Review: Painting Miniatures from A to Z


Angel Giraldez


I’m just going to let that name sink in.

You good? Great, because this book is something!

Short version: If you’ve ever wanted to know how Angel paints the Infinity product line, I MUST recommend that you read and memorize this book.

Long version: Here we go…

Painting miniatures from A to Z.

Painting miniatures from A to Z.


Angel Giraldez is well known for his works on Anima Tactics, Hell Dorado, Dream Pod 9, MERCS, and many others. Not to mention Corvus Belli! Through the years, he’s amazed and performed magic with a brush. Only now are we able to peek behind the curtain of mystery as Angel explains every step of no less than ELEVEN models that are masterfully done and produce amazing results. Angel goes as far as even telling you the exact mixes he uses for his colors. At the beginning, he also explains the techniques that he uses throughout the book, so you can always reference those first 20 pages if you are unsure how to execute the technique described. There are an INCREDIBLE amount of pictures throughout. A picture for each step, in most cases!

Something to note: if you wanted an in-depth tutorial on the techniques, themselves, this is not the book for you. This book focuses largely on the methodology that Angel utilizes.


The book consists of 3 major sections:

  1. Method: This is the part where he explains his general philosophy when painting and what products he uses. He is sponsored by Vallejo, so you can expect a lot of Vallejo products, which is not a bad thing, as I can verify their high quality. He also gives some general tips on pressure for your airbrush, mixing and thinning paint, some household objects that can be used as tools, and some more “specialty” products that Angel utilizes in his painting.
  2. Technique: A short explanation is presented here for Non Metallic Metal (NMM), Stippling, Washing, Points of Light, and Glazes. These are all techniques used through the book, so it’s very nice to have this section around to reference while you’re following along during the Masterclasses.
  3. Masterclass: There are 11 of these step-by-steps. These are the real meat of the book, occupying pages 22 through 109. But let’s get into that in more detail.


When he describes these as “Step-by-Step”s, he’s being quite literal. Each tutorial has dozens of pictures showing, as expected, each step. Accompanying each picture is an efficient and descriptive text blurb that gives his paint recipe and general technique for that particular step. The pictures are taken from appropriate angles that show and highlight the points hit in the step. The first Step-by-Step consists of 40 individual steps over the course of 10 pages.

From large TAGs, to large infantry, to small TAGs, to bikes, to regular infantry, and even to a handful of large busts, Angel uses a good selection of different mediums to showcase his methodology. At the start of each masterclass is a short entry that describes the reason Angel uses that particular model and what the emphasis for that masterclass is. These reason range from being larger canvasses, to simply enjoying the aesthetics of that particular model. It’s very empowering and lets us glean a bit of the genius stored and growing in Mr. Giraldez’s head.

Concluding thoughts:

Would I recommend this book? Yes. It’s very helpful for all painters, no matter your current skill level. If you are a beginner, the first couple sections will quickly get you up to speed. Once you’ve got a good handle on the basic techniques, the masterclasses will show you the results of your efforts and bring out the method to combine those techniques in a masterful way.

There are a handful of misspellings and some grammar mistakes that more native speakers will pick up on, but these are largely ignorable and the meaning behind the words is still conveyed.

Something to note is that this book also includes a limited edition figure of Corvus Belli’s Joan of Arc, who happens to be the subject matter of one of the later masterclasses. After you’ve built up your courage, this model works as a great test bed to see how much you’ve improved!

Sales have been through the roof and Angel has sold 15 THOUSAND copies worldwide. It is likely one of the highest copies sold miniature painting books in the world. Truly an astounding feat and number to reach.

This book isn’t going to make big waves in new painting techniques. This book is more an insight in a quick and effective manner to painting in the same fashion as Corvus Belli’s studio painter:

Angel Giraldez.


Final Score: 10/10 Perfect

Have you read this book? Were you as impressed as me? Disappointed? Are you ready for a second volume? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Bryant "Claudius Sol"

Aerospace Engineer, Programmer, Gundam enthusiast

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8 Responses

  1. Kenza says:

    I tend to disagree somewhat. While I love the book and could glean some interesting tricks from it, this is definitely not intended for beginner-level painters. I remember that I had a hard time figuring out how to properly do techniques when I started out. Hell, even getting the right consistency of paint was a hassle back then.

    Since the book is less about actually explaining HOW to do the techniques and more about where to apply what, I consider it more geared towards intermediate-level painters. They stand to gain the most from it, I think. This doesn’t change the fact, that Angel’s works are a pleasure to look at.

    For beginners, I’d actually recommend videos (like Jérémie Bonamant’s painting DVD or even GW’s painting book and DVD) to get a feel for how to handle a brush, how to use your brush to create shades and highlights and so forth.

    Once you are set there, you’ll benefit a whole lot more from this book.

  2. Harlekin says:

    I’m with Kenza.
    The book is call “Painting Miniatures from A to Z”. A more fitting title would be “My Blog/Facebook in Hardcopy”.
    While I really love Angel’s work and I have a look at his “tutorials” via Facebook and his blog every now and then, this book doesn’t really do what it promises.
    No real tutorials. The step-by-step pics are really nice but _how_ to achieve the shown effects isn’t really explained.
    And to be honest, I don’t consider it helpful. It’s nice and beautiful but “helpful” is no attribute I’d use to describe it.

    And you gotta be kiddin’: 10 out of 10? While you do recognize the faults and flaws?
    Please, if you only wanna fanboy advertise, don’t give things a rating. This just costs you credibility.

    • Claudius Sol says:

      I am an unabashed fan boy. That said, I haven’t experienced anything better than what I experienced from Angel’s book.

      Maybe you’re right in that it’s more geared towards intermediate leveled painters.

      The only flaws and faults I saw were grammar mistakes. The book itself accomplished what it had set out to do. That is what I rated it on.

      It’s understandable if you don’t quite agree, though.

      • Kenza says:

        Hey Claudius,

        while I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm, there’s quite a bit more material out there which is far more comprehensible.

        I know that it is quite hard to explain techniques with only words and pictures – the best way to learn is watch someone else do it. That way you can actually see how a pro painter works and handles his brushes.

        I’ve been thinking of doing some short videos for my blog to demonstrate techniques. But if you are willing to pay for it, Bonamant’s painting DVD is a treasure trove of material from one of the best painters out there.

        In regards to what Harlekin said: As long as you are acknowledging faults with the book, you shouldn’t be handing out the perfect ten.

        I hope you don’t take offence with our criticism. 🙂

        • Claudius Sol says:

          Bonamant’s video is a very good source of inspiration and guidance! Just because I rated Angel’s book as 10/10 does not preclude other materials to be just as good, if not better! I’ve only seen snippets of Bonamant’s video in the past and don’t remember a lot. In fact, I was much too novice of a painter at the time to truly appreciate what I was seeing.

          That said, I think Bonamant’s techniques showcase is great, but his methodology doesn’t work as well for 28mm miniatures as it does 56mm miniatures.

          The faults I mention don’t affect the message of the book, so I was willing to forgive them. If the couple grammar mistakes I had seen affected the painting or the instruction, I would’ve had to decrease points, but that was not the case.

          I don’t take offense! Merely presenting elaboration on my viewpoints.
          Glad we can have this discussion.

  3. VisOne says:

    I didn’t buy it at time of release mainly due to lack of funds.

    Although I also felt it was highly unlikely I would draw much from it overall based on the fact it would be similar his Facebook tutorials.

    What really put the nail in the coffin for me however was the hyperbole around the first release. While none of it was from Angel himself it certainly tarred the product overall for me and still does to this day. I’m sure I would have found myself in a similar position to what Kenza has put forward hard I brought it so I’m glad I didn’t get it.

    However that honestly just my opinion I’m sure many more received it better than I and will continue to do so. 😉

    • Kenza says:

      You mean the whole thing about the second print run? I was fine with that – I usually don’t give a crap about limited stuff.

      Also, don’t get me wrong – I like the book and its production value. It’s nicely done, with high quality photography, some more info on how Angel handles the combination of airbrushing and regular painting and all that. But had I been new to painting miniatures, it would’ve been similar to going on CMON, browsing pics with a 8-9 rating there and hoping to get better.

      Learning to paint, learning what colours to use, learning how different brush strokes create different effects or to what consistency you actually need to dilute your paints – all that is not in there (might be wrong on the last point, not sure right now). And that’s not even touching the topic of how to airbrush at all.

      So while the subtitle is nice play on his name, it’s more like painting miniatures from M-Z. You need some solid basics to be able to recreate his style.

      So, long story short, the book is fine, I’m happy I bought it and it suits my needs or to put it differently, my interests. If you are a beginner, wanting to go from A-M, then I’d recommend other learning material.

      • VisOne says:

        No I mean people buying it purely because it was a limited run with a LIMITED MINI.

        The value for them isn’t the fact it’s a painting guide component and they don’t care if it’s bad, mediocre, good or great regardless of what the painting community says. No the value is its a limited run with a limited mini and therefore it has intrinsic Epeen value or RESALE VALUE in the case of the mini!

        Limited run items for things like Gencon, Salute or (insert what ever event or reason you want here) all suffer the same issues.

        I think that took away from Angels hard work in producing from his own pocket in his own time a painting book to the best of his abilities. It inflated the sales and it saddens me that the sales are not an accurate reflection of what he is doing to further other people’s skills because its inflated to some extent buy hoarders or resellers.

        I made mention of my lack of fund being my prime reason not to buy. I was offered a book guaranteed from their allotment by my good friends who I help from time to time who are online venders but I declined because of lack of funds. I also didn’t want to take even one book out of circulation in case I was taking a book away from someone who could get much better use of it than I and the limited mini as nice as it is for a minor faction to me and has 2 other perfectly fine table top sculpts in my eyes.

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