Bragon – Jeremie Bonamant Teboul.
Born in 1980 in Lyon, this well-known French painter says that his life has been much like a scratch-built model: entirely composed of bits and pieces which have been fastened together with a string. Some time ago Illusionrip interviewed Jeremie. Here are the answers he gave to our miniature painting forum members’ questions.
I: How long have you been painting miniatures?
JBT: Since 1994
I: What made you interested in this hobby?
JBT: I wanted some manual work, creation of something with my own hands.
I: Do you still remember your first painted miniature? Do you still have it?
JBT: My first miniature was a plastic space marine, whole painted in red. Unfortunately I don’t have it in my collection any more.
I: Have you ever tried gaming in addition to being an “artist”?
JBT: I am not a gamer, nor an artist. I don’t think our passion deserves to be called art.
I: Do you have any favorite manufacturers of miniaturers? If you do – why? (Allan Kraken is not taken into consideration 😉 )
JBT: I am not a fan of particular brands but of sculptors and painters. The best ones often represent various brands.
I: What helped you in making the biggest improvement in your painting technique?
JBT: Meeting other hobbyists and the joy I have from painting. I believe that joy releases creativity. Try to avoid anything which frustrates you, eg. the wish of perfect execution, rivalry, or endless comparisons to other painters.
I: What made you start sculpting or converting?
JBT: I wanted to execute a project from scratch, to use my imagination and especially try something new, instead of resting on my laurels of already achieved abilities.
I: What would be more fun to you: creating a new miniature and having it painted by somebody else, or painting an unconverted miniature sculpted by somebody else?
JBT: The only criterion of my choices is the fact that I like the particular project (concept), and the rest doesn’t matter.
I: Do you have any favorite brands of paints or brushes? Which ones and why?
JBT: Surely Raphaels brushes, series 8404. Good combination of volume, precise tip, and length of bristles. Just perfect for the technique I use…
I: What advice would you give to painters and forum members of Chest of Colors?
JBT: Paint for fun, avoid rivalry and comparisons of various executions – such approaches only cause frustration and complexes.
I: Layering or wetblending? Which is your technique of choice and why?
JBT: I don’t care much about techniques, the most important thing is fun of using them. Even if a technique is more efficient, I often choose a different one – the one which I more enjoy.
I: Are you going to this year’s Golden Demon? (say NO, please – we’ll have at least any chances 😉 )
JBT: Why not? I’ve felt like visiting your country for many years – I am especially interested in visiting Oswiecim (Auschwitz) of which I read a lot.
I: Which miniature are you the most satisfied with?
JBT: Unfortunately I don’t have a favorite miniature.
I: Do you have any artistic education? Do you think it’s useful in our hobby? (for example I am a butcher ;))
JBT: In my opinion education in itself isn’t all this important, it’s more about one’s manual skills and creativity.
I: Have you ever been a modeller before you got into painting and sculpting?
JBT: I’ve loved drawing and assembling models since I was a child!
I: Who is your current favorite painter? Whose works attract the most of your attention?
JBT: The person whose influence is the strongest is obviously my flatmate – Allan Carasco, but it’s more about everyday life than painting. Painting is a result of my experiences, lifestyle, and it’s where my ideas and subject come from.
I: Could you point us to a few new artists, who – in your opinion – can join the ‘world-class league’ of painters?
JBT: Of course, I am watching many young authors, who are able to use the experience of their older friends to the fullest, and on the other hand they are very spontaneous at presenting their own visions and personalities.
I: Do you think there are currently any trends in miniatures painting?
JBT: There are a few talented painters, who present new motifs and in some way have influence on others, but it’s not enough to be talking about trends or fashion.
I: Is painting your hobby, or maybe your source of income?
JBT: I am combining my passion with my way of living, indeed…
I: Has it ever happened that you sold a contest-winning miniature?
JBT: Of course, painting gives me much fun, but after finishing a miniature I don’t need it for anything else, so I don’t have any problems with parting with them.
I: How much time per day do you spend painting?
JBT: I think it would be 8 hours daily in average.
I: Do you listen to music while painting? What are your favorite musicians?
JBT: Of course, as I am typing this I am listening to Berurier Noirs (French rockband). Then I also like French light and alternative music. I often listen to cultural programmes on the radio.
I: Would you like to add anything to the community of Chest of Colors?
JBT: I hope we’ll be able to meet during some contest, exhibition, etc.
I: And now, at the very end, one more but more precise question: Jeremie, could you explain the term “Saturation of color”?
JBT: Saturation is the proportion of grey (black, white, or combination thereof) we have in a particular miniature – playing with saturation allows to achieve visual effects like contrast, etc.
Razza – Darren Latham.
Born in 1980, started painting miniatures when he was 11 years old. He finished school with two A-levels diploma in art and design. At the age of 21 he started his first work in Games Workshop store in Leicester as an shop assisstant.
Since that he travelled through other GW stores, pass an internal GW course the ‘Eavy Metal Academy and went to Warhammer World as a resident painting expert. From there he quickly promoted to an Eavy Metal studio where he works for six years now (at the time of the interview). He’s also a Golden Demon judge but he has never been awarded such trophy!
Szary: How your adventure with miniature painting has started? How long it goes now?
I always practiced painting space marines when I was younger, I think this helped me with my neatness and sharp lines. When someone asks me “how do you paint neat?” I tell them to practice on marines, you are not allowed to be messy with them!
Darren Latham: All in all I’ve been painting for 17 years but 7 years as a professional. My brother got me into it when I was at high school, I liked the painting a lot more than the playing games.
Sz.: So what was first – painting or gaming?
D.L.: Both really, I painted the miniatures from HeroQuest and Space Crusade then got more and more, I did play a lot of Warhammer when I worked in the Games Workshop retail stores but I’ve not played for years now.
Sz.: Can you remember the first mini you have painted? Do you still have it?
D.L.: My brother let me paint one of the goblins from HeroQuest (it was his game). Then he let me paint more because I didn’t mess it up that bad! I don’t have it any more, its probably in a garden somewhere!
Sz.: Have you ever thought that painting miniatures will be your way of earning money?
D.L.: When I was at school the only thing I wanted to do was to paint figs, but my parents always said that it was silly and I had to get a proper job (whatever that is!). It was only when I seen the Eavy Metal team that I realised that it could be a job.
Sz.: So what your family and friends thought when they heard that you gonna paint miniatures as your primary job?
D.L.: I got a few different reactions, some thought it was cool some thought it was silly and it wasn’t a ‘real’ job as I wasn’t stacking shelves or something. But it was what I wanted to do so I went for it.
Sz.: How have you learned to paint miniatures? What helped you the most?
D.L.: Mr Mcvey helped the most when I started, I had no Games Workshop near me so other than painting guides I had to teach myself. When I joined the Eavy Metal team I got a lot of help from Neil Green, he showed me loads of new techniques that I didn’t know about.
Sz.: From an interview with you from WD332 we know that you have diploma both in art and design. That education help you much in miniatures?
D.L.: It has helped in terms of colour theory and designing banners and freehand but other than that miniature painting is its own skill/craft and it has its own requirements.
Miniature painting is its own skill/craft and it has its own requirements
Sz.: If we talk about this special craft, your personal style of painting is exceptional and easy to recognize. How you achieve so sharp and crisp colours? What kind of undercoat do you use?
D.L.: I mostly use a black undercoat to start. I suppose my sharp and clean painting comes from the old school painting that influences me. I always practiced painting space marines when I was younger, I think this helped me with my neatness and sharp lines. When someone asks me “how do you paint neat?” I tell them to practice on marines, you are not allowed to be messy with them!
Sz.: Can you unveil some facts from your workshop? What paints and brushes do you use? Do you have any your own tricks?
D.L.: I use citadel paints! And use the Masters Brushes. The other things interesting I use are Micro Set for transfers (when I use them) and the best invention in the world is Daler-Rowney Matt Glaze Medium which I use quite a lot for ink flow and glazing.
Sz.: So thats the secret! And by the way, you have just topple the common gossip that in EM you paint with GW brushes.
D.L.: Yes, they are the Citadel Masters Brushes we use.
Sz.: Aren’t they the Winsor & Newton series 7 line under GW brand?
D.L.: erm….. ahhh….. erm…. maybe?:)
Sz.: Can you tell us how you match colours? Is there any process of planning your colour palette for miniature?
D.L.: Most of the time the miniatures I paint already have a set colour palette, but I always look at art and imagery for inspiration when planning a miniature. Planning is very, very important.
Sz.: In interview which I talked before you have said, that you plan everything, right?
D.L.: Yes, and I try to ask the other Eavy Metal members to do the same.
Sz.: Painting in Eavy Metal studio is a great challenge. As you see new models first, you don’t have any other source for reference. From what do you take an inspiration?
D.L.: We always talk to the games developers first as they will tell us the background and what they should look like etc. and then the artists will be working on their work at the same time as us so we will communicate with them, it’s very important for us to do this. Also other peoples miniatures inspire me when I’m starting something new.
Sz.: So it is a huge process involving people from different design stages at GW?
D.L.: Yes, we all rely on each other a lot, take one piece away and the process will not work.
Sz.: In your opinion, what is the most important thing in painting miniature to make a splendid effect? Some artist says that everything depends on atmosphere of miniature. Do you agree?
D.L.: Atmosphere comes at the end, most important to me is composition and contrast, if you get these right then the finished miniature will have a pleasing look to the eye.
Sz.: Do you feel satisfied with your painting works? Or you still feel insufficiency?
D.L.: No, I’m not satisfied yet, I’m still learning and trying new things with painting and I don’t think I will ever stop learning, thats the beauty of it!
Sz.:Yes, indeed. But maybe you have painted something that you are proud the most?
D.L.: The Caradryan that I painted is my most proud painting but I’m right in the middle of something that should blow that out of the water!
Sz.: Wow, that sounds great. Can you show us some of the wip photos? You never shown unfinished mini before I guess.
D.L.: I dont have any yet but it will be finished by the weekend so I can get you some finished pics then. And then for sale on ebay…. again…
Sz.: You don’t have to sell it, right?
D.L.: erm…yes, but I have a family to support and my wife always wants new things! Ha,ha!
I paint for about 8 to 10 hours a day and spend around 3 to 4 days on a single character miniature
Sz.: Oh, that makes things clear. If we talk about painting speed… How much time per day you usually spend on painting? And how much you approximately spare on single mini?
D.L.: I paint for about 8 to 10 hours a day and spend around 3 to 4 days on a single character miniature.
Sz.: It’s a pure passion to work or great stamina?
D.L.: Both, it really helps that I love the job but it takes some getting used too.
Sz.: From time when Mike McVey was teaching painting miniatures all the hobby has developed a lot and today we can easily name some styles of painting minis. Especially after NMM revolution painting went in many directions. Have you ever tried to paint in different manner?
D.L.: I do like painting in different styles, I always try NMM on my own work to see what effects I can get, my own work always seems to come out clean and crisp and I guess thats my style, some painters try to emulate other painters but I think that its very important to have your own style, don’t get swayed too much by others.
Sz.: One of your marks are magnificent freehands. Do you use any magnifying glass? Can you advise some tips for freehands?
D.L.: No, I never use magnifying glasses (yet!) as I said I always practiced to be neat and I guess that it has given me a very steady hand, the only other thing is to use a decent brush…oh, and PLAN what you are painting in freehand first.
Sz.: But let’s get back to EM. Because of company guidelines you are usually limited in your work. But how do you cope as a team to paint the whole range of miniatures so similar in style? It’s almost impossible to recognize who painted what.
D.L.: Now that we have been given a bit more freedom within how we paint. You can recognize some styles mainly on characters or colour variants. When we paint a unit together we match the ‘house style’ of Eavy Metal, this is neat clean sharp and it must show the product at its best.
Sz.: So it’s obvious for painters, that they must ‘fit’ within those borders and paint in standards?
D.L.: Yes, its very important to meet the standards! If it doesn’t it has to be changed or it gets rejected mwhahahah!
Sz.: You are naturally related with Games Workshop products. Do you paint miniatures from other manufactures? I found just a few in your gallery.
D.L.: Yes, I have done a few in the past but mainly for commission work, I mainly try to stick with G.W products now as after painting other miniatures I really believe that ours are the best in quality.
Sz.: So rethorically asking – your favourite miniature manufacture is Games Workshop?
D.L.: erm… yes!
Sz.: Have you ever painted something which took you a lot of work and effort and nobody saw that?
D.L.: Nearly, the Avatar that I painted was not going to be shown but luckily it made it into White Dwarf.
Sz.: Except painting, have you ever tryied your skills in sculpting?
D.L.: Yep. I’ve done some sculpting but its not really for me, I can do bits and bobs but I don’t have the passion for it like miniature painting.
The painters work I like the most are: Seb Archer (automaton), David Rodriguez (karaikal), Mike and Ali Mcvey, Martin Footit and Jakob Rune Nielsen. A couple of painters to look out for are Joseph Tomaszewski and Anja Wettergren.
Sz.: Do you have any idols? People or works you admire the most?
D.L.: The painters work I like the most are: Seb Archer (automaton), David Rodriguez (karaikal), Mike and Ali Mcvey, Martin Footit and Jakob Rune Nielsen. A couple of painters to look out for are Joseph Tomaszewski and Anja Wettergren, some very very good work coming from them now.
Sz.: And how about you – do you think of yourself as an artist?
D.L.: In a way, I’m qualified as an artist and apply some of it to my work but its a grey area weather it is art painting miniatures. You could say I’m a 3D artist!!
Sz.: You rarely show in miniature communities over internet, last time it was Spanish forum. Is that because you evade such forums?
D.L.: I just stick to CoolMiniOrNot really, it seems to be the centre of things, and you need to have time to go onto other forums and thats one thing that I don’t have, my two sons drag me kicking and screaming to play Xbox Live with them! (its a hard life).
Sz.: If we talk about kids. Have you tried to get them in hobby also?
D.L.: Not yet, in a few years when they are older and only if THEY want to, I’m not going to push them.
Sz.: Do you have sometimes those days when you are thinking about leaving all this work, you are bored of it?
D.L.: No, I love it! And what would I do? I’m very lucky to have a job that I have a passion for, its a rare thing to find.
Sz.: That’s a thing that we can only envy. But If you wouldn’t paint minis as a job what would you do?
D.L.: I always wanted to be a teacher, so I guess it would be that.
Sz.: Maybe miniature painting tutor? That would be great!
D.L.: I kind of am, I’ve just recently been made senior figure painter!
Sz.: Congratulations for that! What help you to mobilize and concentrate? For example, do you listen music while painting?
D.L.: Yes, lots of music and audio CDs.
Sz.: What’s your favourite kind?
I just stick to CoolMiniOrNot really, it seems to be the centre of things, and you need to have time to go onto other forums and thats one thing that I don’t have
D.L.: I like older music like The Beatles and movie sound tracks, the best audio CDs are The Sherlock Holmes ones!
Sz.: Do you play any miniature game? Have any army?
D.L.: I used to have a few armies but now I only fit in a game of Blood Bowl in every so often, its a great game!
Sz.: Good rumble isn’t bad, right?
Sz.: Do you have any other passions except miniatures?
D.L.: I know it may sound sad but my family and miniatures is pretty much my life…oh, and Halo 3 on Xbox Live!
Sz.: The day has only 24 hours, not everything can be done. Many young adepts dream to be one day amongst the best in Eavy Metal. What should they practice the most to have a chance to join you?
D.L.: Neatness consistency, colour composition and contrast.
Sz.: This interview will be published on Polish website. Do you know any Polish miniature artists?
D.L.: Kind of, Joe in the Eavy Metal team has Polish parents so if that counts then yes! Also Ana from cool mini is she Polish?
Sz.: Yes, she is. More of that – She and her husband are founders of our painting studio and website.
D.L.: Oh great , very nice work, very nice! The drune raiders are awesome that she did.
Sz.: What would you advise to anybody who start his adventure with miniatures and want to be as good as you one day?
D.L.: If you want it go for it! Practice practice, before school, after school, weekend etc. It all adds up and will get you what you want in the end, listen to advice and ask questions from others but don’t be put off by critics everyone has their own opinion. Oh, and plan your work!
Sz.: I think that would be all for now. It was a great pleasure to talk with you. I love your works, keep that going my friend and thanks for your time.
D.L.: Cool, thank you for your time also. Great interview!