Painting Miniatures by Danilo Cartacci
Posted by Martin on March 18, 2009
I don’t paint larger scale miniatures but I do appreciate the artistry of those who work at 54mm and above. I also think that although the tools and techniques for 28mm miniatures are different, there’s often much to learn and admire from those people who create such display case masterpieces.
One of the most celebrated such artists (and I choose that word deliberately) is the Italian painter Danilo Cartacci who, among other things, is the virtual house painter for Pegaso Models. His creations have won shelf-fuls of awards at international shows for many years and I’m delighted to say that he often chooses Napoloenic subjects. In 2007, Auriga Publishing published Danilo’s book Painting Miniatures in English, Italian and (I think) German editions. The print run was limited but that only enhanced the sought-after status of the book and it’s currently out of print. However, I was recently able to acquire a mint condition copy of the English language edition and it now has pride of place as my favourite bedside reading / eye candy.
The book is an A4 softback of over 120 pages and Danilo takes a logical route through how he tackles many of the most demanding aspects of figure painting – flesh, clothing, metallics, uniform markings, chivalry, flags, natural materials like leather and fur and horses. Each section is generously illustrated with step by step colour photographs and precise details of the paints, brushes and other materials or tools used. No secrets are held back. Choices of paints, brushes, tools, putties. lighting are all discussed in detail and the last 20-odd pages are given over to a breathtaking gallery of completed works.
Throughout, the production values, design and photography in the book put other hobby titles to shame. If I have one criticism, it’s that some of the translation from Italian to English gets me scratching my head. But it doesn’t take too long to work out that “veils” should have ben translated as “washes” and so on.
Hopefully a reprint will be on the cards so that more people can enjoy and learn from this Italian master.