Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alfonso "Banshee" Girades Workshop Review

The weekend is over... I am back at home.. exhausted, motivated, confused, excited, and a whole bunch of other emotions that I can not put into words at the moment...

The class, set at The Scythe and Teacup in Liverpool, was hosted by The Weekend Workshop man himself John Harrison. And his guest teacher this time around was Alfonso "Banshee" Giraldes.

I am not going to lie here.. I had not really heard or seen much of Banshee's work prior to this workshop. I mean, I have seen his works, and knew that some of his pieces were amazing! Such as his Hulk piece from Knight models... the light sources on it are amazing... but I had not really heard much about him until my last class with Rafaelle "Volomir" Garcia. It was heavily suggested that I move heaven and earth to go to this workshop... thankfully that wasn't required as the timing worked out well enough.

I do have to say that I really need to invest some of my time to look at the masters of painting, and review their work more. So that I do not get into a position that I don't know such a great painters work when I meet them! So embarrassing!

For the class, it was to focus on painting of skin tones. Originally we were going to paint up a 28mm warrior model. However Banshee had just sculpted a smaller bust that was available to all to purchase. In the end.. it was this bust that we all focused on as it was a perfect subject for the topic that we would all focus on.

But with all classes.. we need to learn some Theory on how the teacher works. This would be where the mind fuzziness and craziness begins...

His theory is so deep that even John was like.. huh? I mean, it is simple, and basic, but deep.

He got us to start with making color wheels and to understand if we knew what color theory was.

From here we began to talk about the temperature of the colors.. what is hot... what is cold... and how to achieve them...

Once more... this is where it felt like our brains were melting!

So Banshee goes into full on artist teacher mode... and does something none of us were expecting...

Taking a massive sheet of paper, and our paints.. and a large brush.. he goes to town showing us how to achieve, find, and play with colors for temperatures...

You can at this point begin to see a few of us have a glimmer of understanding of the theory that Banshee is laying down.

Still not everyone caught on to it.. there were some like myself that were still struggling to get our minds wrapped around the temperature tones of the colors.

So Banshee adapts to our class and comes up with a great little exercise to show us how to bring the tones of colors to the same level, so that the ability to see the warm/cold in a color easier.

Of course this was after we all tried to do it ourselves. I can say that this was a major click moment for me to understand the colors better, and know how to play around with it better.

And from here we had the chance to see the master painter in action as he showed us how to mix the colors to make the skin tones.

Again, very similar to the work I did while learning from Rafa back in Cambridge. Taking the primaries, and black/white to shift and play with the colors getting what we need when we need it.

He even showed us some steps with regards to prepping the model for light and dark sources.

And then the application of colors.. and to be honest.. how fast he was able to apply paint and blend it. I have seen fast with Roman and Ben, but this was next level stuff!

And from here we were then given the go ahead to begin putting paint to model at the end of day one.

I can honestly say that it is the first workshop that I have gone to that we spend so much time with theory and demos and so little on painting. I could not have said before this workshop that this would be a process that I could see ever really working...

However all of the theory was able to sink in over night ( and the jagermeister might have helped ) to hit the bust with a vengeance the next day. And a lot of the theory really came into play here.

But before we dove into the models too much it was feed, drinks and great chats with everyone in the center of Liverpool.

On wards to day 2... after a great sleep at Kev's place ( Thanks again for that! ) we were all off to The Scythe and Teacup for continuing our journey with the bust and skin tones.

Here we began to sketch out the colors further.. looking to play with the tones, and feelings on the models. Banshee pre-choose for us what temp we would do, so that it was spread out among the class. For me it was to be cold.. but you cannot just jump into the coldness without making it have some life in it.

The above photo ( which I dunno how my camera made this stock photo ) shows where my piece was at the beginning of the day, and at a portion a little while afterwards.

Biggest comments I got from Banshee at this time was that I was painting too safe. A comment I get A LOT from classes that I join ( especially from all the Spainish painters.. go figure! ).

Though he did say that it was looking good.. but he was going to go and "wreck" it for me now. Push me out of my comfort zone... and just threw blue ink directly onto the shadow areas of the model. Puddle marks, etc.. who cares.. now I can see the extreme.. go play.. and he walks off to "help" another painter ...

I can only say that I was frustrated to see that.. but also I was able to smooth it out, and make it work while seeing what he was pushing. Another click moment for me....

Even while getting beat up by Banshee with the theory, the style, the type of paining... you can see many happy painters in the class..

Banshee continued to throw us new techniques as we progressed further with the busts. He also was able to make a lot of us ( well those who stayed... right Gus? ) move out of our comfort zone and really make some good progress on our pieces!

Though the photos end at this point cause of the pressure to put more to the bust, and also the pure exhaustion of the information that is being put to us... I can say from the final group photo of smiling students that everyone had a good time, and many are looking forward to another class full of information!

From what I know.. Banshee has another class at the end of August in Cambridge this time. Already fully sold out! And that if your there, you will probably see a few familiar faces... heck.. I just might be one of them ;)

Thanks again goes out to John for organizing this... Banshee for taking the time to teach us.. and everyone in the class for making the class what it was.. brilliant!

Until the next workshop... which is this weekend.. ekkk.. no rest for the wicked it seems! Enjoy!


  1. That sounds like a cracking course, interesting to see another take on the process.

  2. This was an excellent class to have attended to understand the use of colours. I've read up on colour theory before, but it's not when someone explains it and shows it via practical exercise that you can fully appreciate it or comprehend it.

    I never knew how red is a complementary of green, as I see clash, also look at Swansea away kit from last season. But there were couple of times when he put this in practice and it makes sense.

    Definitely make more effort to mix colours now.


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