When I first started reading White Dwarf magazine in the 90�s, I often read about drybrushing. It was several years later; after reading many articles that I actually understood how to apply the drybrushing technique correctly.

Drybrushing is a method to highlight the raised surfaces of a miniature figure by applying a very small amount of paint to your flat brush and then dragging the brush across the grain of the texture. For example if a miniature figure has a clothing which drapes towards the ground, your drybrushing should move perpendicular to the direction of the drapery.

Highlights represents the most prominent areas which receive the most light. In figure painting, you normally paint the figure with the rule that the light is always shining from above the head of the miniature figure-just like when the sun is up at twelve noon.


Different Uses

Drybrushing is widely used in highlighting 28mm miniatures and popular in Games Workshop and other table top gaming.

Lately professional figure painters have been using drybrushing to highlight miniature figures which are primed black. White is being used to bring out the details of the prominent areas so that it is more visible and easier to work with the miniature figure.

No matter how you apply drybrushing, this technique is the same always. Very small amount of paint is required for this method. One technique that I learned is to add white to your basecolour to create your highlight colour. Another way is to get brightest colour of the same hue to use as highlights.

Use a flat brush and dip it into the colour mix and then wipe the paint away onto a napkin. To ensure that very small amount of paint is left on the brush, brush it lightly onto your skin to see if you to need to remove some more away.

Once done than you can start drybushing the miniature figure. Drybrush in one direction and try not to drybrush everything in one pass but make a few passes. After each pass, the drybrushed areas will appear bolder.

Patience and a light hand-drybrushing requires a very light application and control. If you are new to figure painting, practice and patience is required. Just uitlise the above tips and you should be fine.