We want to start the month of september with an intersting interview to one great painter and student of Alfonso.
- Hi Erik, first of all, tell us something about you
I’m a 36 year old former web developer from Virginia Beach, Virginia USA. I listen to a ton of audiobooks while I paint. I love fantasy miniatures, especially orcs, and my favorite technique is non-metallic metal.
- Recently you have announced you are now a full time professional painter, tell us something more about this change in your life
I was painting box arts mostly for Privateer Press in my spare time after work. After being contacted by some other companies and having more opportunities to paint even more models for Privateer Press it reached a point where I could no longer do both. So, I took the leap and decided to paint full time. It’s only been about a month but I am loving every minute of it.
- Do you have any other hobby than painting miniatures?
I enjoy woodworking, making plinths and other small projects. I wish I had more time for it, but maybe when I get settled into my new life.
- Recommend us a movie, a book and a song.
My favorite director is Edgar Wright. Most people have probably seen Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz (my favorite movie). His more recent movie Baby Driver is fantastic. Also fun fact, the lead actor Ansel Elgort is a Golden Demon winner.
Possibly my favorite book series at the moment is the First Law series by Joe Abercrombie. The ninth book comes out very soon and I can’t wait. The Blade Itself is the first book in the series and I can’t recommend it enough.
I’m a big metal head. My favorite band is Opeth from Sweden. I also listen to albums in entirety, so I would have to recommend the album Ghost Reveries.
- When did you start with the hobby? Can you show us a photo of your first miniature?
I started in the miniatures hobby around 2010 when a friend introduced me to Warhammer 40k because he knew I enjoyed painting Gundam models. I started collecting Death Guard but then quickly moved on to Salamanders, sadly I have no photos of my Death Guard but I have a photo of my terrible Salamanders librarian. I was apparently very ambitious with painting even back then, trying some terrible OSL and NMM.
I then began playing Warmachine and Hordes. Who I now paint the box arts for.
- Are you still playing Warhammer 40k or Warmachine?
I don’t play much wargames anymore, but I do play Kingdom Death Monster with my friends. Honestly, I think I prefer cooperative games, people can become very irritable in competitive wargames.
- Who are your favourite painters? Who inspires your works
I doubt this list will shock anyone but I’ll try to explain why for each.
Kirill and LAN are technical masters and both artists that I try to emulate. Though different from each other, I think they are the two masters of NMM.
Marc Masclans and Arnau Lazaro are another two favorites of mine, I love the way they paint skin and faces.
As for sculptors, Joaquin Palacios is my favorite and I’m happy to have painted an original of his and perhaps you will see another original collaboration of ours when we are able to attend events again.
As for the people that have influenced how I think about painting and provided me with the most knowledge, that would have to be Roman Lappat and Alfonso. Roman’s blog Massive Voodoo was invaluable when I was getting started and Alfonso’s guidance from the academy has really helped me to reach the level I am at today.
- When do you meet Alfonso?
I met Alfonso at the NOVA Open in Washington D.C. in 2018. We have remained in contact even outside the academy, attended Monte San Savino together and I am happy to call him a friend and mentor.
- How the teachings of Alfonso has influenced your painting style?
When I started learning from Alfonso I was already pretty developed in my painting, I had already won a couple best of shows in the US. Alfonso really helped me reach that next level, become more confident and helped me improve my speed. He really knows how to help you develop YOUR style and doesn’t try to force you to paint like him. Within a year of working with him I went from pretty good to winning a gold in Masters at Monte San Savino, something I was even dreaming of yet.
- It’s time to talk about your tools, which brand of paints do you prefer? And brushes?
For paint, I prefer Vallejo Model Color and Kimera, I think they work great individually but also compliment each other perfectly. I also like Daler Rowney inks (another contribution of Alfonso’s hahaha).
For brushes, I still prefer W&N series 7, but there are many brands that I have heard good things about but have not tried such as DaVinci or Broken Toad. (If anyone from DaVinci or Broken Toad is reading this and want to send me some brushes I’d be happy to try them hahaha)
- For you, which are your best paint jobs?
For me it is Thrall, my original by Joaquin. I think the cast shadows work well and it is something that I have since included in many of my paint jobs.
My Totem Huntress is also a favorite of mine. I’m not a big fan of basing but with some help from my friend and member of the academy Chris Suhre I think it was a success.
Then probably my first 75mm box art for Hera, Borka. It was a huge honor to work for a European brand and I think that the NMM might be my best yet.
- Star Wars or Star Trek?
I guess I’d have to say Star Wars because I’ve never been a big fan of Star Trek. But I do have a love/hate relationship. I really just like the original trilogy, but the Mandalorian is also pretty good.
- Have you painted more or less during this pandemic year?
I have definitely painted more during this year than before and I don’t see it slowing down with it being my full time job now!
- What goals do you have in mind in the short/long term?
I feel like I have met most of my goals. In the short term I would like to begin filming videos or streaming. In the long term, I just aim to continue to improve my art and hopefully introduce more Americans to the joy of painting larger scale figures.
- What can you say to the newcomers to this hobby? Share with us the tip you wish someone has telled to you in the beginning of your journey
I think the most common bad advice that I hear everyone tell beginners is to thin your paints. You don’t have to! A solid even layer of paint straight out of the bottle can be faster and look better than 10 thin layers, especially if you don’t let the layers dry fully in between coats.
Also, use reference photos!
- Can you tell us what we can expect from you in the future? What is now in your painting desk? Tell us something about your future projects
Like I said, I hope to start making videos and I plan to do more teaching events now that conventions are coming back. As for what I am painting currently, I have some more Privateer Press box arts to finish. I wish I could tell you about some of the exciting future projects I have coming from other companies, trust me, I really want to! But, I am sworn to secrecy.