Welcome to the table,
I got a chance to speak with Nessa Hill, AKA Vanesa Gill, a very talented miniatures painter with quite the following across various social platforms.
Anton Kromoff: Hello Nessa, first we wanted to take a moment to thank you for speaking with us. Your work is well-loved across social media. We are grateful you are taking the time to talk to us about the craft and the work you do.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Nessa Hill: Sure. I´m Vanesa Gil aka Nessa Hill, curator and restorer of cultural heritage; art, history, and cat lover; mother of drag… I mean, two lovely girls; and, for several years, I´ve been professionally dedicated to miniature painting.
I started out offering myself as an illustrator and painter but soon I was commissioned for my first miniatures, then I worked in an important European miniature studio and now I’m on my own, giving my best, learning every day and trying to contribute to our hobby.
Anton: How long have you been painting?
Nessa: All my life since I can remember. I love drawing since I was able to hold a pencil in my hands. I started studying arts as soon as I could and I feel very lucky of being able to work painting miniatures.
I painted my first miniature 18 years ago and I’m sure it was horrible, hahaha. Since then I have painted miniatures many times for fun with my friends but it wasn´t until six years ago when I started to do it professionally.
Anton: What is your favorite size mini or model to paint?
Nessa: All this time I have been painting mainly 28-35mm scale but I prefer to paint bigger scales (50-75mm) for the good of my eyes ha, ha, ha! I also enjoy painting chibi or cartoon miniatures.
Anton: When you are painting do you prefer to have music on or do you like it to be quiet?
Nessa: To tell you the truth I prefer having music in my room, It helps me keep the rhythm. But I also like to use that time to expand my knowledge about other subjects by listening to podcasts or videos about science, arts, history… And of course, I also love painting while I listen to other Twitch painters. It´s a way of connecting with other people that are doing the same as you in that moment.
Anton: What type of brushes do you like to use and why?
Nessa: Short natural hair brushes, numbers 1 and 3, but I also use synthetics for bigger numbers. Those are the kind of brushes that I used in my career for restoration and I´m very used to them; they have good flexibility and hydration and if you look after them they can last a lot. Anyway, I´m always open to other products and from time to time I try news.
Anton: Do you have a favorite paint color?
Nessa: I must say Ice Yellow if I don’t want to disappoint my followers. It´s a joke that we have in some Twitch channels… It must be present in your miniatures if you want them to look fine, hahaha. But being serious it is a very versatile color that lightens your colors without desaturating it, or at least less than pure white. I also like a lot Abyssal Blue as a substitute of black and ivory as a substitute of white.
Anton: What has been your favorite miniature to paint to date?
Nessa: It is a hard question. I always try to find the good side of every miniature I paint and I usually become attached to all of them. From my most recent works, I had lots of fun painting “Peasant hero”, the Riding Red miniature from Kingdom Death game, and also “Mindless”, which is a Bold Miniatures bust. The collector gave me the freedom to paint it as I wish, and it has a lot of me.
Anton: Is there a miniature or model you have waiting but just can’t bring yourself to paint yet?
Nessa: Oh yes. In fact is a diorama, “Temple of the Ruby Sphere ” (Klukva miniatures), which is a crossover of three well-known treasure hunters. Although I have improved my painting skills I feel I still have much to learn about scenery and weathering.
Anton: What advice would you give someone new to the hobby or trying to find out if the hobby is right for them?
Nessa: Paint what you like, and in the way you like it better. For many people, this is a hobby and the point of a hobby is to have fun. Don’t try to have all the material or all the paints from the beginning. You can check references or tutorials but don’t be too hard with yourself if it doesn’t look exactly like the one you´ve seen in the pictures. All that can come later if you keep on painting and if you like what you do. Practice and observation are great teachers.
Try enjoying the painting.
Anton: Thank you so so much for taking the time to talk to us. Can you let our readers know where they can follow you?
Nessa: Of course. You can follow my work in IG where you can find me as @nessahillart and soon I´m back to my Twitch channel, Nessa_Hill.