Q: What kind of paint do you use?
NH: "I only use acrylic paints. I mix all my own paints and I have developed a couple of tricks to achieve the desired consistency, hue strength and opaqueness. This allows me to paint lighter colors over darker colors."
Q: Why don't you use oil paint?
NH: "Oil paint is slow drying and the paint itself contains solvents. This is great if you like to mix colors on the canvas. My painting technique is based on absolute colors, I don't use half tones and I'm looking for maximum opaqueness - that's why acrylic paints are perfect for me. Also, the solvents used in oil paints (turpentine, white spirit) are very toxic. Some days I paint up to 8 to 10 hours and I prefer not to breathe in those fumes!"
Q: How long does it take to finish a painting?
NH: "The short answer is: It depends. These days I work on anything from tiny watch dials that I paint by hand under a microscope to multi panel paintings that can be over 20 ft. wide. I always start with a sketch so by the time I start with a blank canvas I have a pretty good idea what I want to accomplish. In terms of absolute painting time (not including the sketching and design phase) a painting that measures 40" x 60" takes about a week to complete."
Q: Do you use photographs to paint from?
NH: "I mainly use photographs as reference material to make sure that all the details are period correct, things such as race numbers, tracks, liveries, colors etc.
Most motorsports photography is shot with long lenses. This is done for the simple fact that the photographer can't stand on the track as the cars go zooming by. The problem with long lens photography is that it distorts everything: The rear wing looks bigger than the front wing. In actuality items that are closer should be bigger i.e. the front wing should appear bigger than the rear wing. So in terms of perspective, most car photography isn't of much use.
The other issue is what I call the reverse meta effect: Recognizing the photo that a particular painting is based on has a tendency to take the viewer out of the painting. My goal is to create something that no one has done before or seen before."
Q: I saw one of your paintings of a Singer-reimagined Porsche 911, will you do one for me?
NH: "If you're an owner of a Singer-modified Porsche 911 then I'd be happy to do a painting of your car. In accordance with Singer Vehicle Design, these commissions are strictly reserved for owners of these incredible machines."
Q: How much are you influenced by your grandfather, Gerold Hunziker who also painted in an art-deco style?
NH: "His work and his legacy are always present in my paintings. I also have his original notebooks on color theory, perspective, type treatment, Golden Section and so on. Sometimes when I'm stuck with a painting or design I glance at his Bugatti poster and I'm reminded at how simple his work really was."
Q: I saw one of your paintings/commissions but it was sold, will you paint the same thing for me again?
NH: "No, each painting is unique and I never paint the exact same composition twice. I'd be happy to work with you to create a different piece that could include the same subject matter or color etc. but it won't look exactly like a previous painting."
Q: Where is the Hunziker studio, and is it possible to plan a visit?
NH: "The studio is located in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Currently it is not open to the public, but you may be able to obtain a personal tour by appointment. Please use the contact link for more information."