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Painting Philosophy: Edge of Tomorrow

Painting Philosophy: Edge of Tomorrow

Third time’s a charm thus welcome to the third ‘Painting Philosophy’ article, where I let you in on ‘how’ and especially ‘why’ I do some things in a certain way. In my opinion a proper approach to painting is crucial to maintain healthy and rewarding experience. Final result depends on it in the same way as on techniques, know-how and tools being used. Nowadays internet is full of painting tutorials yet it takes some inner understanding of our own capabilities to find what suits us best and fully benefit from all acquired knowledge. That being said – In this series I will reveal what works best for me as a painter. I hope you will find some wisdom in it…

Edge Highlight Technique

In last article I wrote a lot about the edge of a base and what it represents. Do not let yourself be fooled by a similar title, as today we’re talking a completely different topic. I introduce to you the ‘Edge highlight technique’. Something that I used to avoid, but at some point got lured by Games Workshop to try out. Before that I struggled to keep colors juicy and interesting, preferred dark, murky color schemes and avoided any type of lining, including edges. I was a bit disappointed with my own work as a result – so a not very healthy relationship with paints and miniatures. It all changed once I got my hands on GW’s Edge paints, which was the first step to realize how important strong edges, combined with proper lining, are.

What’s All This About?

Edge highlights is a technique of applying paint to the natural edges of a surface, resulting in strong contrast and nice surface outlining. I find edge highlighting, combined with lining, to be a great way to make a color pop and literally change how an eye can perceive it. It works especially well with multi-layered surfaces of detailed miniatures but should work for you regardless of what miniatures you paint. Here’s an example of edge highlights in action – two sets of miniatures painted the same, except one set was then edge highlighted (with barely few extras):

Why This Method?

I’m not a guy that looks at miniatures through magnifying glass. Being a commission painter I paint projects related to gaming and this kind of miniatures should be able to catch an eye while being used on the gaming board. I like my miniatures to pop, to be sharp and ‘edgy’, to have personality and coherent color scheme. For me edge highlights provide all that and more.

How To Do It?

First of all, like with most painting methods, I avoid overloading my brush with too much paint. This is very important as too much paint would run down and ruin a crisp, sharp edge. Other than that I try to:

  • Keep the tip of a brush positioned perpendicularly to the line of the edge and drive it along the edge from one side to the other. This helps to avoid the tip moving off the edge and paint all around it.

  • Hold a brush near the tip. This gives me a lot of control over the tip and its movement.

  • Keep the tip of a brush positioned at about 90 degrees or less to the edge, which usually keeps it from going point forward and leaving paint in recesses.

  • Pick a right paint for the job. This is not limited to GW’s Edge paints only. Any paint that provides enough contrast and has solid pigmentation will do.



Now you know how I approach edge highlighting and with that I would like to close third the Painting Philosophy article. Please take note that what works for me, might not necessarily work for you – still there are many ways to accomplish certain things – mine is just one of them. I encourage you to try and experiment with this technique. As usual I put a lot of effort into preparing this article, but if it helps at least one painter out there – I consider it a time well spent.

I hope you found this tutorial interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you’d consider sharing my content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally, if you are looking for a professional Warhammer miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me via this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours. If you don’t see anything from me by then, please check your spam folder.


3 comments so far

OrlacienPosted on11:19 am - Jan 14, 2018

Sure it is useful, as many of your guides! I like the comparison of USA lvl 3 and 4 and dummy-proof tips. When I finally get down to my painting I surely will use edging.
P.S. All my miniatures from after reading guide are primed with your technique and it’s awesome!

Best regards

JeremyPosted on6:12 pm - Jan 15, 2018

Great article! I will definitely use the tips you show here.

MichalPosted on1:33 pm - Feb 24, 2023

Pigmentation – definitely. But also one more very important thing – consistency. Very important if we got (a relatively good) habit of thinning down our paints. In case of edge-highlighting, the less we do it, the easier it usually gets.

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