The time had come to visit Volomir’s studio! After my visit to Big Child I was overwhelmed with such a incredible opportunity. Rafael had been kind enough to invite me along, a few days earlier at the picnic in the park. Unfortunately, I lost all the photos I took due to an issue with my phone crashing. So, I will be using some photos of Volomir’s artwork throughout (with his permission of course). None of these artworks are mine. I hope you enjoy the article!
After a brief cycle to his flat, which happened to be right by the bar we ate at some days earlier, Rafael invited me in and showed me to the back of the building where I parked my bike in the little pool area. We rode the elevator up discussing what I had been up to. I told him of the hellish, yet hilarious, experience of the theme park. He welcomed me in and I was immediately confronted with his long row of Golden Demons. His other awards were also arranged on the mantle. What a way to be greeted into someones studio! We walked in and sat down in his studio. He was very excited to show me his projects that he was preparing for various competitions. I cannot actually give specifics about the themes or pieces, instead, I will talk about them in general terms.
The first one was an incredible lesson in controlled multi-person composition. Rafael has a fantastic eye for keeping so many things organized in such a small space. He ensures each figure has its own elevation and enough space between them, so they don’t get confused together. The pieces’ bases were in multiple sections to help with the painting in the later process. The figures were removable as well. Over all, the level of organization and composition was really impressive.
The second piece was really large. So much of the figure had been altered that it took me a second to realize what the base kit was. Rafael is truly a wizard with the sculpting tools. The shapes and details of the figure that had to be shifted and altered were re-sculpted with incredible precision. This converted model also had a fantastic base that complimented the models natural movement. The floating pieces gave the scene more depth and dimension then it already had. Unfortunately, that’s really all I can say about those you’ll just have to wait until Rafael unveils them to the world!
After showing me his works in progress, he was kind enough to let me look through his small drawer containing all of his miniatures and busts. This is customary when other miniature painters visit. It was an absolute treasure trove. He informed me that many companies send him figures to review for his blog and this was where he put them while waiting to do a write up. He also had a drawer with some of his small sculpting WIPs. Some of the models were complete, as others were still just a slightly covered armatures.
Rafael was kind enough to open his display cabinet with his painted miniatures for me to look through in detail. Some of them were award-winning figures… I was blown away! Taking the figures out of the cabinet was one of the most nerve-wrecking things I’ve ever done. The miniatures were painted with such precision, while keeping an incredible fantasy aspect and remaining open for story telling. Rafael’s style of painting is not something that comes naturally to me, and that made it all the more impressive. I asked him about his process and he described the meticulous layering and glazing method he uses to get such an incredible finish.
I put the figures back in their proper places and Volomir and I had a long talk about our travels and some of our beliefs. At the beginning of my journey, I had met up with Rafael in England. He was the first person to really ask me why I was doing my trip. He looked me in my eyes, and called me on out my generic answer asking, “Why are you really doing this trip?” He really got to the heart of why I was traveling, which was in part to ease a healing heart. He was empathetic to my situation and I felt comfortable speaking with him. I told him my whole story and he told me some of his. This visit in Madrid was a chance to debrief with him, in a way. It was truly an honor to have such a deep conversation with some one who I look up to so much. Thank you again, Rafael, for teaching me not only important artistic lessons, but also some great life lessons.
For more on Volomir check out his Blog here!
and more of his incredible artwork here!