and let them loose.

Here’s the progression my model took as Meg walked us through her process:

Primer should be light, and let some of the underlying metal show through.



I like blocking out my main colors, so that’s what I did next. The green and flesh went first, and then I wanted something to tie it all together, and a nice neutral like grey worked out great, especially with the wolf motif.


Shading on the cloak…


… then highlights.


The eyes were a huge success. Meg’s process is simple, and just comes down to brush control. I’ll be doing a tutorial on them when I get a chance.


I got a great blonde color recipe from Meg, as well as a new technique for how to do hair and fur.


I added some blue to the shading of the metals, trying to give it a cold feel compared to the warm flesh and green tones.


Here’s the finished model, sans freehand. I hadn’t quite worked up the courage to do anything, but I talked over some strategies with Meg, and did what you saw up at the top of this article. You can bet on some more freehand tutorials.



Here are pictures of some of the other models from the class. First, here’s the demo model that Meg was working on.



Long time readers may remember Mugu, and he attended the class and here’s his mini. Mugu plays mostly Cryx, so he went with pinks and purples and green gems.



This was the only other model I was able to snatch a picture of. The reds use the recipe from the Khador book.



View Comments (6)
    • She’s a great instructor, and only makes fun of you a little when you as stupid questions.

      There’ll be lots of painting posts to come, probably after Templecon. The class has really gotten some ideas spinning, which are now fueled by Christmas money… 🙂

  • DUDE!! That is an amazing looking mini, great work!! She is so cool, I am in love with that model, and your blends are smooth and have the right amount of contrast/shading to really make the cloak look real.

    You were always a good painter Plarz, but I really like the improvements you have made over the last year or two, some amazing stuff coming out of the Plarzoid Studio lately!!

    • Thanks! That reminds me, I found one of the first Space Marines I ever painted not long ago. I need to figure out where I put him so I can post pictures…

  • So after she showed you how to paint fur and hair you “pelted” her with questions? I see what you did there. 😉

    The cloak’s shading & highlights look amazing, great work.

    • Hey, finally someone who gets my humor! Most of my friends just look at me with disappointment in their eyes, and tell me to “Get. Out.”

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