Interview with Marco Frisoni
Interview with Marco Frisoni. YouTube painter Marco Frisoni is well-known for his amazing tutorial videos online. As ‘MarcoFrisoniNJM / Notjustmecha’ online, you will have seen his oil paint advocacy and OSL guides. At Redgrassgames we have supported Marco for a long time, so we wanted to get the low-down on his painting journey! Read on for more…
1. Interview with Marco Frisoni – How did you start miniature painting?
“I came in contact with my first miniature in middle school!
The older brother of my best friend got the 5th edition of Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles for his birthday and when I saw the crazy illustration on the box with a badass arthurian knight fighting big anthropomorphic lizards and all the little figures inside…
It was LOVE at first sight!
To the point that (he knows all the story, but after all these years I’m still ashamed)…
I stole one of his Bretonnian Knights… And a lizardman ! Quoting Bender Rodriguez : “Love is greedy”.
Aaaand I never really stopped painting minis since then! But I definitely stopped stealing them!”
2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
“Literally from anything! I’m a proud nerd and books, movies, comics, anime, cartoons and video games are all an unlimited source of ideas
but at the moment the study of old and modern painters and illustration masters is the main fuel for the fire of my inspiration.
From Caravaggio to Frazetta, from Vermeer to Boris Vallejo…
Every square millimeter of these guys’ paintings teaches me something new and makes me run to the painting table!”
3. What are the most important techniques you think a miniature painter should know?
“I honestly can’t choose one or a few techniques! The more the better!
As miniature painters we tend to fetishise the process a bit too much, often forgetting that the result, the actual final model on the shelf or the gaming table is the real goal. Every technique has its own pros and cons and as a physical tool it can be more or less effective or simply, more or less convenient to use based on the situation and the result we are aiming for.
To make it simple; you wouldn’t use a hammer to cut a piece of lumber or a saw to hit a nail!
As a professional painter my suggestion is to build the largest toolbox of techniques possible and choose every time the best option for the task ahead and the visual result you want to see!
But as a hobbyist my suggestion is, just use the ones that make you happy to spend time on the workbench 🙂”
4. Interview with Marco Frisoni – Do you have any other ‘creative’ hobbies you do?
“I draw every time I have a bit of spare time! Mostly black and white sketches and comics.
I like the ability of cartooning or a quick, loose drawing to deliver all the visual information you need to communicate, well, anything, and even if my way of painting is a bit more convoluted I try to bring that energy into my models.
Plus if you can sell the illusion of the third dimension and a believable modelling of volumes on a piece of paper using just a pencil, models become a piece of cake!
Uh and it’s not technically a “creative” hobby but recently I got into speed cubing (I told you I’m a nerd!) and that’s great training for the agility of your fingers!”
5. What advice would you give someone just starting the hobby?
“Just have fun! Build and paint your first models without thinking too much, enjoy the flow and let the hobby get under your skin without worrying about all the advanced stuff that will come to you anyway with time, practice and the natural growth of your skills.
When you are a beginner it’s easy to get into analysis paralysis after an overload of tutorials so keep things simple, personal and instinctive!”
6. Interview with Marco Frisoni – Why do you think that using a wet palette is interesting?
“The advent of the wet palette has been a clear sign of the artistic and technical growth of our community!
It unlocks the true potential of acrylics letting you play with infinite levels of consistency, opacity and transparency, all at the same time simply giving you the time you need to do all this stuff. Acrylics straight from the tubes are a beast that needs to be tamed and I imagine the wet palette like the iconic chair and whip of the tamer! I’m a big fan of oil paints and their incredible playability (they are a house kitten in comparison) and the wet palette makes acrylics able to get pretty close to their range and technical freedom.”
7. Interview with Marco Frisoni – In a painting workshop, what is the number one question you get asked a lot?
“How do you choose which colours to use for lights and shadows?” And my answer is always… “It depends! What’s the setting of this scene?” Followed by a loooooong (but fun…I hope…no it’s fun I swear!) explanation of how and why virtual environment and conscious, active storytelling are the keys to obtain all the answers you’ll ever need at any stage of the process!”
8. Which do you prefer: glazing or edge highlighting?
“Uuuuh this is a tough one!
Gun to the head and assuming that we are talking about the ‘Eavy Metal super clean/straight line edge highlight I would say… glazing!
But not for a very large, super smooth transition, in that case I change to edge highlighting!
But if oil paints or airbrushing are allowed… I go back to glazing!
There are too many variables at play here!”
9. What is the miniature you have painted that you are the proudest of?
“That’s for me the most difficult question ever!!! I got a bad case of “The Artist Curse” (it’s a real thing- google it!) pretty early in my painting journey and I’m constantly chasing the next model to improve all the things I inevitably don’t like of the previous one; so in general my favourite model is always the latest model!
But if I have to pick a single recent figure I would say the Astronaut bust sculpted by Raffaele Picca. It’s far from being perfect but it’s the one where my understanding of light and let’s call it “shot composition” of the surfaces of the model really made a big step forward.
In the speedpainting/gaming range my favourite one is definitely Krondys, Son of Dracothion!”
10. Do you have any new or exciting painting projects to share for 2022?
“I do have a couple of new exciting projects coming up in the very next future!
But everything is still super top secret… sooooo you have to wait a bit and in the meantime, wish me good luck
Workshops and painting classes are definitely one of the biggest things of my 2022!
With the help of the awesome staff of Underworld Gaming I’ve already hosted two events here in Dublin and we have three more dates planned for this year ready to go public in a few days.
Then another workshop in London in the incredible spaces of the Bad Moon Cafe at the end of April, and one in Scotland in the process of becoming reality… and I don’t have anything against crossing the English Channel… Stay tuned for dates and details!”