Those of us who might consider themselves veterans of Infinity, Corvus Belli’s groundbreaking sci-fi skirmish game, will be familiar with Angel Giraldez. His clean, bright paintjobs contrasted with the darker, dingier styles that dominated other wargames, and helped to attract attention to a game that took Space Opera, cyberpunk and anime as its aesthetic influences, rather than the Middle Ages or steampunk.
His art books displayed a virtuoso talent at work, with techniques for painting different textures - leather, flesh, metal - to sharply-detailed battle damage. These days, his work is everywhere, and if you follow him on social media (you should) you’ll see stunning miniatures from CMON, Mantic and Wyrd, painted by a modern master.
We briefly caught up with a very excited and optimistic Angel after the launch of an exciting new project.
“My new website and store is ready,” he said. “I’m really happy with it. You can buy painted miniatures, books and merchandising. It’s very important because it allows me to announce my tour, and many other projects and events.”
He already has a busy year lined up.
“My plans for 2019 are great! I have a new office where I will be recording painting videos, and I will be giving one-to-one and group classes, too. Moreover, I’ll be working there and meeting with everyone.” Angel has put a real focus on community with this project. “In March, I will start showing painting videos on my YouTube channel. I want to teach you all of my painting secrets, tips and techniques. Then in May, I will hopefully announce my secret project!” People should stay tuned on social media to find out more.
Before the exciting, reactive gameplay of Infinity got me hooked, it was the stunning paintjobs and exquisite miniatures that sold me on the game. Angel remembers what it was like joining the company.
“Infinity was a great challenge,” he says. “”It was my first job and the company was really small when I started there. I worked very hard to get new customers into the game, but I had patience and step by step I got it. I left Corvus Belli in March last year, after 15 years. During that time, I worked with the design process and contributed ideas. Now I work with them as a freelance painter.”
For those of us who struggle to achieve the standard of a pro-painter, Angel has some sound advice. “The best advice would be, do not add water to enamel paints!” He says, laughing. “I added water!” Joking aside, he doesn’t hesitate in identifying the most important element in a painter’s arsenal. “The best advice is to be patient. You should paint the base colour of all of the parts of the miniature and then apply a wash so you will get definition on the miniature.” When it comes to detailed freehand work, he says, “you must have a good brush. It’s also really important to plan the freehand work. Always prepare a sketch before you start.”
Angels’s painting guides are full of detailed explanations of various techniques, from airbrush work to texture effects. He believes that painters should always expand their horizons and challenge themselves. “All techniques are important. You have to combine different approaches to get the best result.”
Life as a professional painter requires a great deal of hard work, as well as talent. Angel’s output is incredibly fast, and when it comes time to focus when a deadline looms, the key is planning. “It is really difficult,” he says. “But I plan my work so I can meet the deadline. If you plan, you paint faster. It is easier when companies send me the colour scheme. When they don’t, I just look online so I can see some references.” A clear view of what you’re trying to achieve, and a solid method of how to achieve it, makes everything possible.
Most of us seek inspiration from other painters when attempting to improve our own work. Angel prefers to see it from a different angle. “I don't want to emulate,” he says. “I prefer to have my own style so I can offer something new. I decide what I want to achieve, then I look into how to do it. This is how you achieve knowledge.”
Despite his talents, Angel remains humble. “I'm just a painter,” he says. “I like to answer all the painting doubts other people have, and I think that it is the reason for my popularity.” For him, painting is not just a job. “I like to work with passion, it is very important for me. It is my engine! If a project or company didn’t give me good feelings then my passion would be lost. Money is not the most important thing, money is just paper. Work with passion and you will achieve all your goals.”
When asked what music he listens to while he paints, he laughs. “Reggaeton! Many people hate this type of music, but I want to show them that this music is the best!” Maybe he will start a trend!
Finally, we tried to get Angel to tell us what paint-jobs he was most proud of. For someone so prolific, it came as no surprise that he couldn’t choose just one… but he did narrow it down. “I can't decide it!” He said. “I painted many miniatures! I like the orcs from Yedharo Models, Infinity models, Hellboy from Mantic Games.... ufff! It’s difficult to make a decision!”
Not wishing to torment Angel any further, we left it there. You can check out his awesome new website here, and find out more about the AG team, services and gifts, as well as learn how to not just become a better painter, but a happier and more productive one too!