About the Artist

Rhonda Bender first tried miniature painting at the Paint & Take table at Gen Con 2003. As soon as she got home from the convention she bought one of the first generation Reaper Learn to Paint kits, and then another, and then another. She avidly took paint classes with dozens of the luminaries of miniature painting at every event she could attend. Within a few years her figures were winning awards at a variety of contests, and she was sharing her enthusiasm with others by teaching her own painting classes.

Today Rhonda is the author of the current generation of the Reaper Learn to Paint kit series. She has put as much effort into learning how to teach miniature painting as she has in learning how to paint. She attends and teaches at several conventions a year, primarily ReaperCon and AdeptiCon. She is a freelance painter, primarily painting studio figures for Reaper Miniatures and Dark Sword Miniatures, and her work is still recognized with awards in miniature painting contests.

Rhonda enjoys writing for this blog and her other online teaching activities as an opportunity to connect with miniature painting enthusiasts who are unable to attend convention painting classes. She quickly realized that online articles and videos offer an opportunity to explore many aspects of miniature painting that cannot be discussed in-depth within the constraints of a short convention class.

The biggest challenge of sharing information online is balancing the time it takes with the time she needs to spend painting figures to make a living. If you would like to support her efforts, please consider joining the Bird with a Brush Patreon, or a supporting via a one-time tip to Ko-fi.

Social Media Sites

Rhonda has been a little disorganized in creating her online identity, and can be found under a few different monikers on various sites and forums: Wren, WrenTheBard, and BirdWithABrush.

Facebook Artist Page


YouTube channel

Twitch channel

Cool Mini or Not photo gallery (older figures)

Awards and Accolades

Best in Show:
               CMON Expo 2018, 2014, 2013
               Reaper MSP Open (Reaper category) 2014, overall 2008
               Smoky Mountain Model Con 2019

Guest of Honour, various years:
               CMON Expo
               Cold Wars

Gen Con, various years:
               Diorama: First Place
               Unit: Second Place
               Single: Third Place
               Dark Sword Manufacturer: Best in Show
               Wyrd Manufacturer: First Place

ReaperCon, various years:
               Best in Show
               Best in Show (Reaper category)
               Three Gold Sophie trophies
               Three Silver Sophie trophies
               Three Bronze Sophie trophies
               Numerous Gold and Silver medals
               Special awards including Best Theme entry 2021

World Expo Chicago 2017
               Silver in Fantasy Painter

Atlanta Military Figure Show:
               Gold for entire display in Fantasy Painter: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2012
               Gold medal in Fantasy Open
               Silver medal in Historical Painter 2018
               Phoenix Award 2018

Smoky Mountain Model Con 2019
               Best in Show, Best in Class