Review: Painting Miniatures from A to Z
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…
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
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!