So I was browsing Reddit before family movie night, clicked on a post about edge highlighting and how difficult it is, and had my mind blown by this comment (emphasis mine):
So it looks like your paint may be too thick and that you’re trying to highlight using the tip of your brush instead of the edge. Try thinning your paints down a bit more. Dip your brush in the paint, and then wipe it on a paper towel to get most of the paint off. Then take the edge of your paintbrush and run it along the edge of whatever you’re trying to highlight. Use just enough pressure that the bristles have contact with your mini, but no more than that. Go slowly and carefully if you need to.Greystorms on Reddit
Another commenter mentioned a Zumikito Miniatures video demonstrating this technique, and man does that video seal the deal. It’s basically like a more precise, localized version of drybrushing, except the brush isn’t dry and the end result is crisp.
I’ve painted dozens and dozens of miniatures over the past couple of years, and never once considered edge highlighting with the edge of the brush.
My edge highlights are serviceable, at least for my “looks good at arm’s length standard,” but they’re rarely more than that. They’re thick lines, with point highlights for the second layer color (also fairly thick/chunky), and that’s okay…but they could be better.
I can see how this use-the-edge approach would be leaps and bounds better. And I can imagine the brush in my hand and how it would feel to highlight this way — and, unlike many other painting techniques, it actually seems like I could pull this off at my current skill level.
Now I’m excited to paint something with lots of edges, so I can give this a shot!
The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG.