Pirate Monkey Visits Adepticon

Hey there it’s Anthony From Pirate Monkey Painting! I have finally recovered from adepticon! Well not entirely but I feel coherent enough to write out some of my thoughts on the event. It was fantastic! So many familiar faces this year and so many new ones! The camaraderie  was great and the atmosphere was so welcoming!
What I will do is go over a day by day review of my experience at adepticon. I want to start right now by saying I am not a gamer, this is from a Painter’s perspective. I did not touch a 6 or 20 sided Die all Con. Also I got to spend time with some amazing painters when I write about them I do not mean to brag or boast. They were kind enough to talk to me and are great people.
Day one – The Drive
I took of from Springfield Mo early in the morning and drove all day to a friend’s house in the Schaumburg area. They were Kind enough to put me up for the night and also chat their ear off about whatever came up. It was great to see them after so long. Before they Got home I also managed to watch Hellboy And Sphere.

Day two – Day one
Day one of the Con my friend drove me over to the convention hall where I proceeded to mentally prepare myself for the glory of adepticon. I doodled in my sketchbook and waited on My ride to my hotel room with all my gear. Michelle Blastenbrie was kind enough to watch my prized possessions and let me go get my registration completed! Thanks again Michelle. While I was over there I actually found Kirk and Jack Crowe in a happy accident. We packed up dropped our stuff off and headed back to the Convention where I was whisked away into my first class with Angel Giraldez and his Secret Lover

Class one – Nmm with Angel Giraldez
The main reason I took this class was to study Angels style as it is very fast and it creates a very sharp look. Also I had to meet they guy! The first portion of the class was spent explaining light and contrast on the whiteboard. This actually got much more in-depth then I thought it would have it was great to see what kinds of things these artists are thinking of as it Can help one develop their own style as well as what rules they can or cannot break. Next He did a quick demo showing how he creates his transition and the consistency of paint that he used. It was a very clean style of sketching light to say the least. Angel was gracious in answering every question asked and he then sent us on our ways to apply what we had just learned! Here are my results after about a half hour of painting and asking questions


angel Class


somewhere in-between this Angel and Antonio found out that I have basic Spanish and Portuguese which allowed him to explain things more quickly and joke around. Over all the class was great and I would highly recommend it at any level. It will make your brain hurt a bit if you are a newcomer but that just means you’re soaking in all the juicy knowledge!

I have to admit that the rest of the day was spent Painting and sculpting my entries (boring right) I had an accident at my friend’s house where a part of my Indian chiefs feathered head-piece fell off at my friends house. So I had to rush to re-sculpt them ( Yes I did glue the first layer and it turned out fine) I ended up finishing up 3 of my entries and got them submitted at the last-minute as well . At the end of the night I was offered a driving job that I happily accepted but more on that soon.

Day two – Chicago
I was dropped off at the hotel early in the morning and Met up with the trip organizer Shoshie! She likes to organize trips into downtown Chicago with our painting friends from across the pond. I ended up driving Ben Komets, Jose Nunez & Sergio Rubio into downtown Chicago. I’m not going to lie it was nerve-racking. Like driving royalty in a way. We all made it just fine, traffic was of course messy. We proceeded to have an American breakfast and then explored the freezing streets of Chicago. Sergio felt like he was in Gotham City. I had a great time using my rusty Spanish with Jose and Sergio. Due to time and having to teach of be in classes we headed back to adepticon after some hours. We all went our separate ways. I headed off to my first class with Kirill Kanaev

Class 2 Blending oils with Kirill Kanaev
I had arrived about 20 min early to Kirills class and he was setting up so I offered to help. People started to trickle in and we started class on time. Kirill started by explaining the differences between oil and acrylics. His English was fantastic and his initial presentation did a great job at explaining the concepts. After the lecture he Demoed the process (its like magic) In its simplicity there is such a incredible range of possibilities. Part of it though is not being afraid of the medium. It’s very forgiving as it doesn’t dry 😉 Excitedly we all sat down and proceeded to reproduce the effect. Having played with oils before I thankfully felt more at ease and was able to explain some things to my neighbors who had small questions. Kirill gave every one individual attention and pointed out areas to improve as well as how he would perform such corrections.
It was a fantastic workshop! Here are my results.


Kirill oils


After the Class I proceeded to put the final touches on the Indian chief and the couple other entries that has a couple of small chips. I felt so relieved having submitted them. Soon After that I bumped into Sergio He Had recently found out that Russo’s entry was also a WOW orc and he was very surprised. He invited me to get some drinks and we had some great conversation about most things other than painting. Initially how relieved and nervous we were to have our entries submitted. After some drinks were drank Liz Hunt and Jillian Walker sat down with us and started an impromptu English lesson. It was a fantastic night as the table continued to grow and grow! Thanks for all the Great memories!

Day 3 – Classes for days
Saturday for me was filled with classes 2 with Ben Komets and 2 with Kirill Kanaev with a Deep Dish Pizza run in the middle and a drink and snack later in the night. That being said!
Class 3 – Painting Faces with Ben Komets
We all know Ben Is a fantastic teacher. His style is very approachable and he does a fantastic job of teaching it. In the class he walked us through his method of painting 28-32mm miniatures. We were given a Miniature bust which was bit bigger probably around 44MM. he explained how he approaches creating contrast as well as colored nuance in the different areas of the face. It was the perfect amount of information. He demoed his method and then we sat down to paint the bust our self. Ben and his partner in crime Matt Cexwish made rounds helping the students with their questions. By the end most of us had down the main part of the place but weren’t able to add color. After this class it merged right into Ben’s next class

Class 4 – Secrets of the Loaded Brush
This class started a half hour after the last one. This classes lecture was a bit shorter as brush work tends to be over thought and over complicated by the people learning it (including myself) Ben answered all questions and demoed the technique on the second half of the mini bust the helmet. It’s like magic watching be perform this brushstroke. Sometimes when he does it he even gets this gleeful look as though it still surprises him. After the Demo we again returned to our seats and put ourself’s to work. We had a Painting Buddha corner with myself and Jack Crowe. We had a fantastic time talking about it and practicing. We both got the A-OK from our Sensei Ben. Needless to say it was a great course in cementing the technique. I have been practicing Loaded brush for close to a year now and I still learned new things. Both of Ben’s Classes get a A+ in my book
Here is the finished Bust and Helmet

mini bust finished


If you want to learn Loaded brush yourself there is a lot of information and video tutorials on Painting Buddhas YouTube Channel!

After the class Jack, Kirk, Mario, Sergio and I went to A deep dish pizza place and feasted. Jack and Sergio got to experience spring, a mini blizzard and summer all in one lunch. The Midwest is a crazy place! Full of pizza and about to fall asleep due to the carbs we headed back to the convention. Jack picked up a small Deep Dish for Matt and Ben and when I delivered it to Matt I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier person!
Class 5 – NMM with Kirill Kanaev
This was the first class geared at the intermediate Painter. Kirill started the class by explaining light theory and its interactions with different surfaces of metal as well as how light intact with different shapes. He then combined the two topics and briefly explained light and color relationships. The lecture was fantastic, Kirill used lots of photo reference as well to help him explain the concepts. Even as someone who has studied color and light theory I walked away with a lot of new knowledge especially in the area of perspective. This class was a great example of a short and sweet lesson. It is not something I would recommend to people who are gaming painters per say.

Kirill Nmm

After this I packed up and had some great conversation with Aaron Lovejoy we headed up to the bar for dinner and drinks and ended up sitting down with some great painters. If we ever meet ask me about this and I have a great story to tell. After some drinks and food Kirill and I headed down for the Final Class of the day!

Class 6 – Geiger Style Freehands with Kirill Kanaev
What an inspiring class. This again was geared more at a intermediate audience and the subject matter is not exactly something everyone wants to know. For me though I love Geiger. When I doodle it tends to become skulls and such, as well I’m a fan of the Horror genre. This class was mainly a lesson in composition to be completely honest. Besides that the other things that were explained where meshing organic and inorganic as well as Kirills method for painting this. Krill spent half of the class demoing this method. For me personally this got my creative gears spinning. Im also learning composition and drawing though so while this was perfect for me it may not be for others. I would recommend it regardless though as I think as painters it is important to push ourselves outside of our regular notions of what you can or cannot do! you might surprise yourself!
And thusly we conclude day 3
Day 4 – Going with the flow

In the morning I headed to the Con and picked up a couple of wrath of kings figures I liked. when I headed back to the Painting area to my surprise Sergio was setting up an Impromptu class for Kirk and some others and I happily hung out to watch him paint! I also had been helping Sergio with his english and acted as a translator when necessary for him. He worked on Privateer Press’s new bust.

Class 7 – Painting faces, NMM and TMM with Sergio Calvo Rubio

Sergio started by showing us his method of painting female faces on a model of that size. He worked in “thick” layers and glazes that were just thin enough to remove the brushstrokes. It was astonishing to see such a mastery of medium and tools. He prefers models base coated in white to preserve color intensity. Next he worked in NMM, again working in a layering as well as stippling brushstroke. One big lesson I learned was to limit the value range below white and never use black. Sergio worked back and forth and up and down with color to create information with small and large stippling. For the TMM the process was nearly identical except he used paint with metal pigment. The same degree of control was there.
Here is Sergios result! Thank you again Sergio!


finished sergio


After the Class entries were picked up and then soon after we went to the awards ceremony

After the ceremony we all just went into relaxation mode! Saying goodbyes and making plans. It is truly bitter-sweet.
Over all I have to say that even if you are a new or intermediate painter Crystal brush and adepticon is an amazing place to be. Your goal should be to learn as much as you can, make new connections and friends. There is more to life than awards. They are excellent goals and the people you meet at a place like this will help you to reach them.

With that I wrap up my jumbled thoughts of the 4 amazing days at Adepticon! Thank you so much to everyone there! There are too many names to mention but I will try to name a few. Jack Crowe, Ben Komets, Mat Cexwish, Kirk aka Sarge, Shoshie, Jose, Sergio, Kirill, Aaron Lovejoy, Michelle B, Liz, Jill, Micheal P, Anthony W, Justin, James and Kathy Wappel, Kat Martin, Syndjinn, Kat Jackson, And anyone else I met thank you for the great conversation , drinks and memories!

My goal is to do weekly or bi-weekly write ups. My next one will be more on my European tour! and after that will be a full write-up on a 2 day workshop with Kirill Kanaev

Cheers from the Missouri!
Anthony of Pirate Monkey Painting!


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