Artist Spotlight: Lisa Battles

Lisa Battles is a friend and coworker who I had the pleasure of spotlighting this month! I’ve seen her edible candy mice and frog cupcakes for special occasions and received a glass she painted this past Christmas. She’s one of the most talented and creative people I’ve ever met, and I’m excited to introduce her work to our awesome readers.

Be sure to check out her Etsy Wineglass store, and show some love!

Materials used: Wine glasses, water-based acrylic enamel, rubbing alcohol to prep the glass, variety of tiny paint brushes, wine (optional).

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Yours truly. My awesome Christmas present last year!

1. Where did the idea to paint glasses come from?

About 10 years ago, my sister, Lana, gave me a set of four glasses she bought from a novelty company. Each glass was pre-painted with a woman – a blonde, a brunette, a redhead and a dark brunette. I still have three; I broke the blonde while washing it, unfortunately. I decided to paint a more customized redhead on a glass for one of my favorite redheads, Courtney Hodge Evans, for her birthday one year. She kept it for six or seven years, and then sent me a text around Thanksgiving 2014 that after keeping her glass for so many years, she’d accidentally broken it. I asked her to take a clear photo of it, and I’d paint a replacement for it. I did, and since it was almost Christmas, I thought that would be a fun gift idea for many of my girlfriends for holiday gifts, birthday gifts and hostess gifts. So I ended up painting at least a dozen for friends over the holiday season. People loved them, and I had several friends tell me I should sell them. So I did. I set up an Etsy shop early in 2015. So far, including those holiday gifts and several orders, I have painted about 40 different glasses and have about a dozen in the works right now.

2. What is your favorite glass?

I don’t really have a favorite; I like them all for different reasons. That’s probably because I have mostly painted these for friends, and when I feel like I have captured the personality of someone I love already, that makes me love the little portrait as an extension of that. I have done a few for people I’ve never met, and I feel like I have kind of gotten to know the person (and sometimes their pets!) just from studying their photos so much. Even though they are more time-consuming, I think I like doing sets. Seeing the “interaction” of a mom and siblings, groups of best friends, etc. all lined up is really funny to me, especially after a couple of glasses of wine. I gathered together many of the Christmas gift glasses while I had them all together on my table, and it was almost surreal to see so many people I knew “looking back at me” in one spot. If I HAVE to pick, I think the set of draft glasses depicting my Dad and his former law enforcement partner Bill Rhegness in the early 1980s during a spoof Olan Mills shoot may be my favorite. I did a set for Bill at his request, and then of course, Dad wanted a set, so I replicated them. My Dad has been courageous and determined fighting the effects of treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and usually fatal type of brain cancer, the past two years, and Bill has been up to visit him several times during this time. Giving the two of them a laugh over those glasses was rewarding.

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Lisa’s dad and former law enforcement partner Bill Rhegness.

3. Are there any famous people you want to paint glass for?

Dad and Bill were pretty well-known for their detective shenanigans in North Alabama! HA … I guess anyone with a colorful or unusual look would be fun — Johnny Depp would have a lot of accessories. But seriously, I can’t think of anyone in particular. A friend who was a music idol to me when I was a teenager in the 1990s ordered a glass with his band’s album cover on it, which I thought was cool of him to order. We were both pleased with how it turned out. I probably put in more hours on that one than any because it was more of a graphic thing to replicate than a photo interpretation. I have another order in the hopper from a different band, but don’t know how soon I will get around to doing them. They will be on beer glasses and pretty cute when I finish them.

4. You have lots of art projects, what are a couple of your favorites?

I enjoy painting the most, whether it’s on wine glasses, beer glasses, a canvas, a piece of wood or whatever. I also prefer this kind of untrained, caricature-type painting, where you can take liberties with how true-to-life it has to look. I have always enjoyed painting and drawing as much as I have writing, at as early an age as I could do any of them. The difference is that while I am excellent about studying, knowing and following rules in writing, I have the opposite opinion about having rules in art. That is probably why I have always preferred to keep it as a hobby and didn’t pursue it as a career: When you have to do something to pay your bills, sometimes you find yourself having to follow rules set by others instead of going with your heart. Keeping it just as an outlet gives me one of few things in life that’s still 100 percent enjoyable to me, because it’s something with which I can do whatever I want and however I want to do it. That luxury seems to get rarer as you get older.

Lisa Battles glass
These pets are the size of a dime or smaller.

5. Do you have any advice for other creative types?

I used to think it was a compliment when people would say, “You are so creative. I am not at all.” I still believe the first part of that is intended as a compliment, but I make sure to ask them to think a minute about that second part. I believe that everyone is “creative” with art if they make any piece of art just for the sake of creating it or expressing themselves. If your artistic expression comes out as four crooked lines in different colors you chose, to me that’s your artistic expression for the moment. In other words, I just don’t think there’s a way to “do it wrong” if you’re creating for the sake of creating and not trying to pass yourself off as some virtuoso. While I definitely see the value in people studying art to understand design principles and the work of great artists throughout history, I don’t think the more formal approach to art should scare people away expressing themselves artistically. Unfortunately, I think it does. Creating art can be fun, whether you are “great” at it or not. It doesn’t have to be a competition. If you have fun creating art, then you are creative.

 

If you’d like to contact Lisa for a glass, feel free to visit the shop, or leave a comment below!

 

Warhammer Fantasy Ogres: Ready for Game On!

Off The Top of My Head

In a previous post I noted at the guys at Dreamlike (Now Slayer Gaming) piqued my interest in Warhammer Fantasy battles.  I watched two battle reports, one was their very first one, where Tom’s Ogre army took on Dwarves in one and High Elves in another.  Since then I have started both Skaven and Beatmen armies.  I admit I really like Skaven, but both were begun because I was able to get near complete armies on and off the sprue at very cheap prices.

Several weeks ago, while cruising a used bookstore I found a pile of army books.  Empire, Ogres, Tomb Kings, Orcs and Goblins, all “current” hardback.  All ten dollars a piece.  (They also had a stack of Forge World Imperial Armour books for 15 a piece…it was a good day at the used bookstore…)

Looking through the books I became very interested in one army in particular: Ogres.  The very first army I ever saw played.  They’re very different from any force I’ve seen, Monstrous Infantry, big brutes, no alignment, and a “SMASH and EAT” philosophy.  Also relatively cheap to start.

My local Games Workshop store has started a Fantasy escalation league and, though I had Skaven and Beastmen armies, I decided to give Ogres a shot.  I got the regiment starter box and away I went.

The league starts at a miniscule 250 points, which if I included even my cheapest general option left me only 150 points for troops.

Because of this point restriction, the standard troop structure is waived and only core units have to be fielded with extra points given for fully-painted armies.  With that in mind (and being completely trapped in the house for days due to ice and snow) I started my Ogres.  This was the result:

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I went all ironfists, due to the extra save.  They’ve already got 3 attacks plus impact hits and stomps, so I went for a parry/increased armor save instead of an additional weapon.

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At the time I thought I had to have an HQ.  I got the maneater on the right to proxy a bruiser or butcher since my actual models were on order.

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These guys are a blast to build an paint, and the regiment box gives you so many bits, with some crafty purchases I was able to nearly double the number of ogre bulls I can field by spending about 25 dollars.

 I’ll be playing my first escalation game this week and as I’ve never played a REAL game (only here’s how this works games) and never done anything with ogres I’m gonna lose.  It’ll be a BLAST.  I’m looking forward to it!

Artist Spotlight: Brad Trombley

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Hobbies are a great way to relax, escape from the world, and show your creative ability. They can be lots of fun and a special way to show someone you care when you make them a one-of-a-kind gift. This month, we’re featuring an artist who includes art as a hobby. Not only that, but he also has an ecommerce business, which could be considered a hobby as well — a hobby that pays! We want to thank him for his time, and feel free to share some art love in the comments below!

RevPub: What are the things you make/create?

So far, I enjoy making paintings using wood. I love being able to cut the wood in any shape and then painting the details on it. I’ve also done Perler Beads, but these are less works of art and more of following patterns.

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RevPub: What do you enjoy about having art as a hobby, and do you ever sell your stuff?

I love having art as a hobby because it takes my full concentration. If I’m thinking about something else or stressing about something, my complete focus is on my works of art. I’ve never sold the stuff I’ve made for me, but I have sold stuff requested by other people.

RevPub: How do you get the ideas for your art?

Usually I get my ideas for wood by seeing a really cool picture and thinking, “Oh hey, this would look really cool in different layers of wood.”

RevPub: What’s your favorite thing you’ve built/created/painted and why?

My favorite thing I’ve created would either be a Playstation door knocker that I have hanging outside my room or my Majora’s Mask painting.

RevPub: What do you sell in your ecommerce business?

I mainly sell books, but I’m starting to learn more about VHS, DVDs, and CDs.

RevPub: Would you recommend others sell things on eBay/Amazon?

If you don’t plan on doing it as a main job, I would recommend selling on eBay for most people. It’s easier to learn, there aren’t nearly as much fees as Amazon, and the auction system for eBay is amazing if you don’t know how much you should charge people for something.

RevPub: What’s the coolest thing you’ve sold?

I don’t really have a coolest thing I sold. Most of the books are the same. I did find a book on How to Train Your Miniature Donkey that sold for about $40, which was pretty great.

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(Photos courtesy of Brad Trombley)

Off the Top of my Head: Painting a Mars Attacks Martian

 

Off The Top of My HeadWorking on Citadel miniatures is generally a pleasure.  I’ve always loved model kits.  Like Hans Gruber from Die Hard I appreciate their attention to minute detail in small scale.  That being said the tiny size of some Warhammer models is slightly limiting.  You can’t paint extreme detail, well I’ll rephrase, I can’t paint extreme detail, as well as I’d like.

Needless to say the chance to assemble and paint a larger-scale model has been attractive.  No I can’t play a fun war game with them, but the hobbyist in me can appreciate it.

So when I found this great Mars Attacks Martian trooper model at a local store I grabbed it quickly.

He’s far larger than Warhammer models but I still used all those Citadel painting tricks I learned, base coat, wash/shade, layer, drybrush, effects method.

He was plain white plastic, with an aluminum lamppost. I primed him white before applying the base coat.  I had to rubberband his face to keep it together.  He looks like a Hellraiser Cenobyte…

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I left his nifty space suit un-shaded.  It looks bright and cartoony that way.

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I loved his victim and it gave me a chance to use lots of effects paints in gruesome detail.

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His face and head were a bit hit-or-miss.  I thought I’d ruined it.  I actually used very watered down Emperor’s Children followed by watered down Fenrisian Grey.  Then I dry brushed Fulgrim Pink, Dechala Lilac, and Baharroth Blue in various layers to get the face correct.

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This guy was a lot of fun and gave me a good feel for what painting larger models will be like, especially since big centerpiece models seem to be the wave of the future in 40k!

Next back to my Sector Imperialis, and an even bigger painting piece!

Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis Work In Progress

Off The Top of My Head

Realm of Battle Sector Imperialis Work In Progress

This year I got myself the coolest birthday present I’ve ever gotten myself.

The day I moved in to my new place I decided to spring for the new Stormclaw Warhammer 40k set. I found a trusted seller on eBay was selling it as a rate and ordered it from them. The week it came out I received a message saying they didn’t get as much stock as expected and wouldn’t be able to send it.   I could get a refund or use that money to buy something else. While cruising their page I found they were selling the new city scape, Sector Imperialis, at a reduced rate as well. So I applied my Stormclaw money to it and got a 330 table top scenery set for $158 dollars. It was great.

It has been a nice project and one I’ve been looking forward to. A large-scale painting project that can be easily customized and personalized.

I wasn’t quite sure where to start so I watched these videos and soldiered on:

I followed most of these recommendations the letter. I changed the ground color to Mournfang Brown and ran out of Skavenblight Dinge (go for four pots, I have used three there’s enough in the bottom of them for touchups and nothing else) so I used Stormvermin Fur around the Aquila sections.

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Straight road sections. Clearly needs touch ups, but for 3-4 hours work it’s going faster than expected.

 

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The T Sections.

 

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This metal section has been touched up a bit. Still need to go back over the Skavenblight, but it’s going quickly. A thin card will work well to keep the right colors where they’re supposed to be.
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Running out of Skavenblight made me use Stormvermin around these sections. It’ll mix it up nicely I think and will blend well.

I’m going to mix Nuln Oil and Drakenhof Nightshade instead of Athonian Camoshade to give it a dirty blue color instead of earthy green.

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My painting rig. A big piece of cardboard would work as a pallet but since I’m painting all six sections at once I’m standing up most of the time. The traditional version comes in handy and is only $5. The brushes were $1 each and my water container once contained lunch meat!

I’ve still got the bronze colors and touch ups to do on the basing of this painting but believe it or not this much work only took about 4 hours. It goes fast. I’m looking forward to finishing basing and I’m very eager to start detailing and working on the colors to see what happens. I’m going to take Duncan’s recommendation and try Nurgle’s Rot some of the sewers, and maybe some water effect in some of the other sewers.

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This project, at 6 feet buy 4 feet, eats up paint. These are the pots I’ve used thus far…

I’ll post more of them as I go. It’ll start to match my NEW Imperial Guard army, which I’m starting in the next week!

In other news…check out the site in the next few weeks as there will be some new merchandise (Finally) I’ll post once the designs are done!

 

Warhammer Rescues: Taurox the Brass Bull

Off The Top of My Head

Games Workshop has a reputation for occasionally making rules with no models. I’ve actually seen some complaints on this and it’s a trend they seem to be moving away from, however I feel that the spirit of this concept was to allow players and hobbyists to create their own versions of the character or unit in question using existing models as bases or even scratch building pieces.

I have a big Skaven army I got practically new on the sprue and Skaven remain my favorite fantasy battles army, however, I was able to get my hands on a great Beastmen army, in various stages of construction, last year and started to mess around with them a bit too. Though they seem to be one of the least popular choices, their personality appealed to me and this force came with lots of models and options, some of which are hard to find now.

One piece I got was an incomplete pewter Doombull.

It was a bare metal piece with no arms, weapon, or decorations I thought would be fun to convert into one of the Beastmen lords with no model, Taurox the Brass Bull.

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I used the rune-inscribed axes from the minotaur kit to make his “Rune Tortured Axes.”

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His shoulder guards are actually vambraces from the Cygor/Ghorgon kit I didn’t use. Because his body is metallic I got a chance to play with the Nihilic Oxide technical paint I’ve been wanting to try and gave his armor and ancient, oxidized tone to make it stand out from the copper-gold used on the rest of the model.

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I originally had a severed hand as base décor, but decided for someone as massive and vicious as Taurox that would never do… Using a Lord of the Rings Elf horseman archer, I cut his legs off and sculpted some guts out of green stuff. The head comes from a Skaven Stormvermin sprue (it was two heads clutched in a fangleader’s claws, I simply cut one off) and sculpted some hair out of more green stuff. Painting the guts was layers of Biel Tan Green, Carroburg Crimson, and Nurgle’s Rot to give it the slimy, transparent sheen.

Just to use the rest of the technical paints I hadn’t played with I used Agrellan Earth for the base.

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I hope GW keeps the rules without models in the army books and codexes for years to come. Creating your own versions are some of the most fun a hobbyist can have. You’ll never see two Tauroxes that look the same!

 

Check out my previous painting posts for more!

Black Reach

Dredtrukk

Warboss with Attack Squig

Boss Zagstruk

Stormboy Nob on Flying Base

Bad Moons Nazdreg

Dark Angels Dreadnought

Dark Angels Standard Bearer

Dark Angels Librarian

Warhammer 40k Scenery

40k Rescue: Blood Angels Land Raider

And for more 40k my Kharn illustration posts! Part 1 and Part 2.  And my fond farewell to the World of Battle.