Alterations – Ritalin Kid

Jeremy Froggatt tells you a little more about himself and his struggles with ADD (and thus, with deadlines) and then takes you step by step through an alteration of the Legacy staple, Force of Will.

One of the most frustrating things about myself is my ability to completely forget something I just heard or read within seconds. It may sound
cliché or somewhat of a copout, but this is part of the increasingly common attention deficit disorder, or ADD. I’m not one of those people
who jump on the disorder bandwagon because I exhibit a few symptoms either; no, I was diagnosed with ADD back in grade five, which was about eighteen
years ago for those counting.

Leading up to that diagnosis though was four years of trouble in school. I spent countless hours at the office hanging out with the principal, Mr.
Axcell. I wasn’t doing anything necessarily bad, but I was pretty disruptive in a classroom environment. I was bored and sought
attention, using humor as a device to obtain it, unable to hold back or filter anything that popped into my head.

Everything turned around in grade five however with the assistance of methylphenidate, more commonly known as Ritalin. Everything seemed to snap into
place overnight. I finally had the focus to achieve what I was capable of, resulting in grades above the 80% range with relative ease.

During the later years of high school and into college, I discovered a few additional symptoms that were not apparent to me originally, as I previously
never needed to do homework. I found that, when not medicated, I had major issues remembering things. Due dates of impending projects or tests
didn’t seem to register until the night before, and any class that required memorization, like history, was essentially a waste of time.
Procrastination also became a major problem, as I would put anything that I would deem “not fun” to the bottom of the pile to focus on the
things that I enjoyed more.

These tendencies carried forward into my adult life to the point where I needed to speak with the doctor about it again roughly two years ago. It had
been about eight years since I had last been medicated back in high school, but coming in to work every day facing down a giant stack of items in my
“to do” bin became increasingly stressful.

Since I reintroduced the medication into my life, things at work seem to have drastically turned around, as I’m able to complete tasks as they
arrive on my desk. The stress reduction has been magnificent, leading me to taking an extra pill on my way home from work occasionally so I can be a
bigger help around the house and also to get painting and writing done after the kids have gone to bed. It’s been working out splendidly, when I
remember to take it…

On one of my forgetful nights, I was checking my emails, and one of my altering customers, Josh Rayden, got in touch with me wondering if I could have
his four Force of Wills completed in time for GP Providence in June if possible. While reading the email, I was asked to play a game of League of
Legends with a few friends… what’s a gamer to do? After the game, I popped open my altering spreadsheet where I keep pertinent information for
the business and wrote down July as the requested date. No problem, I can get them done by then…

A few weeks go by, with me painting by prioritization based on discussions with customers, so the Force of Wills were left on the back burner to be
done in June.

Josh emailed me about a week or so ago to check up on things as we were getting close to his desired deadline. Panicked, I went back through all the
emails to discover that I had written the date down incorrectly. Damn, better get to work.

I started this project the way I’ve started every last-minute project in the past, with a pill and a plan. I find that writing everything down in list
form helps me get through the task faster and aids in keeping distractions at bay. The list was essentially:

Get kids to bed
Kiss wife and apologize for the inattentiveness that is about to occur
Paint from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Make tea and eat snack
Reply “can’t, painting” to friends asking to game
Paint from 10:15 pm – 11:00 pm
Stretch, shake head around until neck stops hurting
Kiss wife goodnight, apologizing again
Paint 11:15pm – whenever my eyes close

Basically, if it’s not on the list, I’m simply not able to do it. I reused this list for three nights and managed to get two of the FoWs completed, one
of which I’m sharing with you today!

I began by laying them all out on my painting surface and staring at them.

force of will alter 0

This was a little overwhelming, and I was sure I didn’t want to do all four the exact same, so I settled on doing them one at a time. Although
this takes longer, they will all turn out unique and of higher quality.

I’m quite averse to simply extending a Force of Will because they look much better when they’re visually blue cards, so I decided to change
the focus from fire to Jace runes, as I’ve done once in the past.

force of will alter 1

These first two images are just different stages of base coating. I used solely the Regal Blue Citadel paint as my blue throughout the entire alter.

force of will alter 2

The image on the left has me simply using Chaos Black (Citadel) to darken in the bottom, while the image on the right displays a fair bit of
progression. Mixing the blue with a touch of black to darken, I coated the entire background and began picking out the low lights on our character’s

I also made quite the effort cleaning up the top text at this point—one of the most frustrating things about doing an old template alter.

force of will alter 3

Some more headway was made with the dark blue lighting, as I’m setting up to have glowing Jace runes around his hands. I then mixed some Skull
White (Citadel) with my previous blue to achieve the nice light accents which were then carefully applied to the previously yellow sections.

force of will alter 4

The only noticeable difference between the left image and the previous one is that the light blue has been added on with some thin white strokes in the
areas of the highest light concentration. The image on the right shows me roughing in some legs and feet, while trying to give them some light and dark
starting points.

force of will alter 5

The first image has me just outlining where I want my runes to be. It’s pretty hard to see them, but they served as a perfect guideline for my
next step, which was to color them in white. Now that they’re properly visible, you may notice that I spelled Josh using the runes in the center.
I wanted it to be fairly subtle, so that he could point it out to people for a second wave of oohs and aahs.

force of will alter 6

Taking a similar light blue to the one I made previously for the lighting, I started pulling strokes away from the edges of the runes. I’m not
worrying about going on top of the white at this point because it will be re-painted with white closer to the end. The second image here has me mixing
a blue that is between the light and the background color to continue the glow look I’m shooting for. Same technique; starting at the edge of the
light glow and pulling outwards.

force of will alter 7

The glow wasn’t good enough for me, so I added an even lighter blue layer in tiny strokes from the original runes, making it look quite messy at
this stage. Going over the main runes with the pure white in a few coats really makes the runes stand out here and I feel I’ve achieved what I
set out to do.

force of will alter 8

The blue background, while better than the original red one, was detracting from the glowing runes a little too much for my taste. I took a ratty old
brush and started dabbing on watered-down black around our hero, and it seemed to make the image pop more. I also worked blue around the text a little
more in the first image so it didn’t look so out of place.

On the second picture, I’ve brought the black in closer to the character so there wasn’t this awkward blue half-inch border around him, as
well as putting in the tiny little white dots that just add to the magical nature of the runes.

force of will alter 9

In the final stage, I fixed his hair in a few places using thin black strokes so it didn’t look like I just painted over the ends of his hair
anymore. I placed on my sig, in a matching fashion, and called it a night!

This alter was completed entirely using only three paint colors, which is a first for me. I’ve always been an advocate of having a lot of colors
on hand to speed up the mixing process. This may be due to never having taken an art class, however, as I know many artists who just use the primaries
and two additional colors for darkening and lightening.

Thanks for hanging in there as I rambled on about my personal issues, though I’m sure there are a good number of you who can relate. If
you’d like to discuss anything to do with altering or even regarding ADD, feel free to contact me:

E-mail: jfroggatt at persona dot ca
Twitter: @jerfroggatt
Website: www.mtgalters.com